“She’s this tall,” Tooq held his brown hand up to his chin, “and she laughs like a goat when you tickle her. And… and she’s all I have left.”
When the bomb detonated beneath the fruit seller’s stand during Tuesday morning’s market, Tooq and his sister had been two stalls down, hunkered in a corner of the wall of the now defunct tannery, nibbling cast-off laffa bread. The concussion had blown the palm-thatch roofs of both the spice and the filigree brass stands over top of the children. Tooq, a boy of ten, and Fenta, a dazzling eyed child of seven, screamed for each other but their hearing had temporarily vaporized with the explosion and though they tried, they could not link hands, touch each other’s fingers.
• Orbital Odyssey
• Small Change
• Final Grades
Each of these deserves another swing with the writer’s bat. But, well, NOT.
The King’s cook thrashed about the kitchen seeking inspiration, a sign, a clue of any kind that might, by the end of the day, afford him his life. An emissary from a distant province had arrived the evening past. Notice had filtered down that the King required a fitting banquet.
The oaken backdoor’s hinges creaked and Fain the meat monger peaked through, his long mottled beard waving with the breeze.
“Shut da fookin’ door, won’cha? What are ya, a comely neighbor come to beg a cup?” Simon crossed his thick arms and cocked a hip. Before Fain could respond he continued, “How fresh?”
Dorothy plucked another plastic bottle from the dumpster behind the Classic Town Mall. The bottle still held three quarters of its brown-colored fluid and her cheap trigger-handled claw slipped and let it drop. Damn kids can’t finish what they buy. She tried again and this time used two hands to pinch it and releasing it to fall to the pavement.
“What do you think, Rosie?” she whispered to no one. “I should water the bushes with this tooth-rot?” She didn’t wait for a reply. Using rubber gloves, she picked up the bottle and waddled over to the concrete barrier where she dumped the Coke into the dirt on the far side. With the bottled stuffed into a plastic bag, she returned to her collecting.
Nearly twenty years ago I decided to create a collaborative writing website where many authors could team together to contribute to writing fan fiction (or whatever).
I called it WizardEarth and I built a whole database and web application to support it. Today, as I dug around The Wayback Machine looking for TomBeingTom’s old page, I happened to enter some of my old domain names and there were these images I’d manufactured, all those years ago, to start the authoring process.
To begin, I’d created four foundational stories. Each was a Harry Potter sequel. I never really got anywhere with it. But I still own the domain WizardEarth.com (empty now).
Jamie Potter and the Ghost of St. Marks
(Jamie was Harry & Jennie’s daughter. Yeah, I figured that those two would get married right after I’d read the 2nd book.)
Lawrence Potter and the Eye of Mistraal.
(Larry was their son.)
Lady Josephine Potter and the Drakar Revolt of 1863.
(Josephine was Harry’s grandmother on his father’s side.)
Sir Leopold Potter and the Starfire Treasure Defense.
(Leopold was Harry’s grandfather on his father’s side.)
Thorson fingered his winnings. Within just an hour he’d accumulated three times his stake. His competitors shuffled anxiously around him. They can wait, I’m in command, now. He readjusted his rolled-up sleeves of his green plaid shirt, stretched out the kinks in his neck and placed one knee in the dirt beside the mostly-round string circle.
Clink went his steely against an outer milky. The targeted white marble pinged off the heavier steel ball-bearing and shot out of the circle. Thorson’s steely king remained within the arena. He collected the white marble and settled back in.
Bay the Hunting Hounds
The desert sand cooled as the night wore on. Imkep struggled behind his brother, Teth, who frequently paused to support him. The wound in the younger’s calf, a slice delivered by a poorly shot arrow from a guard’s bow, seeped little now that a crust had formed. In the east the waking eye of the sun began to lighten the sky as the two brothers climbed atop the next dune.
“I cannot see the mountains,” Imkep said. “Do we still follow Khonsu? His white face is lost to me.”