Hurricane Lamps

Note: I wrote this story for a challenge in a writer’s group. We were given three words to incorporate into a short story. The words? Martian, Hurricane, and Gorgeous.

Hurricane Lamps

He sat and waited, looking at his ticket. One-oh-seven: he was next.

“These chairs aren’t good for my back,” the old man next to him said. “What number are you? I’m one-twenty.”

He held his ticket up for the old man to view. “It didn’t take too long.”

“Bah. I got a metal ball in my hip. You know. From the war?” He shifted his hip and patted his buttock for effect. “Right there. Every time I go to the airport, they get me. Swarm all over me with their damn electric rods like Martians, beeping and clicking and probing. Pain in the rump.”

The younger man leaned back, and the old man leaned toward him as if pulled by string, breathing heavily. The breath wafted across number one-oh-seven, and he pressed his lips together. “Mm-hmm,” he said, nodding. Nodding and looking for an escape. But there was none. Just the horrible, stiff chairs and the waiting that came with them.

“So, filing a claim? Did you get robbed? I got robbed. Last week. Bastards took my Mother’s antique goldware set.” The old man waved some papers. “They broke three windows. Three! Why in hell did they have to break three of my windows?”

The young man shook his head. “That’s too bad.”

“They broke my hurricane lamps, too. We got those as a wedding gift.” The old man frowned and patted his thighs. “My Mazie’s been dead for ten years, God bless her.”

“Wow, yeah. Hurricane lamps. They must have been pretty.”

“Ha. Pretty.” The old man nodded some, and chewed his lip.

In the background, an intercom called number one-oh-seven. As the young man stood to go, the older one grabbed his arm.

“They weren’t pretty, son. They were gorgeous.”

An Interview with Lela Markham

LelaMeet Lela Markham, a writer I know from Authonomy, who will be publishing her fantasy novel soon. I interviewed her about this, and here is what she told me:


Your book, The Willow Branch – Book One of the Daermad Cycle, is coming out in October. This is the first in a series, obviously. How many other books will there be?

Epic fantasy series authors tend toward long-arc storytelling. The Willow Branch started as one really long book that I decided to break into a trilogy, but I ended up with five books drafted and already written material for about half of each.

So, the squishy answer is four books, but probably the series will get longer as I flesh out the later books because I’ve discovered that Daermad (the world where the Willow Branch takes place) is a lot larger than I originally thought. Continue reading

Some People Inherit The Strangest Things

My second book, Watch, is now available on Amazon. Soon, there will be a link here on the sidebar to it, but for now, you can locate it here:


Watch is not a vampire book. I always feel like I need to clarify that in advance because it certainly seems to be about vampires at first. Vampires are all the guy talks aboutWatch - Poster Full… yet that is because Watch is a book about a man who is obsessed with vampires, and the reason for that obsession – and the effect it has had on his family.

So, if you’re looking for a vampire like Dracula or Lestat, you’re out of luck. And if you’re after some sparkly teen idol, you won’t find that here either. What you will find are some real, fucked-up people. That’s the scariest thing about Watch: it could all be true.

Real people are scarier than monsters any day of the week.

That Was Then

She opened the curtains and looked out. No snow.

“No snow, Betty. Too bad, eh? Well. Too bad for everyone else. I guess good for you, though.” There was no reply, and Mary went on. “Good, right? You don’t want snow. You want some breakfast?”

Betty only turned her head.

“Oh, come now. It’s Christmas, right? Christmas! What shall we have? I think I’ll make some eggs, and some bacon. You like eggs. Right?”

Still no response. Mary moved around the bedroom, tucking hair into barrettes, feet into socks, shirt into pants. “These pants. Dammit, Betty. Look at these. I’ll have to change. Something.” Distracted now, wiping the pants, and knowing Betty wouldn’t answer. “I can’t go out like this, can I?” Continue reading