The College

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[The soldiers were tense, waiting for something to happen – like it was a matter of when, not if. For our part, we did our best to steer clear of them, avoiding the main square, where a group of protesters] had donned pointed witch’s hats. It seemed to be the symbol of their movement, their protest to keep the magic college open.

Sickening, I thought, curling my lip in disgust.

Lydia noticed my reaction, and said weakly, “They’re just doing what they think is best.”

“Best?” I scoffed. “Lydia, surely you’ve seen the news. You know why that horrible ‘college’ was closed down.” I spat the word. Some college.

“Not really,” said Lydia. “Tell me.”

I gaped at her. “You haven’t heard? They were conducting Satanic rituals. They kidnapped children. Sacrificed them. All in the name of Satan.”

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It’s Happening!

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Now that I’m going into full self-publishing mode, I think I’ll post a bit more about my processes here. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be seeing my cover reveals and blurbs and such, but here I’ll talk about it all. If it can help another author, I’ll be pleased. If it can’t help another author, well, I’m new at this – give me a break!

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One More Hand

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[Harry shuffled the deck of cards and pushed it across the table. “Deal,” he said. “One more hand,” I agreed. It was a way to pass the time. More importantly, it was a way to avoid talking about] the fact that I would soon have to kill Harry. We knew how I would do it – a quick shot to the temple with my Glock. But we hadn’t discussed it any further than that. Like when to do it. We were just gonna table that for later I guess.

Harry took two cards. I took one. I had a good hand, but I didn’t expect to win. Harry was the better of us at cards. It’s why we had left it up to a coin toss, and he had called heads when it was tails. Tough luck. But the guys on the radio had explained it to us blatantly, no wishful thinking: they wouldn’t reach us within four weeks.

We had enough food for one person for two weeks.

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Cara’s Love

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[It began as a practical joke. But by the end of the day, nobody was laughing. It seemed innocent enough at first, because Jerry and I have a history of playing practical jokes on one another. He was the one to start the whole thing, if I’m not mistaken. He] got hold of the Ouija board. Found or bought or stolen, I don’t know. But he showed me the board and insisted we try it out at the cemetery. He insisted on doing it at midnight too, so we could barely see the damn board at all.

Jerry believed in ghosts. I never did. Or didn’t use to. So that night I moved the little pointer around, and when Jerry asked who the ghost was I spelled out C-A-R-A, the name on a tombstone we had passed on our way into the cemetery, though Jerry didn’t know that. Then I kept spelling out that he was cute, and that Cara liked him, and did he like Cara? And he totally bought the whole thing, even blushed. And when we were leaving and I pointed out the tombstone with Cara on it, he was good and freaked out. I didn’t tell him yet it had been me pranking him. I had thought I would take it a little further first, maybe leave him some ghostly love letters or something. But before I could, it was the next day, and Jerry came to school freaked out.

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She Believed in Me

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[She believed in me in a way no one else ever has and no one else ever will, and I betrayed her. The worst part is she doesn’t know. She still thinks] her first husband died of natural causes. She still thinks her second husband died at the hands of a robber. She doesn’t know her closest friend poisoned Gerald’s drink, and that the same close friend shot Robert through the heart with his own pistol, snatched from the mantel, the man too shocked to move or duck. She doesn’t know I relished her coming to me in her grief, clutching me, holding me, weeping into my shoulder. If only I could tell her why I did it: because I love her more than they could.

It’s okay. She’ll turn to me again once I’m done with Matthew.

Something of Magic

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[The music drifted out of the club like a vibrating pulse. I could feel it in my bones. The night was alive with possibility. I could even imagine myself] going back home. Coming through the portal had felt like this, like it was pounding through my bones and veins and head. But that had been months ago, and there was no magic in this land to construct a portal from.

Jake waved a hand in front of my eyes, jerking me back to the present. “Earth to Hollander. Come on, we’re going in.”

I pasted a smile on my face, though I didn’t feel it. Jake was the closest thing I had to a friend in this realm, and though he didn’t know the truth of where I was from, he tolerated any behaviors from me that were odd to him, and from him I learned a lot of cultural details I could pick up so I didn’t come off so… well, weird. It was getting difficult as my translation magic wore off though. I was studying English as diligently as I could, but overall I was barely able to keep up. But I was keeping up.

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Over the Distance Giveaway

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It’s my first giveaway! I’m looking for beta readers for my sci-fi/horror short story Over the Distance! In return, all readers who give feedback will be entered into a drawing to win a paperback copy of one of my favorite sci-fi-with-a-dash-of-horror books.

To enter, join the Facebook group Sawicki’s Beta Readers, read the posted story Over the Distance, and leave a comment with some feedback. I’m looking for things I can improve on in the story, but all feedback is appreciated! Once you leave feedback, you’ll be entered into the drawing, and one winner will be announced December 9th. Free story and chance to get free book: win-win.

For Riches

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[Until that day, fear had been an idea, a concept. Now it was real: a feeling I would carry inside me for the rest of my life. The day began innocently enough, with] a clear sky and a good wind for flying. I spread my wings and lifted myself into the wide blue open. As I scanned the ground below me, I found a royal caravan, right in the middle of a field. I marveled at my luck when I razed the group and found a princess among it. For all the gold and jewels a dragon could amass, a young princess was the greatest treasure of all.

Perhaps the fact that she gave no protest to being carried off in my jaws should have hinted at what was to come. But I had thought she was in shock or unconscious. Whatever it was I thought, she made no sound or movement over the miles to my den, and when I dragged her deep into the cave and released her among my treasures, she showed no fear. She stood, brushed off her dress, smoothed her hair, and spoke in my own tongue.

“So easily tricked. I thank you for the riches.”

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