The Oyster Returns to Promo Town & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

The Oyster Returns to Promo Town

G. Scott Huggins

A Doctor to Dragons

Everyone says it was better in the Good Old Days. Before the Dark Lord covered the land in His Second Darkness.

As far as I can tell, it wasn’t that much better. Even then, everyone cheered the heroes who rode unicorns into combat against dragons, but no one ever remembered who treated the unicorns’ phosphine burns afterward. Of course, that was when dragons were something to be killed. Today I have to save one. Know what fewmets are? No? Then make a sacrifice of thanks right now to whatever gods you worship, because today I have to figure a way to get them flowing back out of the Dark Lord’s favorite dragon. Yeah, from the other end. And that’s just my most illustrious client. I’ve got orcs and trolls who might eat me and dark elf barons who might sue me if their bloodhawks and chimeras don’t pull through. And that doesn’t even consider the possibility that the old bag with the basilisk might show up.

Mary Catelli

Through A Mirror, Darkly

What lies behind a reflection?

Powers have filled the world with both heroes and villains. Helen, despite her own powers, had acquired the name Sanddollar but stayed out of the fights.

When the enigmatic chess masters create a mirrored world reflecting her own home and the world about it, it’s not so easy to escape. All the more in that the people of that world are a dark reflection of all those she knows.

RD Meyer

Akeldama

Seth Gendrickson has worked for the Catholic Church’s Order of Mount Sion since his initial encounter with a vampire during seminary years ago. Finally working his way up to the rank of Hunter, Seth’s first assignment is to investigate a spike in vampire activity in Kansas, an area previously quiet. The region between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River had been a kind of neutral zone for the two main factions – The Assembly of Cairo and Los Muertos. The Assembly hails from Europe, and although few in numbers, is the older of the sects and far more powerful. Los Muertos saw opportunity in the New World, so they established themselves in the Americas and began to multiply. They are young, aggressive, and passionate.

And they’re moving east.

Seth is under orders to figure out what’s going on before an all out vampire civil war brings knowledge of such supernatural creatures into the open and causes societal panic, a situation the Church is keen to avoid. During his mission, Seth captures one of the enemy and interrogates it, but he soon finds that the movement east is less an invasion than it is an influx of refugees fleeing a greater threat. Something is hunting the vampires out west, something more terrifying than the risk of conflict. Seth tracks this threat from California to Japan and across Europe to discover the heart of a conspiracy that stretches back 2,000 years and threatens the future of the world.

Anthology

The Fantastic Flying Saucer Stories

Lights in the sky. Strange visitors. Clashes between the FBI and a mysterious group of men clad in black.
For as far back as history goes, there has been one unanswered question that just won’t seem to go away: What are those unidentifiable flying objects in the sky? And furthermore, who are they?

With stories spanning the past, present and future, this anthology focuses on this question that has made Science-Fiction great for the better part of a century. Enclosed in this book are stories of survival, as children under the care of a church group rebel against authorities in hopes of reuniting with their family, as well as tales of friendship, as a hunting instructor finds his strange visitors to be not quite so fearsome as the town thinks they might be. Tales of simple curiosity are found here too, as a young couple set up recording equipment in hopes of finding answers, and learn that just maybe this abduction business isn’t for everyone.

Jon M. Jefferson

The Black Medallion

In an age of steam, the world is divided by the power of aether and the shapers who can pull power from crystals. Little magics define the course of lives for those who can use them and those who can not.

Tisdan Thinkledor, a thief from lowtown has never thought of the politics or games played by those in power. His days have been planned from the next purse he can cut to the next mark to be tagged. A life led from station to station along the path of the trains that connect the lives within the city.

Sometimes, it is the little things that change the world around you. A matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, can change the future.

Henry Vogel

The Recognition Run

Recognition Book 1

Jeanine is on the run from someone very powerful. She doesn’t know who wants her dead, or why. She only knows they have already killed her family, and if they catch her, she’s next.

Drake’s family was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, he drifts from spaceport to spaceport, searching for cargo and running from the grief he can never escape. When Jeanine barrels into Drake’s life, he must push aside his grief and run with her.

But time is not their ally. When they cannot run from their enemies, Jeanine’s and Drake’s only hope is to run toward those enemies. Their only hope is to make The Recognition Run.

 

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

 

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: rotten

48 responses to “The Oyster Returns to Promo Town & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. Most knew she’d really lost because she was a rotten candidate who’d run a rotten campaign, and the excuses she was making for the loss weren’t doing her any favors. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  2. paladin3001

    Harry, opened the file folder and started flipping through the pages. Graft, bribes, coverups the usual corruption he had to deal with. He checked the locations and they all seemed to be in Copenhagen. He grinned mischievously looking at his partner. Who stopped him with a raised hand.
    “Don’t you even think about quoting the Bard.”

  3. Usually I read these promos and consider them for a while. This time? First book got a sale before I reached the end of the post. As if my stack of stuff wasn’t big enough (I’m still catching up from LC 2015, I think… yes, ox slow.)

  4. She walked into the decorous family room and stopped, sniffing. A pungent, acrid aroma violently assaulted her nostrils. A look of extreme disgust on her face, she rushed into the bedroom where her husband was preparing for church by knotting his tie. “Something’s rotten in the staid ol’ den, Mark!”

  5. Blame paladin3001 for the inspiration:

    “Did you set any mouse traps in the den?” asked Ken.
    “A couple, yes.” replied Mark.
    “Have you checked them of late? There’s a rather foul odor from that room.”
    “Are you telling me there’s something rotten in…”
    “Yes, in Mark’s den. Now go tend to those traps, Mr. Wigglestaff.”

  6. The dirigible had some new patches and new ropes, looking a bit uneven. Then, they had replaced everything that showed any sign of rot.
    I looked to the captain. He would lead the foreguard to secure the cabin before the princess entered, and set someone to bring up the rearguard.

  7. Edmund smiled a little. “Do you always test strangers to see if their souls are rotten?”
    Dostin shrugged. “Better now than when I put my weight on the plank.”
    Edmund drew his sword. “Better to fight than have it pounce from behind.”
    Asteria laughed. “Prudent.”
    Haldric opened the door. The reek of rotten plants flooded in.

  8. The trailer was hot and the hazmat suit made it worse. Mike helped slide the plastic between the corpse and the damp carpet. At least the victim was intact. Mostly.

    “Careful: He’s about two weeks dead,” Hank said.

    They lifted. Mike’s respirator slipped, the rotten stench charging up his nostrils.

  9. Remember when Sarah had the “Almost the End of the World” prompt?

    You may — or may not — have recognized some of the vignettes along the way since then. But you won’t see more, at least as vignettes, because the first draft is done.

    Still needs revision. And a title. And a cover. But –draft is done.

  10. The young dwarf servant didn’t need to look up the reading in the “I Ching.” 18, “Work on What Has Been Spoilt.” She replaced the volume in the top drawer of her little dresser. Her karma, though for what she could not fathom.
    She went into the hall, then followed the shriek into the gaily colored room. She walked in. The baby was sitting against the wall, drooling. He looked her in the eye, he was at eye level. And he smiled his evil smile. The parents would not be back for another five hours.
    He was spoilt rotten.

  11. They had learned their three chords, they had waving their instruments about, their drummer had a third tempo and could now play fast, faster and Keith Moon. They even learned “God Save the Queen.” It remained to name the band and to choose a leader. “You’re it, Johnny,” said Sid.

  12. Just then an errant breeze wafted the smell of the corpse briefly over Detective Cook. He’d been to some ripe crime scenes before, but this was different. Not the smell of rot or corruption, those were bad but natural, expected. This was something out of his experience, and it turned his stomach.
    Revolted, he poured the rest of his coffee on the ground. “Little green men, eh?” he muttered. “If I get my hands on one of the bastards, he’ll never make it to the station alive, that’s for damn sure.”

  13. The surgeon examined and treated each of the wounded. He reported to Captain Mark, “They’ll mostly be okay. Minor wounds to the Swede, the Kraut, the Micks and Frenchy. The Welshman will recover use of the hand in a few months, but that stomach wound the Dane took looks septic.”

  14. “. . . So that’s what it looks like. The tree fell on their car. Fortunately only minor injuries. If they’d been in the other lane the trunk would have hit them.”

    “We’ll need to check all the trees along here then. See if any of the others are rotten to the core.”

  15. Quantum Lurker

    Slade sighed contentedly as he micro-soldered the last connection of his Quantum Entangled Communication Device. He had finally decided what to send as the first message over quantum entanglement: the same one that his hero, Samuel F. B Morse sent over the telegraph hundreds of years ago. Slade’s intent was good, but his memory wasn’t as he sent:
    What hath God rotten?

  16. Olie looked around the deserted ballroom, at the spilled beer bottles, the overturned ups, the toppled chairs and tables. He looked at the deserted bandstand, and at the stacked dozen pizza boxes. “Ya know, Sven, I t’ink you were right, the Lutefisk and Limburger pizzas were not a good idea.

  17. Old RPM Daddy

    The healer was a kind old woman with a crinkled smile. Everyone in the village raved over her uncanny magic; she could even keep wounds from suppurating! The young woman was grateful for the healer’s skill, but noted her “magic” was mostly boiled water, clean bandages, lye soap, and cobwebs.

    • Terry Sanders

      Hey, if it works…

    • Honey also helps.

      • Old RPM Daddy

        I’d seen honey mentioned in a couple of places as a wound dressing, but what is it supposed to do?

        • Honey has anti-bacterial properties.

        • I believe it has some antibiotic properties that aid in healing.

        • Honey helps wounds the same way it and sugar preserve fruit: it locks up water, so bacteria can’t multiply. It also contains (or reacts with the wound to create) hydrogen peroxide, and depending on the original flower may have other anti-bacterial chemicals.

      • Anyone have a good comparison between the action of honey and something like dried goldenseal? (Yeah, I know – native to Northwestern US but various other similar plants contain berberine like the dried fruit of Berberis vulgaris.)

        Also, if we’re in a medieval situation, shouldn’t that wound treatment potentially also include alcohol/vinegar, myrrh, and/or yarrow?

    • Old RPM Daddy

      Well, that sure was a good bit of schooling! Thanks, everybody!

  18. Just for those Huns who do not read the Correiablog:

    [SNIP]
    For the collaboration of Monster Hunter Guardian, Sarah Hoyt is working on the rough draft. I just went over the first 20k words this week. It is going to be awesome. I do not know the release date on that one yet.
    [SNIP]
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2017/07/10/update-post-grunge-with-wrong-spine-and-a-bunch-of-other-stuff/

  19. Professor Jensen was the head linguist at world renown Aarhus University. So of course he had to come up with his own artificial language. Building on the works of Rev Edward Foster and Melvil Dewey was sheer genius. The result became popularly known as the language, Ro 10 in Denmark.

  20. Professor Badness

    She poked the automaton, it’s leathery skin flexing under her touch. The glass eyes stared ahead.
    As a vicious guardian, it was not very impressive.
    “What’s wrong with it?” Getting over his initial panic, Tom climbed up its arm, settling on the massive shoulder.
    Pressing his muzzle against one brass ear, he sniffed.
    “By the smell, his brains have long since rotted.”

  21. Minor quibble – “A Doctor to Dragons” does sound interesting and I like what I’ve read of the excerpt so far, but at $2.99, I generally expect more than a 51-page story. Am I just particularly cheap or is that a justified reaction?

    Thanks in advance …

    • It’s an amazon-inflicted issue. Because they penalize if you put something up for less than 2.99, pretty much short stories or cheap novels are 2.99.
      You ARE a bit cheap, because honestly I think good novels are more 2.99 to 3.99 and you should only put it at 2.99 if you are very new (no one knows you) or it’s the first of a series, and you want to bait people in.
      BUT you are also right that 2.99 is a lot for a short story. OTOH you can get 70% of 2.99 or 30% of 99c. You see the writers’ pricing incentives, right?

      • OOooo. Do I see some good old fashioned haggling here? Haven’t seen that since the bazaar in downtown Abu Dhabi nearly 20 yeas ago.

      • Thanks for the response. I hadn’t looked at the deal from the author’s point of view though I vague remember when that changed, now that I think about it. I agree, the incentive is for the author to price no lower than $2.99.

        For the record, I’ll do 3.99 for a full 250+ page novel without flinching – and did with the entire Dyce series for example. I’ll even do $4.99 and up occasionally – but generally I’ve read and liked one or more previous books in the series (and/or got sucked in with an initial freebie book). I try to limit my ebook habits to avoid books over 4.99 – I read too fast and could spend quite a bit of money that way. (Yes, I should probably flip to the kindle unlimited but have not to date – I actually like the thought of authors getting 70% of the paycheck.)

        Hm …. you also have a publishing imprint, right? What if you (or one of more of your minions/family) gathered 5-8 various promo’d short stories (under 60 pages each say) into a single book with you or yours listed as editor? Now for that, I suspect folks would be willing to pay in the 3.99 range, allowing 70% of that price to split between you and the authors …

  22. Squinting against the intense light from the overhead lamp, he plucked the long grey hairs from her chin, and rubbed ointment into a patch of flaking skin. He ignored the imminent transition of crone into rotten corpse. Instead, he caressed her soft fuzzy cheeks fondly, and turned off the light.