Each of us has at least one weird friend who defies convention and relishes the bizarre. It’s even possible many of us are that friend. Of course, there are degrees of weirdness — I, for instance, consider myself to be on the charmingly eccentric side of weird as opposed to being on its totally bonkers, crazy-eyed, bat-eating, raggedy edge.
However, even if I were, I would still enjoy indulging in other people’s weird literary thoughts — like the stories inThe Rabbit Hole— just as much as I enjoyed writing “Life Changing” for this anthology.
Halloween is the last day to pre-order this excellent collection of 35 weird stories for only $1.99. (For a taste of their tone, see a few of their blurbs below.) Beginning November 1, the ebook price will be $2.99, or you can have a paperback book to hold in your hands for $12.50. Even better, the proceeds go to the Against Malaria Foundation, where $2 buys one life-saving mosquito net. (AMF is one of GiveWell’s top-rated charities.)
The Rabbit Hole will be an intriguing addition to your library, and would make a welcome gift for anyone who cherishes a few hours of escape from Normal — or even the New Normal.
Foggy A father and daughter’s boating trip is ambushed by a mysterious, underwater tormentor.
I Should’ve Known Better There’s just one thing wrong with his beautiful luxury apartment: it’s a transdimensional portal. Will the Flying Demon Things get him before he gets one of the centaur Babes?
The Scroll and the Silver Kazoo You never know who (or what) will show up at an open mic event.
Quicksilver Falls A mysterious phenomenon puts the future of the world in the hands of a simple Tennessee farmer and sparks the world’s strangest writing competition.
Satori from a Consulting Gig Management consultant Frank Dow has a new client: God.
The Adventures of Conqueror Cat Herr Trinket (a sharp-eyed and even sharper-tongued shelter cat) traverses an interdimensional rabbit hole into poochlandia to explore the enduring timey-wimey dog-cat dichotomy.
Eggs On End Claudia had a secret: she was ordinary – agonizingly, mind numbingly ordinary. But all that was about to change. And it would all begin with eggs.
Life Changing Lawrence decides to exercise his brain to avoid his Alzheimer-stricken mother’s fate, but when his life twists beyond recognition, he can’t escape the possibility that lost minds must be somewhere.
Carolina Brimstone The passion of the zealot is proportional to the power of the demon inside. Constance Hennfield’s fervor knows no bounds.
The App, my entry for the 2018ScreenCraftCinematic Short Story Contest, is morphing into an interactive story I’m also submitting toEchoic-Mobile-Pressfor consideration.
Natalie and Vihaan are beta testing their TimeJump app. Sending text messages into the past, it lets you fix memory glitches or have the chance to say what you wish you’d said or know then what you know now. When the Feds try to steal it, the TimeJump team races to keep them from weaponizing the awesome power to know the future. ~~ The Pitch
The ScreenCraft contest will announce its quarter-finalists in January 2019, semi-finalists in February, and the winners in March. One of my stories quarter-finalled two years ago, but the entry pool is deep so individual odds of winning are preciously low. The most compelling reason to enter is the option to receive feedback from a professional entertainment industry reader. Their insights into both the story’s potential and the existing market are invaluable.
Echoic Mobile Press is a new publisher currently beta testing their interactive story app. They’re actively seeking authors who are willing to work with them to establish a library of stories from poems to short stories, to serials, to novels. The authors don’t have to know anything about interactive story telling going in — Echoic will help its authors build their worlds and create an interactive experience for the people who purchase the app. Think choose-your-own-adventure books, but more involved. They also plan to publish non-interactive ebooks that the app stories come from. They’re also happy to create app stories from stories or books an author has already published somewhere else. And their submission response time is only 4 weeks.
Oh, yeah — they pay their authors, too.
So I should hear good news or nothing at all from them by the end of November.
“I will not be its illustrator.”S.T. Ranscht, author of Space, Time, and Raspberries.
“Good.” Everyone viewing this page.
The only thing Raspberries wants is to go as fast as lightning. But when the teacher says, “Nothing can go as fast as lighting — it’s a Scientific Rule,” Raspberries must either give up the dream or keep trying to break the Rule, even though no one knows what will happen if the Rule breaks.
My beta readers (ages 5-9) — and their adults — have given me such excellent feedback on my most recent edits, that I believe Space, Time, and Raspberries is finally ready to meet the right publisher.
Glad you could join us for the next restful episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
Beneath the churning web, agony’s wail rode the final unbreaking wave as it crossed the field to leave behind the silent, still shallows of death. The enemy Flyers who dared to attack its surface learned too late that the struggle to destroy it only drew the attacker further under. Those who witnessed it from above soon retreated toward The Arids.
Vernon and Ambassador Arturo waited at the web’s edge where an escaping whisper of breath hinted at the Wildlands ants’ approach. Commandant Marabunta was the first to emerge.
Glad you could join us for the next tangled episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
The gluey silken lattices fell like a curling wave, spreading across the battlefield as the Alliance Flyers approached the Hive. Enemy land troops ran, but the smothering webs overtook them and trapped them where they stood. Arids Flyers, circling low after the retreat sounded, tangled in the ropey strands and fell, unable to escape. Webs continued to rain across the clearing, blunting the impotent struggles of the doomed, advancing toward the Hive.
Glad you could join us for the next flighty episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
The Alliance’s call to retreat rang out beneath the approaching shadow. All land and air forces, except the Freelands bees, pulled back to the Hive tree, beating away the closest attackers to defend and hold the royal residence to their deaths if necessary.
Ripping away from its parent darkness and speeding toward them, a smaller shadow became Sam and Clifton leading their company in a desperate race to reach Central Fen ahead of the growing darkness. Sweeping past the swarm still tormenting the enemy vulture, Sam yelled, “Retreat! Run! Get back to the Hive!”
“Captain,” Clifton called, “those are Freelands bees—”
Glad you could join us for the next enlisted episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
Scant hours before dawn, as the storm passed, the Freelands bees gathered in the Hiverarchy’s Assembly Chamber. Arturo, the Freelands wasp who served the Alliance, had returned to speak with Queen Madalena. Rumors claimed she would send them to fight with the Alliance, but they had no heart to die for someone else’s hive.
The Queen emerged from the Inner Chamber with Arturo at her side. “Our neighbors — our kin — in Fen request our help in the war they fight against The Arids tyrant. I believe this is not our war, but the Alliance Ambassador argues that our freedom depends on its outcome. I refuse to order anyone to fight for a cause they do not believe in, but I cannot deny the family bond many of us have with Queen Lilian’s people. I invite any who wish to speak for or against this request to speak now.”
Glad you could join us for the next buzzed episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
In those few moments, things changed. The sun broke through, and the birds Barry and Trevor sought had moved on. The Knights stopped short when a golden glop fell out of the sky and splopped on Trevor’s foot. They looked up. A shredded strip of honeycomb dangled from a jagged gouge in the Hive.
Birds of prey had moved in.
The leader, a vulture with a sweet tooth and a sour disposition, clung to the Hive as it swayed beneath his bulk, his scythe-like beak carving a chunk that dripped honey and larvae as he carried it to a nearby stump to ravage it unmolested.
“Crap,” Barry whispered into Trevor’s ear. “We’re gonna need a better plan.”
“Listen!” Trevor hissed, cocking his head toward an approaching hum and squinting his eyes into the glaring sun. As the drone grew louder, an undulating cloud of gold and brown, and a devouring shadow flowing ahead of it, spread across the sky to block the sun for an ominous moment before splitting apart to release a shaft of blinding light that seemed to freeze time. Blinking, Trevor snatched Barry in a jubilant hug as one half swarmed to the Hive and the other attacked the offending destroyer.
Glad you could join us for the next excited episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
“Run!” Trevor yelled. Eyes sparkling, he grabbed Barry by one wrist and dragged him into a tangle of undergrowth, turning to thrust his fang into the twitchy eye of the first bird to ram into the brush behind them. More Flyers crunched into the Knights’ refuge, jamming those in front of them further into the twiggy scratchiness, where they screeched and clawed to extricate themselves. The frogs hacked a path to the other side, escaping in a cloud of laughter, every muscle thrumming with life.
They emerged at the base of the Hive tree, out of sight of their pursuers. Breathing fast and hard, Trevor danced from foot to foot, until his joy couldn’t stand it any longer, and exploded in a whoop of glory.
Grinning, Barry shook his head. “Youse’re gonna bring ’em down on us.”