Posts Tagged ‘Anthology’

Ashes & Embers @ Orcs Unlimited Games!

August 23, 2018

 

Hey, everyone! I’m proud and excited to announce that my short story: “Ashes & Embers,” has been published by Orcs Unlimited Games in their P.I. Longtail Anthology! Each story in the collection is original fiction based on characters and concepts from Orcs Unlimited’s Small Wardens Role-Playing Game.

Read an excerpt from “Ashes & Embers” below.


It was a typical Friday afternoon in Sun Place. Bright, warm, and mellow. A soft breeze blowing in from the ports. People lounging in Sun Park and on the beaches. Tourists out shopping and ducking into the bars. The docks busy with endless maritime traffic…and somewhere, trouble was brewing. I didn’t let on, but I could feel it; deep down in my belly like the rumble of a locomotive.

I was restless, sitting with my feet on my desk and the morning paper in my paws. My partner, Tracy, was so bored she’d taken to doing cartwheels across The Office. I tried to ignore her but it was difficult. Even a weather-beaten old rat like me had to admit that she was a cute little squirrel; maybe the cutest in Sun Place. Tracy was quite a partner, too. A bit reckless from time to time, but no doubt the best I’ve ever had.

Saaammm,” she groaned, leaping onto her desk chair with a deftness that both impressed and annoyed me. “Can’t we call it quits for today and go have some fun?”

I folded the paper and glanced over; trying my best to look like a disapproving uncle and probably failing. Tracy smiled, batted her long lashes. Playing me like a fiddle. Making me ignore the rumble in my belly.

“Well…I suppose we could knock off early for the weekend. Maybe go over to the docks and see what the tide brings in.”

Tracy leapt down from her chair. For a moment, I thought she was going to land in my lap and I sprang forward. “Swell!” she said, doing another cartwheel, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Maybe my gut was wrong, after all.

Nope.

Right as I stood, an acorn slid down through the mail drop. Both Tracy and I jerked toward the sound as it hit the floor and rolled to a stop near my feet. Tracy’s smile faded as she looked from the acorn to me. This could only mean one thing. Warden Command had a job for us. I shrugged, then bent down and picked it up.

“Aw, man,” Tracy said, shaking her head. “What timing.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, speaking into the acorn. “Sam Long Tail here. What’s the hubbub, Bub?”

The acorn flashed red, as always. Then an automated voice began to speak:

“Good day, Sam. Good day, Tracy. We have a mission for you both. We’ve received word that a small, traveling carnival has crept into Sun Place this morning. They’re currently setting up in Gaslight Park, presumably to peddle their wares throughout the weekend. The owner-operator of this carnival is a human male named Edwin Embers. He has quite a lengthy record, though mostly for petty crimes. We have reason to suspect that he may be up to no good, and would like you to investigate as soon as possible. Please provide a report once the investigation has concluded. Thank you, and good luck.”

With a weary sigh, I turned and tossed the glowing acorn into a dismantled cast iron sink in the far corner. Warden Command had a hilarious way of making sure their message-acorns weren’t later found by the wrong people; the acorns exploded soon after the message was spoken.

Eyes closed, paws over my ears, I turned to Tracy and waited for the small explosion to pass. The noise didn’t bother me, but the small shockwave sure didn’t help my belly any. When I opened my eyes, Tracy was looking at me with her precious dark eyes. I lowered my paws and grinned.

“The good news, kid, is that we’re going to a carnival…”

To that, Tracy squealed and put on her trusty flight cap.


Longtail P.I. is available through Amazon.com @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GPZTJQ2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534898604&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=long+tail+p.i.&dpPl=1&dpID=51zeXk5EuNL&ref=plSrch

Check out Orcs Unlimited Games @ http://orcsunlimited.com/

 

Epicenter Nominated For Pushcart Prize!

November 8, 2016

me

Hello, everyone!

I just wanted to announce that my short story: “Epicenter,” has been nominated for A Pushcart Prize by Empty Sink Publishing. If selected, “Epicenter” will be included in an anthology of 2016’s best fiction published by small presses.

This is an unexpected and exciting honor! Look for “Epicenter” in Issue #18 of Empty Sink Publishing, coming soon.

Thank you to everyone who reads and supports my writing.

–JLR


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