Flash Fiction Friday: Gift of a Lifetime

Welcome to my irregular feature, Flash Fiction Friday. Every once in a while, I dash off a short piece. It’s kind of a vacation, maybe even a recharge when I’m working on novel-length stories. I’m not going to tell you what the story prompt was this time. Guess it if you can. Even if you can’t agues it, I hope you enjoy this short piece about a gift of a lifetime. Gift of A Lifetime She sank down the wall, sat on the floor with her knees tight to her chest, and stared… at nothing. Because she had nothing left. They were supposed to have a lifetime together. But her husband died six months ago. Systemic organ failure, the doctor had said. How did a young man in the prime of his life die of organ failure? A flaw in his DNA. That’s not supposed to be possible. A century ago sure, but not today. Not to her husband. Except it had. Outside, rain fell in a steady downpour. Suited her mood, though her tears had dried weeks ago. She should get up and fix something to eat, but she had no energy. Had no desire to eat. No desire […]

First Lines from Legendary SF & F True Fans Read

First Line Friday is a series of blog articles posted on the first Friday of every month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. These are the First Lines from Legendary SF & F true fans read. Do they hook you? Which one(s) will you read? A noble gentleman that had been married many years, but his wife being barren, did bear him no children; at last she died, and his friends did advise him to marry again, because his brother’s children were dead, and his wife was likely to have no more: so he took to wife a virtuous young Lady, and after one year she conceived with child, and great joy there was of all sides: but in her child-bed she died, leaving only one daughter to her sorrowful husband, who in a short time, oppressed with melancholy, died, and left his young daughter, who was not a year old, to the care and breeding of his brother, and withal left her a great estate, for he was very rich. The Blazing World Margaret Cavendish (1666) You […]

Story Time Reviews “Kin”

Story Time Reviews remembers that special time when an adult reads to a child and recognizes that as a grown-up, we need to reward ourselves with a story time now and then. I’m reviving this blog series that offers reviews of stories read aloud. Today Story Time Reviews “Kin” by Bruce McAllister read on “LeVar Burton Reads.” This podcast originally posted on June 13, 2017. It runs 36:46 minutes in length. The Story “Kin” by Bruce McAllister appeared in the February 2006 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. It received a nomination for the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The story appears in multiple anthologies and is an Amazon “short read.” The story is about a meeting between a young boy who has a need and an alien assassin. Their meeting yields unexpected results. The principal character, a twelve-year-old boy, is convincing. The author’s words paint the alien assassin in scary otherworldly details. The story starts in a third person omniscient viewpoint that quickly switches to a closer third-person viewpoint and shatters conventions by relaying the story from three different viewpoints. One might think three viewpoints would make the story flabby and difficult to follow. Yet, the story, the […]