Free Short Story

the utter truth cover 2017 This is one of those short stories I wrote before my illness in 2003. I had an English professor that used to accept some of my creative writings for class assignments. She was very encouraging except I learned quickly that an English literature degree did not teach plotting and character, or other elements of fiction.

I’ve had to learn those through reading and talking with other writers. So with no further ado, this short story is free on Amazon.com Friday and Saturday. Otherwise it is at a low price of 99 cents.

The Utter Truth

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Free on Amazon

As a thanks to my friends who have been reading my books, I have two of my shorter works for free on Amazon today and tomorrow.

Land of Gehenna cover“Land of Gehenna” is about a colony doing their best to adapt to a very dangerous desert world. A young man, who is the last descendant of the colony ship, is selected to appease the spirits.

There is also a bonus story called “The White Snows of Russia.” The basis of this story is a old man I met while in Germany. He had been one of the soldiers who had been in Russia during the Nazi Germany’s Eastern Front. The damage he suffered was not only physical, but mental. He still didn’t remember his family or his name. Hidden in the Sierras cover

The second story free today is “Hidden in the Sierras,” which is technically a YA fantasy, coming-of-age. This was my first story about were-bears in the Sierras. A young girl finds her place in her tribe.

So these are the two that are free today. I hope you enjoy them.

Happy Release Day – Late Payment

GKTC2015ebookcover1So today is the day, that my two short stories: Late Payment and If You Should Chose This Mission are live on Amazon. These are new stories with Joe and Donald, two intrepid representatives who fix technical, physical, and customer problems, when terraforming goes awry.

Just because I am such a nice person (this is the same as saying trust me), I have the first story The Green Knight Terraforming Company free for the next two days.

We first meet Joe when he is being attacked by several blades of grass.

If you want to go paperback, the three stories are bundled in Green Knight Terraforming Company. I didn’t manage to get the paperback online at the same time as the release date. I will have to do better timing next time.

So please enjoy these stories. Thank you in advance for leaving a review.

Ghost Roses

On the side table in the hallway, a vase filled with pink roses, greeted me as I unlocked the door, and walked in. They swayed every so slightly as I bent over to smell them. There was no scent, and when I reached through them, I felt a cold spot and a slight prick.

“Lyle, Lyle,” I called, hoping that I would see his face again. If he had been here, he would have rushed to me with a laugh, picked me up, and hugged me until my breath left my body.

There was no answer. The hallway was cold and silent. There were no footsteps on the stairs and no friendly smells coming from the kitchen. He was gone.

The ghost roses didn’t enchant me, when I remembered I was alone. Alone with the little memories of waking up to coffee in the morning and of the little kindnesses throughout the day.

He hadn’t wanted to leave. The cancer eating his body, one cell at a time, took away his enjoyment of eating. He wasted away, until he was bone, in a hospital bed. The pain claimed him finally.

I was alone except for the ghost roses. I left them there on the side table.

The recriminations. Why didn’t I figure out he was ill? Why didn’t I take him to a doctor? Why had he refused to see one? Every day he held me and said that everything would be okay.

He didn’t know that he was dying. He knew that we would be okay. A tear slipped down my face. I tasted the salt, then wiped it away. I grabbed a tissue and wiped my face, then blew my nose.

I felt a touch on my back, where he used to touch me when I cried. I couldn’t cry now. I had to be strong. I couldn’t walk into the light to him. Not yet.

There was blood on my finger. I rinsed it off in the sink. Then turned around. He was there, holding out his arms. I ran to him. “What?” I squawked, joy welled inside me. “But, you’re dead.”

He walked me back to the front hallway, and handed me a pink rose. It felt real in my hands. At my feet was a body, lying on the doorstep.

“Time to go, love,” Lyle held me and we stepped up.

In the air was the smell of roses.

If you should choose this mission VI – late excerpt

Well two weeks have gone by and I still haven’t done my duty– worked on this story. So here is the next installation and I will… I promise… I double dutch promise that you’ll have another installation on Friday. What? I don’t have my fingers crossed behind my back. Why. sputter–

 

Last installation

I put him in my ear. Ermie was an ear worm with a talent for languages. He hadn’t met a language he couldn’t chew and swallow. In the process he translated the digested form to me.

“You will be at the gate and act like apes” was the Ermie’s translation.

“I got this,” I said. Unfortunately, I was really good at looking like an ape.

Donald, Ermie, and I were standing at the front gate of Area 51. I had given Ermie the option to stay in the mostly safe lab tech area, but he was insistent that I would need to have his services. I am not the kind of man to deny someone a little fun.

I was itchy. The bug spray had seeped into all my crevices that weren’t protected by my clothing. It was so itchy that Donald gave me the “this is serious look.” I had been doing a sort of ants in my pants dance.

Oddly the gate was closed, but there wasn’t any guards on it. If I remember from my Army days, okay I didn’t have any Army days, but I had watched all those old movies, there should be someone at the gate so that someone like me couldn’t just walk in. So there was probably some other way to keep people like me out. I pulled off my leather belt and tapped the buckle on the gate.

Zzzzzzzttttt. The gate was electric. I now knew why no one was worried about my abilities to pass the gate. Donald tapped on the watch the tech’s had given him so that we could be precisely on time with our diversion. I suspected that they wanted to pipe the bug killer into the compound and kill all the bugs. It seemed like a simple enough plan.

I was at a loss. At the side of the gate was an intercom. I had heard about the things and seen them in the old classic movies, but I was unsure what button to push to talk to someone. I squinted, did a quick prayer because the buttons could electrocute me, and started punching buttons next to the speaker.

“What?” the sound was between a crackle and a hiss. An old camera turned towards us. Boy, these roaches used technology that wasn’t just old, but was ancient. I had an inappropriate moment. Yes, I started to laugh.

While I was trying to talk to the person or roach, Donald was wiring up the gate. The techs had been better prepared than me because Donald used some gloving. It’s a type of invisible armor for dangerous situations that if I had seen before my troubleshooting days with The Green Knights, I would have considered it magic.

Donald backed up. I let the button go that was giving me audio and backed up with him. When Donald backs up, it would behoove lesser creatures to do the same.

We crouched around the barricades leading up to the gate.

Kaboom. The gate disintegrated. Klaxons screamed. Ermie was screaming with them. I pulled him out and put him into his capsule. It would take him some time to calm down from the noise. It looked like Ermie was down for the moment. Still I had Donald. What! Donald was grinning.

continued this Friday

If you should chose this mission-2 Friday excerpt

My medical biography In the Shadow of Death: Reflections on a Chronic Illness is now an updated version and live.

 

Ms. Frigg ignored my exclamation and greeted the group, “Thanks for coming. It is a dangerous mission, but you guys are the only ones that can do it.”

Shit, I thought. Here we go again. But even if the female was Ms. Frigg, the most dangerous female in the galaxy, I couldn’t refuse her. What would my mother say?   Beginning here.

Still I cleared my throat. All eyes turned toward me even the ear worm quit drinking and jumped up and down, presumably to stop me from saying my next words. “Why would I help you, when you just fired me?”

All matter of foam flew across the table– interesting, Ms. Frigg was the only one there who was still beer, or juice free when the snorting and spitting stopped.

She gave me that look. The one that women have been giving men for generations. I didn’t try to interpret the look, I just knew she was going for the throat.

Then she smiled. If it the thought that she was Ms. Frigg the most dangerous woman in the galaxy hadn’t been burned in my back brain, I would have been lost. Her pearly teeth winked at me.

Then she spoke with that dryness that made me want to wince. “The mission? The important mission that I need you to go on– Tiny.”

“Joe,” I mumbled under my breath.

“Tiny,” she repeated. Oh dang, she heard me. “Some roaches have landed on the quarantined planet. You, buddy boy, will get to go home.”

I think my heart sunk to my stomach and then onto the floor. Oh yes, I wanted to go home. But roaches? They were the scariest, most intelligent, insects in the galaxy, cosmo, whatever.

They ate everything. They weren’t the benign cockroaches of earth origin. Oh no, they were bigger, almost human size, and with ferocious appetites. They ate anything in their way. The only reason I could think of that they would go to Earth was to breed more roaches.

Once they settled in, they were almost impossible to get rid of– somewhat like cockroaches.

“I accept,” I said quickly as if I had a choice.

I really hated it when Ms. Frigg smiled like that. It meant that I hadn’t gotten the whole story… again.

continued next Friday

 

Ghostly Glimmers II – Promotion Thursday

Hilo! Yes, today is promotion Thursday again and I am bringing you Ghostly Glimmers II, which is another collection of short stories. When I started to learn the fiction form, I wrote short stories and then flash fiction (or micro fiction, if you prefer).

I knew that the fiction form used character, plot, dialog, and all the other elements. I also read about and studied those elements. I found that when I used those particular elements, it made my non-fiction memoir writing come alive. Also, when I was earning my English degree, I took a creative writing class. It was all about smell this, look at this, and don’t turn your story to the lowest common denominator. It was a good course for when you are already writing, but as a beginning fiction writing course? Not so good.

So when I first tried to write a short story (I was an avid reader too so I could feel around for the light switch) I had all these disparate elements and I didn’t know how to put it together. I was puzzled and it was a puzzle.

Soon I found that I didn’t have all the pieces.

I wrote short fiction to find the pieces and for the joy of writing.

d9d9b-ghostlyglimmersiicoverGhostly Glimmers II:

Ghostly Glimmers II contains five ghost stories that Cyn Bagley has written over the years. “A Death of a Friend” is written in a memoir-style. The other four stories are classic ghost and murder stories.

Cyn Bagley has lived in several different countries when she was in the US Navy. One of her hobbies was to listen to ghost stories around the world. In her opinion, the scariest ones are from Japan.

Amazon.com

Smashwords.com You can use Dropbox with this site.

Excerpt:

Death of a Friend

I looked out the window this morning watching the mist, contouring to the ground and houses. The cold moist mist reminds me of the death of my school bus-driver Monroe. At eleven years old, I would sit on his lap, the steering wheel of the bus braced against my stomach, and guide the bus through the bumpy hills near my home. My sisters and I were the last children to get off the bus, so driving the bus was our little secret.

That day when I realized death was real, I stood in the viewing room of the funeral home, looking at his body. The room, only meant for twenty-five people, held fifty. We shuffled to the coffin, arms held stiffly at our sides, trying not to bump into our neighbors; all trying to view Monroe’s body.

“He looks just like he fell asleep,” was the comment I heard over and over. The breathless awe touched each voice as they whispered, “He really is dead.” The life spark was gone. I had heard that he walked into the bathroom that day, the day his life ended, preparing to shave. When the pain hit, he fell in his small bathroom, the life slowly leaking away. His adult son found him there when he didn’t show up for work. One school bus had not made it to school.

Monroe had been alone for a long time. His wife had died of cancer many years before; his son was raising his own family; and Monroe’s family was the children he drove to school every day.