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Drawn From the Water

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Drawn From the Water

Originally published in the literary journal, Greater Sum, this short story is now available in ebook format! Click here to purchase on amazon.com. 

Update! This story got a facelift thanks to the wonderfully talented graphic designer, JT Wynn, from stageandstory.org!

Drawn From The Water Book Cover v2.jpg

 

Twelve year old Lexi has been a date picker in the nuli valley for four years. She, along with her entire people, are slave laborers, collecting the master’s food, mining their planet’s energy source. 

Yet the birth of Lexi’s baby brother has put her life, as well as her entire family, in danger. Due to the growing population of the workers, the masters have ordered the death of every male infant in the nuli valley. 

Lexi lives each moment in suspense, praying the God of All Realms would spare her brother from death. She must decide the lengths she’s willing to go to in order to help her brother survive.

When ancient history encounters modernity in this classic tale of slavery and genocide, one family will learn what it means for the God of all Realms to have control of their destiny. Star Wars meets the Bible in this sci fi retelling of Exodus 1 & 2.

 

Reviews are really valuable to authors, so please rate and write a review. Thank you!

 

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St. Louis Ferry

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St. Louis Ferry

Endless Press held a flash fiction writing contest in January offering a scholarship to the Realm Maker's Conference. I didn't win, but still had a lot of fun writing my entry! The rules were to respond to the following prompt in 1,000 words or less.  

You arrive late to the hotel for Realm Makers. After hurriedly checking in and throwing your luggage into your room from the hallway, you rush to the conference hall only to be informed by the bellhop that due to a scheduling conflict the sessions are being held offsite. He directs you out a side door where you discover a most unorthodox mode of transportation…

***Update: Check out this FANTABULOUS graphic by JT Wynn! I am in awe!!

St Louis Ferry.jpg

 

 

St. Louis Ferry

I lean my staff against the doorframe and slip off my backpack. The hallway is deserted. I can almost hear the wind blow through, see a tumbleweed roll past. I search the bag looking for my information packet. Leave it to me to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I bet no one is wearing their costumes the first day either. My stomach twists painfully. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? I should go change. The inconvenience of being late is nothing to the mortification of walking in looking like Rey.

Where did that packet go?

“Hey. Star Wars girl,” a raspy male voice says.

I swivel around to find a squat middle aged man. A gold name tag reads, “Frankie.”

“So you’re with the conference.” Frankie turns and walks away. “You’re in the wrong place.”

I swing my backpack on and follow after the waddling figure.

“Where is the right place?”

He frowns over his shoulder. “I’m showing you, aren’t I?”

I stuff down a snarky comeback. “Oh. Thank you.”

Frankie leads me to a side door with a bright red exit sign. At the door, Frankie turns and hefts his pants up. “Those Realm people provided transportation.”

“Why did the conference move?”

“Not like it’s any of your business, but there was a scheduling conflict.” He turns with a wheeze and waddles away.

“Wait!” Frankie stalls at the sound of my voice. “Am I supposed to wear my costume to check-in? This is my first—”

He starts walking again. “How should I know?”

I grind my teeth in frustration and push the door open. The smell of back alley garbage hits my nose. I snort the putrid air out, but the view ahead makes me suck it back down in desperate gulps.

A black creature the size of a small moving truck with flippers as big as palm fronds turns it’s silky, seal-like face toward me. It belches and a few gallons of water fall from its mouth, splattering onto the pavement.

From behind the creature, a lean man in a polo shirt emerges. He lovingly runs a hand over the backside of the seal thing.

“Excuse me!” I call, “I was told there would be a car to take me to the Realm Makers Conference. Have you seen one?”

He waves me over, his face void of emotion. I creep forward. Please don’t ask me to pet your monster, dude.

“There ain’t no car.” He runs wet fingers through his shaggy hair. “You’ll take this ferry. Loch knows the way.”

“I–I beg your pardon? Loch?”

“Yup. As in Loch Ness. Call ‘er Nessie if you like. She don’t mind whichever way.”

For the first time, I notice an ornate leather saddle strapped to the creature. I take a step back. “I’m not getting on that thing.”

The man frowns at me in confusion. “Who’re you ‘sposed to be anyway?”

“What, really? I’m Rey from Star Wars.” Where’s this guy been?

He leans close to me, and the corner of his mouth quirks up in a conspiratorial smile. “Then act like it, huh?”

My spine straightens. Is he calling me a coward? Before I realize what I’ve done, I’m sitting in the saddle on Nessie, my feet snuggled into the stirrups.

“Here. Put this on.” The man hands me a bulky pair of goggles attached to a metal tube.

“What’s this?” I point to the tube.

“Oxygen. Put it on quick. Loch doesn’t like sittin’ long.”

I slip the mask on. With a hiss, air pours in and I take a deep breath. The cold tube hangs strangely off the side of my head.

Crap. Oh crap. Why do I need oxygen? I really don’t want to need oxygen.

“Hold tight!” the man shouts. I hear the slap of his hand on Nessie’s backside before we lurch forward. I slip sideways in my seat, then scramble for the saddle horn to right myself.

With the nauseating sound of gagging, water pours from Nessie’s mouth in a continuous stream. Instead of running through the gutter, it fills the space around us like we’re sitting in an invisible bowl. Nessie’s flippers paddle faster as the water rises. We exit the alley, spinning into a parking lot like a hamster ball.

Water continues to gush from Nessie’s mouth, filling what now appears to be an invisible bubble surrounding us. It spins like a wheel around me, raining onto my head from above. Soon there’s no more air in our bubble. Nessie’s mouth closes, and her flippers pump harder. We’re flying down a four-lane road, under a freeway, past tall buildings obscured by water.

Nessie passes under a red light without pausing. A car slams on its breaks, and the sound of it’s horn follows us down the street. A pedestrian, who probably saw the whole thing, displays a single finger and mouths something inarticulate.

We’re rounding the next corner when I plunge my staff out of the bubble to signal the turn. Water runs along its length, dripping onto a family on the corner.

I wave over my shoulder in apology.

Without warning Nessie lurches to a stop. I fly from the saddle and land hard on my hands and knees. When I look up, the spinning ball of water is half a block away.

“Aw bad luck,” a female voice says. I sit and flip my wet hair back. A girl in jeans and a t-shirt stares down at me. “You got Nessie? That’s what happens when you show up late. Hope your phone isn’t ruined.”

“Oh yeah. . . . I hope so too. Hey, are we supposed to wear our costumes today?” I pointlessly hide my staff behind my back.

The girl shrugs. “Not usually . . . but—”

“Oh no. . . .” I groan and drop my soggy head into my hands.

“Hey. Don’t worry about it. No one will think twice about your clothes.” She reaches down and pulls me to my feet. “You obviously belong here.”

 

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Taste the Rainbow

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Taste the Rainbow

As my husband reminded me after reading this piece, rainbows are cheesy. Yep! I get it. So here's how this short story came about. Maybe it'll soften the cheese blow. A few months ago my oldest daughter, Jane, was looking at a map while I drove. She was pretending we were on an adventure! Maggie and I were totally on board. And the one thing she wanted to find on our adventure was a rainbow! Guys, she's five. And we needed to find that rainbow. In the end, this story ended up much more somber than how it was inspired.

 

Taste the Rainbow

      I slip my hand into the spectrum of light. It’s nearly too hot to touch, but I resist the urge to pull away. Dust particles float in and out of the array of colors. They’re tiny. I shouldn’t be able to feel them, but I do. They collide with my palm. I taste the feeling on my tongue. How strange.

      “It’s beautiful isn’t it? But you shouldn’t touch it.” A man’s voice startles me, and I hastily pull my hand from the light. I turn to face him. Light brown skin the same color as my morning coffee. He looks familiar, but I can’t remember where I’ve seen him before.

      “Of course it’s beautiful. It’s a rainbow.” I bite down on my lip, and step forward, wanting to bathe in the colors. I expect to feel like I’m submerged in a hot tub. Instead, I’m bombarded by the dust particles pressing in on me. My mouth is flooded with the taste of something smooth and warm. I step back, unsure if the sensation is enjoyable.

      “The dust. I can taste the . . . feel of it. Why do you think that is?” I ask the man. He seems like he would know.

      “Your brain is trying to make sense of the vibrations.”

      “Oh. . . .” Whatever that means.

      He steps forward, and the swirling particles gravitate in his direction. I slip my hand back into the rainbow, and his brow contracts.

      “You really shouldn’t touch it anymore.” I look over my shoulder at him, but don’t retract my hand. Gradually my skin grows hotter as the particles scramble to reach the man. He takes another step closer, and the colors blaze bright. My hand is singed with an explosion of heat.

      “Ouch!” I yell and pull away. Bright red and white boils spring up across my skin. My hand starts to tremble, and a tear leaks from my eye.

      “I can help with that.”

      “Help?” I say in annoyance. “It’s your fault this happened. Didn’t you see the way the dust acted when you got too close?” With my free hand, I search my pockets for something to use as a bandage—a tissue maybe? But I have nothing.

       “That’s true, and I am responsible in more ways than you know. But I can still help.” Without asking, he takes my fingers in his rough hands. I try to pull away, but it hurts too much. One of the boils ruptures, and puss drips onto my shoe. A second later the boils are gone. My skin is just the way it was before.

       “What did you . . .” I flip my hand over to find nothing but healthy-looking skin. He shrugs when I look up. “Thanks, I guess. So how else is it your fault?”

       “For one thing, I made this.” He motions to the spectrum, and the particles skitter in excitement.

      “Well why did you make it so hot? Someone else is going to get hurt.”

      He folds his arms across his chest, but his expression remains open. Kind even. “I told you not to touch it, remember?”

      I drop my eyes to the ground. “Why are you here? Do you need to check up on all your rainbows?”

      He chuckles. “I was checking up on you.”

      I look up, my brow knit tight. “Oh yeah?”

      He looks at the rainbow thoughtfully. “I just wanted to remind you that I always keep my promises.”

      I huff and turn away. Against my will, my throat tightens and my eyes water. “Well you’re the only one then.” I don’t turn back to see his reaction.

      “Yeah. I am the only one.”

 

"And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: I have placed My bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all the living creatures: water will never again become a flood to destroy every creature. The bow will be in the clouds, and I will look at it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all the living creatures on earth.' God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I have confirmed between Me and every creature on earth.' Genesis 9:12-17

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