Miscellaneous Writings and Musings


A genie and her rock band

(Novel and Short Stories)

Steal Tomorrow

Steal Tomorrow
Murder, Mystery, First Love, and the End of the World

(Novel and Short Stories)

My Books and Stories

My Books and Stories
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Another New Flash Fiction

I've posted another new story in the Will and Diana series. This one's about Coyote and Macy, and I wrote it for Sunday Scribblings: Leap of Faith

Thursday Tales Flash

I haven't written about Will and Diana for awhile, so here's a story, written for Thursday Tales: Sense of Direction.

New Steal Tomorrow Fiction

New flash fiction about the Thespians from Steal Tomorrow: New Role. It's also linked at Three Word Wednesday which is a great place to drop in and read new writers.

New Flash Fiction

New Steal Tomorrow flash, this one featuring the twins: Keep Out.

Flash Fiction: Never on a Sunday

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Another Vince story today - microfiction this time. Be sure to drop by Three Word Wednesday and Weekend Writer's Retreat for more fun.
"Sorry, man, no can do."

Migo's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What are you talking about? You're the biggest money whore in town. This type of gig is right up your alley."

"I'm short-handed." Vince leaned back in his battered leather desk chair. "Fausto is injured, Ozone's out of town for a few days, and Speedball won't work Sundays."

"Don't tell me he's gone religious."

"No, nothing like that." Vince grimaced. "Just a phase he's going through, like last month when he thought Peru could read his mind and was transmitting his thoughts to ancient Apache deities."

Migo shook his head. "Where do you find them?"

"I always stumble upon them somehow. Speedball does good work, though."

"Except he's crazy as a rabid squirrel on meth."

Vince pulled open a drawer and drew out a bottle of good Kentucky bourbon. "We can't all be sane, and who'd want to be, anyway?" He poured a measure into a glass and pushed it across the desk. "Drink up, friend. And pick another date for your little gun-running operation. Any date, as long as it's not a Sunday."

For more stories about Vince, go here.

Flash Fiction: Sugar Pills

AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's been a long time since we had a story about Vince, so enjoy! Be sure to drop by Three Word Wednesday and Weekend Writer's Retreat for more fun.

Sara dug through the canvas bag in exasperation. Was this his idea of a joke? “Homeopathic remedies?” She shoved the bag across the table. “I’m a real nurse, Vince, not some quack playing 'let’s pretend.'”

“Hey, it’s not like I work for a manufacturer, you know. When I find stuff, I bring it to you. If you can use it, great. If not, it isn’t like I paid any money for it.”

“And where’d you steal this particular batch of sugar pills?”

“Does it matter?”

“I guess not.” Sara sat down with a sigh. She had felt so optimistic when her brother told her that he had acquired a stash of medicine. Shortages were rife at the hospital, and a lot of her patients lacked the money or the clout to leverage a spot at the top of the waiting list. It was embarrassing that her brother was a gang leader, but he could sometimes get things a person of her lowly station couldn't afford, or even find. “I had so hoped for tetracycline. Or at least some vitamins.”

“I’m sorry.” He touched her hair. “I didn’t mean to get your hopes up.”

“It’s okay. You didn’t know.”

Vince examined her with wary eyes. “There’s someone in particular you’re thinking of.”

“A kid. The parents aren’t rich or important, so she’ll probably die.”

“And these cycling pills would help, if you had them?”

“Tetracycline. Yeah, it’s what the doctor prescribed, but you practically have to be El Duque to get any. There’s none anywhere in the city.”

“We’ll see about that.” Vince straightened his leather vest. “I’m working a deal in about an hour, but after that, I’ll make some inquiries. There’s a few guys who owe me favors.”

“And more than a few who you owe money,” she reminded him.

He smiled, and it was the same boyish grin Sara remembered from their childhood. Vince had done a lot bad things since their parents died, but his generosity and spark of mischief were unchanged.

“What’s money, anyway?” Vince said. “It’s just some crazy thing that we all agree on, but isn’t really important in its own right.” He started toward the door, then stopped and dug in his pocket. “I almost forgot.” He went back to her and slipped something into her hand. “Don’t go pawning it so you can buy stuff for your patients, okay?”

Sara examined the piece of polished amber on a chain.

“Better than that bag of useless stuff, right?”

To Sara, jewelry was about as useful as homeopathy. She would wear it for a little while, until Vince forgot about it, and by then maybe there would be antibiotics for sale again on the black market. She could pawn it then. “Sure,” she told him, returning his winsome smile. “It's much nicer than sugar pills.”

For more stories about Vince, go here.

Flash Fiction: Halfway Point

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece was written for Sunday Scribblings. Be sure to drop by, read, and leave comments!

Vince rested his hand on the gun at his hip. "I don't like it."

"Looks okay to me, boss." Ozone shrugged.

"It would." Speedball toyed with his knife. "You've always got your head in the clouds."

"At least it's not up my--"

"Guys." Vince motioned for silence. "Save it for after we close the deal. Speedball, check the west side. Ozone, you take the east. I'll go up ahead and see if anything's happening yet."

While his men went to inspect the decrepit buildings and alleyways, Vince moved cautiously up the street, trying to appear casual while keeping a sharp eye for anything suggesting an ambush. This was no-man's land, halfway between the area he controlled and that of his contact, but that didn't explain his unease. Bigger things were happening. The vibe felt off.

A shadow detached itself from the darkness and Vince started to draw his gun, but then realized it was only Malo, his contact. He waited, every nerve on edge.

"Your guys ready?"

Vince gave a slight shake of his head. "Bad time, bad place."

Malo's lips twisted in an ugly sneer. "You can't back out now. We have a deal."

"I'm not backing out. We just can't do it here. Something--"

Running feet. A shout. Then the hard impact of asphalt as Speedball shoved him to the ground. The explosion obliterated every thought and sent tremors through the earth. When he recovered enough to look up, Vince saw Malo on the ground in front of him, equally alarmed.

"It's a setup," Speedball said. He hauled Vince to his feet.

Malo threw up his hands. "It wasn't me, I swear!"

There was no time to speculate. Vince and Speedball ran back the way they had come, with the sound of gunfire erupting in the distance. They reached Coal Street, one of the borders of their turf, and ducked into a building.

"What was that about?" Vince said, after catching his breath.

"Not sure."

"Probably the Diablos. Seems like their kind of work."

"They've got infiltrators everywhere," Speedball agreed.

"Ozone get out?"


Vince pondered. He was always willing to risk his neck for loyal guys, but if he didn't know where Ozone was or if he was even in danger...

"We shouldn't do this any more."

"Do what? Make deals?"

"No, meet people out there. We should make them come to us."

It was a nice thought, but no one could earn a living that way. Vince suppressed a sigh. "Sorry, man, but that only works in fairy tales. It's risky, but in real life you have to try to meet folks halfway."

For more stories about Vince, go here.

Flash Fiction: Fortune-Teller

AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's been a long time since we had a story about Vince, so enjoy! Be sure to drop by Three Word Wednesday and Weekend Writer's Retreat for more fun.

Vince sipped his whiskey, feigning nonchalance as he watched his contact move away through the crowded barroom. Leon’s Social Club wasn’t much of a club and the leather-clad thugs who frequented it weren’t inclined to be social. This was a place for hiding out or making deals, and the deal Vince just made left him uneasy.

He waved the waitress over. “Two more.”

She glanced at the empty chair.

“They’re both for me. I don’t like wasting time.”

The girl shifted on her skinny legs, watching him now with pale, watery eyes.

“Are you going to get me my drinks, or what?”

She glanced over her shoulder to be sure the boss wasn’t watching, then leaned in close. “Have you ever had your palm read?”


“The lines in your palm predict the future. I know the guy you were talking with just now. He’s bad news.”

“So am I.”

“Just let me look, okay?” She slid into the seat across from him.

With a bemused grin, Vince gave her his hand. “Tell me how tomorrow night’s deal is going to go. If you say it’ll be good and you’re right, I’ll give you a cut.”

“Your hands don’t say those kinds of things.” She traced a line on his palm. “But you won’t get killed, at any rate. You’re going to have a very happy marriage with lots of kids and a long life.”

Vince jerked away from her. “You’re crazy, you know that?” He tossed back the rest of his drink and stood up. “I’m not the marrying kind. Any kids I have would know better than to call me daddy, and like hell I’m going to die in my bed, old and feeble.”

“But I saw—”

“Your own deluded imaginings.” He fumbled in his pocket and slapped a coin on the table. “Nice try, though, honey. I admire entrepreneurs.”

The girl waited until she could no longer see him in the smoky room, then picked up the coin and examined it. Pure silver. She dropped it in her pocket with a little smirk of satisfaction, then cleared the empty glasses and went to the next table. “Any of you boys ever had your fortune told?”