Hey! Just finishing up with the final touches on a new story. It should be up soon on Amazon. Advanced Reader Copies are available for sponsors on Patreon. Let me know what you think when you read it.
If you die in the Nevada desert, you may just live to tell the tale.
When a semi jackknifes in the Nevada desert just outside of Area 51, a young orphan girl dies in the accident. However, she doesn’t stay dead because someone or something else has other plans for her and brings her back to life. But when the man responsible for the accident shows up with his creepy bosses, Swallow must do whatever it takes to save mankind from certain extinction by putting a stop to the alien forces that drive him by using her newfound alien powers from the alien soul that resurrected her and now possesses her.
When Swallow’s parents die, she runs away from her foster home, back to the Nevada desert where she grew up just outside of Area 51. After observing a series of strange explosions in the night, Swallow gets caught up in the drama of a young family caught in the path of a runaway Iron Knight semi chased by evil forces who want the alien cargo. The truck destroys everyone in its path and evil men kill off any remaining survivors.
Something in that cargo though won’t let Swallow stay dead and brings her back to life. Little by little, she discovers strange and unusual powers that she possesses to help herself and those she loves.
However, those same evil beings who caused her accident, want what is inside of her, and will stop at nothing to get it. Can Swallow stay alive long enough to protect those she loves before they remove her power and destroy her along with it?
Questions, comments, or feedback? Talk to me in the comments.
What Happens When An Entire Town Gets Tired of A Young Prankster And Decides To Give Him A Taste Of His Own Medicine? Read the newest short story that I wrote for my English students. You can listen to the audio through Gumroad or Patreon.
There was a boy who loved to play games. He was sneaky and played a lot of pranks on his family and neighbors. They didn’t like it. They didn’t like the things he did. They called him ‘the prankster,’ and they didn’t like him. They found him ornery and irritating. They were very upset at him and the pranks he pulled.
So, one day, they got together at the city hall and decided to pull a fast one on him. “What are we going to do to get him to stop this foolishness?” one of them asked.
“We need to find a way to teach him a lesson, so maybe then he’ll stop,” another cried.
They put their heads together and brainstormed up many ideas. They laughed and had a really good time. Some of their ideas were really crazy and far out, but they didn’t discard a single one. They continued coming up with more and more crazy ideas that became ever zanier and weirder.
Finally, his mother came up with the strangest idea of all. She wanted to fake the disappearance of everyone in town. It wasn’t hard to pull off because they lived in a small town near the top of a mountain that was completely surrounded by the forest.
It took them three days straight of planning and plotting to prepare everything. They did a lot of research and organized everything just right. When everything was ready, they all gathered once again in the city hall to hash out the final details and make sure they were all in agreement.
They had a big party with lots of food. It was a huge celebration. They couldn’t wait to teach this little brat a lesson.
The next day, they all woke up at 3:00 a.m. and headed out into the woods. They made strange noises to terrify the boy and wake him up. They all had a good laugh as they imagined his fear at waking up all alone.
It was true. Everything went just as they had planned. The boy sat up in bed terrified. He lay back down and hid his head under the pillow to drown out the noise. But the sounds got louder and louder.
The prankster jumped out of bed and screamed for his mother, but of course, she didn’t come. The boy went running through the house looking for her, but she was gone. No one from his family was in the house, so he cowered behind the sofa and cried like a little girl.
Some of the people felt sorry for him and wanted to go comfort him, but his mother wouldn’t let them.
“No way,” she said. “He needs to learn his lesson, and we’re going to see this through to the very end.”
Everyone stopped screaming and making noises now that the boy was awake. They all went back into the woods to wait for morning. A deathly silence covered the town. The boy became even more afraid of the silence than he had been with all the noise. It was eerie and strange.
He walked outside and looked around under the light of the moon, but no one was around. The boy ran over to his neighbor’s house and knocked on the door, but of course, no one answered. He went inside and saw that everything was a mess. There were strange symbols painted on the walls and floors in bright red paint that looked like blood.
“They are here!” some of the messages said.
“They are coming for you,” other messages said.
This happened in every house that boy entered, and he went to almost every house. The messages became weirder and uglier with each house he visited. The boy became more and more terrified. His heart was filled with dread.
If they were coming for him, he decided to play the ultimate prank. He wouldn’t let them have his town, nor his house, nor even him.
So, he went back through every house, setting it on fire. Then he jumped in his mother’s car and drove out of town vowing to never return.
When the people returned to the town, all the houses had burned to the ground. They looked around for the boy, but he was nowhere to be found. Everyone was horrified because their perfectly planned prank had backfired on them.
“Well, look on the bright side,” the boy’s mother said. “At least you don’t have to put up with his pranks anymore now that he’s gone.”
But the people were sad without the boy around. They slowly rebuilt their homes and lives, but they missed having someone around to pull pranks on them. Even though it irritated them, they still missed having something to liven up their day.
“We need to find the boy,” they said.
“We need to bring him back to play pranks on us,” others said.
What none of them really wanted to admit was that they secretly enjoyed playing that prank on the boy. Well, not playing the prank so much. But what they did enjoy was the time they spent together laughing while planning the prank. They all agreed that it was the best time they had ever had and decided to make it a yearly event.
Meantime, they sent out several search parties to surrounding towns and villages. Others swept through the forest to find out what had happened to the boy.
They finally found him holed up in a cave on the other side of the mountain. He had fled there to hide from whoever was coming. The entire village went together to bring him back.
He laughed and laughed when he learned that it had all been a prank.
“That’s the best prank ever. The joke’s on me because you learned from the best,” he said.
They all laughed and laughed while they planned future pranks to pull on each other. They changed the name of the city to Pranksterville, and tourists would come from miles around to get pranked and have a good time laughing at each other.
Of course, the boy grew up to become the mayor, and they all lived happily ever after. His mother was amazed and always expressed her shock and awe.
“That’s the best prank he ever pulled on me because I never thought he would grow up to amount to much,” she said with a huge smile and tears in her eyes as she gave an interview on a national network.
He just smiled back and said, “No, it’s not. One of these days, I’m going to come up with a prank to end all pranks. Just you wait and see.”
But no one ever came up with a better prank than the one they pulled the night he burned their homes all to the ground.
Thank you for reading my latest short story ‘The Boy Who Pulled A Fast One‘. I hope you enjoyed it. You can listen to the audio by clicking on the button below that says “I want this!’. You can also listen to more audios on my Patreon page.
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Do you ever wonder who might be watching you? Read this short story asking ‘How Far Will A Watcher Go To Overcome The Effects Of A Devastating Vision That Srips Him Of The One Thing He Treasures Above All Else?’ Another short story I wrote for my English student. So, if you have questions, leave a comment. If you want the audio, you can listen on Gumroad or Patreon
Azarael swooped down lower over the city. He watched closely everything that went on. Nothing escaped his attention. He was the silent observer who watched events unfold as people lived out their lives like characters playing a role on an endless soap opera that never let up. No commercial breaks for him to grab some popcorn and coke. Not a single moment for him to relax and take some time off. He had no concept for vacation. Even though he saw others taking a vacation and leaving the city while others came on vacation in his city, he didn’t consider taking one himself. He prided himself on his attention to details and not letting a single scene escape his sight. He was like an eternal webcam viewing and recording everything that went on in the city below. He had honed his focus and skills till he could do it without really even trying. He had been asking for a promotion and to oversee more cities. But so far, he had been turned down all three times. After thousands of years, he had honed his skills to the point where he could focus on one person doing one thing, and yet still be completely aware of what everyone else was doing in the entire city.
And yet, Azarael never intervened. He never tried to stop anyone from doing anything. Nor did he help anyone even when they looked like they could use a hand. He had developed a strictly hands-off policy. Don’t get involved was what he always told himself. Everyone has their share of problems, and they just have to learn how to deal with them. That’s how they grow stronger was what he said. It’s like helping a chick out of an egg or a butterfly out of a cocoon. Ultimately, they don’t get the exercise and blood flow that they need to develop their skills and talents to their full potential. Help them out of a mess, and they would be weaker for it. Leave them to resolve it themselves, and they would grow through their own effort. Besides, most of them didn’t really want the things they said they wanted.
Humans were so fickle. They said they wanted something and worked towards it. They complained because they didn’t have it. But then, as soon as they got it, they didn’t want it anymore. They complained about the the new problems that it brought into their lives. Humans! So double-minded. Always griping and moaning. They grumbled and complained about everything. They were never satisfied. Walking blobs of insatiable desire. Always walking around angry, wretched, and frustrated. Constantly ungrateful. Persistently irritated. Give them an inch and they’d take a mile. No, thanks! Forget it. There was no satisfaction in helping them under those conditions. Better to just stay at his post and do what he had been doing for the past few thousand years. Just watch and observe. Record it all.
Azarael never forgot anything that he saw. It was always perfectly filed and stored away in his memory for perfect recall as needed at a moment’s notice. Until one day, all of that changed. Something caught his attention. Something grabbed his eye. He turned to focus a little more attention on it. It was easy for him to split up his attention wherever he needed at any time. He still paid attention to everything else going on around the city.
It was actually pretty rare for something to catch his attention and cause him to divert his focus a bit more. Mostly, just because he had seen it all. There wasn’t much that a human could do to surprise him anymore. After several thousands of years of watching humans and their eccentric behavior, he had just about seen it all. Or so he thought until today. He siphoned off a bit more of his attention to this strange sight that he was watching. It was so odd. So, strange. And frustrating in an almost excruciating way. It was agonizing to watch. He wanted not to see what he was seeing, but he couldn’t stop watching even if he had wanted to. And ever more quickly, larger and larger portions of his attention were focused on this one, singular event. As he continued to watch, he began to lose sight of everything else around him.
He watched less and less of everyone else as his attention narrowed in focus. Soon, he saw nothing else that was going on around him. He could no longer recall the events that had happened outside of his center of focus. And when all was said and done, his focus was so intense that he couldn’t undo it. He could no longer do his job. He could no longer watch as he had before. So, he turned and left his post. The one he had been given thousands of years ago. The post he had never abandoned. He had heard of stories like this. Watchers who no longer watched. Relegated to the lowest levels of existence for having lost their focus. He had laughed and scoffed, calling them weak and silly. Never had he suspected that something like this would happen to him. That something like this could happen to him. And yet here he was. Finished. It was over. He was free to go. Do his own thing until he could get his broad span of attention back. But he had never heard of any watchers ever returning once they had left their post. Impossible? Maybe so, but he would not give up without a try. If one existed, he would find it and return to his post. Like those he had refused to help he needed to struggle and find his own way without expecting anyone else to do it for him. This was his burden, and he would bear it. Forget the Engineers. He was on his own. If they caught him, they would put him out of commission for good. No, he had to find a way to restore his attention and take back his post. He would do whatever it took. He would go, wherever he had to go. Do whatever he had to do. He walked slowly away from his post.
His boss felt sorry for him, but there was nothing he could do. Like Azarael, all he could do was watch and observe. Maybe this is your chance to do something special. Maybe it’s time for you to develop new skills. It could be a new phase of life since you were already so well developed. Consider it a blessing in disguise. An opportunity of sorts, if you will. Azarael sighed. That was not what he wanted to hear, but since he could no longer observe everything, he would go down and observe what he could up close. He still had to watch. Only he had to do it up close and personal now that he could no longer focus his attention from his post so far away. He continued to walk slowly until he arrived and stood in the very streets he had once watched from so far away.
It was strange to be standing here. A place that he knew so well and had watched so often yet had never been himself. There was a whole new level of sensation that enveloped him. Before he had watched only with his eyes, and yet now, it included so much more. The smells, the sounds, the tastes, and the sensations. He soon lost himself in these strange and varied experiences that more than made up for his lost attention span. He realized that his observation from afar had been like watching a horror movie without sound. Without the eerie, creepy noises to freak him out, he had never fully understood how terrifying it was to be here going through the crazy experiences of life that humans did.
Azarael couldn’t say that he still understood fully why they did some of the crazy things that they did, and yet, somehow, things made so much more sense now as he watched them up close with all these added new sensations. He still didn’t jump in to help them, but at times he felt the urge. He felt like he could empathize with them and understand what they were going through at a whole different level. And over time, with careful practice and exercise, he discovered that his skills began to return. After some time, they seemed to be stronger and better than ever. Once again, he could see everyone in the city and everything they did at any given moment. He could fully divide his attention over millions of different places and individuals.
And yet, he felt no desire to return to his post. He didn’t want to watch and observe from afar. Let the other watchers speak ill of him. He no longer cared if they felt sorry for him for having lost his skills. He had found something far better, and he had no desire to go back. So, he stayed, and lived, and walked among mere mortals as one of them, yet not being one of them. Continuing his task of watching and observing and recording everything they did. And from time to time, he helped one or another in their times of desperation. Just a little. Not enough to harm them or cause them to lose their way. But just enough to see them through their moment of desperation and give them hope that they could see their way through once again to the other side. And the sensation he got in return after a moment like this was worth more than the biggest promotion in the world. Worth more than watching and observing all the cities of the world. The new sensations of watching up close and personal made him want to narrow his focus to immerse himself fully and enjoy every observation in a way that he never could before. He smiled and breathed in a deep breath of gratefulness and appreciation for having been brought down here. Not that he ever wanted to see what he had seen again or go through that experience ever again. But without that, he never would have left his post and experienced all these new and amazing experiences that now seemed so natural and vital to his life. He often wanted to go back and tell the others what they were missing out on, but he knew it would do no good. They would have to go through their own crisis and moment of need to be brought down here to experience this moment of truth. They couldn’t be forced or coerced. They had to come on their own in a moment of desperation and need to fully experience it and realize what they were missing. Otherwise, they would simply flee back to the safety of their post where all they did was watch and observe ever more and more as they expanded their skills and reach without actually immersing themselves in it to fully understand and experience.
He moved around frequently spending time in every part of the city to fully immerse himself in the experience and understand those he watched up close and personal. It was like nothing he ever imagined in all those thousands of years from his post in the distance.
Azarael loved to go to the center of the city as the crowds slowly began to build up throughout the day. Especially, in those peak moments when they rushed to and from work. Hurrying about in their bustle and daily grind. Always running away from something and towards something else, but never fully aware themselves of what it was exactly. And yet, he knew that he couldn’t stop them to point that out. Only when they lost something they thought was important, would they realize that it was the little things that surrounded them that really mattered more than whatever it was they prioritized now. But that was okay because he understood now that this was what life was about and all those experiences leading them to discover what was truly important once they immersed themselves in that which they had once only observed from afar.
Thank you for reading the short story ‘Immersion’. If you want to listen to the audio, just click the button below that says ‘I want this!’ It’s $0.99 cents, but you can pay what you feel is fair. Or you can listen to all the audios for the month on my Patreon page.
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When the Drakemen begin to infiltrate our world Anna dreams of taking power dominating all mankind without them even realizing what has happened. But when Rumwold and Valagnar find someone as powerful as she is, she must do whatever it takes to turn their weapon to her side.
This will be up soon…as I am currently writing the first chapter!
NorthWorld: Thorgaut Kabbisson – A Viking Fantasy Saga where you can follow Thorgaut Kabbisson on his journey to become king of the North and a young Viking boy’s growth into manhood to become the hero of legends and campfire tales.
Edge of the Universe: Art Journals – A naive, young scientist creates a DNA-splicing machine with the potential to eradicate sickness and disease. But when an ancient alien race tries to use his technology for evil and to enslave mankind, a desperate father must do whatever it takes to stop them and save his daughter.
Ectype Reports: Karina & The Clones – In a secret underground lab full of cloned bodies, an ambitious, Brazilian scientist develops a project to back up memories and transfer the souls of paraplegic soldiers into a new body to heal the sick, change the world, and win the Nobel Peace Prize. But when a conniving general manipulates her into using the technology to hijack the president’s body and take over the white house while building himself a personal army of cloned soldiers, Jenny must do whatever it takes to return him to his own body, put a stop to his evil plan, and shut down her life’s work before anyone else can get their hands on it.
Alfred looked out the lower edge of the window. He hated flying. It was his third time on a plane, but it never seemed like it got any easier.
He hated the pressure in his ears. He hated the turbulence. And he hated looking out the window and seeing everything so small below.
It reminded him of how high up they were. If anything happened and the plane crashed from that altitude…
Well, let’s just say that there wouldn’t be any survivors.
Al avoided watching the news for a week before his trip. The last thing he needed was to hear about a plane going down somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Or worse yet, while trying to land.
If he had heard any of those reports before his trip, he would have chickened out and refused to go. He had finally gotten the courage to buy a ticket. Then he had made the mistake of telling Juan not to relay any news of airline crashes.
See, Juan was a news addict. He watched the news morning, afternoon, and night. And when he wasn’t able to watch the news, he had his headphones on. Tuned into some 24-hour news broadcasting station.
Everyone knew that if you needed an update on something, you just asked Juan. He was like an up-to-the-minute walking news channel.
Well, after that, it didn’t take long for everyone on Al’s unit to know how terrified he was of flying. Not that Juan tried to rat him out. He had heard some bit of news that was airline related.
He told the other guys in the barracks. Then he mentioned it to the other guys as an afterthought. “Oh, but don’t mention anything about it to Al because he’s terrified of flying.”
And that was what started it all.
Poor Al didn’t hear the end of it for the rest of the week. Every time someone came across him, they would tell him some crazy, made-up story. First, a plane crash on a deserted island. Then there was the story about some plane hijacked by terrorists. And it went on and on. For the entire week.
At first, it freaked poor, ol’ Al out. He thought all those things were really happening around the world. Then he caught on and realized what they were doing. He got pretty upset at Juan. Juan apologized profusely, but Al refused to talk to him for a couple of days.
He almost canceled his ticket home, but Juan finally talked him back into it. Well, it probably wasn’t Juan’s talking that convinced him.
It had more to do with the fact that Sheila was going to be back in town for the holidays, and Al did want to see her. That was the only reason he had planned this trip in the first place.
Sheila was his high school sweetheart. They had grown up together. But about the time she had gone off to start college, he had ended up joining the army. Well, not by choice. He had enlisted as required by law when he turned eighteen.
He was somewhat skinny and generally considered a nerd in high school. He didn’t exactly believe himself to be full grade military material. He figured that they would sign his release forms and let him go. But for some reason the officers on duty that day had taken a fancy to him, and ordered him to stay.
Al had a job and was studying which should have given him a free pass. But the onery admissions officer wouldn’t accept any of his excuses. Just plain ol’ dumb luck he figured at the time. He had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But little did he know what they had in store for him. Whoops! I can’t tell you about that yet. I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, Al thought all he had to do was put in his two years of hard work. Then he could get his life back on track. Or so he thought.
He hadn’t planned on leaving town either. Al figured they would station him at the local battalion in his city. But for that same reason you and Al don’t know about yet, they had chosen him for some specialized training program.
Right away, they had shipped him overseas. That had been two years ago. He did his time without complaining, and he thought he was leaving soon. But a week before, his commanding officer had called him in for a meeting.
The officers there went on and on about the training they had him in. They praised him for all his diligence and hard work. And they buttered him up about his presence having a significant impact on this particular mission.
Al had no idea what they were talking about because he didn’t do much of anything. Some days they had him keeping post at the front gate. Other days they had him on kitchen duty. But most of the time he just sat in his barracks twiddling his thumbs because there wasn’t much to do on this island.
Well, not twiddling his thumbs because he liked to read. He usually had some sci-fi or fantasy book to read on his Kindle reader. But you know what I mean. Al had a lot of time to kill.
They said something about him being a vital part of the process and needing him for another six months. Blah blah blah. Typical army spiel for giving you orders but making you feel like you had a choice.
Al didn’t ask any questions, he just said ‘Sir, yes sir!” and signed on the dotted lines. He didn’t mind too much. Sheila still had three more years of college, and he didn’t have anything else lined up for now. Plus the cash bonus and four weeks of paid leave would be a nice consolation prize.
He used the money to buy a ticket home. He also bought Sheila a new car. They weren’t married yet, but he already sent her money every month. He told her to put the money in their savings account until they had enough to make a down payment on a house.
Al made pretty good money out here. He and his colleagues knew that their salary was way above the pay grade for most soldiers at their ranks. No, one knew why of course, and they talked about it in hushed tones when they were alone. But in general, the money was enough to make them keep their heads down and not ask any questions.
They didn’t want to rock the boat and get knocked back down a pay grade. Al had heard of that happening to a few other chaps before he had arrived. So, no one brought it up in any of their meetings.
Al just cashed his checks and enjoyed the money. But he had kept his eyes and ears open the whole time. He knew a lot more than he let on.
He had also earned the trust of his commanding officers. They often talked freely when he was around. He pretended to ignore them and focus on his work during their meetings.
It seemed like they were doing some high-tech research together with the US army. They talked about working on some highly-classified technology.
No one ever came out and said actually said what it was when he was around. But from what he gathered, it had something to do with a sort of cloning process using alien technology. It seemed like they wanted to find a way to give wounded vets new, fully-functioning bodies. From what he gathered though, they didn’t seem to have been successful yet.
He didn’t know all this for sure of course. Most of it was just hearsay from the bits and pieces he picked up. Al never actually came out and asked his commanding officers any questions point-blank.
But Al was a likable guy, so they often invited him along to their parties. He had been to a few where the officers had a little too much to drink and spoke a little too openly. Especially that Colonel Smith chap that requested Al drive him home a week or so back.
Anyway, Al enjoyed being the only one in his unit who thought he knew what was going on. And he knew better than to say anything or let on that he knew more than they did.
He just let them speculate. At night when they were alone at night in the barracks, he pretended to ask questions along with the rest of them. He didn’t want them getting too suspicious about what he knew. So, he played dumb.
Anyway, that’s how Al ended up getting the time off and the extra cash bonus. Money that he used to buy himself a first-class ticket back home. Al decided that as much as he hated flying, he deserved the perk for surprising his girl like this. Besides, if the plane crash, he wanted to die in style.
He chuckled at the thought of his mother seeing him like this. Surrounded by all these fine things the first world had to offer. He smiled when he imagined the look of surprise on her face when she saw him first thing tomorrow morning.
Al hadn’t told anyone he was coming. Not his mother. Not his girl. Not even his best friend. He planned on surprising everyone when he rolled into town in that fancy new car to give the love of his life.
He also planned on proposing of course. He knew it would still be several more years before they could be together. But there wasn’t any way she could refuse. He had a good job, made good money, and was going to give her the car of her dreams.