Tag Archives: short stories

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 …


… 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…


Showers and Half Spaces: Installment Two

In case you missed last Monday, Myra McEntire and I are doing a series of interconnected short stories (make sure you click the link and go read hers! But then come back). We both start with the same prompt. Can you guess this week’s inspiration?

Details and Part One: HERE.

Now onto Part TWO!

“It started with a story.”

“Doesn’t everything?” said Goldilocks.

I looked down at my hands, at the ribbon of scars across the backs of my fingers. And then I started.


There once was a boy and a steel guitar.

The boy sat on a stool in the middle of a stage, under a single light, in a quiet club, where everyone waited for the song to start.
And it did. And it was beautiful. One of those songs made up of simple chords that somehow, strung together, transform themselves into something…more. Glasses stopped clinking. People stopped whispering. The whole room stopped, pinned beneath the melody.

And the boy smiled, dark and beautiful as the song.

There once was a girl and she was lost.

Right in the middle of life, she had simply wandered off her path and ended up lost. Until she heard him play. She closed her eyes in the middle of the club and listened and imagined she could see a path, simple as stone laid out for her. And so she followed the boy, not just to the end of the song but after.

She let him lead her away.

But he was bad. And bad got worse as the nights wore on. And then, somewhere between songs, the girl started to fear that she was still lost. More lost even than she’d been in the club.

She tried to leave. But every time, he played for her, and drew her back. Simple, sharp chords that tied her to him, steel strings that cut into her and hurt but held her fast just the same.

One day she tried again, and again he played. But the girl was clever now, and plugged her ears under her long dark hair, and when he played she didn’t hear it. She thought she was free.

But when the music didn’t work, the boy broke the guitar, and then he tried to break the girl. They made a new song of their struggle, of breaking glass and screams and bodies pushed against walls. The girl fell hard beside the broken steel guitar, and grabbed one of the strings, snapped free by the force of it hitting the ground.

And when the boy came at her again she begged him to stop. She told him she was wrong, and she was sorry, and she loved him. His smile flickered sharply as he wiped blood from his cheek, and turned away. The girl pushed herself up, and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and whispered words that only the two of them would ever hear. And then she pulled the steel string around his throat.


I examined my hands, fingers now curled around the bars of the cell, and admired the scars.

The girl across the aisle, the one with the red headband, leaned forward. “Wow,” she said. “That must have been a really pretty song.”

That’s the end of Installment/Segment/Chapter 2!

Thoughts? Rotten tomatoes? Questions? Can you tell what this week’s theme was? Regardless, leave a comment! Say something! Even if it’s “this blows” or “Hi!” Because as Myra put it so well “comments salvage my neuroses”.


Showers and Half Spaces – Installment One

A few months back, Myra “Awesomesauce” McEntire and I were talking short stories. I had written one called “The World on Fire” (if you search my posts you’ll find it), and I gave Myra her own prompt. Little did I know she’d turn it into a book!!

Then the other day, we were chatting over fruit tea and cupcakes (that’s how we roll) and the topic came up again. We wanted to play, and we wanted to share some of our writing, our voice. We started talking about where we get our ideas (hence the title of this post), and decided to have some fun.

Here’s the thing: THE NEAR WITCH doesn’t release until next summer (yes it’s a long time please don’t ask me if I wish it would come out sooner <–I get asked that a lot, and it is giving me a slight eye twitch), and I’d love nothing more than to just post bits of NW here, but I CANNOT. It would not make my publisher very happy 😦

SO, we’re doing a series of short stories. We both start with the same prompt, and go from there, and all the stories are contained within a very specific framework (we and we’ll tell you more about that next week).

If anyone can GUESS what the framework, or the inspiration is, I WILL GIVE YOU A PRIZE (and I won’t forget, just like I didn’t forget about the cookies, those will be in the Wednesday vlog, I promise!)…

We have completely different styles, and brains, so this should be interesting!!


The jail was all metal and murmurs and dirty light.

The bars divided the hall into a thousand gray strips of space, each just big enough for a hand, a jaw, a dark curl or a sharp glare.

It smells different than I thought it would. Not that I spent much time thinking about this place, about ending up here. I spent weeks convincing myself to kill Tal, wrote the whole story before I ever picked up the knife, dreamt about what I would say, what he would say, the way the bed would look without him calling me back to it, asking for the end. Demanding the end. I gave it to him.

The cell slid shut behind me. Too quiet.

I expected it to slam with the heavy clang of metal on metal the way you hear in movies, but there was only the hush of the a snug fit, and then the scraping sound of the bolts. And I was trapped again.

I tipped my forehead against the bars and closed my eyes. I was beginning to forget what freedom felt like. A sudden jarring sound and the violent shake of the bars against my face sent me backward into the cell.

“No leaning on the bars,” growled a guard with a few days worth of five o’clock shadow and a paunch. That was the one thing about Tal—at least he was nice to look at. I rubbed my cheek and thought about the kind of story I’d write this guard into. It would involve pain, that much I knew.

“Don’t mind Bob,” said a voice above me. I looked up to find two very long legs dangling over the top bunk.

“Bob?” I asked, the laugh stuck in my throat. “People still name their children Bob?”

A face appeared above the legs, large blue eyes, blonde curls and rose-red cheeks. If she had been wearing a dress she would have made a perfect goldilocks. In a prison jumper, she looked terrifying.

“His name’s not really Bob,” said Goldilocks (if Goldilocks had murdered the three bears for their porridge and been sentenced to a decade in federal prison). “He won’t tell us him name, so we just call him Bob. When he started working here, we liked to make up names.” She pouted. “But Bob doesn’t have a sense of humor.”

And then she hopped down from the bunk, and landed on the concrete without displacing a single curl. She was nearly a foot taller than me, and I was no short girl. Who the hell was she?

“Well,” she said, appraising me, “What brings you to my less-than-lovely abode?”

I cocked an eyebrow.

“Theft, arson, kidnapping, assault, or murder?” When she said murder, she smiled a little, her blue eyes glistening.

I cleared my throat. “Self defense.”

Goldilocks let out a sudden, perfect laugh and shook her head. “Please,” she said, leaning back against the bunks. “None of that. You’re in my home now, and I don’t like liars.” She kept smiling at me. With teeth.

Across the aisle a set of hands curled around the bars, and a girl who looked too young to be here came forward, a red headband pinning back dark hair. The red stood out like a candle in the gray prison, and I wondered for a moment how she was allowed to wear it, before she looked right at me.

“Do tell,” she said, in a voice just above whisper. Still it cut through the din of the aisle, between the bars and reached my ears without losing so much as the edge of a syllable.

Bob was nowhere to be seen, so I leaned against the bars and stared up at the stained concrete ceiling, trying not to think of how the stains got there.

“It started with a story.”

That’s the end of the first snippet. Next Monday Installment Two will go up, and that story will (hopefully) pick up where this one leaves off!

Make sure to go read what Myra did with the exact same prompt, and comment below with any thoughts, questions and/or guesses.

*bites nails*