Exciting Week

Pink Flower by Connie Cockrell

Pink Flower by Connie Cockrell

It’s been a bit of a tough week for me. Last Tuesday I was at lunch in a restaurant with my husband when I bit into a tater tot and had a bottom molar disintegrate(with crown). Nothing like a mouth full of potato and tooth. I was able to see the dentist that afternoon. He ground the broken bit down so I wouldn’t cut myself then scheduled me for a new crown the next morning. Four hours later I was home with a new crown and minus $800 as my insurance wouldn’t cover a new crown for that tooth. They said they’d only cover a new one every 5 years and I was 6 months too early. Sigh. What can you do?

The tooth thing took me through Wednesday. Then on Saturday hubby and I drove about 200 miles to see a friend in Prescott. After a nice lunch and chat, we parted ways. Hubby and I did a little shopping but were on the road about an hour after lunch. Being diligent, I took that ride time to draft out another chapter in the book I’m using as my Two Year Novel project. The farther we went the worse I felt. I finished the scene and tossed the notebook into the back seat then tried to deal with the pain in my abdomen. I eyed passing scenery with the idea I might have to stop. A full on sweat broke out and I began to feel shaky. Finally, just after the tiny town of Strawberry, about 15 miles from home I had the hubby pull the car over and proceeded to loose my lunch on the side of the road.  Still sweating and shaky we made it home but I spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom. It was definitely food poisoning. Fortunately my system seemed to clear the problem over the next 5 hours. I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty good and went for a walk.

First Encounter, the first book in my new Brown Rain series released on September 18th as promised. You can get all of the links to purchase at the end of this post. I sent out a newsletter with the announcement and an offer that’s just for newsletter subscribers. Do you want in on the action? Look below for a link to the Newsletter sign up button.

The garden is in fall mode. The peppers, both sweet and hot, are finally turning to the colors they’re supposed to be. I may be able to roast and freeze the hot peppers soon. I have poblano and Fresno chilis. They’ll be very good this winter in my chili. I’m still am picking more cherry tomatoes than we can eat. This won’t last much longer. I expect some sort of hard frost anytime now.

The picture accompanying my blog today was taken by me on a recent hike. It’s still rainy season here in Arizona and the wildflowers are out in force.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Flash Fiction Friday: Plumbing Issues Part 2

Swarm by Nycterisa via www.deviantart.com

Swarm by Nycterisa via http://www.deviantart.com

This is part two of the Chuck Wendig challenge to write the 1st half of a story then leave it for another writer to finish. This week, we do the middle of the story. I chose Brandon Scott’s Plumbing Issues. This feels like a horror story to me and that’s not my usual thing but what the heck, let’s see if I can write a middle.
No one has picked up my first half from last week yet. I’ll let it go another week to see if anyone decides to do a middle. But I promise, I’ll finish it if no one else does.
I pick up the story at the dividing line.
Title: Plumbing Issues (Part 1 by Brandon Scott at Coolerbs Reviews. http://coolerbs.com/2014/09/10/flash-fiction-challenge-the-first-half-of-a-story-only/)

Darkness, their home. A thousand bodies pressed up to each other, communicating through nothing but a torrent of clicks. A swarm; chirping and scuttling. Carapaces pressed up to each other, rubbing. The sound was deafening. The smell, even worse.
They ate, constantly. It was all they knew. A screaming fire in each stomach. Everything was food; rot, blood, skin. Everything. Every inch of the surface picked clean. Any other creature, anything that was not an ally, devoured. Cracked open and slurped up. A few brothers had died, they too were eaten.
Every feeler started to twitch at once. A new noise had appeared. Booming, alien. Something was talking, something massive. The ceaseless noise, ceased. All stood at attention, wanting to hear.
“Where is it?”
“I already told you on the phone”
“Well, could you tell me again, please?”
“The bathroom. It’s always the bathroom.”
“I said I’d fix it.”
“That was a year ago.”
“I will, I just haven’t gotten around to it. Okay?”
“Okay.”
“No, I… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean-“
“Just fix it.”
“Look honey, I got a bonus coming up. The vacation can wait, we can-“
“Not now. I don’t want to argue. I just wanna sleep. Could you just handle it, please?”
“Yeah, of course, good night.”
“Night.”
A thumbing noise, more akin to thunder than anything else, sounded across the entire hive. A single twitch of alarm turning into a wave of feelers. The pyramid of bodies began to crumble as individuals tried to move, to escape.
It descended into mayhem, bodies pressed against bodies. Towers made, purely by accident; collapsing just as quickly as they formed. The Queen attempted to calm them. Pheromones screaming for order.
They went unheard.
Their spiny legs found purchase, and raced on the sides. A burst a fresh air gave them a destination. Upwards. A barrier prevented them from passing, and they hungrily tore at it. The porcelain proving itself just another food source. Acid spat, melting it, mandibles scooping it into thousands of wailing mouths. Progress was slow, but they were persisting. More and more climbing up to attack the obstruction. When one grew too full, it would drop down. Its six legs, flailing in the air, being eventually righted by a shift of the mass.
This frantic pace continued for a while, the edge of the barrier weakening. Holes dug, but not yet wide enough to go through.
Then the noise sounded again, and all was still.
“No….no you know what, it’s that mother of her’s. Made one comment about the toilet being dirty….and what does she do? She wants me to replace the whole God-damn thing.”
A noise of metal against plastic, followed by compressed air let free. A large weight dropped down parallel to the entirety of the hive.
Something, large, hit against the surface of the barrier.
The obstruction disappeared and the swarm, now uninhibited, rose forth in-mass. Spilling across the floor; thousands of them. Rushing forward. Manic with hunger.

The random hair, skin cells, a dead spider, found by the leading edge of the swarm disappeared into desperate mandibles leaving nothing for the horde behind. They roiled in the small room until an exit was found. There, they found fibers, soft and giving more traction than the smooth floor of the first room. It was dark but that was what they loved. It was dry, not their favorite but all the fiber made it worthwhile.
Again, spiny legs found purchase on wood, on more fibers touching the floor and leading upward. The swarm followed each link upward, racing each other to eat what was in front of them. Antenna quivered as they tasted the air. Protein, and a lot of it was ahead. They raced, each hungry belly wanting to be the first to find the prize.
Clicking, chirping, scuttling, the swarm raced upward. It grew warmer as they ate their way along the fibers. The lead creatures of the swarm gave off their pheromones, FOOD! They bit into the soft, warm meat.
A noise greater than any they had ever heard vibrated their timpani. They stopped, trying to recover from the noise. They heard a click and light filled the room, brighter than any they had ever been exposed to. They cowered. Again, a high pitched shriek, made the swarm retreat a foot or two, confusion reigned in the swarm. Hunger gnawed, but fear held them back. The fibers they were on moved, hard carapaces flew through the air as the shrieking grew in volume. The protein moved, brothers were trampled and eaten.
The queen, left behind, couldn’t help them. Her pheromones were too far away to help calm and organize. As the shrieking drifted away, the creatures returned to eating the fibers, tiny treats of mites and dead skin cells leading the swarm on. Booming noise gave them pause. They stopped to listen.
“You have to come right now! My whole bedroom is infested.”
“There are millions! Millions and millions! You have to come right now. My wife is going to have a stroke. You have to come.”
“Hurry!”
The noise stopped, the swarm ate. A hissing noise came from one wall where a crack allowed some of the brothers to leave the room. As more and more tried to go in that direction, more and more of their dead bodies filled the crack. They tasted bad but food was food. Soon those who ate the dead were dead also.
Again, the booming noise filled the air.
“What’s taking so long? They’re trying to get out of the bedroom. I’m out of bug killer. Hurry up!”
“Yes, that’s the address.”
The swarm barely paused now at the noise. The room was hot and dry. The food was dry. The swarm fed but the environment was hostile. They began to miss the wet, dark place they came from. Some of the brothers stood still, the lack of the queen’s direction rendering them useless.

The End
496/495 Words
Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Merry Go Round Blog Tour – September: Publishing

Books by Randy Cockrell

Books by Randy Cockrell

Publishing is in a state of free-for-all right now. It might be that readers don’t notice it. They may notice that their favorite author is only available as a Kindle down-load, never found on their local bookstore’s shelves. Perhaps they notice that they cannot get any of the stories their favorite author wrote years ago or that finally, their favorite author has made their backlist available on Amazon.

Writers, though, are all too aware of what’s going on in publishing. I’m a new author, having put my first book out in August of 2012. I went indie, that is, independently published, or self-published. It was still relatively new in 2012 and many of my mentors on Forward Motion were already well into the process. They had a wealth of information on self-publishing and with their help it was pretty easy to do. As a new author, I wasn’t aware that there was a “stigma” attached to self-publishing. If I had, I wonder if I would have jumped on the bandwagon so quickly?

Sure, I was afraid when I hit the submit button back then. I mean, I put a lot of my heart and soul into that book. All of the usual fears crept into my mind. Did I catch all of the errors when I did my multiple rounds of edits? Will people like it? Will it sell? Am I just embarrassing myself? Oh yeah, the self-doubts are there.

I’ve been through the process several times now. I still get the same wave fear with every book I put up. There’s no validation in indie publishing as there is in traditional publishing. I submit stories to various magazines and publishing houses. Same waves of fear but so far, I haven’t had any takers on the traditional side of publishing. It’s understandable. They get thousands of manuscripts a year and can only publish a few. But I can imagine how gratifying it must be to have someone in the business say, “Hey, I love it. Let’s talk about getting this published.” That’s validation that your work is good enough to sell.

Sure, on the indie side, validation comes from sales numbers but getting discovered by the reading public is tough. There are hundreds of new books published every day. How do I know if my books aren’t selling because of bad writing or poor marketing? There’s no way to know. There again, fear and doubt raise their ugly heads.

All I know is that I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to keep indie publishing. I’m going to keep submitting stories to magazines. I’m going to ignore those nagging fears and doubts.

Speaking of those fears, my newest novella, First Encounter: A Brown Rain series book releases today September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: AppleAmazonBarnes and NobleKobo, or Smashwords today!

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com) . The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Mid-September Update

Pink Roses against the September sky by Randy Cockrell

Pink Roses against the September sky by Randy Cockrell

Oh my gosh! Totally forgot to do a blog post last Monday. I was exhausted after the fair ended last Sunday and didn’t have any brain power left to do a post. I apologize for that. The fair went pretty well. Like military plans, fair plans rarely survive first contact but we got most things done and fair-goers had fun. That’s all that counts. I’ve been posting pictures of livestock 4H and FFA winners on the fair Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Gila-County-Fair/136645043024179. These kids work really hard raising their animals and learning how to show them. It seemed fitting to post their accomplishments.
First Encounter, the first book in my new Brown Rain series is up on Amazon’s new Pre-Order feature. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MW8AYOK If you use another ereader, it’s also up on Kobo for pre-order at http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/first-encounter-6. Release date is scheduled for September 18th.
The garden is in fall mode. The green and yellow beans have withered, so no more of them. The peppers, both sweet and hot, are ripening. I may be able to roast and freeze the hot peppers soon. I have poblano and Fresno chilis. They’ll be very good this winter in my chili. I had to cut my mint down. The bees love the flowers but the flowers were going to seed. I can’t have mint seed spreading everywhere. I’d never get rid of the stuff. The bees can still visit the oregano flowers so they’ll have flowers until they go into hibernation. My butternut squash is also ripening. The very first ones to grow this spring are ready to pick. I’ll store them in my garage and the last ones will keep all winter. Tomatoes are sprawling all over. I still am picking more cherry tomatoes than we can eat. The regular tomatoes I par-boil, skin, chop and freeze. They’ll make great spaghetti sauce this winter. Do you garden? What’s still going strong for you?
The picture accompanying my blog today was taken by my husband of some of the roses I have blooming right now. I love the way they look against this mid-September sky.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.
Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.
Revolution: A Gulliver Station Story released August 1st! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Challenge: First Half of a Story

This week’s Chuck Wendig challenge http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/09/05/flash-fiction-challenge-the-first-half-of-a-story-only/ is to write the first 500 words of a 1000 word story and post it on our page. Hopefully someone else will read the 1st half, be prompted and write the 2nd half of the story. So this week, I’ll post my 1st half and see if anyone gets an idea of how to finish it. I called it Mystery at the Fair.

I read some of the posts from people who had already answered the challenge and found one that someone else created and finished it for him. You can see it below my story start. I’m calling it Close Call.

If no one picks up on my story, I’ll finish it for next week. If someone does finish it, I’ll post it here with a link to their blog.

Mystery at the Fair

Sweat rolled down the side of Jean Hays’ face, her short graying brown hair stuck to her forehead. The sun beat down out of a cornflower blue sky while end of the monsoon season thunderheads built up into towering blinding white and ominous portents of future rain. Rain every year for the fair, she thought as she trudged to the storage container where the plastic tubs of left over ribbons, banners and other fair paraphernalia resided the rest of the year. She wiped her face and hoped the units were unlocked. The Fair Board President, Arris Van Horn wasn’t answering his phone. He should have them open by now.

She wiped the sweat from her face and lightly touched the metal handles of the shipping container. The front of the unit had been in the sun all day but while it was hot to the touch, she could grab the lever and pull it up. Must be ninety degrees out here. She swung the door open with relief that she wouldn’t have to trudge all over the fairgrounds looking for Arris and stepped inside. It was dark just a few feet inside the metal box and at least a hundred and twenty degrees. Sweat began dripping in earnest. Smells like mice in here, hope they haven’t gotten into the tubs, she thought.

Winding her way past safety cones, stacked tables, buckets of rope, steel cable and broken metal chairs, she stepped over a pile of rebar to reach her stack of tubs. One, two, three, four, she counted, where’s the fifth tub? The heat was giving her a headache. Maybe it’s farther to the back. A pile of cardboard boxes labeled, Mud Run, blocked her way. The storage container held material for several events that occurred on the fairgrounds during the year. Jean moved the three boxes behind her and stepped over a pile of rusting chain. Wish I’d brought a flashlight, she thought. It’s dark back here.

Squinting, she saw the medium blue tub four feet away on top of another stack of bins. There you are. She wiped her face again and held her breath. The smell of dead things was over whelming. I hope nothing crawled into my bin. The ribbons will be ruined. She picked her way past boxes, rusting metal things she couldn’t identify and a broken ladder. She pulled the tilted bin toward her and the pile of bins it was on fell over. Her bin slid to the floor, taking part of her thumbnail with it. “Owww,” she cried as she jerked her hand away. In front of her, the two doors of a metal cabinet creaked open and a desiccated human body fell out on top of her bin. She shrieked and scrambled outside.

She stared, panting, at the open door of the container then dialed 911. “This is Jean Hays. I’m the VP of Exhibits for the fair. I just found a dead body in the storage container on the fairgrounds.”

The End

500 Words

 

Close Call

(Note: 1st half of the story is separated from my final half by a line.)

First half is by Caitlin McColl, Under A Star Lit Sky, http://underastarlitsky.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-first-500/ No Title: Part of Chuck Wendig 500 Word Story Start Challenge

Do you know what it feels like when you are about to die? Everything slows down and then stops. All the life, all the colours drain out of everything. It’s like you’re trying to conserve every last bit of energy into just keeping yourself alive, to keep your heart pumping and your mind thinking. You go into survival mode: sounds disappear until all you hear is your heart and your breath as loud as a hurricane in your ears.

Trust me, I know. I’ve been almost dead more times than I have fingers and toes.  And I don’t recommend it. It’s not as if I try to get into situations that get me almost dead, it’s just… I guess you could say it’s my hobb-.

I hear a familiar click right next to my left ear; the small sound that has such a huge meaning – the sound of a gun’s safety being pulled back. Slowly, calmly, I put down my pen. Without turning my head, I begin to stand from the Adirondack chair where I’d been enjoying a rare peaceful morning on my deck devoid of any life – I do not have a green thumb – above the Pacific.

“Don’t move,” the voice says quiet but firm. At first I’m surprised. It’s not any voice I was expecting, going through my mental Rolodex of the long list of people who want me dead.

I try not to sound like I’m on the verge of a laugh. I swallow once, hoping to quash the offending sound, and try to sound serious and even as I stop in a squat, half sitting, half standing.

“What do you want me to do?” I ask, plainly, removing all traces of amusement from my voice.

The voice behind me makes an exasperated noise. “Okay, you can move, but only do what I say.”

I try to suppress a smile, grateful my face is turned away from my captor. She sounds unsure, nervous. I don’t recognize her voice – I’m usually good with recognizing who it is that wants to hurt me.

“Okay,” I say agreeably. “Can I at least stand up?”

There is a pause. I can almost sense eyes being rolled. “Yes.”

I straighten slowly. “Now what?”

Another pause, longer this time. “Take us to the library.”

Us? A shiver races down my spine. I mentally shake my head. I hadn’t been on alert. I’d been too busy writing.

“The library?” I repeat, confused.

Your library,” the woman says, irritation and impatience tingeing her words.

“Why?”

“That’s not important. All you need to know is you have a gun to your head.”

I laugh, short and sharp. “That’s nothing new to me.”

I hear the another small click that causes the hair on my arms to rise involuntarily and I raise my hands defensively. “Okay, okay,” I say, leading the way into the kitchen and down the hall.

The double doors to the library already stand open. I stop and gesture inside. “Ladies first.”

________

“Don’t be stupid,” she snarled.

I shrugged and stepped through the door to the middle of the room.

“Turn around.”

Hands still in the air, I did. She was about five foot six, green-eyed and I didn’t recognize her. I certainly would have remembered that shoulder-length auburn hair and creamy complexion. “I’m afraid we haven’t been properly introduced. I’m Al Teiness.” I started to lower my hands.

“Keep them in the air.” She waved the revolver at me.

“Of course.” I raised them again.

“I know who you are. You’re the one that killed my sister.”

I’ve been known to tie one on but I don’t remember ever blacking out. Certainly don’t remember killing anyone. “You must have me confused with someone else.”

“Two years ago,” she spat out, tears forming in those lovely green eyes. “At the MyCon for mystery writers, in Phoenix. She was so excited, finally getting to meet her favorite author.” She studied my face. “You don’t remember, do you?” She pointed the gun at me in sharp jabs. “Unbelievable.”

“Miss, really, I didn’t kill your sister. I’m so sorry for your loss. What was her name?” I had to convince this woman not to kill me.

She dashed away the tears in her eyes. “Amanda, my height, blonde, blue-eyes. She had met you at the book-signing and you invited her for drinks afterward. She texted me. You were going to meet at the hotel bar.”

I thought furiously. So many people come to the book-signing sessions. I was sick that day, head-ache and fever but the fans come a long way and spend a lot of money so I sat through the whole signing session, smiling and greeting my readers. “Miss, I invite a lot of my fans for drinks at the bar. Usually I go and spend some time with them but I was sick that day. I didn’t go to the bar; I was in my room, puking my guts out with the flu.”

The gun wavered as she stared at me. Her face twisted in anger. “You’re a liar. You’re just trying to get away with it.”

“No, Miss,” I stepped toward her to explain.

She took two steps back, “Stop!”

I stuck my hands back in the air. “I had to call the hotel to send a doctor. I’m not sure how you’d check that but it’s the truth. I missed the rest of the conference.” I could see the look of doubt cross her face. She swallowed.

“It’s taken me two years to track you down. You didn’t go to the bar?”

I shook my head.

The gun wavered. “You were really sick?”

I nodded.

The gun sank toward the floor. “I’m so sorry.” She whirled around and fled out through the kitchen to the deck and was gone.

I dropped my hands and staggered to the ottoman where I collapsed, heart pounding. I resolved never to invite fans for drinks again.

The End

991 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Flash Fiction Friday: The Farmer and the Superhero

So Let the Flames Begin by tearsintotime via www.deviantart.com

So Let the Flames Begin by tearsintotime via http://www.deviantart.com

Art looked around the barn. There wasn’t much here to fight with. The outlaws were closing in and they had revolvers and shotguns. Thank the heavens, Wanda and the kids were at her parent’s ranch, twenty miles away. That’s something, he thought as the back and front barn doors were kicked open at the same time.
“We know you have a cash box hidden in here, Sodbuster.” The leader of the gang called out from his horse in the barn door. The rest of the gang were on foot, nearing the center of the barn floor. Art was in the hay loft, pitchfork in hand.
They’d come riding in hard, dust blowing across the valley in the hot spring afternoon. Sure he had cash. He was saving it to buy seed and plant once the monsoons began.
The outlaws gathered at the base of the ladder leading to the loft. “Come on down. Don’t make us come up there,” a big brute with a scar across his left cheek yelled out.
Art considered throwing the pitchfork like a spear. He’d get at least one that way.
“Jimmy,” Scarface said to one of the men next to him. “Go up there and throw that sodbuster down.”
“You snoozer, I ain’t goin’ up there. He’ll kill me.” Jimmy backed up a step.
Scarface reached out a long arm, grabbed the young man by the scruff of his neck and shoved him to the ladder. He pointed his revolver at the boy. “Get up there or I’ll shoot you myself.”
Jimmy was none too happy but he began to climb the ladder. Scarface called up to the loft. “You come down nice and quiet. We won’t hurt ya.”
“You already burned down my house. You’ll kill me all right.”
Scarface waved his gun at Jimmy to get a move on. The boss, leaning on the pommel of his saddle snorted. “Sodbuster, we just want the money. Toss it down.”

Art could hear Jimmy nearing the top of the ladder. “I think not.”

The boss said, “We’ll burn the barn with you in it.”
“Then you won’t get the money, will ya?”
Jimmy stepped up to the loft. He had his revolver in hand, scanning the heaps of hay in the loft. “Come out, Mister. Give me the cash box and we’ll be on our way.”
Art flung the pitchfork at the boy. Jimmy dodged the fork but stumbled and fell off the loft. He screamed after he hit the dirt barn floor. “My leg! My leg is broke!” Art’s stomach rolled. He’d never hurt anyone in his life.
Over Jimmy’s screams, the boss yelled, “Shut the kid up. Get him on his horse. Mister, you made a mistake. Scarface, burn the barn.”
Art could hear the sound of the boss leaving. Through the open loft door he could see the gang forcing Jimmy onto his horse. The men rode away from the barn, Scarface’s horse with them. Below, he could hear Scarface lighting match after match, the sulfur smell rising in the air to his hiding place. He could see the boss send two of his men to the other side of the barn. There would be no getting out that way.
The smell of smoke filled the air and he could hear crackling. The chickens began to squawk and run from the building. He pulled the cash box out of the rafters and tucked it under his arm. Was there anywhere to put it so Wanda could recover it? A peek over the edge of the loft showed the flames licking the wooden support posts. At least the cow and her calf were in the field. Wanda would have that much.
The heat began to rise, sweat formed on his face. He grabbed a sack of corn, stuffed the box inside and put the sack in between two others. Maybe the corn wouldn’t burn. He peeked out of the loft door. The outlaws were having a smoke, waiting. Art wiped his forehead with his sleeve. If he jumped he’d be defenseless, the pitchfork was on the barn floor.
The flames crept up the support poles. Art paced back and forth between loft doors, desperate to think of some way out. He coughed from the smoke. When the flames licked at the front edge of the loft, he thought it was the end. Tears of anger, frustration and the smoke streaked down his face. He whispered a good-bye to his wife and children.

Kneeling in the center of the floor, he prepared to die when something crashed through the roof of the barn. Art’s arms went up to shield himself from falling shingles and splintered wood.
A man, dressed in sky blue with a red cape settled to the loft floor. He held out his hand. “I’m The Guardian, let’s get you out of here,” he said. Art took the man’s hand. He scooped Art up under his arms and flew through the hole he just made. The outlaws pointed and shouted. The man put Art down in the pasture next to the cow and flew back to the outlaws. They fired their guns at the man who swooped low over them, spooking their horses. The horses ran in every direction but the man followed, one by one, bringing each outlaw back and tying them up in the middle of the barn yard.
After the last outlaw was caught, The Guardian came back to the pasture. “I’m sorry about the barn,” he said. The barn was in full flame behind him. “But the bounty on those outlaws should be enough to pay for a new house and barn.”
With that, the man rose into the air until Art lost sight of him in the sun. Art walked the outlaws into town keeping them in line with their own dropped revolvers. The Sheriff looked confused at the outlaw’s tales. When he asked Art how he captured them all, he said, “I just surprised them.”
The End
1000 Words
Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Happy Labor Day

BBQ by Amanada Supak via www.deviantart.com

BBQ by Amanada Supak via http://www.deviantart.com

Here’s hoping you have a good Labor Day and a safe and fun weekend. We made no special efforts this year. No travel or special barbeques. It’s been nice to just stay home and take care of things around the house.

The Northern Gila County fair is in five days. The set up work starts today when the tents are set up. Then Tuesday we put up exhibit stands and the livestock people set up corrals, pens and show rings Wednesday people can bring their exhibits. It’s always fun to see what everyone has been working on all year.  Thursday is the exhibit judging. Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the Fair. We have a lot of fun things planned for the weekend: Hotdog eating and watermelon eating contests, a Battle of the Bands, a lip sync contest and a lot more. Check out the Attractions and the Entertainment tabs at www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com. We’re also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Gila-County-Fair/136645043024179.

My novella, First Encounter is with the editing service, SilverJayMedia.com. It should be back soon. Hot! I tried out Amazon’s new Pre-Order feature. It was very easy for me to use and I put First Encounter up on it for pre-order. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MW8AYOK Release date is scheduled for September 18th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

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I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here.  Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.

Revolution: A Gulliver Station Story released August 1st! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!