Tag Archives: Fiction

My Review of Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell

I followed John Howell’s book launch tour and hosted a tour for his latest book Eternal Road: The Final Stop. I read all the excerpts presented on the tour. They grabbed my interest. I wanted to read the rest of the book and I did. I love to read or watch movies of time-travel stories. John’s book was a delight.

Eternal Road: The final stop by [John W. Howell]

My Review

Mr. John Howell began the book with the scene of Sam being killed, but her body was not found. It grabbed my attention right away. James picked up a hitchhiker, Sam, who turned out to be his grade school friend missing 17 years ago. During their conversation, James realized he was dead when his car crashed while falling asleep driving.

Sam received the assignment to take James on an eternal road to his final destiny. They had a time-travel ability by closing their eyes to focus on a time and location, and it would transport them in just seconds. Sam knew all the places they traveled, O.K. Corral Gunfight site in Tombstone, Arizona, and Alamo in San Antonio, Texas because she studied history for seventeen years while waiting for James to arrive from the other side of the world. They had fun communicating with people in the 1800s of the different terminology and technology over time.

Sam and James seemed to pick up their childhood affection where they left off, and the care for each other grew. Along the journey, Sam visited her parents to let them know she was fine and that they would reunite with her one day. James also played a visit to his mom and stepfather to let them know he was dead, but he was fine. One last person Sam faced was her murderer. It was a relief to know her killer got what he deserved.

There were decisions to make before James reached his eternal home. I also wanted to find out the relationship between the two. The ending came as a surprise. Mr. John Howell created many scenarios and evoked thoughts and emotions. I highly recommend Eternal Road: The Final Stop to all readers.

My Ratings of 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.

About the Author

John’s bio

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

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New Book Launch Eternal Road – The final stop by John W. Howell

I’m very excited to have John Howell visiting my blog today to celebrate his new book Eternal Road: The Final Stop. My dear friends and visitors, please join me to give John a warm welcome.

Before we start, help yourself with some drinks and goodies.

Host a Champagne & Cheese Party! | Pizzazzerie

Now, let me invite John to tell you all about his unique book of a great adventure.

Eternal Road: The final stop by [John W. Howell]

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Miriam, and for helping me launch Eternal Road – The final stop. I know you are always busy with new projects so I’m happy you could take time to help with the launch. Let me describe the kind of book it. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

It is now available on Amazon in paper and KindleThe Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

The blurb

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

An Excerpt

Sam opens her eyes. “Oh, my goodness.”

“Can you believe it? Luckily, we didn’t land in the pools.”

“I’m glad you concentrated on the front of the place and not on the whole view.”

James laughs. “I would have felt embarrassed if we’d shown up dripping wet.”

“Not to mention my new dress. What should we do now?”

“Check-in. And you should change and freshen up. We have about three hours before our command appearance.”

Sam nods her concurrence, and the two go inside the massive hotel. They find their way past hundreds of slot machines and to the front desk. The clerk asks, “May I help you?”

James says, “We would like a room, please.”

The clerk raises an eyebrow. “Do you have a reservation?”

James looks down. “No. We just got into town and need a place.”

“Could I have your name?”

“James Wainwright.”

“Ah, yes, Mr. Wainwright. We do, in fact, have a reservation for you. Mr. Sedit’s assistant booked a room for you.”

“Mr. Sedit?”

“Oh, yes. The gentleman is a big friend of the hotel and almost lives here full time.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“I’ll have someone take you to the Lakeview Suite.”

“How much, per night, does that cost?”

“It is $1,100 per night, but Mr. Sedit has paid for the room already. He also wants you to enjoy yourself, so he has put a thousand-dollar credit on the suite, should you want to use the spa or, perhaps, take a chance at one of our many games.”

“I’m stunned.”

“You’re one of Mr. Sedit’s friends, and so we consider you a friend of the hotel as well.”

The desk person rings a small bell, and another member of staff appears. “Please take Mr. and Mrs. Wainwright to their suite.”

The Trailer

John’s bio

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

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Book Launch for Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach

It’s party time. I’m so thrilled to have my friend Diana Wallace Peach on my blog to celebrate her exciting moment.

Please join me for the party, fetch a drink, and grab some hors d’oeuvres.

Birthday decorations clipart » Clipart Station
Book Launch Party for Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach
Alcoholic Cocktail Row On Wood Backgroundks, Colorful Party Drinks ...

CHEF Q: 4 Types of Hors d'oeuvres You Should Know

She has written a new series–Unraveling the Veil. I love all the book covers. Aren’t they classy?

Unraveling the Veil Series

Today, we launch Book One, Liars and Thieves.

Book One: Liars and Thieves

In this book, we’ll encounter the changelings. These changelings shift their shapes when they move about. Out of my curiosity, I asked Diana a question and was pleased to learn something magical.

Please give a round of applause to Diana.

Hi, Diana, how do changelings shift into animal shapes?

Biokinesis. I like magic that sounds scientific. Almost all the magic in the book is a version of kinesis, which is defined as motion/movement. Kinesis, believe it or not, is related to cellular biology and zoology (the mobility of skull bones).

Changelings manipulate their forms on a cellular level, which enables them to switch from one species to another. Like all species, their physical appearance is patterned in their genetic code. The ability to alter their appearance requires assuming a new cellular pattern.

Crystals facilitate an easier, less painful shift. Imagine going from a human skeleton to a dog skeleton without them!

Thank you, Diana. Now let me present the book information.

Blurb:

Behind the Veil, the hordes gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—

When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—

Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—

Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

Here is a marvelous trailer she created. Please sit back and relax and enjoy her creation.

Please click the link below for purchasing Liars and Thieves:

Liars and Thieves Global Purchase Linkhttp://a-fwd.com/asin=B08FGQ2W3Q

Now, please allow me to formally introduce you to Diana.

Author Bio:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

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Book Launch: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

My dear friends, please help me welcome Jacqui Murray, a prehistoric fiction author, to my blog.

Jacqui and I haven’t officially met but we may run into each other on the same beach when the pandemic is over. It is my pleasure to host the book launch party for Jacqui’s new release of Against All Odds, Book 3 in the Crossroad trilogy.

 

1.Against All Odds

I’m glad you all are here for the party. Help yourself with some drinks and dessert!!

                             A surprise book launch party • A Subtle Revelry    Summer cocktails: 10 party drinks for a crowd | Food | The Guardian

Glorious Layered Desserts Book Launch Party - Glorious Treats

I invited Jacqui to share with me about the prehistoric people.

How do you know Xhosa’s People are as smart as they seem in this book?                 

A study published in the journal Nature Human Behavior places the appearance of human-like ways of thinking with the emergence of Homo erectus. The complex thought required to create their stone tools (called Acheulean) and their functional variety (which includes cutters, choppers, handaxes, cleavers, flakes, and scrapers) have long inspired many paleoanthropologists to believe Homo erectus was smart. A 2017 study that mapped student brains while they recreated these tools revealed that this work required the ability to “hold in mind” information—much as you and I do to plan complete complex tasks. “The fact that these more advanced forms of cognition were required to create Acheulean hand axes … means the date for this more humanlike type of cognition can be pushed back to at least 1.8 million years ago …” [Indiana University. “‘Humanlike’ ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2017]                   

Not definitive but interesting!                                                                                                           

Convince me they communicate effectively with gestures, body movements, and facial expressions.                        

I get this a lot. Let me give you two examples. First, have you ever been around someone who doesn’t speak your language and still, the two of you communicate? It’s probably via hand gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Much can be said without voices.

Second, think of sign language. Sophisticated ideas are communicated with hands and facial expressions around the world daily. That’s how Xhosa and her kind did it.

I’m surprised by the sophistication and cleverness of some of their actions. Would you tell me more?             

Homo erectus could pass as a modern man dressed properly and if the viewer carried no precognitions about what he expected. But he lacked many of the social constructs we take for granted. Because these traits don’t fossilize, we extrapolate what life was like from artifacts like their sophisticated tools.                                                                   

A recent study out of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (in the Levant) provides evidence that in that part of Eurasia, Homo erectus lived in a camp—called a homebase—with divided work areas for toolmaking and consumption located near a hearth. These are traits associated with our modern lifestyle and now are found over half a million years ago.

Thank you, Jacqui!

I’ve read your interesting post about writing, Jacqui. Thank you for sending it to me to post it here.

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Writing Quirks That Suck the Energy Out of Your Writing By Jacqui Murray

Writing

An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch Against All Odds August 2020. In case you missed it there, here are my anecdotal thoughts on how to add drama to your story:

Keeping your fiction active and engaging is as much about how you tell the story as it is about plot and setting. You must write sentences that pull readers in, keep them engaged while you maintain a reasonable pace and are clear enough that the reader doesn’t find himself/herself re-reading or trying to figure out what you’re saying.

When my novel bogs down, here are five constructs that are often the culprit. I keep each discussion short. If you would like to dig deeper, there are many great writing websites and books that make that possible:

Passive voice

According to Grammarly:

“Passive voice is when the noun being acted upon is made the subject of the sentence.”

Passive voice moves readers out of the action and puts them in a safe place to the side of the action. They become unaffected by the action and the plot, more of an observer. That’s deadly for a story. We want readers sitting in the middle of events, worried everything will blow up around them. Plus, passive voice often weakens the clarity of what’s being written.

Solution: Rephrase the sentence so that the action noun becomes part of the subject. For example:

Wrong: The grass has been scorched by the wild fire.

Right: The wild fire scorched the grass.

Too many prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases add interesting information to the story but must be managed. If you have too many in a sentence, 1) the reader loses track of what you’re trying to say, or 2) the sentence becomes unnecessarily convoluted.

Look at these examples from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Writing Center:

Unnecessary phrase: The opinion of the manager
Correction: The manager’s opinion

Unnecessary phrase: The obvious effect of such a range of reference is to assure the audience of the author’s range of learning and intellect.
Correction: The wide-ranging references in this talk assure the audience that the author is intelligent and well-read.

Do you notice how the prepositional phrases make the text wordy and choppy? It’s worth noting that the Chicago Manual of Style recommends the use of only one preposition per ten-fifteen words.

Solution: 1) Delete the prepositional phrase. Does the story lose anything? 2) Break the sentence into multiple sentences. 3) Use active voice instead of passive. 

Qualifying words

According to The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill:

“Qualifiers… are words or phrases that are added to another word to modify its meaning (He was somewhat busy; the dog was sort of cute). Qualifiers give … clues about how confident you feel about the information you’re presenting. …excessive use of qualifiers can make you sound unsure of your facts….”

Qualifying words include a bit, little, fairly, highly, kind of, mostly, rather, really, slightly, sort of, appeared to, and seemed to. They don’t draw a line that when crossed, creates drama. They equivocate which weakens your story and your message.

Solution: Replace these words with decisive ones. Take a stand.

Had

The past perfect tense is a menace to the creation of drama in your writing. It can be spotted, most of the time, by looking for the word had:

“She had been frightened and then had run away.”

We find out that she once was frightened but now she isn’t. It removes the stress of whatever frightened her because we know she’s safe. But as writers, we want readers to wonder if she’s going to fall off that cliff. ‘Had’ just sucked all that drama from the story.

Solution: Let readers feel the drama and then the solution. 

Participles and Gerunds

According to Purdue’s Online Writing Lab, “a gerund is a verb that ends with -ing (such as dancing, flying, etc.) and functions as a noun.” … A participle also ends in -ing but forms the progressive tense of a verb. When you have too many of either in one sentence, readers lose track of the action and the meaning.  As a writer, I know they sap the energy from my writing but I couldn’t find a grammar rule to explain why. Susan B. Weiner did offer this:

“Shorter sentences are easier for readers to absorb.”

That’s part of it. Gerunds also make sentences less direct so harder to comprehend. Geist explains:

“They will not take you to the simplest, strongest, most beautiful prose. …[They] make the sentence less direct and harder to comprehend than it can be…”

Solution: Figure out what you’re trying to say and then say it directly.

Long sentences

I had a colleague in my critique group tell me not unkindly that she had become used to my long sentences.  What she could have added but didn’t was that at times, they made it difficult to remember how the action started. Here’s an example:

Writing 1

The many independent clauses makes it easy for readers to get lost and miss what is being said.

Solution: Break the sentence into manageable pieces that stand on their own.

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You gave so many important tips in a short post. This is very helpful to many writers.

Now Let me share the information about your new release.

 

Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by [Jacqui Murray]

Against All Odds

Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.

Summary

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book information:

Title and author: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 3 in the Crossroads series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Available digitally (print soon) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Okay, I don’t want to forget to introduce you properly… Here’s Jacqui: 

 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:       https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                            https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                              http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                              http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                 http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                https://jacquimurray.net

 

Now please enjoy this fabulous trailer and the excerpt.

 

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

The foothills of the Pyrenees

They came out of the mountains, hair frozen in sparkling strands, hands and feet wrapped in shredded pelts, ribs etched against their skin under ragged hides white with snow, faces haggard with fatigue. Blood crusted scrapes and gashes, many recent, others almost healed, reminders of the violent struggles endured on their journey.

Though their steps flagged, not one of these upright creatures exhibited a hint of defeat. All males and a few females carried at least one spear, some two, many with warclubs strapped to their backs. Despite the anxiety and fear of entering this foreign land, hope energized them today, that their migration might be at an end.

All of them—Xhosa and her tribe, Pan-do and his, Wind, Zvi, and Seeker—had been chased from their homes by enemies. In their flight, they found each other. It took time to work through their differences but now they traveled side by side, respected ideas not theirs, and called themselves the People.

Their charismatic Leaders—Xhosa, Wind, and Pan-do—were known as reliable friends to those who earned their trust and dangerous enemies to those who opposed them. Two wolves—Spirit and Black Wolf—journeyed with them. Though the People lacked the animals’ sharp claws, dense fur, and piercing teeth, each considered the other “pack” and would defend them to death.

The exhausted group straggled down the gently sloping flank, feet shuffling carefully over the slippery scree. The ground changed from talus to stunted tufts of grass, sparse and brown which made walking easier. Optimism shone from their faces even as their tired eyes flicked side to side in search of unexpected movement, ears strained for out-of-place noises, and noses sniffed.

Rather than continue across the meadow, Xhosa led the People into the shade of the edging forest.

“Do you smell it, Wind?” Anticipation filled her gestures.

She and Wind, pairmates as well as Co-Leaders, stood quietly, absorbing their surroundings. Light filtered lazily through the canopy, the shadowed ground dappled with patches of warmth. She sniffed in the essence of wet earth and rotting leaves, the mustiness of moss, and something else much more enticing.

“It’s there.” She pointed and strode forward, lengthening her stride.

An icy gust whipped down the hillside through the shadows and raised bumps on her arms but she ignored it. The forest gave way to open sky and searing heat. It was too hot for her thin pelt but she didn’t stop to remove it. Green stalks swayed as far as she could see, edged on one side by more mountains and the other by some sort of leaves and branches. Sunlight glinted off the rippled surface of a distant river as it curled over the terrain.

“Dung!” The scent overpowered every other odor.

Wind huffed to her side. “It’s been a long time since we smelled dung that wasn’t frozen.”

“We did it, Wind.” Her eyes glistened with relief.

For most of a Moon, dread gnawed at her courage and left her wondering if following the guidance of Seeker—a boy barely a man—was a mistake. But Seeker assured her in his ebullient way that once out of the hills, their new homebase would welcome them. Xhosa wanted to believe him because she wasn’t sure what else to do. Nor did she know what to do if it didn’t work.

Wind motioned, arms inclusive, “It’s beautiful, Xhosa.”

Siri, Pan-do, Ngili, the wolves Spirit and Black Wolf, and the rest of the People gathered around Xhosa and Wind, eyes locked on what lay in front of them.

Pan-do whispered, “We made it.” His eyes were moist, mouth open.

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, hands close to his body. “With all this grass, Gazelle or Mammoth must be nearby.”

Dust, the Lead Scout, trotted up, coming from a tall cliff far ahead on their forward path. “I think there are caves there.”

The People hadn’t slept in a cave since leaving Viper and the Mountain Dwellers. It would be a treat if true.

Xhosa looked behind. Shadows already stretched as far from the bottom of the rocky slopes as sunlight to the top. Daylight would soon end.

“We don’t have much time. Let’s rest and then see if those are caves.”

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, fingers spaced out, palms up, “I’ll go with Dust to check.” He added a swift spread-fingered swipe with first one hand and then the other, followed by a quick bob of his head and a puff.

Xhosa brushed both hands down her sides. Go.

The People spoke with a complex combination of hand motions, facial expressions, body movements, and sounds augmented with chirrups, snaps, hisses, and whistles. By the time Ngili finished talking, Xhosa knew how many would join him, where they would go, and how long they’d be away. The People’s communication was sophisticated but quiet, a precaution especially in unfamiliar areas. Unusual sounds—voices, for example—stood out. All animals made noises but few as varied as the People’s. Why alert Others who lived here to their presence? Xhosa would do that in her own time, in her own way.

Dust, Ngili, and two scouts soon receded into the landscape, the only evidence of their passage a slight disturbance in the slender waving stalks. Despite the dung scents, the abundant plant food, and the glisten of a faraway river, Xhosa crossed her arms over her chest and paced.

Something is wrong.

She searched the forests and the rippling field that had swallowed up Dust and Ngili . Xhosa possessed the ability to see great distances in sufficient detail to find trails, footprints, movement, or the glitter of sun off eyes.

She saw none of those and that made her more uncomfortable.

With this wealth of food and water, Others should be here.

Wind motioned, palms flattened against his chest, “The mountains we crossed touched Sun. They’re cold and barren. Few can do what we did to get here, Xhosa. We are safe.”

Xhosa could hear in his voice, see in his gestures, that despite his bravado, Wind too felt uneasy about what they didn’t see and hear.

But she grinned. “I don’t know how I survived without someone being able to read my thoughts.”

She trotted over to a stream that fed into the river she had noticed. She stretched out on her belly, flat on the soft grass at the water’s edge, and took a long, satisfying drink of the sweet liquid. Thirst quenched, she collected handfuls of the tender shoots of new plants growing along the shore, ate what she wanted and tossed the rest into a communal food pile that would be shared with all the People. It was already filling up with fat fish speared from the slow-moving pools beside the river, tasty reeds and cattails, and even a handful of eggs plucked from nests not hidden well enough along the shore and in the roots of trees. The wolves snapped birds from the air and swallowed them almost whole, coughing up feathers.

Xhosa leaned back on her hands, sniffing the unique fragrance of each groupmember. Zvi was sweaty from wrestling with Spirit. Siri smelled sourly of hunger but she wouldn’t eat until Honey’s bleeding foot was wrapped in mulch and leaves. The females with new babies exuded the pleasant aroma of milk. Some scents jumbled together making them impossible to identify. When Xhosa became Leader of the People, before it merged with Pan-do’s and Hawk’s, the People had been small enough that she could recognize everyone by their odor. Now, she kept track of her tribe while Pan-do did the same with his. Wind helped everyone.

Done eating, the People sprawled on the warm ground, soaking up Sun’s remaining rays, chatting contentedly with gestures and the occasional sigh. Water dripped from their thawing bodies, soaking into the thirsty ground, as the remaining ice and snow on their pelts and in their hair melted away.

Xhosa and Wind sat apart from the others, on a log long ago softened by rot. She uprooted handfuls of grass and wiped the sweat from Wind’s body, as he did hers. The soft scratch felt good and the earthy fragrance reminded her of times long gone. When he finished, she harvested chunks of green moss from the log’s decaying bark and stuffed them into her neck sack. All the People wore one of these around their necks. Even the wolves did when they were migrating.

Finished, she leaned against Wind and closed her eyes. In a group of Others, her pairmate stood out. A Big Head, the People’s traditional enemy, the ones who drove Xhosa and her tribe from their long-established home, Wind had earned Xhosa’s trust by saving her life more than once and then, as a member of her People, sharing Big Head spear tricks and warrior skills with her Leads. Before long, each of them individually told her that thanks to Wind they could now defeat an attack which they couldn’t have done in the past. Whatever distrust her People harbored toward him faded away.

“Xhosa!” Dust panted up to her. “I found a cave. And we found trace of a herd. Ngili is tracking it.”

By the time Sun settled into its night nest, the People were ensconced in the cave Dust found. They had to squeeze together to fit but all were thrilled to sleep without waking to frozen toes and numb fingers. Stone and Zvi—the burliest of the People—lugged rocks in and Siri built a fire that quickly warmed the interior. The subadults gathered kindling to feed it and arranged who would be responsible throughout the night for keeping it lit.

Usually, the wolves slept scattered among the People but with Black Wolf close to delivering her pups, she dug out an opening in the back and claimed it as her den. Then she settled to her belly, one leg forward, the other bent back, eyebrows twitching.

Xhosa strode toward the nest she would share with Wind but stopped at the sight of Seeker, weight on his bottom, legs crossed in front of his body in the uncomfortable position he preferred. His pairmate Lyta curled next to him with their best friend, Zvi.

Xhosa approached Seeker. “You are not outside.”

Every night as long as Xhosa could remember, the enigmatic male lay on his back, gaze fixed steadily on the star-dotted sky, spouting what to Xhosa sounded like gibberish to whoever listened. Intermittently, he leapt to his feet and spun dizzying circles or bounced from one foot to the other, huffing and chirping. Lyta and Zvi would either join him or watch. He once explained to Xhosa that this was how he studied the changes in the night sky—the appearance and disappearance of particular stars or their movement in relation to each other—so he could guide the People accurately. This nightly process was how they had moved from the distant start of Endless Pond to this cave where Endless Pond seemed to end.

He didn’t respond to her statement, didn’t even acknowledge her. That worried Xhosa. She hadn’t been able to shake the feeling that danger lurked around them, somewhere. Seeker’s anxious look didn’t help.

She squatted at his side and added a question to her declaration. “The stars aren’t talking to you?”

To the side, Lyta wriggled, not comfortable in the seated position Seeker preferred but determined to try because Seeker liked it so much. Zvi crouched on the balls of her feet, the more traditional pose. She’d tried to sit on her bottom, legs crossed in front, but kept falling backward. Besides, it took her too long to rise from that position which meant if Lyta needed help, she couldn’t respond quickly. Squatting, for her, made more sense. Seeker didn’t care. He expected all to do what worked for them. Both his best friend and his future pairmate were long accustomed to his eccentricities.

Finally, Seeker offered Xhosa only a confused frown.

That’s not a “Yes they are,” and that raised the hair on her neck. Before she could ask more, Ngili scrambled through the thistle barrier the youngsters had placed around the cave’s mouth to prevent the entrance of intruders and hurried toward Xhosa.

He motioned, “I lost the herd’s trace in the dark. I’ll try again tomorrow,” and then raced toward where the hunters had gathered. They were all tired. Some would mate before sleeping but not Ngili. He hadn’t given up hope that his pairmate, Hecate, would come back.

After a final glance at Seeker, Xhosa joined Wind in their nest. She squatted behind him and teased the dirt and debris from his long head hair, occasionally focusing on a difficult tangle until her fingers could move easily through his hair. When she finished, he did the same for her.

As he groomed, he said, “I’ll join Ngili tomorrow. If there are herds, we will find them.”

“Pan-do and I will continue with the People.”

They said nothing more, both enjoying the calming feel of nails scratching on their skin and the intimacy of someone they trusted implicitly. Done, both fell asleep.

The first rays of daylight filtered into the cave. Black Wolf was already outside, padding back and forth restlessly, huffing uncomfortably. Wind left with Ngili and a handful of scouts, knowing Xhosa would leave a trail to wherever they settled when Sun’s light ran out. Though Spirit usually went with the hunters, today he stayed with Black Wolf.

Xhosa and Pan-do led. Dust copied their pace and direction but a distance away. With Ngili and Wind searching for meat, Xhosa focused on finding a cave large enough for the People. They strode onward, gaze sweeping the landscape, everyone grazing on berries, roots, and worms as they walked. Sporadically, Xhosa heard a faraway squawk or glimpsed a covey of birds as they exploded into flight, fleeing an unknown threat. It was the direction Ngili and Wind had gone, and told her how far they’d gotten.

The People rested by a waterhole. They searched its shoreline for prints but found none. Wherever the herds lived, they didn’t drink here so the People moved on, through copses of young saplings and around a bed of haphazardly-strewn boulders. The air tasted of flowers, warm earth, and the mild tang of salt, but the dung they found was hard and old.

Xhosa touched Pan-do’s hand and both stopped, eyes forward. “Do you smell that? It reminds me of Endless Pond.”

He pointed to his strong side and the direction they were walking. “From there and there. How can it be on two sides?”

Xhosa tingled. One of her People—Rainbow—had abandoned them long ago, taking many males and females with him. Others she and her People ran into while migrating here told her Rainbow traveled the same route she did but along the opposite shore of Endless Pond. For him, as for her, this was as far as he could go without folding back on himself.

If they got this far. If any survived.

She pushed aside those thoughts. Before searching for whatever remnants remained of Rainbow’s group, the People must find a homebase. All they suffered to get here—the interminable walking, the loss of Hawk, the death of groupmembers, Nightshade’s treachery—was for naught if they didn’t establish a home.

Spirit bumped her leg. Black Wolf panted at her mate’s side, her belly almost touching the ground.

Xhosa motioned, “Your mate’s pups won’t wait much longer. We will find a den for her.”

Spirit took off, his movements graceful and fluid with Black Wolf lumbering after him.

Not much later, Pan-do squinted ahead. “I think Spirit found a cave.”

Xhosa leaned forward, narrowing her gaze, and finally saw where Spirit stopped. He sat on his haunches at the base of a cliff, facing her, nose twitching, tail swishing the dirt behind him.

It took the rest of the day to cross over the craggy scrubland, up and down the deep ravines, and around the occasional spot of slippery ice. The cave proved too small for the People but not for Black Wolf’s needs. With much scuffling and panting, she created a nest for her pups and disappeared into the cool dark hole. The People settled outside, under an overhang that would protect them from rain and predators, and far enough away to not bother the new mother. As soon as Ngili and Wind arrived, shaking their heads that they hadn’t found a herd, they left again to search for signs of a trail left by former inhabitants of this cave.

Xhosa’s chest squeezed and her stomach knotted. Spirit padded up to her side, hackles puffed, nostrils flaring. He agreed. Something about this area made her tingle but for now, until Black Wolf finished, they must stay.

  *   *   *   *   *

Thank you so much for coming to the party. I love to hear how much you’ve enjoyed Jacqui’s post and her new release.

 

 

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Image Prompt Week #9 – Star Story

Soooz at Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke posted the “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Week #9 this week with this image.  She invites us to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of our choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

I have been trying to take part from Week #1 but somehow didn’t make it. This week, Mae got me motivated. She started the prompt without know where she was heading. So I tried the same thing. I started a few lines, then went on my walk. I finished my story in half an hour in my head. So this is my take on the prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

Star Story

“No, I can’t do it. I’m afraid of heights.” Michelle shook her head, looking at the bridge.

“Don’t worry. Hold my hand. I’ll just be one step ahead of you.” Michael took the first step onto the bridge. Michelle followed.

“But, but… the bridge is bouncing and wobbling.”

“Let’s go slowly. We’ll take one step and stay still until the bridge stops moving, then take another step.”

“I’ll try. Just take slight steps. I can’t go fast.”

“I know. I won’t go any faster than you want to.”

“My arms and legs are tingling.”

“Okay, let’s stop for a minute. Now just look straight at the treehouse. Don’t look below the bridge or even at your feet.”

“Okay, let me close my eyes and think of something else.”

“Good. When you’re ready, open your eyes and just look at the tree house and follow my steps.”

“My legs feel better now. The treehouse has a balcony with patio chairs.”

“Yes, now hold on to the door and step into the house.”

“Phew! I did it.”

“Let’s grab a couple cans of iced tea from the personal refrigerator and sit on the balcony.”

“How did you find this treehouse?”

“Well, that’s a lengthy story. I haven’t told you about that yet. See, my mom died of cancer when I was nine years old.”

“Sorry to hear that. You told me she died when you were young.”

“Yeah, it was hard for me to talk about it. After she died, I didn’t talk for a long time. I stayed in my room mostly when I was home from school. My dad tried to talk to me, but I just didn’t say anything to him. He read me bedtime stories every night. One night he read a book about a treehouse.”

“Was it this treehouse?”

“No, a smaller treehouse in a boy’s backyard. I was curious. I asked dad if we could build one. I wanted to go to the treehouse and stay in it by myself.”

“What did your dad say?”

“He said our trees in the backyard were not tall enough for building a treehouse.”

“Did you think of a playhouse instead?”

“No, it wasn’t the same. Anyway, one day, my dad took me camping and this treehouse was in the campground. We climbed up here at night and sat in the balcony looking into the sky through the opening of trees.”

“Was the sky clear?”

“Yes, there was a full moon. My dad asked me to look at the bright start close to the moon. He said that was where my mom went. My mom could see me from there, and she wanted me to be happy. He said my mom waved at me with the twinkles. I looked at the star and it twinkles. I waved back to her.”

“I’m sure your mom wanted you to be happy.”

“My dad said we could see the star from our backyard on a cloudless night.”

“We could look at the star tonight and you could wave at your mom!”

“I would like to do that. Thank you for believing my Star Story. You’re the best thing happened to me. I’ve never been so happy after my mom died.”

“I like that when you share stories like that with me.”

“I thought some people may think it was childish.”

“I think it is precious. We could come camping and climb up to this treehouse again.”

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Image Prompt Week #9 – Star Story

 

Book Review – Jonah by Jan Sikes

My Book Review of Jonah by Jan Sikes.

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It’s a great pleasure to share with you the inspirational short story I read over the weekend.

Jonah

JONAH by [JAN SIKES]

My Review

The short story Jonah by Jan Sikes reads like a spiritual journey. Jonah was in prison for his crimes committed but had a choice to be locked up in an underground box or banished in a deserted island. He chose the island. The harsh environment of the island with creatures, stinging nettles, and prickly thorns didn’t make it any easier for him. In his hut, he discovered a package with edible items and toiletry. There were two books and a pencil with a message that the only way he could get off the island was to examine himself, face the truths, and make peace with his demons.

He used to rule the city with his might, but there was no specific mention of the crimes in Jonah’s past. It’s up to the reader’s imagination. Then an unusual young boy with eyes glowed with luminescent green light and webbed fingers showed up. He wrestled with this boy, Titus, the same way he would with an enemy. Realized this boy wouldn’t do him any harm, he let him go back to the other side of the island. Overtime, he developed the friendship with Titus. Titus brought him food and kept him company. He also brought him books on the requirements of him to be set free. His response was to comply with the rules with his behaviors. Titus indicated that it was not the fake behaviors but the heart that count. His empathy and care toward Titus grew and wanted to help him get out of the environment where the people didn’t treat him right. Every time his innate passion and selflessness grew, his hut became bigger.

The story came to a surprised ending when it was least expected of Jonah. I like this story when the author skillfully depicted the inner struggle of Jonah and his capability of changing his heart. His sincerity and genuine compassion toward Titus set him free. This short story is an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

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Jan Sikes

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

Contact the Author

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Website: http://www.jansikes.com

Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

 

Book Review – Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

My Book Review – Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1) by James J. Cudney.

James

 

Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

My Review

Academic Curveball, by James J. Cudney, is the first of six Braxton Campus Mysteries.  I have both the eBook and audiobook. I listened to the audiobook.

The story is told in first person from Kellan Avrwick’s Point of View. Kellan works in Hollywood for the TV show Dark Reality. He returns home for his father’s retirement as the president from Braxton College. He expects to meet with a professor, Abby Monroe, who did some research for the next season of Dark Reality. Toward the end of the retirement party, through Lorraine Candito, his father’s assistant, he finds Abby’s body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Upon the initial examination of the crime scene, Sheriff April Montague declared that Abby was hit in the head before falling down the stairwell.

After Abby’s death, his father asks him to take over Abby’s class. He accepts the invitation to stay longer to do his own investigation. By checking out the grade book in Abby’s office, he discovers a grade change in one student. Over the course of two weeks, he meets with people such as his sister, his nana D, a former Braxton friend Connor Hawkins and other people who give him hints on the suspect. He also runs into Lorraine’s brother, who is Abby’s husband in getting a divorce with Abby, and some male and female students who might be suspect. One evidence even puts his father among the category. Kellan has a way to get people talking and give him information he was seeking.

He reports to his boss Derek and Sheriff Montague on every hint he discovers. In between teaching classes, meeting with people and going to the gym, he visits nana D for delicious desserts.

The story is full of fast-paced twist and turn throughout the chapters. I love mystery, especially murder mystery. I follow every hint and make my guess of the murderer. Even though there are many characters, the author makes every character distinctive so the reader can easily keep track of them and their relationships to other characters. Each character’s action is revealed in a seamless and engaging dialogue. In the end, Kellan cleverly assists the arrest of the least expected murderer. This is a lighthearted read. I highly recommend this book.

Amazon and Goodreads rating

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James J. Cudney

About the Author

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I began working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I wanted to re-focus on my passions: telling stories and connecting people through words. In 2017, I published my debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor, and romance. From there, I wrote another family drama novel, Father Figure, and created the Braxton Campus Mysteries, a light investigation series about a humorous guy dealing with murders and the drama of a small town. Many of my books are available in print, electronic, and audiobook formats, and we are beginning to release foreign language translations. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com.

Outside of writing, I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 1,000 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I share several fun features, including the Book Bucket List, Tips & Advice, Author Spotlights & Book Alerts, and the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. You’ll find tons of humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers… where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. Baxter, a two-year-old shiba inu, constantly tries to stop me from writing so I can play with him and keep him amused. How else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Contact the Author

Blog 

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

Book Review – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes #RRBC

Book Review – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes #RRBC

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Flowers And Stone by [Sikes, Jan]

 

Blurb

The epic love story begins here!
A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.
1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

 

My Recommendation

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read.  This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My Amazon and Goodreads Ratings 5.0 of 5 Stars

 

Jan Sikes

 

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

 

Contact the Author

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Website: http://www.jansikes.com

Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

 

 

 

May Speculative Fiction – One Hundred Million Dollar Man

Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

 

One Hundred Million Dollar Man

 

He gazed in the mirror, examined the right side of his body. The crisscross intertwined wires on his arm and hand resembled the veins and blood vessels.  Screws joined the wires at the junctures of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger joints. The metal on his right chest resembled the rib cage except it extended to the waistline. Inside the rib cage was a mercury-like lung. He smiled and switched the focus on the right arm, beamed with the left eye, zoomed in and out to magnify the images. He blinked and the zooming was gone. He blinked again, any movement of the dust in the air caused an acute alertness.

“Honey, your manager Mr. Pacheco is here.”

“Thank you, dear. I’ll be right there.” He folded the right hand into a fist with a squeeze, the skin on the face and the right side of his body closed with no trace of wires and metal.

“Hi Ron.”

“Xylon, let’s step outside to talk.”

Xylon crabbed a shirt to put on while walking outside.

“For the next fight, Mr.  Marlow wants you to do a knockout in 15 seconds. That would put you on #1 of the Heavyweight Knockouts. He doesn’t want to mess around with the sissy exchanges.”

“No problem, Ron.”

“He also wants you to blow his brain out.”

“I can’t do that. His wife and my wife are friends.”

“You don’t have to kill him, just make sure he doesn’t bounce back.”

“I can do that much. I’m just not a killer.”

“You’re lucky. When the car crashed into the side of our car, it smashed half of your body. I phoned Mr. Marlow, and he instructed me to take you to Dr. Lebedev’s lab. Doc’s experiment was 1% from being perfect but Mr. Marlow wanted him to fix you anyway.”

“I’m thankful Doc saved my life.”

“We’ll take you to Dr. Lebedev for maintenance once a month. We can’t guarantee what you got is all you need to be alive. Mr. Marlow made a one hundred million dollar investment on you. He also made an investment on Dr. Lebedev’s research to perfect you.”

“I owe Mr. Marlow my life.”

“You do. He has great plans for you. He wants to pay a visit to the Federal Union Bank next Tuesday. Your eye will come in handy and you’ll unlock the code for the vault within 30 seconds.”

“This is going too far. I’m a fighter, not a criminal, Ron.”

“You don’t want to argue with Mr. Marlow. He saved you and wants your family to have a comfortable life.”

“What does it have anything to do with my family?”

“This is the end of our conversation. We’ll pick you up next Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.”

 

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

 

This post is written in response to Diana Wallace Peach‘s May Speculative Fiction #Writingprompt. If interested, click the link to find out how it works. You have until May 23rd to submit a response. Happy Writing!

 

May Speculative Fiction – One Hundred Million Dollar Man

 

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