Here, have some books – by Free Range Oyster & Vignettes by ‘nother Mike, Mary Catelli and Luke

First of all, happy mothers day to all the mothers around here.  Where good mothering happens, THERE’S civilization.


Here, have some books – by Free Range Oyster

Alma Boykin

Clawing Back from Chaos

A Cat Among Dragons Book 9

Love. War. Insanity. Just another year in Rada Ni Drako’s worlds.

Rada survived the Battle of the Tunnels in the Harz Mountain campaign, but at what cost? Even love may not be enough to save her soul. And if it is, will she ever heal enough to face the danger slowly building around her?

A patient enemy has been working far behind the scenes, stalking the halls of power, nudging England’s future toward chaos. An enemy that has Rada and her god-children in its cross-hairs.

The Dragon has retired. Can the Cat fight alone? Or will the chaos outside overwhelm even Rada as she Claws Back from Chaos?

Mary Catelli

Winter’s Curse

Who but a fool would linger after Zavrien laid his curse? Ill luck can kill – and all the more in Zavrien’s enchanted, endless winter, haunted with ice giants and frost fairies. When the soldier Gareth is cursed, the young wizard Perriel learns how dangerous lingering can be. But she can hold out a sliver of hope for breaking the curse – if it doesn’t break them first.

The Witch-Child and the Scarlet Fleet

Trapped in a pirate port… Caught between pirates who would force him to use wizardry in their aid, and a king who would force him to spy, Alik will need every scrap of wits and wizardry to forge his own path.

Treachery And Spells

Two novellas of magic and adventure… Caught between pirates who would force him to use wizardry in their aid, and a king who would force him to spy, Alik will need every scrap of wits and wizardry to forge his own path. A curse of ill luck leaves Perriel and Gareth trapped in an endless winter, with only the faintest hope of breaking free.

Journeys And Wizardry

Drunken mermaids – a clan cursed to become crows – a magic book that even the Nameless Necromancer fears – and more in this reprint collection of thirteen stories and a poem.

David Burkhead

Oruk Means Hard Work

Life among the orcs is hard. So difficult and ubiquitous is brutal labor among them that “Veth oruk”/”Work is” is their most common greeting. When Elara, princess of the elves is captured and enslaved by them that is the life she must learn to live, a life of hard, unremitting labor with no hope of rescue.

Work is.

Vignettes by ‘nother Mike, Mary Catelli and Luke

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it!  For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is:

41 thoughts on “Here, have some books – by Free Range Oyster & Vignettes by ‘nother Mike, Mary Catelli and Luke

  1. Cecil sat in the dining car enjoying his meal. It had been a splurge but worth it. He had cleaned up a bit, had that good shave. Still quite a few other passengers were giving him a wary eye. Something about his manner demanded they be cautious around him.

  2. The hunter crouched down to examine the trail closely. Narrowed eyes, and much shifting his view point to get a clearer idea of his quarries path. Something, alerted him and he straightened up. Pausing, he crouched slowly and retreated into the under bush. Blending in to the forest ghostly silent.

  3. Slowly, fingers trembling, I scrolled down, looking for the new prompt. Past the Mothers’ Day greeting, past the book promos, and into the vignette description. Previous prompts had been challenging, even difficult, but something told me that this new one would be worst of all. Best be careful, even cautious.

    Fifty words or I’m not carrying a wallaby’s load.

    1. Eat more prunes. That might help with that wallaby you’re carrying around.

    2. I just… I… *sigh* Fine, I admit it, I’m laughing… A lot… XD

  4. As Troll attacked the Rogue called Demon, the Rogue’s aura pained him and Troll weakened. The Demon was almost as strong as Troll. As Troll broke away, he thought I should have been more cautious.

  5. Cautious? You’d be cautious, too, if you had access to one of the keys to the Gates of Hell.

  6. Oscar expected trick questions, but all had been routine stuff. Sure some needed significant detail, but nothing was tricky. Until the last question: “You are given the instruction: Experimentally determine the boiling point of glyceryl trinitrate. What procedure do you follow?”

    Getting over the boggle, he wrote his answer: “Evacuation.”

  7. Erling signaled halt. Dray swore silently, wondering what set the cautious old man off this time.

    “Now what?” Dray said.

    “It’s quiet.”

    “So the dragon’s escaped.”

    “We’ve not seen him fly and the woods are silent.”


    “He’s hunting us.” Erling nocked an arrow. After a moment, Dray did likewise.

    1. Oooooooh, DRAGONS :3
      I’m a sucker for Dragons. And this looks REALLY interesting. That’s the sad thing about Vignettes, It’s not likely that you’ll ever see the whole story…
      (Unless there’s some place where these are from full story’s and I could go there and read them… eh? eh? )

  8. Lisa gripped her father’s arm and scrooched in closer. Her cautious gaze never left my face. I smiled. “Hi Lisa. Do you remember me? I took you and Robert out in the boat to see the whales.” Her face brightened, she loosened her grip, and I held out my hand.

    1. I didn’t even know “scrooched” was a word until I looked it up. It’s a word I like, regardless. And something about your paragraph makes me want to know what happens next.

  9. A plant of purple leaves, thickly spreading out from a center, shuddered. He felt no breeze. Had it been an animal too small or too shy to be seen? Or had the plant moved itself? Impossible to tell in such a place what acts were rash, and which ones cautious.

  10. Rosie snorted. “It’s not so simple as that.”
    “Of course not,” said Meg. “You can work out how long to cook the egg on how high a mountain. We did so millennia ago. This is random.”
    Be cautious, Halley told herself. They do know more than you do.

  11. It was no more cautious to wait than to flee, what with the techs who would keep him captive and a slave, and the boy who might do anything with his powers, seeming oblivious to all the world.
    The door seemed to ripple. Cal drew a deep breath, and ran.

  12. One had to be cautious, of course. Rumors spoke a lot, of this, that, or the other thing, and things that might make the fortune of a poor huntsman or farmer most of all. (Even more than of the things that might make a fairy tale, which this also was.)

  13. It had worked! The electromagnetic trap had snapped shut and proudly announced its prey was held inside its snare. Hardy came out from his hiding place underneath the console and slowly approached the device with its blaring siren, flashing yellow lights, and glowing sign announcing its held prey: Caut Ion!

    1. And you are carp-free??? You lucky guy, you! Unless, of course, she who launches carp is biding her time. Yes, biding her time until you think you are safe.

  14. He blearily looked in the mirror, noting that the bags under his eyes had bags. Then he cautioned himself that he needed to be fully awake before reviewing “Clawing Back from Chaos,” the cause of those bags.

  15. Schroedinger approached the box, hand trembling in trepidation. It had been exactly the half-life of the particle; was the cat alive or dead? Both? Neither? Prudence whispered in his ear, telling him to be cautious. Were there things Man Was Not Meant to Know? His fingers touched the latch.

  16. Motherhood. It is often called a blessed state. Thurber would write of marriage as blue birds and whatever. But motherhood, until recently was a blessed state. Yes, if a blessed state is one where you are inclined to pull out your hair … strand by strand. Be cautious of blessings.

  17. “Well ain’t that a caution,” the old lady said.
    The cylinder had landed the night before, and one end was unscrewing itself, like pickles escaping from the jar.
    “Should we go say hello?” the mailman asked.
    “You go say hey if you want to,” young Jennie said. “If they didn’t mean ill they would of sent a message sayin’ they was comin'”

  18. I was easily a match for any one, or even two or three of these humans. Beyond, that, however, things got trickier, especially if any of them were experienced, or trained by someone who had experience, in fighting my kind. In dealing with humans, a cautious dragon was a wise dragon.

  19. “Come on, you silly creature.” Yanchi slapped at her flank with his broad-brimmed clerical hat, prodded her with his heels.
    The little jenny refused to budge, just brayed defiance. Another man might have grabbed a stick and beaten her, but Yanchi had too Franciscan a spirituality to take out his frustration on a dumb animal.

  20. “Do you know what the proper watchword of runeworking is, Frater?” said Andric, still poring over his book.

    “Money?” Carilos let his scroll roll shut, dumped it in the pile by his chair and reached for the tankard at the corner of his desk. “Silver-infused ink isn’t cheap, even when one buys by the gallon.”

    “Caution,” said Andric, half amused and half exasperated. “A thaumaturge working directly with the aether can let his dream-self do half the work, once he’s practiced enough. Runes have no dream self. What is written is what is done. What is not written is not done. And if what is written in one part of the work contradicts what is written in another … well, you saw what happened last month.”

    “And for which the Bishop’s order to reproduce the same effect deliberately has got us stuck in a vault for weeks on end.” Carilos swigged the last of his tankard and threw it over his shoulder. “If caution is your watchword, Deacon, you could have stood to use it back then. Not all of us share your love of dusty dark chambers.”

    “But some of you apparently have a soft spot for dusky dark chambermaids,” said Andric acidly. Carilos flushed.

  21. “Welcome to Course M342, Monster Hunting. I’m Professor Zinj.”

    “There are only two things to remember when hunting monsters. First, remember the Boy Scout Motto, ‘Be Prepared.” Second, be prudent. Rash actions will get you or your party killed, or worse.

    “Sir, what’s worse than being killed?”

    “Becoming another monster.”

      1. Sorry Orvan. While minotaurs are certainly frightening creatures, werecows aren’t all that terrifying of monsters.

  22. Littlemite peaked out from behind the chair leg. She wasn’t afraid, why would she be? The Bigs may be enormous, but the Kin were quick and hard to catch. Besides, she was pretty sure she was managing the Don’t-See-Me charm correctly. Kinda sure anyway. Those pastries that the Big had set out to cool were sorely tempting. Best not take chances though. Mama would be extra disgruntled if she came back with her wings smashed because some Big mistook her for a bug and stomped on her… again!

  23. “Staying downwind was right,” said the huntress, pulling her arrow from the carcass, “but the wolf could still hear you. I could, and I wasn’t close.” She gave the young woman a sympathetic look. “It’s best to be cautious with beasts like these,” she said. “Now, go get your pelt.”

  24. Bailey wedged herself deeper into the janitor’s closet, sliced her finger with a boxcutter, and scribbled on the floor in her own blood. Outside, the screams and giggles of her classmates, driven to insanity by whiplashed magic, grew louder. She could help them — maybe — but only if she was careful.

  25. One step down. Pause for half a second; scamper back three stones. Wait. Listen for the clicking/ticking/scraping/rushing of water.
    Silence. Step to the next stone in order. Repeat.
    Starting with twelve companions, she was now alone. The foolhardy had been first, followed by strongest and wisest.
    Small and timid; she lived.

  26. He sat down, quietly, gently, as if he were afraid that someone would tell him he didn’t belong there. Then, slowly, ever so slowly, he reached out, first one hand, and then the other, and cautiously, for the first time since he had buried his sweet Melissa, he began to play, the chords slowly building into sweet, melodious notes of happier times.

  27. “The two chemists specialize in florochemistry of nitrites, and actinide azides. The mechanical engineer writes papers on ‘breakaway oxidation phenomena in certain fission reactors’. The sociologist is cult suicides, the psychologist used to profile serial killers, and the historian is fourteenth century Europe. You’re trying to hire me. I’m out.”

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