Followers of Awesome Writing

Friday, October 28, 2016

Terror from Down Under

Author gives readers something new to sink their teeth into.

On Halloween 2015, Aussie horror writer launched his first collection of shorts,  Portraits Of Dread. His first work was very well received and gained him some very favourable reviews. Now, exactly a year later, Michael is set to chill his readers again with his new collection, Choice Cuts-A Bite From The Dark Realm.
As Michael explained, “This is another eclectic mix of stories, from dystopia, to good old fashioned horror. I hope I've created a nice mix for my readers. I've tried to add that unexpected twist and the wry humour which readers have told me they enjoyed in  my first collection.”
Deep within the bowels of an ancient mountside convent, Sister Elizabeta is locked away praying for forgiveness while the Council of Elders decide on a horrific punishment for her sins. What was Sister Elizabeta's transgression and what is the punishment she is about to undergo?

Something is eating the food at a suburban London supermarket. When his overbearing boss tells Allan to rid the store of whatever is infesting the store, he discovers something far more terrifying than rats and mice.
Jacob O'Halloran is a sexually repressed bachelor. He gains his fufillment by stealing women's panties from suburban clothes lines. When he tries to steal from Audrey he is going to be plunged into a nightmare because Audrey has some issues of her own.
Upon A Dark Horseman
Choice Cuts
Farewell Dear Friend
Brood Mother

And more.
Choice Cuts  will be released this Halloween for the special promotion price of just 99c (Will be $4.99 from November 2nd.) You can pre order Choice Cuts by clicking on the following links.

You can also buy the paperback version on the Amazon page for $10.99

      Michael loves connecting with book lovers and readers from around the world. Feel free to ask him about his work or just say G'day at any of the following.   

 #awethors #newrelease #horror

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Writing Sample - Long Time No Anything

So, I have been posting this around and realized that I haven't posted here in forever. Work has eaten my writing! I think this belongs in my current work in progress, or one of them.

I know you want me to shut up. I know how much you want me to stop talking about how we have lost our freedom, how our government has been stolen, about our murdered liberty, and our violated and beaten rights. I know you want me to stop telling you about the corporations and men in power raped Lady Liberty then left her discarded, like a Muslim immigrant, on the Boston shore amongst the refuse, contaminated syringes, discarded condoms, and used packets of lightly sweetened, freedom flavored tea her only company. You're not alone.
Everyone wants to silence me, begs me to put the gag in. You scream in a voice that echoes with their's. The two groups scramble over each other to burn the first amendment. I don't know who's worse, the ones telling me to shut up and check my privilege. Screaming at me to be silent, to let the victims speak. To stay out of the conversation and just let it play out, to nod along encouragingly while others write the world, to watch without condemning or condoning. On the other side stand those that shout in my ear that it is in my best interest to be still. They want me to just watch as others are oppressed and enslaved. Just keep calm and let us put them back in check. It's not your concern, after all, they tell me. You're nothing like them. Just hush, go back to sleep and let us do our work. Stay where you are and you'll be safe.
What nobody wants, is for me to speak. No. None of you want me to talk about the truth I see. You don't want the uncomfortable visions of a freed mind. No matter what side they're on, hell, no matter what side you're on, there is one thing you want. You want me to sit on the couch, staring into the television. You want me to watch the stars and wait for the end of the world, with a Xanax smile, just like everyone else.
I just can't do it. I'm too busy weeping for all of you that can.

#writingsample #amwriting #politicalcommentary #socialcommentary #author #writer #writing #shamelessselfpromotion

Friday, June 24, 2016

Digging to China

This is rough, no time to edit it.

In the dim that infests a single twin room, resting like a cavity, dead center, in an end of the road motel, the darkest of dreams will visit one's mind. Even when they one is wakeful, or leastwise fitfully unable to sleep. When rest eludes the body the mind traverses plains unknown to all but psychotropic enthusiasts and romantic poets.

Humanity likes to imagine that a man living in destitution does so alone. Each cavern a pre-emptive tomb for an unknown soldier in the war against capitalism. No one is ever alone though. If one is not indulging in vacation provided by acid, the other inhabitants, the bugs crawling over one's skin, must be real. It is enough to make one fantasize.

It is said that every man has at least one homo-erotic fantasy in their life. Mine was high tech. A robot penis. I imagine it would be hard, cold, and taste slightly oily. Such a creation would ejaculate a super hero. I contemplated giving my first and last blow job and the force of the machine's pleasure driving my thinking machine out of its case. A short step from deviant lover, to abstract artist. The robot in my dreams would paint the wall in red and gray. Crafting an image a psychiatrist could use to diagnose madmen.

Wiping the insects from my flesh I knew a change of location was necessary. Thus did I go from nearly dead to wandering vagrant. A dumpster, a cardboard box, an abandoned tent. Any one of them would do, sleeping under the stars would do good for my soul after so long in confinement. Then I saw it.

A Victorian treasure  stood before my eyes. A for sale sign out front gave me hope. Not to purchase it, no. Men like me, those unemployed and lost to society, did not own homes. Instead I meandered to the convenience store and borrowed their phone.

No offers were as yet on the table, and no showings for at least two weeks. The asking price was high enough to make a millionaire blush. I would be able to squat in this home for months, if I was lucky. If I was very careful.

My possessions were sparse to say the least. I laid out my winter clothes, the mud stained item I would don, over the urine stained items I currently wore, when it grew cold. I laid out the faded blue piece of foam that served as my bed. As i prepared to lie down I looked at the wall.

Amidst the beautiful paper was a stain.  I recognized the type. It was much as the mark left by sweat from a desperate man will imprint on a threadbare mattress when one foregoes sheets to save on water.

Peeling back that paper I found a hole that echoed the ache in my heart and lack in my soul. The dark cavern was filled with a corpse I recognized. How could I not? One is bound to know one's own face.

I drew back in horror, thinking of who to blame. I wanted to lay this at the feet of jack-booted government thugs. The wished to blame it on the indifference of corporate fat-cats. I knew though. I knew it was me. I left this corpse here when I gave up and gave in. In the homes of the hearts of every man over twenty-five there was a sacrifice like this. Laying discarded, waiting to be found.

I knew this must be disposed of. Nobody must ever see what I had done to myself. I thought of what those heroes on television would do. Retrieving the plastic utensils I kept for the rare occasion that a man of mercy provided me food I began to consume the remnants of the evidence of my crimes.

#shortstory #author #Awethors #surreal #writing #writer

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Tradition of Anti-Heroics

I'm not special.

Nobody likes bills. Everyone gets annoyed when they come in the mail. Most people get frustrated when the amount is wrong. I dare say most people call the number at the bottom to fix the problem. Most everyone wants to yell at the person, but, I think, almost nobody really does. I didn't, because I'm not special. I did call though.

Everyone loves a sexy voice on the other end of the phone. We start to imagine. All the features become physical. The full bodied laugh turns into eyes you can fall into. The sexy burr in the voice grows into that one part of the body, whatever it is, that you want thick when the rest is slim. For me it's the breasts, if I was a girl I bet it would be the penis. Like I said, not special. We fantasize our way through life, and phone calls are no different.

I even started off by telling Samantha, but you can call me Sam, that I didn't think I was special. She assured me that I was though. They're paid to say that you see. Part of their job is making customers feel important.

Anyway... she fixed my problem. So sorry Mr. Smith, this was a problem with our computer, and I have corrected it. I fell in love while she did it. I may not be special, but I'm not a moron. She was flirting with me. So I screwed up my courage and asked her out.

Sam must be something pretty special, because she said yes. We set the time and place. She gets off work in an hour and I'm supposed to meet her for drinks. She even offered to buy. So, now I'm sitting here thinking.

How ugly is this bitch? I mean, to say yes to a date with some loser on the phone who has billing problems? The Trumps of the world don't get miss-billed. If they do they don't even notice. How repugnant is her personality, when she's not hiding behind a phone, that she has to resort to turning her legitimate job into an escort service? I bet she's a goddamned serial killer and she's planning on selling my organs on the black market. Her breath probably smells like that fermented fish the old Scandinavians are so in love with.

I'm sitting here terrified. What if all of that is true? Well, maybe not the killer part, but I bet she has armpit hair and feminist-forest legs. What if all of that is true and I show up to be disappointed my her snaggle-toothed personality and Quasimodo looks? I'm not going.

I'm terrified. Worse than that? What if none of it's true? What if she is the perfect goddess I met on the phone? What if she's everything I imagined. Then she couldn't help but be disappointed by me.

I'm not going, and you can't make me. Don't judge me, because I'm not special.

You wouldn't go either.

I just want to say, for those confused by the title. If you don't know it, before comic books and RPGs co-opted the term as a synonym for dark hero, antiheroes were a literary device. The term literally meant, not a hero. Stories about them were stories about the common man. They weren't brave, or skilled, or stuck in great adventures. They were workaday people living workaday lives. This is something of a tribute, and a remembrance of words that have been stolen from us. If you didn't know that, well now you do. I just wish I could remember the style they were common in. I want to say Gothic, but I'm relatively sure that's wrong. If anyone knows, please comment below. If not, guess it's off to the library for me soon, since the interwebs have failed me.

#shortstory #author #Awethors #writer #writing #writingprompt

Monday, May 30, 2016


I should give up the paper. I really should. I'm probably one of five people in the city that still has the damn thing delivered. It's a risk, an affectation. Still, I can't give it up. I step over my guests to pick it up and bring it back in. I look over to their still forms again and smile. At least I didn't disturb them.

The front page is the same old crap. Russia is tired of our garbage, and we'll end up irradiating the world between the two of us. The big egos yelling at each other. The companies sponsoring them trying to convince us we should care. Tired of it, I turn to the local section.

High school sports, local art (if you can call it that,) and stuff to do on the weekend. Boring, who needs that in their life? Like I can't entertain myself.

So, I look at the police blotter. Damn it. Sometimes the universe leads us to the right place at just the right time. I've never had a day go bad, not after I brought guests home. This is terrible though. Have you ever looked into the paper and saw your name associated with a crime you didn't commit? I never thought I would.

Right there, in black and white, it says I robbed a bank. I read between the lines and realize they're be coming for me. I look over at the guests and realize my luck is just getting worse. I really can't let them be found here.

Wouldn't you know it? That's the moment the cops decide to knock on my door. "Police, open up!" Yeah, yeah. Okay. I can figure this out. Where did I leave my bag?

"Just a moment! I'm not decent. Oh... and I didn't rob any bank!"

I look around, where is it? I speak from the center of the room. It's the only way this is going to work after all. There it is. The cop is shouting his lack of concern at my assurances.

I kind of figured he would.

Just like I expected him to tell me to come out or he'll break down the door. I hope there are only two of them. I stand next to the door, knowing they expect me to be in the middle of the room. True to his words, the door shatters inward.

Two of those big cops rush through. You know, the kind that eat too much red meat and spend hours at the gym? None of it on the treadmill. Guys that will leave muscled corpses before fifty. Anyway, they storm in.

As I slide in behind them, the brains of the outfit spots my guests. They both aim guns, but it's the brains that speaks. "They're de..."

I slide a needle into each of their steroid enhanced necks and depress the plungers. Thanking god there are only two of them. Look, I never said I didn't commit any crime, just not some low rent bank job.

I hate unexpected company.

#shortstory #author #Awethors #writer #writing #writingprompt

Monday, May 23, 2016

One Eyed Men

Don't blame me. Blame the #muse and the #writingprompt

it is the day after the world went blind

the last man who could see gave in and bought a tablet

i am as blind as anyone

my screen

my virtual reality

my all i see

if i looked around i would see that they are all like me

if i peered up i would see them all in the worlds orbiting mine

walking i repost stolen memes of political bigots and idolaters

if i pause i might see her the girl so lonely that she surfs the singles sites

i might ask her our because she is just my type

she might not slice into crimson chords that spill her lifes painting on white porcelain tonight

i dont and she will

i might see the man in blue as he watches the computer and aims the gun at the transient

it could happen that the bum would turn from the darkness of the news in the store window

i could step in and stop the bullet one way or another

there is a chance

just one chance

that i would see the boy playing a game on his phone

scoop him up before he enters the road

some small hope i could wave down the bus driver reading the electronic map

if any of us could see we might stop the travesty of a child buried under moving steel

if any of us could see we would see it is the screens that make us blind

if we took off our three dimensional glasses we might notice the darkness

we might understand it replaced the truth they were meant to bring

we might just might find a one eyed man to stop us from setting the world on fire

we dont though

we stay blind

the child screams and the world becomes tinder

ashes in our mouths

if only it was taste we lost

instead of vision

#shortstory #art #artiss #author #Awethors #commentary #experimentations #surreal #writer #writing

Sunday, May 15, 2016

That Girl

I've always wanted to be a badass, a successful badass. Failing that, and I have been for about half a life time, I've always wanted to pretend to be someone is. Part of that always required an audience that believed though.

The girl sitting next to me, no, the woman, was French and twenty-something. Say what you will about the older man, younger woman taboo, but here's a truth about it the media doesn't consider. When you're basing a relationship on lies, it's the best way to go. If she was older I never could have gotten away with it. The life story I told was two parts Heff, one part King, one part Lemmy, and a dash of Connery. A woman my age would have seen through some of all of it.

She wasn't.

I watched my worldly stories take her breath away. I saw the interesting things that did to her chest. Yeah, at first it was just physical. No, at first it was the badass thing. Second it was just physical. I don't want you to think I'm a predator, but that second part, the one where I noticed her body... Well, I don't know if I need to thank the king of porn or the sexiest Brit ever, but Frenchy and I ended up taking a trip to the bathroom.

Nearing fifty and joining the mile high club. It was hot. It didn't last long. I'm fifty-five percent sure she wasn't faking how much she liked.

Third came her talking. Telling me wild stories. Tales like my own youth, except brought forward. Propelled to a time when girls were free and morals were looser. I started falling in love. The looks she gave me... Well, I knew she could get past the age thing. I wondered if she could get over the lies. Then I wondered if I could keep them up forever.

I mean, hell I had a little more than thirty years left, if I met the average. Looking her over, thinking of a decade of wild sex with her I was betting I would be lucky to make twenty more if I got involved with her. Especially if her stories were true and her wild days were still going. Probably less, young girls suck life and money out of old men.

Everyone that chases the young ones knows that.

I decided I could keep up the lie, just as I felt a sting at the side of my neck. I slumped towards her, wondering how she smuggled so much liquid on board, as she slid the needle back into her purse. Her wicked smile curved her lips as she whispered to me.

"The men you pretend to be were all heroes of my father. If you were younger you might have recognized the women I chose for my persona. Every one of them would be proud of me, removing another pervert from the gene-pool. Sleep the sleep of damned, predator."

I swear she giggled as everything went black.

#shortstory #author #Awethors #commentary #France #writer #writing

Monday, May 9, 2016

No One to Save

It's an old story that is no less true for us than it was in the past No one thought they would actually do it. How many times have you heard it? Even if we only think of the last two hundred years or so?

No one thought they would put Hitler into power. No one thought they would drop those two bombs on Japan. No one thought they would napalm villages full of innocent people. No one thought those tanks would keep going over the students. No one thought the towers would fall. No one thought Trump would actually get the nomination.

Now, fifty years after that last one, add one more. No one thought they would actually push the button. No one thought they would drop the bombs.

When purifying flames fell from the sky, well, it was, oddly enough, mostly nonagenarians like myself who survived it. Upper-middle class old men who inherited houses from grandparents that were almost rich during the red scare. Men with forgotten fallout shelters hidden beneath our family homes. Some of us added some upgrades in the months before the end though.

When my monitor told me it was safe to go outside... well, I was, to say the least, surprised. How could the air be pure after only a year? I checked the instruments though, and they read true. So I unsealed my subterranean domicile and went outside.

It is amazing how nature, absent the cancerous influence of man, can take care of herself. She burned off all that crap we were using to kill her, and she did it using our own flames. When we set fire to the planet she used it to turn that pollution into choking smoke.

Then the plants took over, and I could see how they had grown. With no human hands to cut them down the trees were giant. Even the rose bushes were overgrown, taking in all the toxic smoke and creating clean air. With so much to filter out they overwhelmed the land.

The herbivores had grown to match the plants, and they wandered the land with almost no fear. The predators were mostly the same size, but they were faster, meaner. Their teeth and claws were sharper, they hunted in packs and killed without mercy. Huh, Darwin was right, and sometimes he worked fast.

So, that was what I stepped into. A world from the past, brought into the future by our own careless callousness. This was our planet now. I wondered if there was anyone left to share it with. Not that there would be any repopulating, not at my age. Someone would be around for that though, right?

I was wondering about such things when I heard a report. It was loud, especially in a world with no freeways. Then I felt the pain spread through my chest, the blood oozing down my chest. I looked over my shoulder, to see the twenty something that ended my life.

No one thought humans would stay the same after we ended the world.

#author #Awethors #shortsotry

Monday, May 2, 2016


It was a week after Toby's funeral and I thought I was out of tears.

Then that stupid bike arrived.

Once upon a time a bicycle built for two was a romantic thing. That was before insanely high divorce rates and children that had more rights than their parents. Children that were too safe, but in Toby's case, not safe enough.

Staring at that bike, with the half a smaller bike on its ass end, I discovered I had more tears after all. I cried myself empty and I went to bed. No Nancy there to comfort me, she was at her mother's. Our relationship was shaky before. After Toby... well, she blamed me for him, and to be fair she might have been right.

After tossing and turning I fell into a fitful sleep. I dreamed the dreams of the damned. Images and racial memories of better times. Of days when wives didn't leave you. Dreams of an era where we didn't make the world too safe for children and yet very few of them died.

When I got up the next morning, I went through my routine. I woke up, smacking the alarm to shut it up, and cursing work for making me get out of bed. I brushed my teeth, packed my computer bag, exited the door and drove to work on auto-pilot. All very robotic and mundane.

All very normal.

Toby was never far from my mind as I entered the building. I figured that was why the color drained from the world. I'd never been one to have vivid fantasies. So I guessed this might be a hallucination brought on by the misery. Maybe it was the receptionist's classic look though.

I opened my mouth to say good morning. My world went blank. No words came out, but she reacted like they had. Then she said hello.

In front of my face I saw one of those old speech cards from silent movies. The curly cues surrounded the words 'Good morning, sir!'

I stopped in my tracks and shook my head. 'Just like an old time movie,' I muttered under my breath, 'If only life still worked this way.'

Still nothing came out, but she saw my words and rage etched across her face. I knew I was in for a speech, and one that I was going to do a lot of eye rolling through. This time the card that flashed wasn't exactly words.

~The woman droned on for an interminable length about how terrible those times were for women, minorities, transsexuals and the like. A speech that even those who agreed with it were tired of hearing.~

I moved towards the elevator and muttered under my breath. I don't know if she saw what I did not hear. 'It must have sucked to live in a time when people didn't have to make up causes. When people knew you could love a thing without wanting every little bit of it.'

#shortstory #Awethors

Sunday, April 24, 2016

When I was Old

I don't normally try to enjoy the sun, something about the White Irish gene. That's ginger to you folks that are even more bigoted than  people who still say White Irish. Sunburn, heat-rashes, sun and heat stroke aside... strange shit always happens in the sun. I can't be the only one who's noticed that. Yesterday was no exception. Except to my rule about enjoying the sun.

So I was stepping outside and the first thing I see is me approaching. This was no normal me though. This was a me that was the same age as Kerry Charlton. As if I was going to live that long. Truth is, if my dad didn't turn out to be right, if the world didn't end... well eventually the years of smoking would catch up with me, or the days spent in the sun. No matter what, cancer was just a knock away.

So, this older than I'll ever be version of me storms up to me. I can't figure out why he looks so pissed off. I mean he looks like he holds the kind of anger I felt when I was in high school. Thankfully, I'm a vocal, passionate ass. No matter what age, no matter if I'm me or him. I don't have to wait long before he gives me what for.

"How dare you? Do you know what you're wasting?"

I open my mouth to defend myself, but then I interrupt me, of course.

"Do you know when an author does their best writing? Of course you do, every writer does."

I am about to ask him to tell me but then he does.

"It's before he becomes famous. Before he has to worry about appeasing fans and keeping an audience. When you do nothing but experiment, when your art is pure. Before you get stereotyped and pigeonholed into the crap some publisher wants."

I sigh, about to defend myself, but I won't shut up.

"We both know you're not famous yet, and this is the best time. How are you wasting it? You're chasing success instead of the art. Even the shit you do on that website is ego stroking. Why aren't you trying to break things? That's what an artist does. What the hell is wrong with you? You don't want to end up like me; rich, alone, unfulfilled, sold out. Start writing the revolution now, boy."

I open my mouth to tell him that he needs to learn to expand his prose. The idea is there but years of flash fiction limit him. He seems to know what I am about to say. He seems to hate that it makes his point. He l shuts my mouth by slapping me hard. My ear is still ringing when I realize he has gone back to his own reality.

#shortstory #Awethors #author #writer #aboutme #writing #anger

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Everyone says "clown college" to make fun of lower class education. Some of us know the pride and tradition involved in the real thing though. When PT Barnum was running around the profession of clowning was an honor, not a joke. So revered were the men who graduated from our universities that we were immortalized on velvet. These days...

I guess that isn't the point though. Like my father, and my father's father before him, I attended JP Patches University. I did very well. Pie throwing, balloon animals, folding into the tiny cars, the psychology of children and mid-west families. I aced them all. Valedictorian of JPPU, it was an honor just to think about it.

I agonized over my speech for nearly a month.

I thought about what my people had become. The tragedy of a group that once taught, enlightened, and made happy... now a laughing stock. The kind of profession nobody wanted their son to become, or even worse for their daughter to marry. That wasn't so bad.

The fact that we all pretended it was nothing, that offended me.

A little known fact is that in every class there is one sad clown. Not the psychotic killer that writers make millions on and mothers scare their children with. Those clowns occur once every three generations or so. However, the sad clown is a necessary thing.

I had to decide before I gave my speech, light or dark, happy or sad. I could take on the mantle of sad clown. If I passed on it, then the honor would fall to the class clown, I know, the irony. If he passed, then someone else would take it up.

Someone would wear the frown though.

I had two speeches prepared, and even on the day of graduation I wasn't sure which one I was going to deliver. I put on all the makeup except the bit around my mouth. I looked at my lips and I thought.

No longer did my brothers climb out of the car, amazing the world with simple magic. No, instead we led malnourished elephants around big tops with almost nobody in them. We did not even try.

Once we were the servants of the dream-makers. We did our jobs for no reason more than making children laugh. Every tinkling of those voices birthed one of the fae. We rejoiced in that. Now though? Now we bent balloons for children absorbed in their iPhones, children who no longer believed in magic. We did this for the price of a can of tuna. I hated what we had become.

I hated them for accepting it.

I hated me for accepting it.

I donned the downward slanting makeup and I took the stage. I looked at them in shame and rage. I took my horn in my right hand and held my breath. The horn issued one sad, condemning honk, expressing my disappointment.

My classmates felt shame and wept their face free of their smiling disguises.

#shortstory #author #Awethors #writer

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Origin Story

So, the prompt this week led me down the path of choose your own adventure. So, I decided to experiment.

You did not realize it when you woke up this morning, but this is the day you become a super hero. Or you thought you did not, but obviously you actually did. You packed your lunch and went to school, as usual. You carried your cartoon lunch box, as usual.

Chemistry class started out like normal. Being partnered with the hottest girl in school distracted you though. Despite your shaking hands, and your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth you attempted to carefully mix the components to the specifications the teacher wrote on the board. But your partner's posterior kept distracting you. The fact that she was laughing at all of your lame nerd jokes did not help either.

At step five she asked you to the upcoming dance. Your hands were shaking so badly you could not measure accurately. The fact that you turned your head is the only reason the concoction did not end up in your eyes. So you still have your eyesight, and that's something.

As you said yes the toxic looking purple goo violently expanded. The foam covered your hands, causing a tingling sensation. There was no pain, but it was not pleasant. Eighteen hand washings later your skin is still stained violet. Your chemistry professor has assured you there are no harmful side effects from the compound you were creating. Still, it's hard to be sure.

Lunch comes after chemistry. Opening your box you find no trace of the meal you packed for yourself. Instead, sitting next to the empty thermos is a note. A note from your past self. You read with great trepidation, and trembling hands.

Dear me,

We have just had an accident. I ate all of our lunch for breakfast. This may seem greedy, but I promise there is a reason. The compound still on our skin will give us super powers, based on the next thing we eat. Choose wisely.


Obviously precognition and an extensive vocabulary will be amongst your powers. Your meal choice will determine the last and greatest of your abilities. Looking around you see a few options. You realize you must choose wisely as your responsibility to the world will be determined in this moment...

To gain X-Ray vision and start the path of a perverted gray hero, eat some carrots and turn to page 5.

To obtain mental powers such as mind reading and telekinesis, destining you for a secret identity revolving around government work after graduation, gobble some fish and turn to page 9.

For physical based powers and the life of a mindless bruiser that makes it on looks and charm without substance, grab some spinach and turn to page 15.

To choose the life of a villain and powers of darkness and danger, leave the school, snack on the nearest baby and turn to page 666.

In order to gain powers of domination, teaching, and creating obedience, swallow the note itself and continue on to the next page...

#shortstory #authot #Awethors #comedy #experimentation #writer #writing #writingprompt

Sunday, April 3, 2016

While You're Here

While you're here, looking at free stories, do me a favor and check out these two links. The first is a cooking site that is a business my father is trying out in his golden years, though they might be rust years for him. You never know these days. The second is a site featuring yours truly, because I'm God Damned Awesome!



These days, they all blend together. Just another day, I think it was Thursday. Shit, shower, and shave, just like I did on Wednesday. Like most adults, I had mornings down to a science. As the towel carried the last drops of moisture to the floor, the coffee pot finished its magical mission. Delivering the nectar of the benevolent gods into a transparent casing, prepared for my digestion.

The rationing was the worst. Two cups of coffee a day is not nearly enough for a writer. There was plenty of whiskey at least, but still... not enough coffee. On top of that, when I looked in the fridge I realized if I wanted pleasure to last the week, I had to choose. Sugar or cream, but definitely not both.

I decided I could drink it black on Saturday, so I opted for both anyway.

I stood at the window, thinking about how I needed to get back to the real world. I needed to get back to it soon, but mornings are special. I sipped from my cup of decadently rich coffee and stared through the glass.

And into the darkness. The Void, someone was paid way too much to come up with that term. That was back when money mattered though. When there were still such things as ad men. That was back when our currency was made of paper. Now, it consisted of something more important. Now it was made of art.

I needed to get back to the real world.

I took another shallow draught of my beverage. I stared into the darkness, and we all know what happens when you do that. It filled me, or it refilled me. Inspiration was hard to come by after we recreated the world in our image. I remembered when the darkness that inspired me to write was literary. Now it was literal.

I imagined a sunrise. The kind I would have seen before the clandestine agency that separated those of us who created from those of you who consumed did their work. I knew there was one. My clock told me it was time for such things.

I could not see it though, just the void. That bothered me. That spoke to my artist's soul. It filled the inner being with words for the paper. I needed to get back to the real world.

I finished my coffee.

I sat down to write. Back to the real world, my real worlds. I had as many people from our previous reality to populate them as any of the other artists. Later I would log on and we would discuss what we were doing with them. I wanted a good story to tell.

Perhaps it was the all encompassing darkness that made me decide to write something light, and the varying degrees of such.

#shortstory #writing #Awethors

Sunday, March 27, 2016

That Imaginary Line

I've never been good at spending my time doing nothing. I guess that's why I started training for a marathon. Which is kind of stupid, since I'm not very fit, much less a runner. I think I was mostly trying to distract myself. Some thoughts live deep in the brain, in that forgetting place. They like to travel though, don't they? I knew even then that some of those were trying to visit the land of my upper mind. Being the kind of thoughts you forget I didn't know what they were, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to either.

You're supposed to run half the marathon, and you work up to it. Unfortunately there was a block, one I couldn't seem to cross. I reached that imaginary line, at Mason Ave and Dixon St, and pain bloomed in the middle of my brain. Like an inferno burning to life in the dry, gray tinder that rested there.

Seven days, the same number as the ones I watched from down the street. Seven days from reaching my wall at that intersection. That's when I saw the curtains twitch. I ignored it, just somebody watching. Weird though, because nobody ever looked at me. Not even the ones on the street.

The next day I saw a face, and eyes staring. No big deal though. Just someone curious about my run. Maybe about why I kept pulling up short at the end of their block. They'd get bored of it soon. Then another seven days pass, and they were still watching.

I stopped, like I always did, looking at the vacant lot, kitty-corner to where my feet cemented themselves to the ground. I saw the curtains move, like they were rustled by the wind. The anger my people are known for bloomed in my mind; a desert rose in the flames burning there. I crossed the street.

My hands clenched into fists and the fire burned brighter. I didn't know why, but this person had no business watching me. I knew it was a woman, because as I pounded on the door, I smelled her perfume. It had that faint patina of roses, like hers always did.

When Leesa opened the door, my jaw dropped. There was no way. She...

"You're dead."

"You're so sure?"

"When the accelerant took, you were on the wrong side. The building... it was a building right? A church."

"Go on, you are almost there."

"The building burned to the ground. Everyone inside was to die, a sacrifice to the cause. You were in there with them. You were supposed to be with me as I ran out but you weren't. There's no way you survived."

"John, dear John. Nobody survived."

#shortstory #author #Awethors #writer #writing

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Holistic Mediocrity Overseers

Over time the stale scent of blood becomes like a lover's perfume. You know it is still there, and on a good day you still catch a whiff of it. Most minutes though... most times... you just forget the thing that used to define every moment with her (her the woman, or her the city) fades into the background. It tickles the olfactory part of your mind that defines memory but no longer stokes desire.

When I first moved to Detroit, that coppery smell reminded me that reclamation was perfectly legal for a doctor. Used cybernetics have a limited value though, and an even smaller window of re-usability. Working as a wandering doc for hire was more satisfying. Most days.

That day reminded me that the fifty-third modification to the Hippocratic Oath meant there were always choices to make. Sometimes simple choices. Most often very complex choices with untold ramifications.

From guys with purple spines on the outside, to women with orange, ceramic heads that replaced their original brain cases, I've seen some weird shit. That day took the cake. Hell, that might have been what it was about.

The seven foot tall, broad, muscular man falling down in front of me made me think of soldiers in the third class wars. He looked tough. But with the forgetting of honor and the absence of training... well... they were all posers as big as the white gang bangers in the nineteen eighties. With all the grace of a slaughtered hog he slipped to his knees, a gaping knife wound in his gut.

His assailant, a nuvo punk, ran down the street; brandishing his blade in front of him. Just as I stooped to look at the victim, fate stepped in. As the fickle bitch so often does.

The assailant tripped and landed on his own knife. Perhaps it was a drug induced walking coma. If I saw his eyes I am sure they would have cleared. He was screaming in pain. His cries for help echoed in my brain. He screamed about what just happened?

Like I said... He might not have known. End of the day? He made a choice and he was responsible for it. Just like any of us. He should be held accountable. I was responsible for my own choices too. I had one to make now. Two patients, one traveling doctor. I did what any man of morals and means would have done.

I pulled out my street doc pad and scanned it. The information on both patients jumped out for my fingertips to scroll through. I stood and walked towards the assailant. You would have too.

He had better insurance.

#shortstory #author #Awethors #socialcommentary #writer #writing #writingprompt

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Running to Brigid

Mother always told me some jealous woman would be my downfall. Not even she considered that two of them might work in conjunction. Let me back up a bit.

You ever notice how when the hero/protagonist/poor schmuck caught up in shit he's just not prepared for falls down in fiction it's always epic? I mean, one of two things happens.

Either some guy with the good looks of Reeve and the powers of Pitt ends up overmatched. I mean, he can't be beat but the writer puts some block in his way. Could be someone from his home dimension, a fatal flaw like an attraction to easy women, or just an overindulgence in alcohol. So he falls down but gets back up. Three pages later he's back on the straight and narrow. He works hard, overcomes his demons, usually inspired by some amazingly written dialogue between him and his, except in that moment, unimportant but oddly wise friend. You know, the guy who doesn't even know who he's dealing with and is slogging along when his buddy could end all of his misery in a heartbeat. But the dick doesn't do it, does he? No. He keeps that pal in misery, probably because it provides the earthy wisdom needed for that one moment. Anyway, the dude gets over it all, comes out swinging and wins the day.

Or... some schlub who never had a damn chance is put into a situation they could never hope to survive. Usually with great comedic affect and bowel liquefying terror they are taken to the darkest corners of humanity. They trip over a well placed stick, thrown in their path by the evils of a mad scientist, two dimensional monster, or conspiracy meant to represent the evils of either corporations or bits of government that espouse the opposite ideals of the author. Then, either the miscreant is beat upon mercilessly by this tormenting entity to prove there is no hope and we must all rise up as one to take everything back. Or, he gets in one lucky sucker punch and, unrealistically, wins the day. Thus appeasing the boorish masses rooting for the little guy and a happy ending.

Real life is a lot less complicated.

I won my spot in the Olympic relay on a radio contest. I was stoked, because it included a trip and some tickets. I managed to wrangle the time off from the minimum wage job strangling my life and making such trips impossible.

I was to take the torch, get the flame from Hera, or at least where she used to live, power walk the first leg, and hand it off. Problem is, I've never been great at tying my shoes.

Long story short, I leaned over and tripped on a damnable, loose lace. I fell into the pit of fire. Now I'm stuck here wondering how this could happen to me, why I never knew fire hurt so much, and why the smell of my own burning flesh makes me so insightful about flawed literary tropes.

#shortstory #author #writer #writing #Awethors

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Prostrating Westward

On a man's wedding day he is supposed to be the third happiest person in the room, except when he is fifth or sixth. Normally his joy is dwarfed only by that of the bride and her mother. Then there are weddings like mine.

In a wedding like mine the groom can be fifth or sixth. They come in after the beaming joy of both mothers, two fathers relieved they get to see their son married after all, and before or after the other groom.

So, there I was, staring into his eyes. Dueling crying mothers sounding in the background. The justice of the peace droning on with words that, if my parent's had their wish, should have been droned by a clergyman. I didn't care about things like that though.

When our eyes met, I was purely happy. So was he. That was what mattered to me. Then the jay pee said the dreaded words. There were concerns you see. My ex was... well, a bit psycho is putting it mildly. Psychotically dedicated to things best forgotten would be a bit more accurate.

It was like a Clark Gable movie, well, and edgy Gable movie. The Justice spoke to the heavens and the heathens. "Should anyone here present know of any reasons that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace."

I looked around. I had nightmares about this all week. I knew it was going to happen, even as I hoped that it wouldn't. It all came undone, just as I dreamed.

The doors burst open. As one, my ex streamed in. The whole group of them carrying their trademark signs.

Jesus will laugh when you have AIDEs - Read one.

Reenact Soddom - Said a second.

And, of course, the classic that would never die - God hates fags!!!

There were many, many others. Most of them were variations of those three though. I saw microphones in some off hands too.

My ex, and they never gave up. He started ululuating and I started crying. Our mothers bemoaned our fate and the destruction of their special day. Then the chanting started.

Long story short? Most of the guests fell into the background in horror. Unable to raise their hands against religious men and women. No matter how zealotous and evil they were. Not everyone was willing to stand passively by.

After years of questionable acceptance, some men will fight for their sons when a threat comes from the outside. Other men are willing to take on the wrath of heaven itself for what they believe in and those that they love.

That's why I'm here. It's supposed to be my honeymoon. Instead of Paris I'm sitting on a hard bench. Waiting to bail out my father, father in law, and new husband. Yes, husband. Thank God some officiants can get the "I Dos" out quickly.

#shortstory #writer #author #rights #socialcommentary #writing #writingprompt

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rich Man's Shoes

When I lived a life of hate, they loved me.

Always ready with their sharp toothed smiles. I laughed, with just a hint of shame, every time those green scaled monsters bit those better off than I.  Until one day I decided to remove the negative from my life. Swimming, peacefully, with alligators made me decide I should try to do the same with my fellow humans.

There were moments, in my time as the alligator whisperer, when the beasts responded to my desires and attacked the objects of my hate. Other than the press conferences and the shows, people left me alone. They knew something was off. Maybe not how I hated them, but they knew I wanted their distance.

After the guru time, everything is different. Time on the talk show circuit and getting to know my fans. I smile now, instead of spreading my lips and showing my teeth. Now they cheer when I enter the arena.

It is my first time back with my big green friends and they seem happy to see me. The roar of the audience startles  them like it always has. Today though, they swish and sway, agitating, just like a washing machine.

I wave to my adoring public one last time before stepping through the gate. Something is wrong here. I know more about these creatures than any other scientist alive. I also have the balls to step in with them when the others stick to the lab. That's an old me thought. I let it go. The gators aren't happy to see me. No matter how well they pretend otherwise.

They know the act, they swim away from me. Their eyes hunt the audience for prey. They seek those I would gladly have fed to them a month ago. I do not point though, I let them find their own path. Part of knowing your course is leaving everyone to discover theirs. Even our animal friends.

With no enemy to destroy on my command they turn and look back at me.

For a moment it seems like the old act, but I read more in their eyes. I am weak. They know it. I left the path. Hate was never something I wanted in my heart, but when it was there it created a bond. Now, they need a new leader. In the savage way of the swamp, there is only one way to pick a new alpha.

While the old one is alive.

Especially when he has betrayed the cause.

I hear the screams, the horror, the terror. I am at peace though. This is the wild, the way it should be. One sacrifice for mankind. One noble act for all to see, witness the nature of these creatures I know so well.

I learn another lesson. One wise men have known for centuries. When one is free they feel no fear. Not even at the end of a weapon.

When I turn to a life of love, they hate me.

#shortstory #politicalcommentary #socialcommentary #author #writer #writing