Saturday, December 26, 2015


Jeremy Covello was getting annoyed.  His client, Alexandra, had had an audition a few hours ago.  Normally the shy girl would check in with him immediately afterwards so they could go over how she felt about it and what she thought she could have done better.  Alexandra was a good kid, but he didn't know how she'd ever make it in Hollywood.  Realistically he wouldn't have bothered representing her except that her daddy was a big shot producer and director.  Jeremy figured it was a small price to pay to get a bit more of the insider scoop around her father's movies.

He glanced out the window in time to see her car pulling up.  Why didn't she just phone him like normal?  He sighed.  Whatever.  She was here now.  Might as well get this over with so he could go back to his more lucrative clients.

Expecting her usual timid knock at his door, Jeremy was taken aback by the brazen young woman who barged into his office ahead of his secretary.  She still looked like Alexandra, at least as far as he could tell under the professionally applied makeup (something Alexandra never wore) and in the beautifully fitting dress (again, something she never wore).  Her hair, normally curly, was ramrod straight, suiting her beautifully.  She walked with the easy confidence that demanded attention, rather than the mousy demeanor he was used to.  She stood in front of his desk for a moment, hands on her hips. 

"A...Alexandra.  I was expecting a call."  He managed to recover himself quickly enough.  "How did the audition go?"

"Well, the part was beneath me.  But I understand how these things work.  I have to start somewhere, right?" 

Even her words took him aback.  "Right."

"I expect you'll be getting a call at any moment, telling you I killed it."

Ring!  Jeremy's eyes widened as he slowly reached for the receiver.  "Hello?  Yes.  That's fantastic news!  I'll tell her right away!"  He slowly replaced the receiver in the cradle.  "How did you know?"

"I told you, I killed it.  But that's not why I'm here today."

"It's not?"

"No, I think we need to do something more about my branding."


"For one thing, I don't think 'Alexandra' has the right ring to it.  And as much as using daddy's name comes with it's own set of advantages, I don't think I'll be needing those.  I'm going to build my star power on my own merit."

"What..." He was very thankful to already be sitting.  "What were you thinking?"

"Something along the lines of 'Lexy' has a better ring to it.  You can help me with a better-sounding last name since that won't go so well with 'Lawrence.'"

Her phone beeped. She looked down at the incoming text.  "Oh, that's daddy wanting to meet me for lunch.  I simply have to go tell him the good news.  Now be a dear and try to find me a better part than the bookstore clerk who only has one line?"  And she breezed out of Jeremy's office, acting for all the world like she already was a world-famous movie star.

Monday, November 30, 2015

No Quote for December

There's no quote for December.  Like in June, you have free reign to write a story inspired by any of the previous quotes. So if you missed one, want to write for one of the five that have no stories (March-August 2009), needed to finish an extended story, or just want to revisit one you liked, now's your chance!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scourge of the Seas

“Sir, we’re running out of wood!”  Antoine, the shipwright of the Liberator, gestured to the three pieces of wood he carried under his arm.  “This is all we have left.”

Captain Erol’s eyes widened.  “All?

Antoine shrugged.  “We could always dismantle the lifeboats.” 

The captain shook his head sadly.  “No Antoine, I think we’re going to need those intact.”

“But sir, they were nailed together, too.”

Of course they were.  Everything on the ship was made with iron.  It was the only way the humans had been able to combat the fae.  Iron stopped their magic from working, which was why every free human was loaded with the stuff.  And when the humans had decided to pursue the fae across the sea to the islands, their ships had been heavily reinforced with iron, just like their strongholds back on land. 

And it had worked, too.  The fleet had launched, and pushed the fae back, until something in the water started to eat all the iron.  The Liberator had sprung a leak two days back.  Erol had thought nothing of it, sending Antoine to go and patch the leak. But then more and more leaks were discovered.  They started appearing faster than the shipwright could fix them.  And then the crew realized that the leaks were springing up in places that had been fixed already.  Whatever was causing this seemed to be eating the iron holding the ship together.

Erol closed his eyes in dismay, his hand trying to massage away the headache pounding at his temple.  “I don’t see what other choice we have.”

"What if we took the iron out?" Antoine asked thoughtfully.  He put the timbers down gently then rummaged in the pouch on his belt.  After a moment he triumphantly held up a piece of twine.  “What if we lashed them together instead?”

Erol considered, mentally calculating how long it would take.  And how long they had before the ship started sinking in earnest.  “If we did this, do you think we could get to land?”

“Sure,” the shipwright said without hesitation.  But then his features paled.  “But we wouldn’t be able to take any iron with us.”

“What?”  Erol's face reddened.  “You would have us go down in history as the ones who lost Fae Striker?  And Dragon Piercer?”

“And all the others."  Antoine's face was grim.  "The way I see it, we’ll be losing them either way.  It’s just a matter of whether or not we die, too.”

Dismayed, Erol realized Antoine was right.  Iron was the most precious resource they had, being the only thing to keep the fae at bay.  Each piece, whether tool, armor, or weapon, had its detailed history recorded.  Its owners were able to recite that history from memory.  Being the ship that was scouring the seas for the fae, Liberator was not only carrying tons of iron, but was made of its own fair share.  That made Liberator itself one of those precious pieces.  And she was going to be lost on Erol’s watch.

But they would all grieve later if they survived.  Erol turned to the shipwright.  “Alright, hurry and make us that raft.  I'll round up the crew and get them to leave every piece of iron here.  It'll buy us some time to get away from whatever this is.  Hopefully we'll be able to make it to land to warn the others."

Antoine released the breath he'd been unconsciously holding.  "Thank you, sir."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


“Sir?  What are you doing here?”

“Why isn’t it obvious, Tad (not Ted)?”  Mr. Decker perched onto a bar stool.  “I am in need of a stiff drink.”

Tad (not Ted) gestured at the puddle of water on the floor.  “But sir, shouldn’t you be somewhere dry?”

“That is entirely the problem, Tad (not Ted). I daresay I am entirely too dry.”  Mr. Decker pointed at the bottle of Macallan whiskey.  “I intend to remedy that problem presently.”

Tad (not Ted) brought a shot glass up to the bar.  “But sir, shouldn’t you be on one of the lifeboats?”

“Plenty of time for that, my boy,” Mr. Decker said, waving away Tad (not Ted)’s protest.  “Now I’ll tell you what.  I intend to engage in some record breaking drinking.  And you may watch so long as every time I set my glass down empty there is a full one ready to take its place.”

Shaking his head, Tad (not Ted) grabbed the bottle Mr. Decker was still pointing at and poured the first glass.  “Mrs. Decker may not approve of your record breaking.”

“My self-styled ‘better half’ disembarked long before this present mess.” Mr. Decker gestured at the water, which was now up to Tad (not Ted)’s ankles.  “She has decided a trip to Haiti was preferable to spending another moment in my company.”  Mr. Decker slammed the dark liquid back.  As requested, Tad (not Ted) had another glass at the ready for him. 

“Perhaps some time apart will do you both good?”

“I believe you’re wrong there, Tad (not Ted).  I daresay Mildred is going to divorce me.  She’ll go after at least half of my fortune.”

“You can’t know that, sir.”

Mr. Decker slammed back another drink.  “You haven’t known that woman as long as I have, Tad (not Ted).”  He picked up the drink that was waiting for him on the bar and slammed that back, too.  “Knowing her I’ll be lucky if she only goes after half.”

Mr. Decker slammed back the fourth drink.  “Perhaps I need to find some other way out of this mess.  One that can avoid me being financially ruined.” 

Tad (not Ted) already had the fifth shot poured.  “Well sir, what if she were caught in some unsavoury company?”

Mr. Decker snorted as he downed the shot in his hand.  “My dear Tad (not Ted), clearly you do not know my Millie.  She would never associate near anyone ‘unsavoury.’  No, the only way I could easily get her to leave is if I no longer had any money.”

Tad (not Ted) laughed, pouring a sixth shot while Mr. Decker grabbed the fifth.  “I know how to get you started with that, sir.  Just buy this sinking vessel!”

Mr. Decker paused before the drink made it up to his lips.  “Why I do believe you’re onto something Tad (not Ted).  If I could buy a few bad investments like this, maybe I can convince her I’m financially ruined!”

Tad (not Ted) frowned.  “I don’t think-”

He put the drink down hurriedly.  “Now you mustn’t tell anyone at all about this, Tad (not Ted).  It’ll be our little secret.”  He jumped to his feet, ignoring the water that was now up to his knees as he dug through his pocket for his wallet.  Throwing down some bills, he turned to leave, then turned back and downed the final shot.

“Of course not, sir.”  Grabbing the bill, Tad (not Ted) turned to stow the whiskey back into its place on the shelf.  “Mrs. Decker does seem rather clever though, sir.  Do you really think this will work?”

“Of course it will, Tad (not Ted).  I daresay, the only way she’ll be able to stop me is if she learns voodoo while she’s in Haiti!”  Mr. Decker turned and started wading once again towards the doorway.  “Now come, Tad (not Ted).  Let’s get off this boat before we sink with my fortunes.”

Saturday, October 31, 2015

November Quote

"While you do what, go down with the ship?" -Cortana, Pillar of Autumn, Halo: Combat Evolved

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Death of Ayvlin

My horse screamed as it slammed into the tree trunk.  That’s what I get for galloping through the forest in the middle of the night I thought as we struck.  Then I was floating above the mangled heap that was my body, my horse and the tree.  The trunk was snapped in half, with shards of wood embedded through both me and the poor horse.  There were about a dozen armed men milling about, trying to decide what to do.  Finally the Count galloped back on his stallion, a slight frown marring his features.  He dropped the reigns from his left hand and used it to gracefully swing off his horse, counterbalancing with his legs to make up for his missing right limb.  He regarded my body coldly for a moment before barking orders.  My body was moved into a make-shift stretcher, which the count directed everyone to take back to his mansion.  Before turning to follow them, he looked directly at my floating self, giving me a cold smile and a nod before swinging back into his saddle and galloping off.

“Tis a fine mess you’ve made, daughter,” a voice wafted up from behind me, distracting me from the Count.  I turned and found a raven sitting in a tree above me.  It had pale blue eyes; eyes that were the splitting image of my own.  It was always so disconcerting to see those eyes staring out of a feathered face.  “This tree was young, and not yet ready to die.”

My hands were on my hips.  “At least that tree has peace. What of me?”

The bird dropped from the branch, transforming into a beautiful raven-haired woman.  I always found it disconcerting when she did that, mainly because in human form she looked so much like me; it was odd to see yourself transforming from a bird.  Whenever I saw her, my mind always made note of the little differences between us.  She was slightly shorter than me, but seemed much more imposing.  Her hair was somehow blacker than my own.  And her eyes were hardened from the millennia she had seen.  “What of you?”

“What do you call this?” I held up my hand, looking at her through it.  “Am I to be damned to some purgatory for killing the poor, defenceless tree?”

My hand flew to my mouth as the words hung in the air between us.   “I am sorry, mother.” I knelt before her.  “I deserve to be damned.  I have failed you and our people.”

She touched my cheek, drawing my gaze upwards to meet her smile.  “Nay, daughter, you are not damned.  I brought you here for a quick word.  Tis all.”

The mournful shriek of a hawk directed our gaze skyward.  Tam O’Shanter was circling, frantically searching the ground.  “AYVLIN!” he screamed before winging towards the mansion.

“He must be mighty vexed to lose you thus,” my mother smiled.  “Did you know, daughter, that his gift is to see spirits?”

“The Count saw me.  What am I if not a spirit?”

“What are you?”  She drew closer and raised her hand, running it gently down my cheek.  “Oh my daughter.  Would that I had seen how special you are sooner.”

“Special?  I am but a lowly half breed!  You yourself have told me this my whole life!  What possibly could have changed?” 

“This.”  She held out her hand, palm upwards, cradling a small house sparrow.  “Do you know what this is?”

I studied the little bird, which was shaking in her hand.  Its colouring was dull and brown, much like you would expect.  But its feathers had a slight blue shine to it. “I assume some sort of magical bird?”

Her laughter was a raven’s caw.  “No daughter.  Tis a piece of your mortal self.”  She threw the bird into the air where it flew upwards and vanished.  “It seems that when you die, you lose only a piece of your mortal self, leaving the Tuatha Dé to grow and strengthen.”

My mouth hung open at this pronouncement.  Here, after all the ridicule I had suffered growing up, was the answer to all my prayers.  “So if I die a few more times, I will no longer be human?”

“Yes.”  She frowned.  “And that’s why you must remain alive at all costs.”

“But mother, you know I -”

She waved away my protest.  “Tis your human blood that we need now.”

I scrunched closed my eyes in an attempt to avoid spilling any of the tears I knew were there.  “You still want me to complete my mission.”

“Of course, Ayvlin.  Only you can kill the demon.  But if your humanity dies, then like us you will be unable to touch him.”

A tear escaped.  All this time, I could have burned the mortal blight from my soul and been fully accepted by my mother’s people.  More importantly, I could have been whole.  There was nothing stopping me from killing my humanity and becoming Tuatha Dé as I had always wanted.  But what would be the point?  Doing so now would mean the death of everything I held dear.

I drew a deep, shuddering breath and opened my eyes to face her.  “Very well, mother.  I will do what you ask.”


Ayvlin drew a deep breath and gasped as pain wracked her entire body.  Her nose inhaled the sweet smell of incense wafting from nearby.  A stout little woman covered in blood was sitting next to her, bandage in hand.  Ayvlin recognized the woman as one of the Count’s nurses.

“She’ll live,” the nurse said over her shoulder, prompting several faces to materialize around Ayvlin, who couldn’t identify them.  The world was swimming back out of view.

“Ayvlin,” she heard one of the faces say to her.  “Thank God, we thought you were dead!”

“Now boys, she needs to rest,” the nurse ushered them back.  “That tree knocked the daylights out of her.  It’s a miracle she’s awake at all!  Come and visit her later!”

Ayvlin heard their footsteps withdraw as she sank back into unconsciousness, dreading what she would have to do when she woke back up.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Never shall you see them...

"Observation is important, the unobserved remains uncertain."

Never shall you see them, never shall you know.
They dance in the meadows, leave angels in the snow.
Blink and you shall miss her, as she capers to and fro
Never shall you see them, never shall you know

"Since the beginning of man we have sought to order and understand out world. And until today this process could not be completed because of the nature of the universe. The smallest of particles cannot be seen without affecting them, awareness of their state changes it, but makes it known."

Never shall you see them, the twinkle in an eye,
A reflection seen apon the lake, a flickered sunbeam from the sky
Deep below the ocean, when man will never pry
Never shall you see them, the twinkle in the eye

"There is a school of thought that holds that human thought and conciseness is a quantum state that is like the smallest of particles, uncertain and in flux. A mechanism that allow us to understand and contemplate a cat that is neither alive or dead - with all of the implicit ramifications, they have endeavoured to stop our final push to harness probability this way, for irrational reasons"

Never shall you see them, they run among the stars
Once they were so far away, the moon, venus and Mars!
Running in the darkness, they loose their place to hide
Never shall you see them, they run among the stars

"As we embark on this final frontier, we shall observe first hand the minute detail of uncertain events, we shall stop the long dice game with the universe and finally know everything, for certain. God help us."

Never shall you see them, the light and fire of mind
It blazes though the cosmos and catalogues all time
And in the rush for knowledge, we leave it all behind
Never shall you see them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Quote

"Their greatest asset is their greatest curse. They can never be seen." -The Doctor, Blink

Just One More Level

"Hello!" I called out as I walked into the house.  All I got was a vague grunt in reply.  I followed the sounds of laser gun battles to my girlfriend's room.  Sure enough, she was on her computer playing Star Guilds, the hot new MMORPG.  Her eyes never left the screen as I walked in.

"How's it going?" I asked, taking in the stack of dirty dishes beside her.  I was pretty sure the bottom few plates had been there last time I'd visited. 

I walked up and put my arms around her, giving her a kiss on the cheek.  This also afforded me the best view of her progress.  "You ready to go to the show?"

"Just one more level," she replied.  It was the only thing I'd heard from her over the last two weeks.  My eyes darted to her experience meter.  She had just leveled up; it would easily be several hours before she reached level 89.

I checked my watch.  "If we leave now, we'll still be able to make it before the movie starts."

No reaction beyond the now familiar furious clicking of mouse and keyboard. 

Coming to a decision, I sadly gave her one more kiss and let her go.  "Good bye, Jen."

All I got was another grunt as I walked out the door.

Monday, August 31, 2015

September Quote

"I fear the man of a single book." -Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, August 23, 2015

She Shot Me!

“Wait here,” Daniel said, jumping out of their 4x4.  Drew watched his brother stalk up to the camp.  Daniel’s hand moved to the knife at his belt, a kind of nervous gesture Drew had seen since they’d moved to the camp permanently thanks to the zombies in town.

Somehow Daniel had known before almost everyone else had that zombies were appearing in Thunder Bay.  Daniel had picked Drew up from school that day, their truck loaded with gear and supplies.  He’d already alerted their friends about what was happening; if he hadn’t, most of them wouldn’t have made it out of the city alive.

It was his forethought that brought them out to this camp further down the road.  A girl Drew knew from school named Amber had had the same idea, making it out to her uncle’s camp when the zombies had appeared; her uncle had already been out here.  Drew wasn’t sure what had happened to the rest of her family, but he was guessing they hadn’t made it.  That’s why Daniel brought them here today: he wanted to ask the pair of them to move to their camp instead.  Everyone would be a lot safer in a group.  Plus then they could pool their resources together, giving everyone a better shot at survival.

Drew knew he was incredibly lucky to have his older brother looking out for him and the rest of their group.  Daniel had always been that ‘take charge’ sort of person, even before their parents had died.  If anyone would see them through a zombie apocalypse alive, it was definitely him.

Drew’s thoughts were interrupted by a gun shot.  He looked at the camp and saw his older brother staggering towards the truck, his knee a bloody ruin.  Drew jumped out of the truck and ran to help him.

“That bitch shot me!”

Daniel’s words made Drew pause.  He didn’t know Amber all that well.  But she’d struck him as an art nerd, always having her camera in hand.  Sure, the whole zombie thing had made everyone a bit crazy.  But he couldn’t believe she would shoot someone.  Especially someone who had come with an offer of help.

Before he knew it, he was heading towards the camp.

“Do you want to get yourself killed?” Daniel’s voice was a hiss.  “We can come back and get her once we take care of my knee!”

“Just a second,” Drew said.  He was at the door to the camp now.  He took a deep breath, then called out “I’m coming in, don’t shoot!”

He poked his head around the corner, expecting to see a gun levelled at his face.  Instead he saw Amber.  Tears streamed down her face.  She was sitting in a pool of blood.  Her uncle was down on the floor.  He had a knife protruding from his chest.  Daniel’s knife.  The shotgun was seemingly forgotten beside them.

“Don’t make her shoot you, too, son.”

Drew crouched beside the dying man.  “What happened?”

It was Amber who answered him.  “Your brother said we were coming with him.  Uncle declined.”
Her uncle gave a laugh which came out as more of a wheeze.  “He was going to take Amber anyway.”

Drew rocked back on his heels.  “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.” 


A little while later, Drew made his way back to the truck.  He tossed his brother’s knife lightly onto the dashboard.  “Here’s your knife back.”

“Did you get her?”

“What do you think?”

Drew backed the truck out of the camp’s driveway, knowing nothing would ever be the same.

Friday, July 31, 2015

August Quote

 "His dreams of flying and breathing fire like his idol will never be realized." - Oasis Snapjaw