Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas, Wendell Mettey {$0.99}

Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas is a collection of stories written by Reverend Wendell Mettey for his congregations. While written over a span of years, the stories have a timelessness that appeals to readers of all ages. These simple stories share the emotional journey of characters whose struggles with doubts, fears and resentments cause them to lose hope, but who ultimately find a great gift through the discovery of the true meaning of Christmas. Readers will recognize their own anxieties and concerns in the reactions of the characters and celebrate with them their triumph as they discover the joy of giving… the true spirit of Christmas.

Click here to read more about and purchase Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas  for $0.99  from Amazon!

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

Byte-sized stories at your fingertips. From cheeky babies, to burning neighborhoods, to government experiments gone awry, this collection of 24 flash fiction stories can give you your fiction fix in a pinch.

Flash fiction by Janice Abel, Erik Adams, Ben Bellizzi, Eleanor Bennett, Thor Benson, Diane Brenner, Terra Brigando, Michael Canterino, Leonard Crosby, Marci Daniels, Dustin Davenport, Aaron DeLee, Nick Harmon, Kevin Lichty, Susi Lovell, Joshua J. Mark, Kyle Martinez, Jean Medeiros, Diana Peterson, Preston Randall, Ryan Taft, Ling E. Teo, Jennifer Virškus, Pavelle Wesser

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is short form stories that can be told in 50-1500 words. Also art, according to FictionBrigade. It’s a genre of its own. Not poetry, not quite short stories, but delightful slices of life that can each be read in one sitting.

What readers are saying:

I’ve not been acquainted with the concept of flash fiction until I learned about Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction. Wasn’t sure what to make of it but gave it a read. Wow, now I get it! And I have to say this collection of shorts by various authors was incredibly well done. They were all enjoyable reads and gotten through quickly, though to be honest, the sweetness was over before I’d gotten started and left me wanting more. I’d definitely read more of every one of these authors, and will be bookmarking Fiction Brigade for sure.

Flash fiction, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, is like this:

It’s not the full course meal of a novel.
It’s not the midnight snack of a novella.
It’s not the appetiser of a short story.

It’s the candy bowl on the coffee table filled up with chocolate bits, cinnamon rounds, and dinner mints – deliciousness you can enjoy by the mouthful.

Great collection. Definitely recommended!

The average Amazon review rating is currently 4.5 stars {11 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime from Amazon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction {FREE!}

Sponsored Post

The Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction:

Byte-sized stories at your fingertips. From cheeky babies, to burning neighborhoods, to government experiments gone awry, this collection of 24 flash fiction stories can give you your fiction fix in a pinch.

Flash fiction by Janice Abel, Erik Adams, Ben Bellizzi, Eleanor Bennett, Thor Benson, Diane Brenner, Terra Brigando, Michael Canterino, Leonard Crosby, Marci Daniels, Dustin Davenport, Aaron DeLee, Nick Harmon, Kevin Lichty, Susi Lovell, Joshua J. Mark, Kyle Martinez, Jean Medeiros, Diana Peterson, Preston Randall, Ryan Taft, Ling E. Teo, Jennifer Virškus, Pavelle Wesser

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is short form stories that can be told in 50-1500 words. Also art, according to FictionBrigade. It’s a genre of its own. Not poetry, not quite short stories, but delightful slices of life that can each be read in one sitting.


Accolade:

5-Star Review

I’ve not been acquainted with the concept of flash fiction until I learned about Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction. Wasn’t sure what to make of it but gave it a read. Wow, now I get it! And I have to say this collection of shorts by various authors was incredibly well done. They were all enjoyable reads and gotten through quickly, though to be honest, the sweetness was over before I’d gotten started and left me wanting more. I’d definitely read more of every one of these authors, and will be bookmarking Fiction Brigade for sure.

Flash fiction, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, is like this:

It’s not the full course meal of a novel.
It’s not the midnight snack of a novella.
It’s not the appetiser of a short story.

It’s the candy bowl on the coffee table filled up with chocolate bits, cinnamon rounds, and dinner mints – deliciousness you can enjoy by the mouthful.

Great collection. Definitely recommended!


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 11 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE!

 

Connect with the publisher:

Website: http://www.fictionbrigade.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fictionbrigade

Twitter: @fictionbrigade.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction {FREE!}

Sponsored Post

The Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction:

Byte-sized stories at your fingertips. From cheeky babies, to burning neighborhoods, to government experiments gone awry, this collection of 24 flash fiction stories can give you your fiction fix in a pinch.

Flash fiction by Janice Abel, Erik Adams, Ben Bellizzi, Eleanor Bennett, Thor Benson, Diane Brenner, Terra Brigando, Michael Canterino, Leonard Crosby, Marci Daniels, Dustin Davenport, Aaron DeLee, Nick Harmon, Kevin Lichty, Susi Lovell, Joshua J. Mark, Kyle Martinez, Jean Medeiros, Diana Peterson, Preston Randall, Ryan Taft, Ling E. Teo, Jennifer Virškus, Pavelle Wesser

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is short form stories that can be told in 50-1500 words. Also art, according to FictionBrigade. It’s a genre of its own. Not poetry, not quite short stories, but delightful slices of life that can each be read in one sitting.


Accolade:

5-Star Review

I’ve not been acquainted with the concept of flash fiction until I learned about Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction. Wasn’t sure what to make of it but gave it a read. Wow, now I get it! And I have to say this collection of shorts by various authors was incredibly well done. They were all enjoyable reads and gotten through quickly, though to be honest, the sweetness was over before I’d gotten started and left me wanting more. I’d definitely read more of every one of these authors, and will be bookmarking Fiction Brigade for sure.

Flash fiction, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, is like this:

It’s not the full course meal of a novel.
It’s not the midnight snack of a novella.
It’s not the appetiser of a short story.

It’s the candy bowl on the coffee table filled up with chocolate bits, cinnamon rounds, and dinner mints – deliciousness you can enjoy by the mouthful.

Great collection. Definitely recommended!


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 11 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE!

 

Connect with the publisher:

Website: http://www.fictionbrigade.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fictionbrigade

Twitter: @fictionbrigade.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1, Bradley Convissar {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

Sponsored Post

Bradley Convissar‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1:

Note: These stories contain adult language, adult situations and violence that may not be suitable for all ages.  You have been warned…

For the first time, the twenty-two stories found in Pandora’s Children books 1-5 and Dark Interludes have been combined into two easy-to-navigate volumes.

This collection contains almost two dozen dark stories, tales where men become monsters, monsters become men, and no one is ever truly safe. You will find ghosts, demons and monsters; evil men, madmen and broken men; a wood-chipper, Santa Claus and yes, a handful of dentists. Each book contains eleven stories, over 90,000 words (almost 300 pages) of disturbing, provocative tales which will keep you thinking long after you’re done reading.

This Volume 1 includes 11 stories.

Bonus excerpt- The first half of my 25,000 word novella, Dogs of War is also included in this volume.

 

Accolades:

“Evocatively written, the prose in this story feels more like poetry… The good doctor delivers!” -Amazon review of The Madame Penitent

“The writing style was tight and the stories short enough to read in one sitting.” – Amazon review

“I have found a new author to get excited about! I found these stories easy to read- like listening to ghost stories around the campfire.”- Amazon review

“The stories are well written and suspenseful and not just scary, but horrifying….sometimes our minds are scarier than any space spider or alien or what have you. Great book!” -Amazon review

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 6 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


Excerpt from Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1:

From “Higher”, the final story in the collection:

“We live in a world where people don’t want to take responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. It’s hard to take the blame when things go bad, much easier to pass the buck. But ironically, as a parent, as a father, it’s much easier to blame yourself than your child when your child screws up. It’s easier to say that your child failed because you didn’t do enough, because you weren’t supportive enough, because you weren’t there enough. Much harder to admit that your child is a failure because that’s what he is. When things started to go wrong with you, I blamed myself. I tried to convince myself that you turned out like you did because I failed you. But then I look at your sister, happily married with two children and successful as a lawyer, and I know that I did the best I could, and my best was damn good. No, it wasn’t me that failed you, it was you that failed you.”

“When I first saw you tonight, saw what you had become, I tried to convince myself that what I was looking at was not my son. I tried to convince myself that you had become a complete and utter stranger to me. That my Harrison was dead. I thought that if I could convince myself, it would make tonight easier. But it’s not supposed to be easy, is it? For either of us.” He looked over at Harrison’s profile, trying to read something in his expression. He thought he saw something approaching a sad smile behind the tape, but he wasn’t sure. It could have been his imagination. Or wishful thinking. He quickly turned back to the photos, the current one featuring a five year old Harrison boldly petting a sheep at the zoo. “But I was fooling myself, Harrison. As much as I wanted to distance myself from you, deny you, I couldn’t. Because there’s something of this,” he pointed at the screen, “still in you. You wil l always be my son. And that’s why I’m doing this. And that’s why it’s so damn hard.”

A photo of Harrison, six years old, appeared on the screen, his face screwed up in pure glee as his mother blew on his naked belly.

“You may be sitting there and wondering at this tableau, at the purpose, wondering if this is a final attempt by me to save you. It isn’t. I put this together not as a prelude to a new beginning, but as the final act of a play sadly coming to its conclusion. I did it for two reasons, Harrison: first, for myself. This…” a casual finger directed at the screen, “this is how I want to remember you. This is what I want to remember when I close my eyes at night. I don’t want my last memories of you to be of a corpse lying in a hospital or in a morgue. I refuse to be woken one night by the police asking me to come downtown to ID your quickly cooling body. And don’t deny that that’s how this would ultimately end, Harrison. I see it every week, young adults in jail one day for drug possession or assault or burglary, dead on the floor of their apartment or in the garage at their parent’s house or in an alley or on a hospit al gurney the next. You know damn well that if I let this continue, there’s no coming back for you, and the last time I see you you’ll be dead. Is this selfish? Damn right it is. Damn right. But I’m your parent and I’m entitled. After everything your mother and I gave you, after everything we suffered for you, I deserve to remember your life for what it was, not what it is. I deserve to remember this-” Another wave at the slowly flashing photos, “-and not this.” He reached over and gently patted Harrison’s trapped left hand with his own, noting the dryness of the skin and the prominence of the underlying bone. “I gave you life, and I refuse to allow you to dictate how I remember you.”

Gerald finally stood, his legs heavy and stiff beneath him but his soul pregnant with purpose. He grasped the small package which rested on the couch to his left then walked around the chair and stood behind his son. He rested his hands on Harrison’s shoulders, the muscle beneath sweatshirt and skin so atrophied he felt bone. But he ignored the uncomfortable sensation and spoke. He fought back the tears that he knew were imminent, scraping every last vestige of resolve from his tortured soul to keep his voice strong but soft.

“But this, Harrison,” Gerald said, focusing on the photos on the screen, “this is also for you. Because when you die, I don’t want your spirit stained with the horrible things you have done. With the indifference and misery which have defined your life the past year and a half. I don’t want your final memories to be of searching for the perfect vein. When you reach your moment of judgment, I want Him to know that you were loved. I want Him to see the boy I raised, the boy who wanted nothing more than to experience everything life had to offer. I want your soul to be stamped with memories of joy, memories of innocence, memories of a world filled with wonder. When you reach your judgment, I want you to shine like a star so that maybe your sins will be forgiven.”

 

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Bradley Convissar:

Author Website: www.darkestdayspublishing.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bradley-Convissar-Author/178862205471284

Author Twitter Page: @bconvisdmd

Strange Worlds, Paul Clayton {FREE!}

It’s 2012. The Mayan Calendar has come to an end and Strange Worlds appear…

In the future, the love of a young man’s life is dying. He would do almost anything to keep her alive…except that!

In Dog Man, it turns out that Oscar the tomcat was just misunderstood — with deadly consequences…

A love sick young man attempts to tap the power of an ancient religion to secure the affections of a girl on their class trip to Christland…

The dead come briefly back to life every year when the astral dimensions align in Day, or Two, of The Dead. You’re mildly amused by it all until one in particular insists on coming to your house…

A cynical young ‘player’, adrift in the modern, amoral age meets God on a mountain top and his life is changed forever — but not in the way he’d ever imagined.

Clayton channels the spirits of Huxley, Orwell and Philip K. Dick in these and ten other intelligent, provocative and highly entertaining stories.

What readers are saying:

Clayton creates a unique atmosphere in each of these stories and while you are being taken away to a place and time which is indeed strange and often quite disturbing, at the same time, the humanity of (most of) his characters will make you feel right at home; of course, you’ll want to leave a light on.

I must say that I very much enjoyed this book of short stories. The short story format is quite good for the stories Clayton tells. He is a master at painting with words. Five stars!

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 5 stars {2 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Strange Worlds for FREE from Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD: Six Short Stories of Exciting, Hilarious and Possibly Deadly Adventure, Eve Yohalem {$2.99}

Sponsored Post

Eve Yohalem‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

 

Description of GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD:

“Alas, it is true. Grandpa hates me. He has always hated me, even before I used his ear as a swing toy (his lobes are so long and flappy!). I can’t imagine why. I assume Grandpa hates me simply because I am the bird—and he is not.”

Everybody loves Bird. Joseph and Maya, Mother and Father, Humphrey the dog, Slick the snake. Everyone except Grandpa, who will stop at nothing to set Bird free. Forever.

• How does the battle begin when Bird and Grandpa are alone together for a whole week?
• See classroom chaos in Bring Your Pet to School Day!
• Exactly what are they hunting at the Aw Shoot archery range?

Fasten your feathers and warm up your wings—here are six collected short stories in the GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD series!

 

Accolade:

By Jill Arent, “All Things Jill Elizabeth”

http://blog.jill-elizabeth.com/2012/01/30/book-review-2/

Without further ado, I bring you a fabulous book in today’s review. Grandpa Hates the Bird, by Eve Yohalem, is a collection of short stories about the adventures of the eponymous Bird and the misadventures of the eponymous Grandpa. My review copy was graciously provided free of charge by the author. AND she has also graciously agreed to provide a giveaway copy, so you can have your very own!

I admit that I’m a bit obsessed with unified short story collections/interwoven stories lately, as evidenced by last week’s post. But do not, for one second, think that is why I am giving this collection such a rave review. Heck, no. This one is entirely owing to Yohalem’s sense of fun, of humor, and of giggle-inducing irony. Let me say right up front: I don’t normally review actual children’s books. When she contacted me about reviewing her book, and told me it was aimed at readers aged 6-10, I almost sent her the standard “sorry, your book sounds lovely, but I just don’t review…” email. Then I read further. Once I saw how she described her book I couldn’t help but review it. Here is what she said: (I hope you don’t mind my using this Eve, but it’s so great that I couldn’t not!)

“GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD is a collection of comic short stories for readers 6-10. There are very few short story collections available for young readers and one advantage to reading them as ebooks is that a parent in a crowded waiting room or stuck in traffic can hand their cranky child their smartphone with a funny story instead of Angry Birds.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the Angry Birds (or the Where’s My Water or the Rush Hour or Running Man or whatever game of the day the kids can teach me how to play). I also love the ability to provide entertainment to the kids on the go that things like Angry Birds provides. But I LOVE that someone is out there putting together alternatives to games as a means of doing this. And I LOVE LOVE the manner in which Yohalem accomplished this alternative.

The stories are, in a word, delightful. They are fun, engaging, hilarious, revenge-filled without ever being vengeful. They are cute and heart-warming and contain hidden life-lessons about being a good friend, being honest and trustworthy, and being loving. And they are written in a very easy-going and altogether compelling style that appeals to me as a reader, a step-parent, and someone who is more than occasionally worried that the future of our world is in the hands of kids whose main introductions to reading are video game manuals.

I strongly encourage you to pick this one up and throw it on your phone, ipad, whatever… You – and the kids in your life – will be exceedingly glad you did!


Reviews:

GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD currently has a customer review rating of 4.5 stars with 12 reviews! Read the reviews here.


GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

An excerpt from GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD:

Excerpt from the story Bring Your Pet to School Day from GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD: Six Short Stories of Exciting, Hilarious and Possibly Deadly Adventure by Eve Yohalem

It was my favorite day of the year: Bring Your Pet to School Day. Most schools do not observe this particular holiday, which I personally believe should be made into a national event like the Fourth of July or Super Bowl Sunday or even National Forest Products Week. But Joseph and Maya go to one of those progressive schools where they believe in hands-on learning. Thus, Bring Your Pet to School Day is an opportunity to learn about biology, animal care, and even geology and puppetry since the pitiful children who are unfortunate enough to live without real pets are allowed to bring in rocks and dolls instead.

The day was warm and I traveled to school via my preferred method of transportation: on top of Joseph’s head, his hair being the closest thing I have to a nest. Bird care books will tell you never to allow a bird to perch higher than yourself because it gives the bird the idea that he is superior to you. Bird care books are right.

There was just one dim spot in my rainbow of happiness, and it was walking next to us. Joseph’s teacher had asked for a grown-up to help with the animal presentations, and Grandma had made Grandpa volunteer. Something about “behavior modification” and how spending time with children and animals might help him “build tolerance” and improve his “attitude.”

Grandpa was dressed from head to toe in full military camouflage. That’s right: a green flack jacket, cargo pants, and black combat boots. It was the same outfit he had worn every day for the last month, ever since he had applied to be a contestant on Killigan’s Island, a new reality TV show where twelve humans struggle to survive on a tropical island with no running water or electricity. Something millions of birds have been doing with ease since the beginning of time, I might add.

I was determined not to let Grandpa ruin my good mood. In fact, I even hoped that Grandma was right and once Grandpa saw what Joseph and I had prepared for the class, he would be so impressed, so charmed and enchanted by my performance, that he would finally appreciate me properly and we would become friends.

Anything is possible, right?

There is only one fifth grade class at Walden Pond School, with nineteen children, most of whom I recognized from past Bring Your Pet to School days. Larissa spends most of every day writing poetry about kneecaps. Harrison is the boy who attended all of pre-kindergarten in a lion costume. I’m not sure anyone noticed. Then there’s Jake. Poor Jake is the class oddball: he likes soccer. He’s good at it, too.

Jake was seated alone at a table for two near the front of the room, holding a plastic animal carrier on his lap. Inside was Beckham, Jake’s ferret. Grandpa went to introduce himself to Mandy the teacher, and Joseph and I took the seat next to Jake. I hopped from Joseph’s shoulder onto the table, and Beckham hissed at me through the wire screen on the end of his carrier. So that’s how it’s going to be, is it? Very slowly, I stretched out my wings to their full green, blue, and red glory. Then I turned my back on the little beast, bent over, and presented him with a full view of what lay underneath my tail.

“Hola, chiquitas y chiquitos!” sang Mandy, a tiny young woman with curly red hair the color of a house finch. Mandy liked to greet the children in a different language every day. Most of the time the children had no idea what she was saying, but they had all been studying Spanish at school since first grade. At this point in their Spanish language studies, every child in the room was able to say, “the air is not toxic,” but not one of them could ask for directions to a bathroom.

“Hola, Señora Mandy!” answered the children.

“Is everyone totally psyched for BRING YOUR PET TO SCHOOL DAY?” Mandy asked, sounding totally psyched herself.

“Yeah!” “You bet!” “Wahoo!” the children shouted back.

“Right on!” Mandy said, pumping a small fist in the air. “First I’d like to introduce you to Joseph’s grandfather. He’s going to help us with our presentations today.”

Grandpa stepped forward. If this were opposite day I would describe the expression on his face as warm and friendly.

“Hi, Grandpa!” the children greeted him.

“Uh, hi,” Grandpa muttered.

There was a long awkward silence that Mandy finally interrupted.

“Thanks, Grandpa! Now how about we hear from some of the students!”

 

GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

Connect with Eve Yohalem:

Website: http://www.eveyohalem.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eve-Yohalem/164138753644557?ref=ts

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Trouble Down South and Other Stories, Katrina Parker Williams {$4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime + Are You a Giveaway Winner?}

Sponsored Post

Katrina Parker Williams‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Trouble Down South and Other Stories Giveaway Winners!

Shirley

Krissie

Digna

Lily

rhonda

Didn’t win? Continue on to learn more about this Frugal Find!

Description of Trouble Down South and Other Stories:

The short stories take the reader on a journey to the past through a collection of interestingly crafted pieces of flawed humanness, social injustice, and redemption, and even humor.  The short story collection of historical fiction chronicles events spanning more than 150 years and addresses a wide range of experiences from African-American perspectives. The stories are set in the South amid a changing landscape in which the characters are forced to wrestle with the social issues surrounding Native Americans, slavery, racism, Prohibition, the Korean War, Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, health, religion, mental illness, and education.

 

Accolade:

By Larry B. Gray

Trouble Down South and Other Stories by Katrina Parker Williams is a collection of short stories dealing with slavery, racism and civil rights in the south. Written as historical fiction each story deals with a different period of time in our history and captures the struggle of human dignity and life in a segregated south.

The author captures the reality of life by vividly painting an accurate depiction of the everyday trials of the average black person trying to survive. She accomplishes this by writing in a real life style and using period colloquialism that reflect the actual life of her characters. She weaves a detailed tapestry with words of the life stories of her characters.

Having grown up is this region of the country during the latter part of segregation, the sounds and events of that time came flooding back to me. I was reminded of the disrespect, humiliation and cruelty that a whole section of our population was subjected to.

I highly recommend Trouble Down South and Other Stories as a must read. It is an excellent example of historical fiction, accurately depicting a period of our history that should not be forgotten.

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Trouble Down South and Other Stories currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars from 10 reviews. Read the reviews here!


Trouble Down South and Other Stories is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


An excerpt from Trouble Down South and Other Stories:

“The House Down the Dirt Lane”

By

Katrina Parker Williams

(From the Short Story Collection Trouble Down South and Other Stories)

 

The first time I knew I needed to be scared of Furvis was the summer of 1960 in the early afternoon when he came down the dirt lane wielding a shotgun and shouting into the air. It was in the middle of July in the hottest part of the day, the temperature a scorching ninety-eight degrees. We had just finished hanging a barn of tobacco that morning and had stopped for lunch. Papa was fixing on his John Deere tractor while we were playing hopscotch and shooting marbles in the white sand of our front yard.

Papa noticed Furvis first, seeing him from a distance, his figure distorted by the hazy summer rays as he headed toward our house.

“Y’all chillen, git up and go in the house,” Papa warned in a non-histrionic voice, trying not to alarm us.

“Why, Papa?” we asked, not having seen Furvis and not wanting to disrupt our game-playing. I was winning, so I definitely didn’t want to go inside before claiming victory.

“Go on in the house, I said,” he ordered with more emphasis on his words this time.

We didn’t understand why he was interrupting our play and ordering us into the house, but we didn’t question him a second time. We knew procrastinating when he told us to do something in that voice meant the next time he would have to say something to us, we’d get the belt taken to our hides.

We got up and headed toward the house, and before we got inside, Papa was calling for Mama to come to the door.

“Get my shotgun,” he told Mama, who started to question him but saw Furvis moving closer to our home.

Concerned, she hurried us inside and returned to the back door in a rush to give Papa his shotgun, used only to kill hogs and to hunt cottontails and deer in the fall of the year.

“Get dem kids in the house and keep ‘em there,” he cautioned her, knowing we were the types to be warned of danger and still go running headlong right into it.

She pushed us into the kitchen and told us to get over in the corner while she stood guard at the kitchen window, watching worriedly as Furvis made his way into our backyard.

“Furvis, what you comin’ up in my yard with that gun fo’?” Papa asked sternly, cocking his shotgun and aiming it toward Furvis.

Furvis slowed his gait but still waved his shotgun wildly, shouting aimlessly toward the sky.

“Furvis!” Papa shouted, lifting his shotgun and aiming it directly at Furvis.

Mama had made her way to the back door by now, turning back one last time to shush us and demanding we stay quiet. And hidden. She didn’t want to take any chances with Furvis, so she picked up Papa’s other shotgun, kept in the corner behind the washing machine, the one she vowed never to touch. Guns scared Mama, but at the moment, all that fear had rushed out of her, and she stood at the back door, the screened door propped open, with the shotgun cocked and aimed at Furvis. She had never touched a gun before let alone shot one, but she was as determined as any soldier in a war to defend her home front.

Furvis hadn’t given Papa any problems in the years he had lived in the house down the dirt lane from us. Well, you really can’t call what he lived in a house. It was a worn down, dilapidated shell of a house. It should have been condemned years ago, but when Furvis came around a few years after the Korean War looking for work, Papa helped him out, giving him a job as a farm hand and allowing him to live in the house if he was willing to do the handy work on it. Furvis agreed, but no handy work had ever been done on the house in all the years he lived there.

Furvis lived alone, and apparently wanted it that way. We never saw anyone go down the lane to visit him. And if you walked past his house, you could see him sitting on the porch in the shadows rocking slowly, back and forth, in his chipped metal slider, holding his shotgun on his lap. Papa had to tell Furvis on many occasions to put that shotgun up when we had to go down the lane past his house to crop tobacco.

“If one of my chillen git hurt ‘cause of that gun, I’m gone kill ya,” Papa told him the first time my brother came running home scared shitless. And I mean shitless. He had shitted in his pants because he believed Furvis was going to shoot him. We thought it was really funny, but Papa didn’t. Papa knew Furvis wasn’t all right in the head. And he was subject to go off on a shooting rampage at any given time, provoked by almost anything. So Papa warned him as long as he lived on his property, none of his kids had better get hurt because of his shotgun.

Apparently, Furvis believed Papa would kill him. If he didn’t, we certainly did. Although we could never imagine Papa shooting anybody. I believed he would have shot Furvis if something were to happen to any of his kids.

“Furvis, I ain’t tellin’ you agin; git outta my yard with dat gun. I ain’t got no beef with you,” Papa warned again, still holding the shotgun aimed at Furvis. By now Papa had eased behind his tractor for protection, in case Furvis got foolish.

Furvis paused, searching the sky for something. He stared fiercely to the East and then turned the shotgun up toward the air, and in a flash, a shot went off, startling Papa who had his shotgun cocked and was prepared to fire at Furvis.

Stunned, Furvis dropped to the ground and scurried toward the barn, pressing his back against the cool metal siding, shouting, “In-coming! Lock and load!”

Papa didn’t know what had happened at first. He didn’t see Furvis fire his shotgun. And he knew he didn’t fire his own. Then he turned back to see Mama standing in the back door with the screened door propped open and the shotgun in her hands, cocked again and ready to be fired again if it was called for.

Surprised at Mama, and a little impressed, Papa allowed an impish grin to ease across his face. Knowing she was pulling up the ranks, Papa steadied his shotgun back on Furvis in case he tried to fire at him. Or Mama.

Furvis sat on the ground, clutching his shotgun like it would somehow shield him from his enemy, his faced draped in fear and his body shaking uncontrollably.

“Furvis, throw yo’ shotgun o’er here,” Papa shouted. “I ain’t givin’ you but one warnin’.”

“You see ‘em? They comin’ fo’ us! They up dar. They comin’ fo’ us! You see ‘em?” Furvis shouted, pointing up towards the sky.

“Naw, I don’t see nothin’, Furvis. Ain’t nothin’ up dar. Ain’t nothin’ up dar, Furvis!” Papa shouted.

Furvis seemed disoriented, like he didn’t know where he was or how he had gotten there. Papa said Furvis got like that sometimes. Thinking he was still in the War and seeing those fighter planes flying overhead.

Furvis started to mumble to himself, “One thousand eight days, four hours and forty-three minutes. One thousand eight days, four hours and forty-three minutes.” Repeating the length of his stint in the War several times before he slid the shotgun across the ground toward Papa.

Papa made his way around the tractor, picking up the shotgun, and standing before Furvis.

“You need to git on back home,” Papa said calmly, yet firmly. “I won’t need you fo’ the rest of the day.”

Furvis didn’t seem to hear Papa, but he got up slowly, still mumbling, “One thousand eight days, four hours and forty-three minutes,” and stammering back down the dirt lane toward his house.

Papa, a little shaken, but nonetheless relieved, turned to see Mama still pointing the shotgun at the vacant space where Furvis once stood, making sure he did not return. When she saw him halfway down the dirt lane to his house, she lowered the shotgun and breathed a sigh of relief.

“I didn’t know you knew how to shoot that thang,” Papa teased, walking toward Mama, knowing she had never touched any of his shotguns before.

“Here, take this thang. Ugh!” Mama said passing the shotgun to Papa and wringing her hands as if some kind of poison had rubbed off on them.

Papa chuckled as Mama turned and headed into the house to check on us—we were still huddled in the corner.

 

Trouble Down South and Other Stories is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


Connect with Katrina Parker Williams:

Blog – http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11804630-slave-auction

Facebook  –  http://www.facebook.com/smwpk

KINDLE DAILY DEAL: FULLY LOADED by Blake Crouch is Just $0.99 Today Only!

From the author of RUN and DESERT PLACES comes this complete collection of short stories and novellas.

*69 – Tim and Laura West receive a bizarre voicemail on their answering machine that seems to have unintentionally recorded a brutal murder. But what happens when the killer realizes their mistake? This story develops over one terrifying evening, and this young couple will never be the same.
REMAKING – Tragic events unfold in a snowy, sleepy Colorado town. From the first scene, in which a man sits alone in the cold, watching a father and son in a diner, you know something is about to go horribly wrong. You may think you know what’s happening, but in this thrilling, heartbreaking story, nothing is as it seems.

ON THE GOOD, RED ROAD – A group of four hard men trying to reach a remote 19th Cen

tury mining town become stranded in an early blizzard and resort to drastic, terrifying measures, to stay alive.

SHINING ROCK – An older couple encounter a strange and menacing visitor during a camping trip in the North Carolina mountains. Friendly at first, this stranger seems to know them, seems to know their secrets, and as things escalate, they become convinced that they may never leave these mountains alive.

PERFECT LITTLE TOWN – Ron and Jessica Stahl are a power couple from California, on a Christmas holiday in Colorado. When they stop for the afternoon in sleepy Lone Cone, they’re charmed by the quaint tourist town. But the folksy hospitality will vanish as the sun drops behind the mountains. The Stahls couldn’t have picked a worse night of the year to get snowed into this perfect little town with a dark, dark secret.

SERIAL – The classic horror short I wrote with J.A. Konrath, in which we turn our attention to the twin golden rules of hitchhiking: # 1: Don’t go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy. # 2: Don’t pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be a raving nutcase. So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?

THE NEWTON BOYS’ LAST PHOTOGRAPH – At 25 words, the shortest story I ever wrote. But it packs a wallop.

THE METEOROLOGIST – Peter, a disgraced meteorologist and chronic wanderer, has traveled the country for years in his Winnebago, in search of the only thing that gives his life meaning. He’s just arrived in the middle of nowhere—Hokie, Kansas—for the same purpose, but when he meets a waitress named Melanie, another sufferer, he’s faced not only with his first real human contact in years, but perhaps someone who can save him.

UNCONDITIONAL – A conversation between two people—devastating, tragic, and beautiful.

THE PAIN OF OTHERS – Letty Dobesh, a gorgeous, degenerate thief, is fresh out of the clink and back to her old tricks—in this case, burglarizing suites at a luxury hotel in Asheville, North Carolina. But when she’s surprised by returning guests on her last room of the day, she’s forced to hide in the closet to avoid getting caught, and inadvertently overhears a hitman being contracted to murder the wife of a wealthy lawyer.

This 60,000-word short story collection also contains introductions to each story by the author, an interview with Blake, and excerpts from all of his novels.

Note: FOUR LIVE ROUNDS + SIX IN THE CYLINDER = FULLY LOADED

What readers are saying;

“Fully loaded is right!”

“Fantastic”

“My new favorite author”

The average Amazon Reader Review rating is currently 4.5 Stars {8 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase FULLY LOADED for $0.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $3.99 tomorrow!

 

KINDLE DAILY DEAL: House of Thieves from Kaui Hart Hemmings is Just $0.99 Today Only!

In her debut collection of short stories, House of Thieves, Kaui Hart Hemmings has set the magnificent islands of Hawaii as a backdrop to describe bold frustrated adolescents and adults as they wrestle with themselves and each other over the age-old issues of deprived freedom, misguided love, being cool, and being true; and as they experience together the loneliness of feeling miserable in paradise.

The nine stories in House of Thieves are told from varied points of view–a father, a child, a young woman, an adolescent boy, and more. Rooted in the circumstances and situations of island people, they reveal the mundane cycle of small triumphs and tragedies that make up the lives of ordinary people everywhere. A single mother’s discovery of a pornographic magazine in her thirteen-year-old son’s room sends her down a spiral of jealousy that ultimately guarantees her loss of him. A middle-aged man struggles with this secret hatred for his brother and finds a way to enact a revenge whose absolute destructiveness promises to heal him. A white man who is left by his native Hawaiian wife struggles to understand why he and his daughter, abandoned together, feel such deep resentment for each other. A boy who insists on the illusion of his happy family suddenly recognizes his father’s lack of real love and comes to “the understanding that certain things are severed and they can’t grow back again, the sorrow from loving a place that doesn’t love you back.”

Hemmings’ tart, confident voice plunges headfirst into the unfamiliar world of a Hawaii far from the tourist track, providing glimpses of the islands’ divisive racial and class issues, as well as the proud heritage of kings and warriors and the legacy of colonialists and missionaries. Her unceremonious dealing with issues like drugs, sex, and abandonment and her entirely unself-conscious prose allow her stories to wash effortlessly like an ocean wave, portraying with unsentimental insight and wry humor the complex forces that bind family members together in love and hate.

What readers are saying:

“…an impressive beginning, complete with touching intimacy, sparse description and an almost palpable atmosphere.” – SF Chronicle

“The undertow of these dark and seductive tales is irresistable.” – Kikus reviews (Starred Review)

The average Amazon Reader Review rating is currently 4.5 Stars {6 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase House of Thieves for $0.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $4.99 tomorrow!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...