Weird Shorts

sue ranscht
Cover Art by Ian Bristow

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 in The Rabbit Hole — just as much as I enjoyed writing “Life Changing” for this anthology.

I hope you’ll consider acquiring a copy or two, in paperback or for Kindle, for your weird friend and yourself. The proceeds will benefit the Against Malaria Foundation, a GiveWell top-rated charity.

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TimeJump

My latest deep dive:

TimeJump Icon
TimeJump (Image credit: S.T. Ranscht)

 

The App, my entry for the 2018 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest, is morphing into an interactive story I’m also submitting to Echoic-Mobile-Press for 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.

A Downward Spiral

Glad you could join us for the next descending episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot 131
Photo credit: Irish UE

All eyes followed them as First Combat Master Vladimir the Just escorted Elliot the length of the dining hall to a square door recessed into the wall facing the High Priestess’ table. Only half the height of any other door in the Tower, its lock fought valiantly against the key Master Vlad inserted, in a vain attempt to keep the secret it guarded.

Its heavy planks dragged open on hinges rusty from neglect and disuse, the door’s screeching protest pierced all ears and overpowered all pained gasps as the Master revealed a dark opening at the top of a stairway to blackness.

Continue reading “A Downward Spiral”

King Arnie the Former

Glad you could join us for the next regal episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot 033
Photo credit: Grayson Hartman

“Your Greatness, noble King Arnie da Former,” Barry called from the edge of the pool, bowing so low his chin touched the water, “please allow me ta present Cassandra and Elliot, adventurers from far away, here seekin’ asylum in da peaceful Kingdom of Bog.”

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Zen There Was One

Glad you could join us for the next zany episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot Z
Photo credit: dreamworlds.ru

The moon had climbed only a branch or two higher in the tree when Yvonne returned with dinner to find Elliot cleaning dried blood from a slash on his girlfriend’s neck.

Looking away, she patiently reminded herself that her own savory kill still dripped from her talons, and she lay a beakful of mold-garnished leafy greens and a spongy-plump mushroom at their feet. Then, because that suffocating need to show well had woken from its long sleep, she couldn’t stop herself from discreetly tossing tufts of fur and shards of bone down to the charred forest floor.

Resentment simmered in her veins.

Continue reading “Zen There Was One”

Yvonne

Glad you could join us for the next yawping episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot Y
Photo credit: wallpaperup.com

The skeletons in bird’s memories weren’t as easy to dispose of as those that littered her life, but she shook them to the dark bottom of her mind with a noisy, full body feather ruffling.

“I beg your pardon. Where are my manners?” she asked with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Welcome. I’m Yvonne. And you are—?”

Continue reading “Yvonne”

Mysterious Mushroom Maiden

Glad you could join us for the next maddening episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot M
Photo credit: Vadim Trunov

How do you know you’ve found your One True Love? Is it the sudden racing of your heart? The catch in your breath? The lightheadedness that is so like being drunk? Some say you can’t know until your hands touch for the first time. But what if you haven’t any hands?

Continue reading “Mysterious Mushroom Maiden”