Category Archives: Short Stories

“Warm Up” is here!!! And you can read it for free on Tor.com.

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That is how I feel Because it’s HERE! “Warm Up” is HERE! No, it’s not VICIOUS (yet) but it’s the first glimpse into the VICIOUS world, and that makes it all feel very real and WHEEEEE.

What is it?

“Warm Up” is a short story that takes place before VICIOUS.

What’s it about?

It’s been 297 days since David died–and came back.

He may have survived the avalanche, but the aftermath has been far worse. His wife moved out, taking his son with her, and a devastated David hasn’t left his house since, terrified of the mysterious new power that followed him home from the ill-fated expedition.

After months in seclusion, David’s ready for a fresh start, and ventures out, determined to keep his power in check. But David’s power isn’t the one he needs to worry about.

Where can I read it?

You can read the story for free on TOR.COM, or download it through Amazon and keep with you forever.

And please, please, if you read it (it’s only 15 formatted pages), rate and/or review! It seriously matters. To me. To Tor. To me.

Backstory?

I wrote “Warm Up” while in Scotland, in an Edinburgh cafe called SPOON to be exact, sitting across from the marvelous Rachel Hawkins.

I’d been wanting to write it for months. You see, VICIOUS is a supernatural/sci-fi/superpower story with rules, and I wanted to give you a glimpse of those rules, a look into the world, without spoiling ANYTHING about VICIOUS. Which is harder than it sounds.

I was also really inspired by the opening scene of Inglorious Bastards. Not the content so much as the tension, the idea of walking very slowly through a tense moment, waiting for the strings to break because you know they will.

I so hope you enjoy!

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I Watched the World End on a Wednesday Afternoon…

I haven’t done a snippet of writing in awhile!!

I got tangled in a Word War just now with Tessa Gratton, Myra McEntire and Natalie Parker. I thought I’d post what I wrote, for kicks.

Please note, this was written in…*looks at clock* about 15 minutes. And I haven’t even combed through for typos, so forgive. This was just for fun, and is, at this time, not a part of any of my projects. I thought of that first line a day or so ago and stored it in the back of my head…

I watched the world end on a Wednesday afternoon.

It wasn’t like I thought it would be. The sky didn’t turn red, or fall down. I sat on the front porch waiting for chunks of blue or cloud or heaven to rain down around me, but it wasn’t like that. I watched the whole world slow, and if it had been winter and if there had been snow, it would have slid through the air slower and slower and slower until it just…stopped, and hung there like those flecks you sometimes see caught in sunlight in a dusty room.

But it wasn’t even winter. It was one of those late summer days, so calm and plain that I wished for a moment the world had waited just a little longer until fall, because it would have beautiful, fitting. The world was not supposed to end in Summer. The world was not supposed to end at all, I suppose, but there you go.

And anyway, there wasn’t snow to watch, sliding to a stop over the porch rail. Only air, that pleasant kind with a touch of coolness that brushes against your skin with a whispered summer is slipping, summer is slipping woven through. And that air began to still, as if the whole world decided one moment, this moment, to stop breathing.

Right before there had been a breeze, enough to lift the hair off my neck and then when the air froze the way it did, I must have looked like I was underwater. I felt that way, with all the sounds of the yard and the house and street dulling the way they would submerged. Voice and noise thickened in the air and hung along with everything else, a picture. A moment.

They say life happens in moments, so I guess it makes sense that the end would happen that way, too. I wish I could have captured it, the quiet world, the held breath of it all. By the time I blinked, the whole of it exhaled, and, like that, the light went out.

But I am still here.

These Dark Things – “The Taker”

A day late because WordPress was being particularly finicky yesterday, and because I had to write a paper on gendered depictions of Nature in 19th American Lit…

BUT HERE WE GO.

This month on “These Dark Things” we are playing with the notions of the Harvest. It’s a bit vague compared to the playthings of October, but we’re certainly having fun.

My story this week is called “The Taker” and explores the idea of a three-fold Grim, if you will. With a twist, of course :)

SNIPPET:

“Tonight the harvest moon hangs red, and all know well to lock their doors.

All down the lane you can hear the sounds of people drawing deeper into houses, taking steps and whispers with them. It is like a body in the cold, drawing heat into its center. Lose the limbs and save the heart, or some such…”

The whole story, of course, is OVER HERE.

Oh, oh, ALSO.

ON A COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE.

I have a new page here on the blog, inspired by the wonderful Michelle Hodkin. It is called FAKE PRAISE. Look, right up there at the top of the page. It kind of makes my life.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

These Dark Things…WITCHES.

So this week on “These Dark Things” we are doing WITCHES!!

And you probably think, “Oh, V, you got this. After all, isn’t that book of yours called The Near WITCH?!”

And to that I say:

I love Witches.

Witches are everywhere.

Witches are one of the most malleable paranormal forms.

So of course, when given this awesome, expansive category, I went old school.

ONE CLASSIC FAIRY TALE + ONE MORBID MIND –> THIS WEEK’S STORY.

In my defense, did you know that some of the original versions of the story now known as “Little Red Riding Hood” involved witchcraft? Specifically the grandmother as a witch. So in case you’re thinking, “Gawwwd, Victoria, why would you twist this fairy tale to Witches week? How lazy are you?” I just want to say that it DOES have ties to witchcraft. So hah.

And if that isn’t enough explanation then FINE OKAY I JUST LOVE FAIRY TALES SO THERE.

Snippety:

The wolf stood on the road that ran through the woods, and watched the slice of red between the trees.

The red thing was small and pretty as a flower before it’s plucked, petals all tucked close.

The wolf watched and wondered if he should eat it.

These Dark Things…Vampires.

Hey all.

So remember when Myra and I were posting those short stories?

Well, we decided, in honor of the fabulous month of October, to put together a series called “These Dark Things.”

How it works: Over the course of the month, we will be posting short stories on…

1. Things that bite.
2. Things that haunt.
3. Things that shamble.
4. Things that curse.
5. Things that go bump.

AND we will have a guest Author O’ Awesome joining us each week. We are VERY excited.

First week: VAMPIRES.

And I get to post first!

You should definitely go see (keep in mind vampires are not my strong suit), and follow the blog …

www.thesedarkthings.blogspot.com

… to see who our guest authors are each week, and maybe even win some cool prizes!

Here’s a snippet from mine:

I’d been keeping tabs.

Asher warned me four, maybe five times, to step away, to leave it alone. But I was a Watcher. I’d given up my life to protect the town of Arden. Surely this was part of my duty, to watch over my family. That’s what I told my self that night, when the city man followed my sister into the dark.

I sat on a rooftop, invisible against the moonless sky. A small shadow against a much larger one. Church bells started ringing, and the wind caught them up in this way that made me feel like I was still alive, still there inside the small stone building, kneeling between my little sister and my father. The doors groaned open and the townsmen poured out, and I strained forward on my ledge.

I’d been good…

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