Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo


Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com.  One book per author per week. Amazon links only.-SAH*




“The first thing you do, you kill the sheriff.” This is a bit of writers’ lore that generally works, and JD Bell displays it done well. SELAI hits the ground running and doesn’t slow down. It’s not really an urban fantasy because the setting is more varied and would better be described as modern fantasy. Bell establishes his characters quickly, and leaves puzzles like fishhooks in the story. This locks the reader in as one tries to make sense of novel and totally alien concepts. Bell escapes the trap of simply reheating or rehashing the common tropes in favor of striking out in new directions and draws the reader into a world where our quotidian world is only a small part of the universe. For an action-packed read in which the rules are not, at first, clearly perceived, this book is ground-breaking.

James K Burk, author of “Taking Hope” and “The Twelve.”

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

o 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: Order

22 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

  1. “First thing we want is to restore Order to this continent”, the Ancient said.

    One of the modern Ultras asked “What sort of Order?”.

    The Ancient replied “One that you and most of the inhabitants of this continent would like”.

    The modern Ultra said “You mean restore the US”?

    “Yes, the Rogue Ultras destroyed the US and we want to help you to restore the US”.

  2. “Right, in place, everyone. Archers, toe your marks, knights, steady your mounts. You men-at-arms, get in line, hold your weapons ready!”

    “Sergeant, the enemy has formed over the hill! Are our troops ready?”

    “Setting up now, your Lordship.

    “Right then, lads. It’s about to drop; I WILL HAVE BATTLE ORDER!”

  3. “Sir, you’ve been staring at the menu for ten minutes, and the line behind you is out the door. Either make up your mind and order right now, or leave. Manager? Hell, I’ll do you one better: I’m the owner.”

  4. An elf in priestly robes stood over the workers as they moved the stone away, out of its careful place in the order.
    “What do you think you’re doing?” Bredon roared, looming over them. The workers flinched. One or two tried to shift back. The others stood, miserably staring at the earth.
    The priest gave him a haughty glance. “Who are you to give me commands?” he said.
    “The Dragon-Slayer,” said Bredon. “Or are you the dragon’s lackey, to foil the plans for its death?”
    “I won’t have any of this insolence. You who manhandle the church’s — ”
    Bredon hit him.

    1. I’m sure he’ll put everything back the way he found it when he’s done, no worse for wear.

  5. Alba looked up from her book. The eerie light from the pages cast strange lights and shadows over her face.
    “Don’t do it.”
    Minette fought down her flinch.
    “Sorceresses do not take orders. That makes them useless both on the road and in battle. Do not learn this in battle.”

  6. “Dogs take orders but not llamas. That’s just how it is. You cannot tell that llama what to do in the sheepfold. Either she will guard the flock because she identifies with it, or she won’t, but there’s no training involved that can change that fact.”

    “Okay. I’m hoping!”

  7. Gwydion’s eyebrows went up. “So that’s the invisibility ring?”
    Rosa nodded.
    “And yet we all saw you flying about, visible as visible could be.”
    “I think it’s which finger I put the ring on,” she said. “Order doesn’t seem to matter. Except some fingers do nothing.”
    “Nothing visible,” said Gwydion.

      1. Not half so scary as when she tried the invisibility and discovered that flying made people shoot at her.

  8. Alara looked at the figures. A pattern. There had to be a pattern to this. Had they generated it at random, it would not have worked to their purposes, because it would have lacked intent.
    “No intent,” muttered Alara, “no results.”
    The labyrinthine figure seemed to dance before her eyes.

  9. I found a chair on the upper Terrace of Conversations, the one for spacers, and verified my order with the kitchen. I was the first one for lunch, and had the place to myself for a moment. One does not sit on the Terrace for solitude, though, and I was glad when the elevator opened again.

  10. Not mine, but perfect for this challenge:

    Waitress: “Ordering. Three pork combos, extra bacon on the side, two chili cheese samplers, a basket of liver and onion rings, a catch of the day, and a steak cut in the shape of a trout. You got all that, honey?”

    Kronk: “Three oinkers wearing pants, plate of hot air, basket of Grandma’s breakfast and change the bull to a gill, got it.”

    From Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove, perhaps their best animated movie, certainly their funniest.

  11. I
    “’Law and order?’” the Garrett the Wolf repeated, looking at the man with the star pinned to his chest who had just walked through the saloon doors. “We don’t like law and order round these parts, stranger.”

    “Then you Wolves can clear out,” the Marshal drawled, his cold, blue eyes flicking from Garrett to the three other Wolves in human shape at the bar, to the Wolf who had shifted and was holding a hapless victim in a cross between a paw and a hand with jagged talons, muzzle peeled back from slavering fangs.

    Garrett signals his top enforce, Cy, who remained in human form and let his hand creep nearer the Colt at his side.

    “Lawman, I’m gonna enjoy cracking your bones. Might even bury a few for later.” Garrett’s own lips peeled back from teeth that had suddenly become shredding fangs, projected forward by an extending muzzle. His skin pebbled as follicles sprouted fur. There was a ripping as clothes tore and a massive, upright Wolf lunged.

    The Marshal didn’t so much as flinch, but though his cold eyes were steady, a smile touched the corners of his mouth. He moved almost faster than the eye could follow, sweeping out a machete with a silvered edge that parted Garrett’s hand from his wrist, even as a Colt appeared in the Marshal’s other hand and thundered with silver bullets. The last thing Garretts saw before the machete split his skull was the other shifted Wolf’s bullet-riddled body crash against the wall.

    Order had come to the Frontier.


    Cy and the other remaining Wolves ducked into their den, bloodied and exhausted. They snarled at each other and nursed their wounds, which was all they could seem to do. It was infuriating. The upright sheep that called themselves humans were busy building, prospering, and conducting trade and business without any fear or dues paid to the predators. It was like the territory they had known had changed overnight, leaving them at a loss.

    “Damn Marshal, and damn his law and order!” Cy smashed his fist against a wall, then winced and touched his wounded side, still slow to heal after being grazed by a silver bullet.

    “How do we get rid of that Marshal and get things back to the way they’re supposed to be?” another Wolf demanded, stepping into Cy’s space. Cy felt the challenge coming and braced himself for a fight. “I quarter of the Pack’s either dead or in the calaboose!”

    “Then it’s a good thing I’m here,” a cool, precise feminine voice drew all their attention to a corner where a sleek she-Wolf in human form had sat, heretofore unnoticed, observing them.

    “Who the hell are you, bitch? And what are-” the would be challenger rounded on her and started forward, but Cy raised hand to stop him.

    “I know her: that’s Sydney, Garrett’s little sister.”

    “That’s right,” she said, crossing her legs.

    “I don’t care who you are,” the other Wolf pushed past Cy and advanced on her. “The order here’s the order of the Pack and bitches shut their mouths when the alphas are talking.”

    “I couldn’t agree more,” Sydney said, and a small but powerful revolver slid from her sleeve into her hand. She fired and the Wolf doubled over in pain, but didn’t fall until Sydney rose and smashed her chair over his head. “So shut up. And quit whining. It’s not a silver slug: you’ll heal.”

    “Why are you here?” Cy locked eyes with her with his attempt at an alpha’s glare to cow her into throat-baring submission. Sydney merely raised a fine brow and smiled a false, professional smile, but her own eyes were just as much a predator’s.

    “The Marshal wants law and order? That’s a hunting ground I know. So I’m here to solve your problem.”

    “How are you going to do that?” Cy muttered, looking down at the slender young she-Wolf.

    “Because I’ve graduated law school,” Sydney said, and her artificial smile now glistened with a hint of fangs. “And I’m going to make the Marshal wish for the old days when order came from the fastest gun. Now we have a lot to talk about. Like suppression of evidence, biased witnesses, improper search and seizure, the unconstitutionality of Wolf-profiling, excessive force…”

    There were downsides to Law and Order.

    1. I dashed off Part !, but the pessimist in me quickly suggested Part II as the natural consequence.

      1. Not immediately. People take at least a minute or two to get that stupid, or for the stupid people to invade the area where they don’t know what the problems are.

  12. (50 words)

    Answering a barking canine, my 2nd lieutenant ordered, “Shoot the bastard!”
    “Sir, it’s just a dog. Specifically, a female dachshund.”
    “Okay, then shoot the bitch!”
    “Might I point out those men with frizzled beards may object?”
    His situational awareness expanded outward to include those silently surrounding us.
    “Good point, specialist.” (<- This is how you can tell it's fiction)

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