Friday, April 26, 2019

Your Sister isn’t a Whore #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter W


“Never thought of it that way, but yes, you’re right. I wouldn’t want to steal an idea.” I munch on my fries. “Like I had a dream last night. But I don’t know that I can put it in an online dream journal or anything.”

“Oh? Why?”

“It was sort of an episode of The Walking Dead. With the zombies they don’t call zombies. Except the main characters were pinned down. Daryl, Michonne, Rick, Carl, and a few of the others. They were hold up in one of the abandoned houses. Walkers all over outside. And then there were space aliens.”

Pepsi nearly shoots out of Wren Noel’s nose. “Sorry, what?”

“Yeah. That’s how I know it was a dream, not a memory of an episode. Space aliens showing up. Abducting people and walkers alike. The aliens weren’t taking sides, they were just trying to figure out what happened.”

Wren Noel nods. “Like scientists dissecting mice to figure out what’s killing them? Did the aliens perhaps cause the breakout? I haven’t watched enough of the show to know for sure what the cause was. I remember an episode where someone said that everyone was already infected.”
South Mall Allentown PA ~ Your Sister isn’t a Whore #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #UrbanFantasy

“Really? I would have thought you’d be a fan of the show. Hey, do you wanna get out of here? Go grab a coffee down the street, bum around the South Mall for a bit?”

I know I shouldn’t be spending so much money today. But this is the most fun I’ve had in a really long time and I’m not ready for it to end. I love the creatures I’ve given refuge to in my home. Sometimes it’s nice to be with a human though.

Wren Noel nods. “Haven’t been there in ages. I figured they’d rip it down and make another Promenade by now.”

After paying, we take the short drive down the street, drive-thru the Starbucks, and then take our lattes to the mall.

A woman slams the entrance door open, nearly hitting Wren Noel. “Screw you, Todd!”

“Screw me? Me! No. Screw you!” A man inside, in front of Dino’s Pizzateria, shouts.
South Mall Allentown PA ~ Your Sister isn’t a Whore #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #UrbanFantasy

The woman rips off a necklace and chucks it into the vestibule. “There’s your damn necklace back. You can give it to that whore!”

Wren Noel and I exchange glances as we stay away from the argument.

“Your sister isn’t a whore. It was one time. Not even one time. Nothing barely happened!”

“Nothing barely happened? You think using a double negative is going to help? Ugh! I can’t believe I ever liked you. Goodbye.” The woman storms off to the parking lot.

The man steps into the vestibule, picks up the necklace, and mutters, “Well, at least it won’t cost much to fix this clasp.”

He looks at me and smiles. “Hi there. I’m Todd.”

Wow,” Wren Noel elongates the word as he wheels me past. “No. She’s taken. So am I. Bye now.”

*** 485 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Video and Creative Ventures #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Baking #Game

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter V


Our cheesesteaks arrive just then. Little cut up bits of meat and onion, coated in cheese. Mine has mushrooms and sweet peppers. But Wren Noel ordered Phil’s original, which has pickles and hot peppers added, and it’s all smothered in tomato sauce. Normally that wouldn’t bother me. But, seeing Wren Noel lift the sub to those blackened lips, taking a bite that causes the sauce to run from mouth to chin, I’m done in for a moment.

The sauce looks like blood on Wren Noel's face. Splatterpunk isn’t something this person is just into, it’s a way of life. I wonder how dark it gets? It might be a bit unnerving. How far down the rabbit hole has Wren Noel tumbled?

On one hand, given the creatures in my home, this could work out well. Don’t think this potential roommate would run screaming. On the other hand, I might be the one to run screaming. Not that I scare very easily. Or can actually run for more than a minute or two, even on my best day.

“So what did you buy at the shop?” Wren asks between bites.

“It’s an interesting looking game I heard of once. Supposedly, it’s based on The Great British Baking Show. Have you seen that?”

“Yes. I adore Paul Hollywood. And I love to bake, so that’s a win-win. Plus, unlike most American food competition shows, there’s less drama. Players are nicer to each other. It feels uplifting to watch, and you get more of a connection to the contestants. Do you know what I mean?”

I nod and smile. “Yeah. I feel the same way. Anyhow, so the game is sort of based on that. It doesn’t say it, of course, because I guess the creator doesn’t have the rights.”

“Have you played it before?” Wren Noel asks before digging into some fries.

“No. I saw it on a YouTube video a girl I knew from Penn State posted. In the first round, the Signature Challenge, it’s called the Start with a Twist. The judge player picks a card. It’s a well-known savory bakery item. The baking players have to make it with a twist of their own.”

“Just given whatever is around the house?”

“I don’t know. I think the game takes place over a day or two. Like the judge draws the cards on a Thursday, and people come over with ingredients on a Friday. Except I think the judge has to buy the items for the second round.”

Wren Noel nods while cleaning the sauce off lips and chin.

“So that’d be the Technical Challenge, which the game calls Loki in the Kitchen. It’s a difficult item to bake to perfection, made more difficult by some random mischief. Each player is hindered by a different mischief. A missing ingredient, a broken preparation tool, five minutes less on the clock, whatever.”

“That sounds like Cutthroat Kitchen,” Wren Noel says.

“You know what, it does. Except for only one bit of mischief instead of nothing but mayhem.”

“I do adore Alton Brown. Hands down, my favorite celebrity.”

“Yes. He’s really something.” I take a swig of my drink.

“Is there a Show Stopper round?” Wren Noel asks.

“Yes. For the Show Stopper, which is called the Jaw Dropper, players have to bake a mind-blowing dessert. Everyone does the same type. The judge picks that in advance, too. Cake, pie, cookies, whatever. I think there are ideas in the game box. Anyway, bakers have to reuse the twist from round one. So if they decided their signature, or twist, was using the color red, they now have to incorporate that color into the dessert.”

“How fun!”

“Yeah. I think I could play without the game. But, since I saw it on clearance, I figured I’d pick it up. There might be a rule or something I missed in the video.”

“And it’s good to give money for someone’s creative ventures,” Wren Noel says. “You wouldn’t want to steal an idea without crediting the source in some way. Got to nurture people who put their souls out there for sale.”

*** 680 words
(Author's note: The game does not exist. I made it up for this story because the letter V was freaking hard to write.)

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Uncle #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #LGBTQIA+ #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter U


I’m glad that Wren Noel has a van. Saves time, as I was going to wait for the bus. Of course, this is exactly the sort of van that every parent has warned their child to never climb into. The base color is dark orange, but there are huge murals painted everywhere.

“Please don’t let my redone shaggin’ wagon put you off. It was left to me by my uncle, and I haven’t the heart to get rid of it.”

I climb inside. My wheelchair fits easily in the back, since the seats have been taken out. I imagine there was once a mattress in here. What else would one put in the back of a van that has floor to ceiling shag carpet? Braided, velvet ropes, hanging from the ceiling, sway as we head down the road. Used for what I don’t care to guess.

The reality crashes on me that if Wren Noel does turn out to be a criminal, I’ll be the one who gets blamed. Someone will say I deserved what I got for traveling with a stranger. They’ll say I should have known better.

I wish they’d say things like she shouldn’t have lived in a world where so many predators are all around us. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel bad when one of the creatures I live with takes a life. Because this society, if they accepted the creatures exist, would say that their prey should have known better. If the people they take were willing to believe they existed, they could take precautions. But if you’re going to close your eyes to the realities all around you, then you get what you deserve. That’s what they’ll say about me if Wren Noel attacks me. Is it bitter of me to turn that around on them?

“Were you two close? You and your uncle.”

“Oh, he was a trip. Looked after me whenever I stayed with my mum. My dad’s a Brit, you see. So I went to boarding school over there. All proper education and whatnot. But my mum, no idea how she and my dad ever paired up. She was a spirit of the Earth. Not a Christian, not any religion really, but she loved Christmas. That’s how I got my name. Wren Noel.”

“Ah. My first name, Liv, is Norwegian. People don’t think it, they generally think it’s short for Olivia or something.”

“Yeah, I get that. People ask me what my real name is. And some of my newer friends ask if it’s my true name or my dead name.”

“Dead name?” I look over the goth exterior of my driver.

“In the trans community, it’s the name you stop using as you transition. But I like my name.”

“Oh! Epic fail on my part. So sorry. I do have other trans friends. I just thought you meant something else.”

“No worries. I’m trans male to female, but I’m also gender fluid. So, some days I’m Frankenstein's monster, and some days I’m the monster bride.”

“You’re not a monster.” The words come out almost like a reflex. Not because I feel a need to offer comfort, kindness, assurance, or security. But because I know creatures who people call monsters. They really don’t deserve the title.
Brass Rail Lehigh Street Allentown PA ~ Uncle #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #LGBTQIA+ #UrbanFantasy

Wren Noel pulls into the parking lot of the Brass Rail on Lehigh Street. After getting me back into my chair, we head inside and procure a table. Once we’ve ordered, the conversation picks back up.

“Have you heard of Splatterpunk?” Wren Noel asks.

“No. Can’t say I have.”

“It’s based on a sort of horror fiction, especially from the 80’s. Not thrillers or leaving the audience to fill in the blanks. It’s dark gore, very violent, with gruesome scenes full of monsters and mayhem. Villians often take center stage and have little to no redeeming qualities. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Monster could be sympathized with for being misunderstood and neglected by his maker. But, in Splatterpunk, the Frankenstein monster usually has neck bolts and no real vocabulary. He’s the wicked one that people fear enough to use for Halloween.”

“Oh. I didn’t know that.”

“Yes. That’s just my favorite version, of course. Edward Lee’s The Bighead, that’s the sort of vile and disgusting graphic novel that Splatterpunk puts on a pedestal.”

*** 717 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Time for a Change #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Feminism #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter T


Someone bashes into the back of my wheelchair. “Whoops. Hi. Sorry. You okay?”

“Fine. Hi.” I expect to see the anime girl. Instead, there’s someone towering over me. At least six-feet tall, maybe more. With neck bolts and flattened hair.

“Lost my footing. Sorry, is that rude to say to you?” I watch as the tall one scratches at the neck bolts.

“No, it’s fine. I can walk, just not for long. And if I over-exert myself, my legs go out from under me. So it’s perfectly understandable. I’m Liv, by the way.”

We shake hands. Such large mitts, my tiny paw seems lost in the greeting gesture.

“You have very soft hands. And I love this manicure,” I say as I admire the large hand. Is this how basketball players are able to hold the ball upside down one-handed? They have a grasp on more surface area? By comparison, I suppose I could hold a baseball the same way. Maybe a softball.

“Thanks. Not the same Liv on the roommate flyer, are you?”

“Yes, actually. Are you looking?”

“I am. Been living with two former frat brothers for a few years now. But the more true to myself I become, the less caterpillar and more butterfly, the harder it is to be with them. They’re good mates, of course. But it doesn’t feel appropriate to live together now. Time for a change.”

Nodding and smiling, I say that I understand. I’m not sure that I do, exactly, but I can somewhat imagine.

“I’m having a bit of low blood sugar. Part of the reason for the clumsiness. Don’t suppose you’d be willing to have lunch?”

Brass Rail bar and restaurant ~ Time for a Change #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Feminism #UrbanFantasy


“Lunch would be good. I was thinking of stopping at the Brass Rail, unless you have another suggestion,” I say as I tuck a stray stand behind my ear.

“Oh no, that sounds divine. As long as you don’t mind that I’m not a vegetarian. Their cheesesteaks are amazing.”

“I’m not vegetarian either. Let me just check out and then we can go.”

At the register, I hand over a game I found on clearance.

“Oh yes. This was ordered by mistake,” Isi says. “It couldn’t be returned, so it just got marked down. I hear it’s fun though.”

I nod as I fork over the payment. “Looks like a good party game. I was torn between this and Philadelphia-oploy. This was cheaper.”
Philadelphia-oploy ~ Time for a Change #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Feminism #UrbanFantasy

“Perhaps you’ll invite me over when you play? I didn’t see the point in getting it, don’t know enough people into this sort of thing. But I’d like to take a crack at it. Or even take pictures and write up a blog post.” Isi slips a business card into the bag with the game and my receipt.

“Sure. Might be awhile. I’ll check out your blog though. Assuming I’m not going to lunch with a serial killer.” I wink and tilt my head to indicate I mean the tall person waiting for me by the door.

“Wren Noel? Probably not a killer. A bit dark though, as far as tastes go. Rough life, I’d imagine. Then again, who around here had an easy go, eh?” Isi waves goodbye.

I feel better about this trip since someone I know also knows the stranger. And she knows I’ll be with the person.

Of course, there’s the question my mom would ask. How many of Ted Bundy’s victims thought the same way. I should never leave home without one of my creatures. But I hate feeling like I’m not safe just because of my gender. I didn’t decide to be born with a vagina. And I shouldn’t have to consider sexual reassignment surgery as a means of protection. That isn’t what it’s for, and it’s unfair to the community when people suggest that it should be. I abhor the idea that violence toward women exists because women exist. That’s victim blaming for you though.

*** 651 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Monday, April 22, 2019

Supernatural #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.
(Content trigger warning: Hatred of pedophiles.)

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter S


I set the Sims 4 game back on the shelf. Can’t afford it. Besides, I enjoy playing the Sims 3 with expansions the best. Out of all the versions of the game, it’s the one that feels the most real to me. It’s the supernatural stuff. Witches, werewolves, ghosts, knowing the future— these are all things I understand. Granted, I still can’t get Sim versions of the supernatural creatures that live in my house. There’s no game for that.
Supernatural #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory

I imagine there could be a Supernatural video game, based on the television show. But that’s the opposite of what I want. Sam and Dean would hate me. They hunt things. I protect things. And really, I don’t call my supernatural friends “things,” because that’s just rude.

“Are you finding everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good,” I answer as I turn around. Bright pink pigtails bounce up and down. A tiny girl is wearing a Lolita fashion dress. Princess Lace Court Skirts in blue and white take up the span of the aisle from shelf to shelf. I honestly can’t tell if she’s in her twenties, or if she is a prepubescent girl with more make-up than a Sephora shop.

Suppose that’s the point.

I can honestly say I’ve never looked at a little boy and thought anything sexual. Hell, by the time I was twelve, I couldn’t stand any of the boys my own age. I was definitely all lesbian the first years of puberty. I didn’t think guys my age were hot until I was seventeen. And even then it was only a handful of them.

Here I am, in my thirties, and proud that I’m not attracted to twelve-year-old girls. Or really anyone more than a decade away from my age, either direction. So I have no idea how I’m supposed to feel about any fashion that makes children look like sexual objects. I mean, I guess I did think about sex when I was that age, but with other people my age, not with adults. Certainly not with people two or three times my age.



That’s why I have trouble getting into Hentai, and most Magna and Anime. And really, anything else that makes children into sexual objects. I think they call it the “campy” genre. I’m not sure. But where teenagers end up as sexual objects for adults to view. Like any movie with teenagers as main characters and an R rating, meaning people under age seventeen aren’t allowed to see it. Not old enough to get in to see the movie that your character is in.

Right there. That’s where I think the line is crossed. But I don’t know if they have that line in Japan. I’ve never looked up pedophile laws over there, or what they list as the age of consent. It does seem like a lot of countries associate school uniforms with sexual costumes. Is that because school age is when people first become aware of sex as they hit puberty? Or is it because there are pedophiles everywhere, and people who wish to turn children into slaves? I know the age of consent varies. Some countries allow little children to get married, even if they die of sexual trauma on their wedding night.

Maybe the world is a horrible place and needs to burn to the ground. Perhaps some of the creatures I live with should go out there and kill certain people. Be the predators of those who prey on children. Are those who screw a child to death haunted by what they’ve done? Do they tear out their own eyes trying to free themselves of the horrible vision? Light themselves on fire trying to cleanse away the evil they brought? Can they feel their soul being shredded by Hell Hounds long before they’ve died?

Dark thoughts. There are some punishments I wish I was in charge of dishing out. Maybe I tortured people in a past life. Or perhaps I really am going to Hell one day, but I’ll turn into a demon who gets to torture pedophiles for all of eternity. Maybe that’s why I was born with abilities that condemn me, according to the faith of my family.

Maybe my psychic abilities are why my father never wanted me around. How young was I when they started to show? Did I break up my parents?

*** 734 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Sunday, April 21, 2019

#WEPFF #WEP Jewel Box Sci-fi humor flash fiction

http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2019/03/april-wepiwsg-challenge-sign-up-jewel.html

I'm late to the game. Just came across this while visiting a friend. Figured I'd jump in since the list was open yet. Just wrote this kid sci-fi for fun. 271 words. - Jamie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Where Gems Come From


"This is my favorite necklace," I say as I open my jewel box. My new step-brother crosses his eight arms. "See the blue gems? I mean, they look kind of black, but it's blue when the light hits it."

"You don't actually wear that, do you?"

"Only when there's a nice occasion. Why?"

He laughs. "It's space poop."

"It is NOT!" I stomp my big foot. The room shakes. My jewel box bounces.

"Breaking gravity won't change it. The Mardookie eats moons and planetoids. And after digestion..." he presses two of his hands to his face, smooshing his cheeks and forcing air unevenly out. The sound is disgusting. His breath is worse.

I sniff my necklace. "It doesn't stink. It's not poop! You're poop. You came out of one of the three anuses instead of hatching."

He laughs. "You're the one playing with space poop. Everyone knows that's where those gems come from. Who gave that to you?"

All my eyes tingle. "I... I won it."

"Fibber. You took it from a dock door and twisted a string around it. And no one told you what it is because you're a baby. Let me guess, they say it's nice. But they get a high pitch in their voice and smile real big."

"They smile real big because it's so pretty."

He runs three hands through his hairs and quills. "Placate and pander. Two P words for you to learn, little one. Come on, I want to see the nebula."

I tuck my necklace back into the box. So far, having a step-brother has been less fun than nearing a black hole.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Really #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #UrbanFantasy #Gamer

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

TODAY'S edition is slightly more adult.


#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter R


I was wrong. He turned out to be a really bad boyfriend.

A week after we started having sex, he grew distant. I’d ask to make plans. He’d respond with anger, saying I was smothering him or that I didn’t respect his schedule. Then I didn’t call him for three days. I showed up at his work, here at this store, on day four. Found him kissing someone else in the stock room.

“We broke up!” Theophanus yelled when asked what was going on.

“Really? I missed the memo. Your dick was in me five days ago. Then I didn’t hear from you for three days. Now I’m here. When was the alleged break up?”
Virgin humor ~ Really #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #UrbanFantasy #Gamer

“What else do you expect me to take from your ignoring me for three days? All you ever wanted was my virginity. Maybe you hoped it would replace yours. Once you had it, you were done with me.”

That blew my mind. Not only was it not true, but it disregarded everything else. “Done with you? We’ve done it at least a dozen times since then.”

“You come over, bang me, and leave. We don’t go out. You don’t even dress up to seduce me. Look at what you’re wearing! Jeans and a hoodie. You wore one cute outfit the entire time we were together. And that was the night you lured me into bed!”

“I… what? You know what, you’re an ass. Theo-ph-ANUS. We weren’t broken up before, but we are now.”

As I left, I looked at the girl he was with. Straight out of Hentai. If that’s what he thought I’d turn into, it was best that it was over.

I put the distant memory of Anus out of my mind. The Sims 4 is on the shelf. I hadn’t tried this version yet. I have the original with all the expansions, the second and all those expansions, and the third with all those expansions. Plus, I have a Urbz: Sims in the City and Sims Medieval. And I was in the short-lived online community. So it seems only natural that I would get the series’ fourth game. Except I’m short on funds at the moment. Maybe after I get roommates and things have calmed down.
Sim writing Sims 4 ~ Really #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #UrbanFantasy #Gamer

And after I get my car fixed and fitted for my special needs. That’s also more important than a new game. Feeding and caring for the creatures I’ve taken in, that’s important too. There are more since I moved into the inherited house. It’s important to keep a roof over their heads.

There it is. That’s the thinking that separates me from the hardcore fans. A new game or new comic book is not my highest priority. Never trolled online. I don’t post on message boards. There’s no gamer forum where I have some cool handle which I use to discuss cheat codes into the wee hours. And where the underground door really slams in my face, I have no idea how to use Tumblr.

Anus use to tell me he’d set me up with these things. That he’d have me speaking code and writing in HTML. Looking back, I think he was hoping to impress me. There were a lot of subjects he promised to teach me, none which he ever did. Except for the lesson that anyone can become a cheater. Yeah, that he managed to drill into my heart forever.

*** 567 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Friday, April 19, 2019

Quinn’s Lair #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter Q


Quinn’s Lair, named for the comic legendary character Harley Quinn, is a store that sells video games and comic books. It’s a tucked away gem. An underground shop that’s above-actual-ground. Maybe they want it to a be a lair, considering what they sell. Who knows.

However, the odds that there would be someone here who embraces the supernatural, as I do, are pretty good. So I take my roommate flyer and head into the shop. An employee greets me at once.

“Liv? Hey. How have you been? Theophanus isn’t working today. He’s only in on Saturday and every other Thursday.”

I breathe a silent sigh of relief. “Thanks, Isi, for letting me know. Actually, maybe you could help me? I recently moved into my dad’s house. Well, I inherited it. He died. Anyway, I’m looking to take on a roommate or two.”

Isi takes my flyer and nods while reading it over. “Yeah, I’ll hang it on our board. Might be a roll of the dice.”
dice image by Alex Chambers on Unsplash

“The search has been bottom of the barrel so far. So at least there’s a chance of a natural twenty instead of all ones.”

We both laugh. I head over to the video games for computers. I don’t play enough to own dozens of systems. Anus did. Err, Theophanus. I mentally changed his name when we broke up. It sucks, because we were pretty good friends before we tried dating. Not super close, not the kind that chat daily. But when we did hang out, we always had fun.

Should have just stayed that way.

We went to his friend’s house one night. Some new game came out and they were all playing together. I was the only girl there. And the only one not over the moon about the game. His friend had a fireplace. I got to roast actual chestnuts over a fire. They didn’t turn out so great, but it was fun. Then I made popcorn. Not the microwave kind. It was amazing.

Theophanus was worried I wasn’t having fun. He thought I was lying when I said it was a great night.

“It isn’t the best night I can imagine. Not yet. Want to change that?”

Without thinking about his meaning, I shrugged and said, “Sure!”

Then he grabbed my upper arms and smashed his lips against mine until it felt like my teeth might slight inward.

He pulled back and stared at me. Not a hot, smoldering stare. But more like a sad puppy dog unsure if it’s about to get tossed out. I don’t know how that made me want to kiss him again. Logically, I should have slapped him. Or said thank you but politely declined any future advances. I didn’t though.

“Wow. I had no idea you were going to kiss me.”

“Oh. Was it bad? I kind of never did it before. I mean, I have. Lots of times. Obviously. But not with you.” As I watched his face and neck go from pale to bright red, I realized it might have been his first kiss. A few weeks later, I learned I was right.

“Not bad. Unexpected.”

By the end of the night, we were making out on a lounge chair his friend’s back porch. I found out that if I straddled him and took control, he became a much better kisser. For some reason, I thought he was going to be a good boyfriend.

*** 571 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Piranhas and Pennsylvania #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter P


Just another day at the office.

“The piranhas aren’t what killed him. They didn’t help, of course. But he was already bitten by a venomous snake. And he hadn’t eaten in three days, and only drank the water he found on leaves in the jungle. So, by the time the piranhas got there, they were a painful annoyance, but not his biggest problem.”

What people don’t realize is that, being gifted with Clairsentience and Clairempathy, what I channel includes non-verbal communication. The spirit of their dearly departed has me feeling it. It isn’t as bad as first hand, of course. I’ve been at this long enough to know when to close off part of my mind. This is not my pain, this is not my experience.

Still, the sensation of snake fangs piercing my neck isn’t something I expected when I woke up this morning. GOOD PSYCHIC COMMUNICATIONS is not a predictable workplace. Which is kind of funny, or punny, if you think about it. Not that I foretell the future. But that is the first thing that most non-gifted people assume about psychics. That we all know the future. And that we’re going to Hell.

“Bud doesn’t want me ta get fishin’ for them there sonsofbitches what murdered him?”

Pennsylvania is a very wonky state. Rednecks living next door to progressives. No one is ever sure who to hate the most. Confederates in a state that was part of the Union. The mid-Atlantic is not the South, never was the South, and at least two of our largest cities have no intention of declaring rebellion against our nation to side with people who lost a war over 150 years ago.
Bud Bundy - Married with Children image

The spirit of David, nicknamed Bud because of a television character, fills me with frustration, sympathy, and regret.

“He’s grateful that you want to avenge him. But no, Bud would prefer you to honor him in some other way.”

There’s gratitude for my phrasing. Followed by a sensation along my lower back and legs. “A bench?”

“Aww hell. Bud always did like sittin’ in that park over by the square. The bench done rotted.”

I nod. “Perhaps you could get it fixed in his honor.”

“Yeah. Suppose that’d be doin’ right by him. Thank ya, ma’am. Sure yer goin’ to Hell fer communin wit the dead, and bein’ a slight bit colored, but ya done set me on the right path about Bud. I appreciate that.”
Pennsylvania #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

This is why I need roommates. I can’t keep taking on clients like this. Thankfully the spirit of David didn’t share such values. I can’t stand haters in my head.

“Thank you. Have a good day,” I say as he pays me and sees himself out. Catty, my young wendigo, crawls out from behind a plant. He nuzzles his head against my leg before heading back to his usual spot in the sunroom.

I rarely take on clients I think might shoot me. But, since I did this time, I figured having back up was a good idea. Catty could have devoured the man whole in the time it would have taken to pull a trigger. My protection is better than any weapon. Plus, guns cannot think for themselves. Not yet, anyway.

*** 539 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Out of the Question #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter O


Dad’s ghost goes past again, grumbling about the rearranged furniture in the living room. Nancy shutters, feeling the cold of his form.

“Is that where the draft is coming from? Well, don’t you worry about that. The first month of rent can go toward fixing it up. We’ll call it a trade. Did you figure out what the good news is yet?”

“Get out. I’m sorry, but this isn’t going to work. You won’t like living here.”

“Oh, I can get along anywhere. You’ll see. In a week or two, we’ll be right as rain.”

This better not cost me Maisy as a client. “No. In a day or two, you’ll be reported missing. But really, you’ll be dead. This place isn’t safe for you.”

She shakes her head. “Is the damage all that bad? Look, I’ll call an inspector and a contractor and we’ll get on track.”

“I have a contractor. He helped dig a few of the graves outback. Leave before you land in one.” Okay, I don’t really have graves dug. But she needs to go.

“I like you, Liv. A real riot. What’s over here?” She heads past the dining room.

“Stop! That door leads to my office. My work. I can’t have you in there. Insurance reasons.” There’s a pantry and the stairs to the basement between the door she’s at and the door to my office. But she doesn’t need to know that. And since I haven’t figured out what all my new friend in the shadows there eats, it’s best not to make an offering.

Then again, it’d solve my problem.

She turns around and heads down the hall toward the back door.

“How do you keep your lawn so well-maintained? Do you have a ride on mower or have you hired a lawn service?”

Poor Nancy. She’s not the roommate for me. And I’m running out of polite ways to tell her to get out of my house.

I take a long, slow deep breath as I contemplate how best to answer her question. The real way is, of course, that I adopted a xanntace. It’s one of the more adorable creatures. Spends most of the time curled up, looking like an opal gazing ball. Though it could be mistaken for a white bowling ball with too many holes. Because a xanntace is covered in nostrils. Their sinus cavity runs all over their body, which allows them to breathe easily while rolling around. It isn’t as if they have arms or legs. Maybe that’s why they aren’t loved? Mistaken for snakes, even though they’re round, not oblong like serpents.

“Nancy? I really can’t rent a space to you. It’s out of the question. I appreciate you coming by. And I’m grateful that Maisy thought to share my flyer with you.”

She sighs. “He has risen. And I think you need to learn about the teachings. Then maybe you would be more thankful and polite when someone shows up at your door looking for a home.”
Unsplash Nina Strehl Love your Neighbor image

“Out. Of. The. Question.” I point toward the front door. She doesn’t know it, but I’m saving her life.

Liv? What are you pointing at?” I hear Dad ask.

“Nothing. Just an intruder I’m trying to see out.”

An intruder? Where! You should fight them off!

“Yeah. I’ll get right on that.”

“Are you talking to yourself?” Nancy tilts her head.

“No, a ghost. Told you there’s one here. Sometimes more. And various monsters as well. I won’t tolerate being told that I’m going to Hell. I’m not changing my profession or hiding who I am to make you or anyone else comfortable. There will be no burning at the stake or drowning or what have you. Which is all too common with people who ask me if I’ve heard good news. I won’t be part of a religion that can’t tolerate me as living and existing. No matter how much I might want to believe, I won’t be hated. Now get out.”

Nancy pulls a monogrammed handkerchief from her purse and dabs her eyes. “I really feel you need me. Your soul needs to be saved!”

I shake my head. "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. Leviticus. See, you can’t live with me. I’ll defile you. We’re a terrible match. I don’t know why Maisy thought otherwise.”

“Perhaps she sent me to help you?”

“No. More likely she doesn’t know that your beliefs will always keep us apart. At worse, I’m your enemy. At best, I have to live a lie to please you. That won’t happen. Thanks for coming. Goodbye.”

*** 775 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Nancy #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter N


After Maisy has gotten her fill of answers from her dearly departed neighbor Grace, she finishes her tea and rises to leave.

“Oh, and about that roommate. A woman in my garden club has a daughter fresh out of college looking for a place to live. I’ll get your flyer to her. The name is Nancy Goodwynn. Now then, that should be easy for you to remember. Like your surname, Good, but with wynn on the end. W-y-n-n, not w-i-n, mind you. I’m meeting the garden club tomorrow, so you should expect to hear from Nancy later this week.”

“You don’t have to do that,” I say as I see her out.

“Nonsense. Suppose you don’t find a roommate and then can’t live here and I’m forced to drive into town to see someone. The parking is atrocious. No, I like you right where you are so I’ll see to it that you can stay put. This isn’t charity, mind you. It’s networking. You’re young, so you know all about that.”

We’re ten years apart in age, at most. But if she wants to call me young, so be it. “Thank you.”

On Thursday, Nancy Goodwynn shows up at my door.

“I know I should have called first. But Maisy said you have a home business so you wouldn’t mind if I just dropped by. I’m Nancy, by the way, Nancy Goodwynn. Nearly the same last name as you, but with wynn at the end.”

Her red curls bob up and down as she speaks. I swear each freckle on her face has a piece of glitter on it, making her appear to sparkle in the sunlight.

The just-after-dawn barely-morning-sunlight.

When normal people are sleeping. Okay, maybe not normal people. But certainly me. She’s a morning person.

“May I come in?” She says as she sidesteps around me, not waiting for an answer. “Oh, dear. Have I caught you too soon in the day? Shall I wait in the parlor while you freshen up?”

“I, umm, it’s just really early.”
#humor morning people meme ~ Nancy #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

“Yes. Did you oversleep, or do you usually waste daylight? I like to have ten things done before the sun is finished rising.”

Really, really a morning person. “I tend to do things closer to midnight.”

“Oh no, that isn’t good for you. Early to bed, early to rise.”

“Yeah. This isn’t that kind of house.” No sooner do I say it then dad’s ghost blows by.

Nancy shutters. “Oh my, quite a chill. Have you had the insulation checked? My father knows a good home inspector. You should have that done before I move in. Wouldn’t want either of us to catch our death from a chill.”

“It was a ghost,” I say as I rub my eyes.

“Oh you,” she laughs. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. Let me ask you this, how do you get in your bathroom while in that wheelchair? I notice there’s no button to shoot the door open.”

“I manage.” What kind of question is that? Not as if it matters. There’s no way she’s moving in.

“Well, I suppose at home you can make do. But what about out in public? I know there are stalls for you people in the restrooms, but how do you get past the heavy doors to get into the room?”

There should be a law against morning people. Especially if they’re going to impose on the rest of us and not even have the decency to bring coffee. “It’s a challenge sometimes. But that’s the way of the world. Doors aren’t made or hung by many people who are largely confined to sitting. Look, if this is going to continue, especially with you calling me a ‘you people,’ I’m going to need caffeine.”
Love Thy Neighbor meme ~ Nancy #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

“That’s against the Lord’s law. Nothing addictive but prayer. We’ll get your life cleaned up, don’t you worry about that. Have you heard the good news?”

“Is it that you’re leaving now?” Shut it down. There’s zero chance I’m letting this girl move in.

“Of course not! Oh you are a silly billy, aren’t you? I’m just going to rise up your stairs and have a peek at the floor I’ll be renting. You just stay there and think about it.”

I wheel into her path. “No. The upstairs is closed.”

*** 718 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday with Maisy #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter M


“Liv, darling!” My newest client, Maisy Astaire, twirls as she enters the room. Her outfit probably costs more than a new car. Especially if adding in the jewelry. Why would anyone get that blinged out to visit a psychic? I don’t know. But she’s paying, so I’m happy.

“Come on in, Maisy. I poured you a cup of tea.”

“Ah, you know me so well. Thank you, darling. Now, what’s this rumor that you’re looking for a roommate?” Her garments flow around her as she settles into her seat.

“Yes. This wonderful house comes with a large yearly tax bill. I’d hate to lose the home if I come up short on funds. But that’s nothing to trouble yourself with. Please, tell me what I can do for you today.”

“Well, the most terrible thing happened this weekend. My cat, Sir Butterball the Third, was outside.”

Please don’t be a dead cat story. I hate stories where cats die.
Monday with Maisy #AtoZchallenge #ShortStory #AdForRoomatesStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy ~ cat Photo by Carol Hu on Unsplash

“And he got it in his head to chase a bird. A finch, I think. I wasn’t near enough to see. Well, he chased the bird from the bath, then to the feeder, and then even got up on the roof. Naturally, I was beside myself. I don’t have to tell you, dear. You have two cats.”

I nod.

“The next thing I know, Sir Butterball the Third is in the neighbor’s yard. Well, of course, I had to go over there to get him. He’s a cat, for Pete's sake. I can’t just leave him to wonder. Never know what trouble he would get into. So I went to my neighbor’s yard. Just for the cat, of course.”

“Of course.” Does she think I’m going to call her out on a trespassing charge? Honestly, I don’t care.

“Well, there’s my neighbor, on a lounge chair. So I called out to her and let her know my cat was in the yard and I was only there to retrieve him. As I got closer, I said it again. Figured she didn’t hear me. She hadn’t waved or acknowledged me. Then I spotted Sir Butterball the Third. He was sitting beside Grace, licking her fingers. But she wasn’t petting him. I figured she must have been napping.”

I nod again. “Sure.”

“That’s when I noticed she was naked. Can you imagine? In this weather! So I rushed over and shook her. And that’s when I realized her eyes weren’t closed, they were gone. Picked clean by the birds, I think. So I picked up my cat, ran home, and called the police. But, would you believe, they won’t tell me what happened! Not one word. They questioned me for hours. Went over it twice now, but won’t tell me what happened.”

“You found your neighbor dead, and naked, in her backyard?”

Maisy sips her tea. “All because my cat chased a bird.”

It takes a lot to floor me. The supernatural has desensitized me to most of the darkness in this world. But, somehow, this nearly knocks the wind from me. “That’s quite incredible.”

“Yes. Now then, dear, I’d like you to reach out to Grace and asked her what happened. The police won’t tell me. So, straight to the source.”

Just another mundane Monday with Maisy.

*** 545 words

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
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