Another Tiny Promo By Freerange Oyster and Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

Another Tiny Promo By Freerange Oyster (Write more, guys)

Stephanie Osborn

A Very UnCONventional Christmas

Division One

It’s Christmas in NYC, but for Alpha Line it’s anything but a Silent Night: The Agency has a mole, leaking classified information to toy manufacturers and film producers alike, and the Agents are in danger of losing their anonymity. To complicate matters, the Prime Minister of Lambda Andromedae III, complete with entourage, has arrived to negotiate a new trade agreement with Earth. Worse, the more paranoid Division One field agents look at Omega’s recent history with the Agency and suspect they have identified the mole!

<p.Simultaneously, the discovery of a grim countdown in the most incongruous place possible – the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center – augers the threat of horrific events on Christmas Eve itself.

Meanwhile, Omega is struggling to adjust to her very first Christmas in the Agency, made more difficult by the exposure of parts of her past long hidden from her conscious mind.

Will Omega be able to refute the accusations, or be punished for crimes she did not commit? Will the internal conspiracy expose the Agency? Or will efforts to thwart it see Echo – and Fox – caught up in the accusations as well? What is the meaning of the countdown to Christmas Eve?

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: wonderful.

66 thoughts on “Another Tiny Promo By Freerange Oyster and Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. Michael raised his sword and swung it down viciously. It bounced off the hide of the dark demon. “Wonderful” he thought grimly. This was going to be harder then he expected. Leaping high above his opponent he landed on it’s back and proceeded to grapple and choke it.

  2. “Hey we found a DJ for the party!”
    “Yes. Unless cloned.”
    “Then we’d have more than one Derfel.”
    “What the blue blazes are you on about?!”
    “The DJ, silly. We only one, as said.”
    “I repeat: What the blue blazes are you on about?”
    “DJ Derfel. One Derfel.”

    [Yes, there is a DJ Derfel. What I want to know is why the blazes are blue.]

  3. “They’ve never done that before.” Bill watched in amazement as the new inmate led the guards through the crowded stockade.

    “Ye have not, because ye ask not,” Deacon said.

    Two Andersonville raiders were in custody. Calls of “Here’s one” rang out as the other prisoners realized what was going on.

    1. “Wonderful. Just frickin’ wonderful.”

      “If you’re going to blame me, don’t. I’m not the one who misread the prompt. I didn’t even come up with the Andersonville bit.”

      “Big surprise there. Some muse you are.”

      “Hey, sport: It would help if you actually wrote something. And put down that finger.”

      1. It’s based on a real incident at Camp Sumter. What ended the reign of the Andersonville Raiders was that a new POW was robbed practically within moments of setting foot within the stockade. Being green, he reported it to a guard. Due to the conditions, seasoned prisoners assumed the guards didn’t care, and didn’t bother to report it. When he reported it, guards poured into the stockade and quickly apprehended the robber, and when the prisoners realized what was happening, they identified the others to the guards.

        That’s stuck in my mind since the afternoon I read that account. Any discussion of Camp Sumter is one of the more contentious issues of the Civil War, and I won’t go there. But when I thought the prompt was “ask,” that immediately came to mind because the reign of the Andersonville Raiders ended because one prisoner asked for help.

        BTW, that came from a book about Camp Sumter than I purchased over thirty years ago when I visited the site. Can provide a cite, if necessary.

  4. “It’s wonderful to fly” shouted the young Titan as he increased his speed and altitude.

    “You’ll think wonderful if you collide with an airliner” replied Sarge. “You’re heading into one of the major airliner corridors.”

    [Tip Of The Hat to Mary’s comment concerning the “Law and Superheroes” book and laws concerning superhero flight.] 😉

  5. The young man paused writing and looked at the clock. The hands hadn’t moved an inch since the last time he had checked. He flipped the pages of the notes that he had taken and glanced up at his mentor and thought that he had fallen into something wonderfully strange.

  6. I had seen Carolus do many wonderful things with mechanica back at the city, but the shipwreck so overwhelmed me that I could only wait, my mind blank, while he worked. I could not imagine what he could do that would help us. Or anything else that would help. We had been far enough off course with the witch-wind that I did not think anyone would find us. Especially not here, not in this wood.

  7. The maid was already in the courtyard, frantically taking down cloths. Rose set her shoulders and imitated her: snatching them down with no heed for folding or neatness, and jamming them into the basket. And to think the girls thought she had such a wonderful world ahead of her. The wind was already stinging at them when they scrambled back in to a house dark as night.

  8. A humming, tuneless, came from behind the tree. Halley stood for a moment. It would almost be wonderful if there were something ordinary there. At least, something that would have been ordinary in her life only two days ago.
    The humming went on. She should either go on, or go back. It was not noon yet, but she, of course, would want to be there in advance.
    She went on.

  9. Monster Hunter Seige was at the bookstore. Monster Hunter Seige was read. For the sake of completeness.

    1. Interesting, the bookstore let it loose more than a week early. Not due for rollout until August first.
      Of course with a much anticipated addition to a popular series there is always a temptation to jump the gun.

      1. Baen has allowed “releasing before the release date” for a long time now.

        The only Baen books that you can’t get early are the e-versions.

        If a book store has the dead-tree in stock, Baen doesn’t care if the book store puts it on the shelf before the release date and I suspect that most brick-and-mortar stores know that. 😉

        1. I never really care for the “grand release” stuff, unless it’s an opportunity to meet the author and get my book signed. As a book addict, I just want my fix! One of the few addictions that are actually beneficial.

  10. When he turned his head, his neck touched her forehead as she snuggled into his lap. She was trained against accidental touch, and yet… his skin whispered safety, a calm against the storm around them, the danger and the fear and the echoes of the screaming in her own mind. She sank into touch, clinging to him.

    Heels clicked by on the tile floor, and she saw through his eyes as a captain stopped before them. “Why isn’t that one in the tank with the other prisoners?”

    Someone else, unimportant, called, “He’s been holding her like a kid with his blankie all day.” The captain’s eyes narrowed at that.

    Iven cleared his throat. “She’s not the woobie, sir. I am.” He held out her ID card.

    The captain took it, and she could feel the shock ripple from him through the room as the holo blazed in four-color warning. “How did one of those end up in a riot? Nevermind. Does her embassy know?”

    “No, sir. She’s not on the active registry.” He held her tighter. “And from what she can tell me, she was led there by a guide who disappeared on her.”

    “So the riot was a setup. Wonderful.” The captain performed the migraine salute, pinching the bridge of his nose with head bowed. “What’s she know that they were trying to hide her murder in a pile of corpses?”

  11. The hissing of the snakes came from the lab doors, the weight of the creatures bowing out the metal.
    From the left came moaning and shuffling; never a good sound in a clandestine research laboratory. Flames flickered to the right, quickly heating the hallway.
    Our Sergeant took in our scuffed armor and depleted ammo.
    “Well, this is just wonderful!”

  12. Lawrence froze, listening. Slipping through the woods he approached, hearing the band more clearly. Light, melodious, a steady polka beat. He made out the sound of the orchestra and was that … accordions? He noticed the surrounding soap bubbles, floating effervescently, and the awful truth hit him. “Wunnerful,” he muttered.

      1. On seeing it again I realize I blew it entirely. It should be the story of a young North Dakota farm boy stumbling into a faerie ring and learning the secret rhythm that rules the world.

          1. You don’t think for a moment that They would have let Fritz Leiber put the actual musical phrase in his story? Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-TAH-Tee is an obvious sleight of ear.

  13. Forces had been building in the area. The battle is starting tomorrow. Colonel Smith’s weapon request had gone unheeded. “Good news!” yelled the quartermaster, “The weapons have arrived.” The colonel responded “Issue them right away.” The quartermaster went on- “Ammunition arrives in 48 hours.” “Wonderful, just wonderful” snorted the colonel.

  14. I tiptoed through the back door and across the kitchen floor. Mother was relaxing on the window seat, her back pressed against the storm glass. Little brother stared up into her eyes and listened carefully as she explained the full meaning of each word in the picture book that rested in her lap. I knew that book very well, and as I trudged up the back stairs with my calculus homework, I envied our little man. His world would light up with the tale of a Kansas girl and her dog. He would not remember the deception behind the curtain.

  15. Whoo Hooo! Another Division One from Stephanie Osborn. The Spouse has informed me that it has been pre-ordered. Yippee!

    1. Book 3, A Very UnCONventional Christmas, is already out in ebook formats, and it comes out this Tuesday 25th in trade paper.

      Book 4, Tour de Force, is due for release in ebook on Oct 11, and trade paper Oct 25, but is available for preorder in trade paper NOW. (Kinda wasn’t expecting Ingram to put it up for preorder so soon, but hey.)

      1. It is just something about where I come from in time and place, I prefer to collect and read dead tree books.

        1. Dead tree books still do it for me, too, but I’ve been Served Notice that The Inbound Physical Book Count Must Decrease, so I mostly gettem on Kindle nowadays.

  16. “Well, I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news,” the mechanic said.
    “Bad news first?”
    “Your water pump is shot, your fuel injectors need detail cleaning, your brakes need replacing, and your spark plugs have nearly disintegrated.”
    “And the good news?”
    “You got it here before you blew your engine completely because of the spark plugs.”
    “Oh, wonderful.”

        1. AND READ THIS AS WELL. At least if you have any sense of romancem humor and adventure in your heart…

            1. Well, I am conflicted with where you have taken it at the end of the last book, but recognize that it is, in fact, quite proper to the story.

              Meanwhile, will there be any more of your lovely Sherlock? Either in the alternate universe from which he was lifted or in that of Sky’s?

              1. There is at least one more Sherlock and Skye book in the pipeline.
                Unfortunately, the series is not performing well for the small publisher it was released through, so it may be necessary to place it and any follow on books independently, and that adds complications galore.

                1. I am sorry to hear that The Displaced Detective series has not preformed well for the publisher. To my mind it has proved to be one of the best, if not the best, non-cannon Holmes.

                    1. This is only the second time I had the least twinge of regret that I do not faceplant (oh, I do like that…snicker), the other having been in relationship to communication with a friend who is teaching in Afghanistan.

        2. Thank goodness they aren’t progressively titled, “Alpher …, Bethe…, and Gamov…”


            1. They’re not mine to give. At the risk of sounding like a socialist, ideas belong to all of humanity, especially as most of them aren’t original anymore. They get passed around like a horrible flu bug that mutates with each new person. On the other hand, how they get combined to produce a new composition does belong to the composer. Kind of like lingual DNA. Those who do the written word well become good authors. Those who do the spoken word well seem to become sales people, religious, or politicians.

  17. The ambassador surveyed the quarters. “I see you have raised the temperature for us. Wonderful! Though it could be a bit warmer. Ah, these flowers — wonderful! Perfect coloration, if terrible smelling. Repainted walls; truly wonderful, second-rate quality so quickly.”
    Lanson suppressed a grimace. This week certainly would be… wonderful.

  18. “Meow”
    It was my morning wakeup call. The sun shining in the window, the birds tweeting outside both failed to rouse me from my warm cocoon. A small cat armed with eight needles in my leg got me violently rolling out of bed.
    Obviously the start of a wonderful day.

  19. He lay on the hospital bed trying to ignore the pain of his burns. He had plans for the family farm. Would any girl look at him now? The tending nurse smiled sweetly, and his heart sang, “‘s wonderful, ‘s marvelous, ‘s awful nice … that you should care for me.”

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