Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

April #TwitterTales: The Muir Woods Murderer (Flash Fiction Story)

 

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way through an exercise of flash fiction. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In April, that photo was of a forest. Below are my tweets for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

When Josh suggested a romantic stroll through Muir woods, Allison wasn’t too keen on the idea. That past summer, three girls had been found knifed to death, their blood spilled into the forest’s dirt carpet. The killer had never been caught.

What made Allison change her mind was Josh’s promise to protect her. They’d been dating a year and enjoyed long walks together. The fall forest was dark but strangely enticing. She clung to Josh. Nothing could happen in the safety of his arms.

“Where are we headed?” Allison asked. They’d taken so many turns that she was becoming disoriented, but Josh kept leading her deeper & deeper into the dark woods where 3 of her friends had died. A shiver ran up her spine as she awaited his answer.

“Are you scared about what happened here to Holly, Jean, & Laura even though you’re with me, Allison?”
“No,” she lied. “but maybe we should go back, Josh. I’m getting tired,” The full moon illuminated his face. The expression he wore chilled her.

“Why are you scared, Allison?” As he approached, the full moon waned. The forest darkened. “I asked to leave, Josh.” She backed away. “So did they.” His eyes glinted in the half light as he took a knife from his jacket. She screamed and ran.

Allison’s chest heaved. Her breath came in shallow gasps as she ran through the woods trying to avoid falling over the twigs that carpeted the forest floor. Josh was closing in, his knife slashing a path behind her.

She ran with Josh in pursuit, her breath coming in ragged gasps. Each time one of her friends was found dead, Josh was missing. He said he was home while his parents were out, but she now
knew he was the Muir Woods killer & she was his next victim.

She tripped and fell face down on the forest floor. Picking herself up, she turned to see Josh flash his knife. She deflected its blow, kicked him in the groin, and ran through the trees into the street where a police car stopped to aid her.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

March #TwitterTales: The Cowboy


 

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In March, that photo was of a cowboy, but it also included some other steampunky images. Here are the tweets I came up with for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

We were part of a top-secret government mission assigned to a time-travel trip to the Old West. My partner, Palmer Jackson, was a smart, techy guy with a nice back side but a blunt tongue. We’d had a brief fling when we first joined the unit.

Palmer was dressed for our mission with a Stetson hat and cowboy boots. It was his third trip to the past; my first.
“Emily,” he said. “There’s nothing to worry about. We’re only there for a day.” Didn’t he realize the dangers of the Wild West?

They’d warned us that the time-travel teleport was still in its beta stages. Our trip was safe, but the Old West we landed in was not the one I knew from history books and movies. A raven the size of a dinosaur greeted us on the barren landscape.

Palmer drew his gun, but I told him not to shoot. I faced the raven. The huge bird opened its beak and said, “Welcome to Planet Rodeo.”
“Planet?” Palmer gave me a curious look, his hand on his gun, “We were sent to the past, not to another world.”

The raven regarded us through its beady black eyes. “Obviously, your time-travel trip went askrew. From what planet do you folks hail?”

Palmer eyed the bird warily. “We’re scientists from Earth. I’m Palmer Jackson and this is Emily Grant.”

Emily couldn’t believe Palmer was speaking with a raven. The bird opened its beak again and said, “My name is Reo. I am but one species inhabiting this world. Some are deadly, so beware.” He flapped his wings and flew away. “What now?” Emily asked.

Palmer pointed toward a hill. “That way. We’re explorers. Let’s explore.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. We prepared for the past, not another world. We should go back.”
“And how do you propose we do that? Our teleport link is broken.”

If she wasn’t so afraid, Emily would laugh at Palmer in his cowboy duds scaling the mountain. She’d asked him how the teleport link had broken and whether they could fix it. He said it had disintegrated. Their only hope lay beyond the mountain.

Emily followed Palmer up the mountain. When they reached the top, they looked down upon the world the raven Reo had called Rodeo. The land below was a barren plain except for a huge door. “Wonder what’s behind that?” Palmer asked.

The door was tough to budge despite their combined efforts. After several yanks, it gave swooping them into a vacuum. Emily screamed as they plummeted down into the lab from where they started. Palmer said, “Rats! I didn’t even get a bull ride.”

Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

February #TwitterTales: The Fire

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In February, that photo was of a fire. I wrote my tweets as teasers for my upcoming mystery release, Reason to Die. Below are my tweets for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

Courtney couldn’t believe she’d escaped the fire set by the madman the press was calling the Handicapped Strangler. Her subconscious fashioned a dream from the memory with Bill, her handicapped partner, out of his wheelchair in the role of a fireman.

The dream continued. “Thank God you’re safe, Courtney,” Bill said. “I owe you my life.”

“You don’t owe me anything. The fire died out between us before I was shot. That’s why I let you go.”

She woke with a start. Was it true? Was her love in ashes?

After the fire, they still had to solve the crimes. As much as Courtney feared the truth would hurt him, she knew it would be as freeing for Bill as it had been for her. The guilt she’d suffered from that long-ago fire was now behind her.

“You could’ve died,” Mark said. “I don’t blame Bill. I’m thankful to him, but I can’t have you risking your life again. You mean too much to me.”

“I have no choice, Mark. I’m a detective. We now know who set the fire and who is behind the murders.”

Being paired again with Bill made things difficult for Courtney. There’d been too much between them and yet not enough. Despite his handicap, he was hunting the killer, the man who’d set fire to his home and nearly killed them both.

Escaping the fire had helped Courtney overcome her fear of flames, but thinking of Bill and Mark, she wondered which man would complete her healing and which one would burn her.

“You know why I have to do this,” Bill said. “I could care less that my house was burned to the ground, and it’s not for you, Courtney. There’s another man in your life now. I have to move on, but I need to catch the Handicapped Strangler first.”

She didn’t know it would end like this. A killer and a madman holding her hostage in a secluded mountain cabin. If only she’d put the pieces together sooner. None of this would’ve happened including the fire as well as the shot that crippled Bill.