SpeckLit’s publisher, Aia Publishing, is thrilled to announce the launch of Sea Talker, a new novel by Alex F. Fayle.
This young adult fantasy book tells the story of Mercaj, a young man whose predestined soulmate abandons him on the night they are supposed to meet. Long lost powers over the sea are unleashed in Mercaj as a result, potentially bringing about the end of the world.
You can get the ebook version from all the usual electronic bookstores and the trade paperback at CreateSpace or Amazon.
Visit the Aia Publishing website for more information and most online store links.
She pins her hair up tight against her scalp and wraps a scarf around it. Still, their whispers slip inside and tangle in the dark loops of her hair. She’ll brush them out at home. Silly hollow things; a turkey for tomorrow or else cake on Friday. Overlapped and overspeaking, weighing down her ears. She stoops, but just a little. Not enough that anyone will notice.
No more. I can’t… four darker words blend in amongst the others.
Later, she cuts away her hair with little scissors, wraps it in the scarf and watches as it burns away to nothing.
Author’s note: Everything gets caught in my curly hair, so why not thoughts? Each person in a crowd becomes, to some extent, anonymous. In a flood of thoughts, it becomes impossible to pick out just one and offer help. Therefore, why would anyone want to hear them.
Why are you leaving? Is it something I’ve said? Something I’ve done?”
Gillian shrugged. “You’re weird. And that beard of yours kind of freaks me out.” She reached for the door, but he grabbed her from behind, knocking her unconscious. He squeezed her throat with both hands, choking the life out of her. Then he put her down cellar along with the others he’d killed.
Tears ran down his cheeks and into his blue beard. She was the best one of all, he said to himself. But he always thought that—until the next wife came along.
Author’s note: When I first learned about these hundred word stories, I found the idea intriguing. In fact, I decided to do an entire book of drabbes, writing one every day for a year; then selecting those I thought were good enough to be published. Then my interest waned, other projects took my time, and I just quit in mid drab-
Dear Mr. Jehovah,
I am a new occupant of Heaven. In my brief time here, I’ve noticed various problems.
I am saddened that you appear to be incognizant of all that happens under Your Holy Nose, such as cheapjacks selling shoddily constructed wings and halos, unfulfilled cloud-smoothing services, nonfunctional devices which purport to facilitate communication with still-living loved ones below, etc. Shysters and scammers abound here!
Unless you attend to this, Sir, I may be forced to seek residence elsewhere.
Jacob Tweedy, Esq.
Dear Mr. Tweedy,
Have a nice trip and watch out for that door behind you.
Author’s note: I once heard someone remark: “If gold rings started raining down from the heavens, some folks will complain that they couldn’t find one to fit.” I wish I knew the original source for that. Nevertheless, I have a plaque on my kitchen wall that says: “Happiness is wanting what you get.” True ’nuff.
My brothers threw me onto the dock today.
They never warned me how bright the sunlight was.
Or how hot.
“He’ll learn to flop back into the lake or he’ll die,” one of my brothers gurgled from below.
My jaws worked soundlessly as I struggled to breathe. My fins flexed. My one eye blinked blindly.
But I was suffocating in the air.
I screamed in panic and terror, but only a silent trickle of fetid, green water escaped my gaping maw.
My life flashed before me: Egg to pup; pup to lake monster. Three weeks.
What a ride.
Author’s note: My late father always told me about how his brother pushed him into a lake to help him learn to swim. I imagined what would happen if something from the lake got thrown into the air to learn to flop…
Gramps sullied his hands in soil. Sometimes his arthritis would strike and he would have to massage his claws back into fingers. Then he returned them to earth. The flowers he tended were for his daughter. Once in bloom, he would harvest them and set out for the cemetery.
Next day, they were wilted. He cried, suspecting poison from neighbors, blaming his tired, useless bones. Still, one flower lived, a sunset-red daisy.
He carried that one, set it on his daughter’s grave. Dirt ruptured ceremoniously. A white hand grabbed the flower, sunk back down. Gramps smiled. “Be good, my darling.”
Author’s note: My mind birthed this story when I thought about how nice it would be if loved ones could see the beautiful conditions of their graves, see how much they are loved and missed. The end result wound up a bit of a horror.
Papa’s vinegar was the best in Modena. With his profits, he sent me to business school.
Once I’d taken over the company, I discovered the source of the vinegar’s magic. A crone, older than time, was chained to the attic wall. Black blood dripped from her finger into a chute, down the wall and into the barrels in the cellar.
I tried to free her, but the moment the chain split she shriveled and died. Flavoring vinegar was her reason for living. Now bland vinegar has ruined Papa’s legacy. Success is much more complicated than we’re taught in business school.
Author’s note: I’m fascinated by the flavor of great balsamic vinegar. It seems other-worldly to me. This story is meant as a creepily fantastical explanation.
Mandi Sue giggled as she ran along the surf’s margin, her luscious, bouncing breasts threatening to pop free from her bikini top. Ken chased after her, pretending to be too slow to catch up.
“Almost gotcha, Mandi!”
He tripped in the sand and went down hard, cracking his Virt-chip implant.
Mandi stopped and turned. “Poor baby! Are you okay?”
Ken looked in dismay at the disgusting, ropy liquid that oozed over him, the purple haze of pollution that stretched from horizon to horizon, and the refuse-strewn beach.
Then he looked at Mandi Sue, the most horrific sight of all.
Author’s note: The epitome of weltschmerz–the sudden realization that the world ain’t what you thought it was. A concept explored exquisitely by P. K. Dick. And for all the fans of the movie Matrix: would you take the blue pill, or the red pill? Unfortunately, the choice is not always there for us. Me, I haven’t been quite the same since Walt Disney died.
Ratón lives a maze. Every day, he twists through hedges, dodging heads that poke out at wrong turns, grueling red faces with saw blades for teeth. For what, he cannot fathom.
“Where to?” he asks the holey wedge of cheese on his manacle.
“Goal,” the charm responds. The GPS coordinates fly. Ratón sets off.
Snapping jaws, he conquers. Then come the pit falls.
“Where to?” he asks the charm when face-to-face with 10-meter pit.
“Goal,” answers the charm, offering no detour.
Ratón does not think. He trusts. He jumps. He falls.
There is a dull thump. Seconds later, “Goal reached.”
Author’s note: This story was imagined after considering how a person might feel being the rat in a maze, sacrificed for seemingly no cause.
The blue and green planet’s atmosphere wasn’t ideal, but Ashea was in emergency mode. She landed her ship in a wide desert. Because there was too much gravity and oxygen for her to function, Ashea hibernated, letting sensors track revolutions around the sun and climate changes.
Three hundred revolutions she waited in the sand before the flood came.
“Glaciers melted,” she realized upon emerging. In the new ocean, Ashea could stand and breathe. Debris of a ruined civilization floated by. Occasionally she even saw a bipedal body, its soft skin swollen from the waves.
“Their gods were angry,” she knew.
Author’s note: This story is meant to show the consequences of abusing the Earth’s environment, from the point of view of an alien visitor.