Who Chooses the Traitors? – Sunday Photo Fiction – 05/21/17

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It was such a treacherous time that no one could be trusted. There was infiltrators from King Ebsen’s legions of Red Guard all throughout King Landry’s kingdom. Anyone without a solid and known bloodline was suspect. Trying to wage a war became more of a process of thinning out suspected malcontents and traitors. So much so that a mechanical device became a trusted tool.

The first dozen or so times the heavy gate was used for its purpose the effect was chilling. The process of removing those who fell victim was something etched into the minds of those tasked with the job, sure to remain on their minds forever.

The king knew this could not go on for long. The truth was that too many questions remained even after the sentence was imposed and there was no way to rectify the errors. King Ebsen was going to win their struggle and envelop King Landry’s pride and joy. Unless, King Landry thought, he could rig the gate just so.

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The Assassin Hunter – Friday Fictioneers – 05/17/17

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Michael was not the greatest at being nonchalant. When he knew something he got this look on his face. Myra always said so. But Myra did not know what he did for a living. She wouldn’t know after today either, he’d make sure of that.

One of the three women talking to the manager was the assassin. The intelligence was light on this team. Too light for Michael’s taste.

He could feel the hair on his neck rise when the woman in the white sweater turned his way. Their was recognition and a dark smile. Yes, she was the one.

friday-fictioneers

Dinosaur, Football or the Sun? – Sunday Photo Fiction – 05/14/17

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Photo copyright – Sally-Ann Hodgekiss

This was one of Professor Hollin’s favorite days. After a semester of teaching classic history to college students he got to entertain a class of six year olds as they toured his home city. Over a decade he had come to absolutely love this day. At first he declared he had no business doing such, but a little girl eight years before had changed his mind with her imaginative interpretation of his city’s storied architecture.

Now he looked forward to the six year old perspectives. Stopping in front of classic piece he asked his young charges what it was about.

“He is giving his friend a high five,” Mario suggested.

“No, he is petting his dinosaur,” Luisa chimed in.

“He is learning football, but doesn;’t know it means no hands,” Luigi added.

“I think the sun is in his eyes, like it is in mine,” Carolina said, her little hand failing to filter the bright sun on her face.

Hollins motioned for the youngster to come toward him out of the bright light. Yes, this was so much more fun than listening to the college class with their pompous, know-it-all attitudes.

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All Trades Are Not Created Equal – Carrot Ranch Weekly – 05/12/17

crff051217.png “For sure it is a tired cliché,” Donaldson heard his doppelganger say. “Trading places would be easy though. You take over my business and I yours.”

“You know nothing about building hydro dams and I nothing about building cruise ships,” Donaldson answered.

“We both sit in offices the whole day. How often do we actually do the work?”

“True,” Donaldson said. “Why not. For thirty days then we switch back.” The men shook and parted, ready to live a different life.

The doppelganger phoned his boss minutes later.

“We’re good. I will tank the stock at first light sir!”

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Life Without Mom – Friday Fictioneers – 5/05/17

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Photo copyright- Sandra Crook

 

“Detective?”

Sophie stared blankly at the photo of Maynard Hall.

“Detective Marcus!”

Sophie’s eyes flashed at her when the harsh tone registered.

“Just coming to my office is not enough.”

“Should be.”

“It’s not. You were hours away from a mental break after your last visit to Maynard.”

“I almost caught him.”

“Maybe you need a new career.”

“No.”

“You are young. You could do anything.”

“I catch killers!”

“At what cost?”

“Lives are saved because of me,” Sophie said, teeth clenched.

“What kind of life do you have?

“One with no mother.”

“Because of him?”


 

This is another small scene with my detective character Sophie Marcus.

friday-fictioneers

Zeke Barton – Steel Horse Saviors – 2017 A to Z Challenge – Day 26

Z.jpgSteel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady a auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business that causes each of them to reconsider their efforts to escape their various pasts.

Zeke Barton is one of the few remaining employees that joined O’Grady Timber & Lumber at its inception. Beginning as a lumber jack Zeke quickly rose to be the foreman as he proved his worth to Angus. Having a dependable second allowed Angus to concentrate on spinning up the lumber side quicker than he expected.

Zeke wants to continue with O’Grady timber & Lumber for as long as his body will allow, but the financials are just as clear to him as they are to Clementine. But the possibilities tossed around by this new trio give Zeke a hope foreign to him for almost a decade. He sees a future where O’Grady Timber & Lumber is the only show in Penley River.

Here is an excerpt:

Zeke knew Clementine would immediately resist the possibilities these three strangers presented. She was fiercely loyal to her father’s legacy. But they weren’t really proposing to take the business to a new plane, just offering ways to restore all operations so that it could be what it once was, a commercial powerhouse.

Brou was his favorite of the trio. The little mechanical whiz seemed to have a golden touch. Zeke could feel the hair on his neck bristle as Brou merely mentioned firing up both saws at once. There was a brief time, maybe three solid years where both machines ran simultaneously. He was almost giddy thinking about how big a moment that would be.

With this post I have done what was never done before, at least for me, and survived the 26 post A to Z Challenge. On Monday or perhaps Tuesday I will roll out a reflections post with links to all the Steel Horse Saviors posts, a list of new bloggers I found during this adventure and my review of the experience.

If you have been along for the ride I thank you. We are solitary beings most of the time and taking this time to connect is good for all of us. Good luck as you continue on through your blogging journey. If any of you are eyeing the 2017 NaNoWriMo in November let me know. We can build out a NaNo Group.

 

Yvette Dumond – Steel Horse Saviors – 2017 A to Z Challenge – Day 25

YSteel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady a auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business that causes each of them to reconsider their efforts to escape their various pasts.

Yvette Dumond is a worldly young woman who has landed in Penley River after coming to America from France and spending a brief amount of time in New Orleans. She is about as opposite from Clementine as possible, causing Clementine to reassess her devotion tot eh family business. They are similar in age, but Yvette’s life experiences even to this point far outweigh any potential Clementine sees in the future.

Yvette is intrigued by the Steel Horse Saviors due to their mysterious pasts. In particular she focuses on “Brou” seeming to know more about him than he is comfortable with. Yvette is the kind of girl Finn has fended off his whole life and will likely cause him some grief with Clementine.

Here is an excerpt:

Yvette loved her life. Okay, she never expected to be stuck in a little place like this when she stepped onto the ship leaving France, but she was hands down the star of the show here. Being French  and female in America was like a golden ticket. All the men wanted to know you and all the women wanted to hate you. She always got the most attention and what she wanted from everyone.

She had an ace in the hole, which was an offer to relocate to a locale further west when she either tired of this small burg or her luck ran out. But right now with the three new strangers generating a new level of excitement she liked her chances to keep her crown in Penley River.

Tomorrow is the 26th and final post of the 2017 A to Z Challenge. You will meet Zeke Barton, Clementine’s foreman at O’Grady timber & Lumber.

 

VR Won’t Put Money in Your Pocket – Carrot Ranch Weekly Flash Fiction

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“What the heck is Ramsey doing out there Clem?” Abe questioned.

His seventy-two year old neighbor was blasting away at the ground, kneeling to watch the newly created hole, moving another ten feet and repeating the process.

“Ever hear of them Virtual Reality things?”

“Yep.”

“Apparently Ramsey strapped on Aaron’s new set last night and watched the Beverly Hillbillies. Now he’s convinced he can repeat Jed’s luck,” Clem said

“Stupid redneck. Don’t he know he is using the wrong ammo?”

“What are you talking about?”

“In Jed’s book ‘Finding Oil For Dummies’ he said to use real lead shot!”

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Xavier Touchet Broussard -Steel Horse Saviors – 2017 A to Z Challenge – Day 24

XSteel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady a auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business that causes each of them to reconsider their efforts to escape their various pasts.

Xavier Touchet Broussard is the mechanical genius that keeps Lulubelle in fine operating condition while he, Nolan and Finn try to aid Clementine in her fight to keep the O’Grady family business afloat. Xavier is a former member of the 44th Louisiana Rifle Regiment that deserted in the fall of 1864 as the confederate army began to sustain continued heavy losses.

As we discovered in the post about Gus Owens there is some unknown maneuvering that resulted in “Brou” joining his compadres under Gus’ tutelage. Without “Brou’s” skill Lulubelle would quickly become inoperable due to the sheer wear and tear of operation.

Here is an excerpt:

“Brou” long ago accepted that he was not Finn or Nolan or anything like what they represented. His looks and physical stature never had caused another to hesitate for a moment. But he liked it that way. He could go ahead with his life doing the things he chose. Well, he could after he slipped the bonds of the C.S.A. Army. Some thirteen months later he felt like that spectre was vanquished. There was no C.S.A. Army any more so there should be no repercussions.

Now he could concentrate on tending to his baby, Lulubelle. This fine machine could make the trio very rich if they used it correctly. The opportunities out west in California were so plentiful they would have to turn down the work.

Tomorrow in the penultimate post of the 2017 A to Z you will see the woman who is Clementine’s antithesis, Yvette Dumond, the saloon showgirl.