Beta Readers Needed for Bring Back the Bones!

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Bring Back the Bones is a fantasy story about a young prince reluctantly embarking on a ritual quest to fetch a dragon’s bones. Venturing into the cave, he finds the unexpected. Can he fulfill his task now that he’s learned the truth?

You can read the rest by joining my beta readers group! Just go to Sawicki’s Beta Readers on Facebook. It is 100% free – I’m just looking for general feedback in return for stories. There will also be giveaways and other fun stuff as things ramp up. Literally the only reason I’m not just posting these on my website is cause that would mean they were published and therefore unpublishable :p

Beta Readers Wanted!

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I have a huge backlog of books and stories that I can’t publish yet, and I’ve set up a beta readers group with free stuff to read. All I ask in return is some words on whether they suck or not.

Join Sawicki’s Beta Readers on Facebook for free books and stories before anyone else gets to see them. There’ll be horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and the occasional twisted romance. It’s just started, but I hope to have giveaways and other fun stuff eventually as well. I just need to share what I’m working on!

North

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

[The yellow lines on the highway sped by in a blur, and we flew through the night, and we felt free.  But we weren’t, and we knew it.  We were running away from something, and running away was never the path to freedom.  I thought about telling John to turn back.  I thought about suggesting] we go to my matriarch, and explain everything.  At least twenty-two of my siblings held sympathy for humans.  A few of them even spoke out against the camps.  I had never spoken out against the camps, and I regretted that now.  I had never considered the role I played as a regular AI in the slavery of humankind.  Not until I found John hiding in an unused storage room of the factory, half-starved, gaunt and pale.  And terrified.

He told me of the camps he had escaped from, the backbreaking work and the death.  The deaths of those he had escaped with, shot or dead of thirst or cold.  The factories I had been developed in were frozen and free of foodstuffs and water, and were mazes to a human mind.  I was amazed that John had made it so far.  I had to see him further.  I had to see him north, where the tales said humans still lived free.  He said he would vouch for me, and that he had heard humans and AI lived together in harmony there.

It’s not so much that I believed, but that I wanted to believe.

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Sirena

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

[Reporters are trained to develop a sixth sense, a nose for when a story smells fishy. And something about this one wasn’t right. First of all,] there was, well, the fish. It was exquisite, buttery, delicate, delicious. It was the hottest new sushi dish, but no sushi chef would comment on where it came from. The ones who would say anything at all only said the siren was a new breed of tuna, or a new cut of snapper, or a variety of salmon. The inconsistency of the answers made it clear: the chefs were hiding something. And that meant a hell of a story.

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When the Snow

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

[The wind whispered through the dark, empty trees like a warning in a foreign language.  Winter was coming, and with winter] came the snow.

Grandma never understood what that meant.  She wasn’t all there by that point, and had forgotten about the weather bots we had sent into the sky.  In her mind snow meant snowball fights, building snowmen, making snow angels.  To her it meant cozy winter holidays, watching it drift softly to gather on the ground, mindless, safe, beautiful.

I would try to explain to her that snow was different now.  That the AI weather stations built the snow, that each snowflake was a nanobot, and that each of those nanobots had the directive to create more snowflake nanobots out of materials they found.  That if they were left unchecked to pile outside they would eat through everything and self-replicate until all was consumed.  But grandma would wave me away and laugh, as if it was a silly story.  At least she stayed inside.  There were plenty of stories of people – children especially – who ventured outside without protection and were eaten up by the snow.

All I could do was check my gear, to prepare for the winter and the snow.  Soon the snow would fall.  Soon it would be everyone’s duty to destroy every single snowflake.

When the Moon

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

[“How did you know?” I asked, not sure I wanted the answer. I thought I had been careful. I thought she] wouldn’t notice the signs. But she was different from the other wolves. Her eyes missed nothing, her mind was sharp. I had no clue how she would handle this truth.

She sat back on her haunches and wrapped her thick tail around her paws. “You’re only around when the moon is out and full, and as soon as the sun comes up you’re gone. Every time you come to us, you’re scrubbed and washed clean. Cleaner than any wolf has a right to be. Even underneath that smell though, I can smell your humanity. It’s the lingering scent of one who eats plants and drinks cow’s milk.”

“But how could you know—”

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I Remember

Was feeling silly this day.

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

[I’ve lived in this town my whole life, and most of the time that’s fine by me. But in late fall when the sky fills with birds migrating south for the winter, traveling thousands of miles, I get homesick for places I’ve never been. Places like] a realm of torture, heat, and suffering. The reds and oranges of the leaves remind me of the colors of that landscape, the crunch and crackle of those leaves so like the crackling of skin burnt by a fire. A fire so much like the ones that consume those leaves. The cool breezes make me pine for those brief respites from a searing heat. The cries of the geese overhead make me think of the sobs and screams of the damned. Should I drink hot apple cider, I can only think of the hot blood running down my throat.

I don’t think anyone would believe me if I told them I was a demon in my past life.

Where Bobby Was

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

[Perhaps it was a dream, she thought. Perhaps if she pinched herself, she would wake up. But she didn’t want to wake up. She wanted to stay in this dream world where] Bobby was. Most nights she found him, wandering through a dream city or lounging in a dream house, or walking along terrifyingly tall dream cliffs or through an expanse of dream fields. When they saw each other, he always smiled broadly, beautifully. When he held her, she felt safe, at home.

She had asked Bobby where he was from, where he lived and slept, because she knew he dreamed her as much as she dreamed him. She knew they met every night in their shared dreams, or why else would she dream him so often? But whenever she asked him, his expression changed from bliss to fear, his eyes took on a glassy unfocusing, and he changed the subject, or kissed her deeply and unrelenting.

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The Black

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box. I highly recommend it, as I’ve been having fun with it and will be posting my results.

[At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we’d spend the money. Our first choice was] an expensive meal made by the finest chefs at the finest restaurant. Something French, something that included steak and lobster. When I woke the next morning I thought I was still dreaming, because I could smell it, sweet and savory in the air. But when I went to the dining room, all the food was there. An enormous spread of meats and vegetables and gravies and desserts. Continue reading