Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

It’s been awhile. I have nothing but long and drawn out excuses that you don’t want to hear. They involve a wasp infestation, the fact that I can’t say no…and the genius idea of turning rentals into AirBnB’s but doing all the work myself. But, I made it. And I’m writing again. I even have a release schedule. What? Yup. And I thought my “back on the horse” flash fiction, would take place in the world of Karma Inc. which is my current series.

This is an unedited Karma Inc. short. All content © 2017 by Gillian Zane.

Coffee Shop Tales with Karma Inc. Operative Cassandra…

The Tumultuous Tot

It’s not easy being a Karma Inc. operative. The hours suck, you’re always on call, and there is neverending drama. I can’t remember much of my living life, but I don’t think I was much for the drama. I didn’t like gossip, or so I told myself. I didn’t like to discuss people when they weren’t there or stir any pots. No drama for this girl. At least when I was living. That little voice, that I didn’t really like much, whispered, liar…but it wasn’t much for honesty either.

Now I’m dead, and it’s nothing but drama. Drama. Drama. Drama.

This Afterlife wasn’t what I was expecting. Not that I expected much, in regard to being dead. Not many twenty-somethings give deep thoughts to life after death topics. Especially not this girl. I was invincible. I would live forever. I was so very wrong.

My Afterlife now consisted of constantly stirring up pots so the living could go on living and I could dish out their comeuppance. They didn’t know how lucky they had it. No use dwelling on it, though. I couldn’t change my fate.

A loud clatter from behind me made me turn around in my seat and gape at the mess a small child had just created. He was barely old enough to walk, but he had managed to knock a plate on the floor from his unrestricted perch on his mother’s lap. She made no move to pick up the mess. I was hiding out at my favorite coffee house, trying to get lost in a book that I might have read when I was living. It was kind of familiar, but I was still getting surprised by the plot twists, so maybe I hadn’t read it before.

The mother looked at me apathetically and then went back to scrolling through her phone. I turned back around and picked up where I left off in the book. The kid started to scream. I might have read this paragraph already. I scanned the pages trying to find where I had left off.

“Crap,” I muttered under my breath and skipped back a page.

“No, Praxton,” the mother repeated over and over again. It was a low voice. Non-threatening. Wouldn’t want to upset the kid. Another loud crash as something else hit the deck.

I couldn’t help myself, I turned around again. The woman was still scrolling through her phone, the kid was chewing on the paper bag her muffin came in while simultaneously smearing coffee across the table. It had been her coffee cup that had hit the deck.

By this point, a flustered barista had hustled over and began to clean up the mess the child had made. The mother didn’t even look up from her phone. Her aura now had me fascinated, swirls of gray were seeping in at the edges as the barista swept up the pieces of the broken plate and the woman refused to look up or say thank you. Compared to other auras I had the pleasure of viewing, her’s was relatively clean, but this behavior was grating on my nerves, especially as the kid began to scream when the barista picked up the crumpled napkins on the table.

“Are you still drinking this?” The barista asked in a shakey, timid voice.

“Uh, what?” The woman finally looked up, frowing at the intrusion.

“This, are you still drinking it?” The barista indicated the mess of coffee on the table.

“No.” She went back to her phone and the barista wiped at the coffee mess.

“No! No! No!” Praxton the wonder kid began to slam his fist on the table, taking a swipe at the barista as she wiped the table.

“Stop, Praxton.” Mom whispered.

Her aura darkened when the kid landed a hit on the barista and I smiled. Not because the barista took one for the team, but because now I could step in.

I sent a little urging to the brat with my manifestation superpowers of karmic awesomeness. That’s what I was calling them lately, only in my head of course. The kid ripped mom’s phone out of her hand and decided it would make a great drum stick, the table a wonderful drum.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bejewels flew left and right. I heard the distinct crack of the pretty, but not practical, case crack. In slow motion, one of the jewels from the case flew through the air and landed on the hand of the barista as she clutched it to her chest. She was still suffering from the pint-sized beating. She glanced down at the pretty jewel and was reminded that she was going ring shopping with her boyfriend this weekend. She smiled.

The mom screamed as the phone’s case cracked off and her precious, latest model, phone slammed into the table without any protection.

“Praxton!” She wailed.

“No! No! No!” He laughed. It wasn’t loud enough to hide the sound of crunching.

I stood and grabbed my book as the heady feeling of karma served washed over me. Another day in the life of this karma incorporated operative.

Liked what you read?

Check out the Karma Inc. series free on Kindle Unlimited.

Check out Cheat - Book #1

Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

It’s been awhile. I have nothing but long and drawn out excuses that you don’t want to hear. They involve a wasp infestation, the fact that I can’t say no…and the genius idea of turning rentals into AirBnB’s but doing all the work myself. But, I made it. And I’m writing again. I even have a release schedule. What? Yup. And I thought my “back on the horse” flash fiction, would take place in the world of Karma Inc. which is my current series.

This is an unedited Karma Inc. short. All content © 2017 by Gillian Zane.

read more

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A convenience store is the location, angst is the theme. A pack of cigarettes is an object that plays a part in the story.

read more
Page 1 of 212
Thursday Flash Tale – A NOLA Zombie Exclusive Short

Thursday Flash Tale – A NOLA Zombie Exclusive Short

For Apocalypse month our Flash Tales will not be so random. This month’s flash tales will be tales of the apocalypse – and today’s tale is set in the NOLA Zombie world. This is part two of the NOLA Zombie exclusive. Enjoy.

This is an unedited NOLA Zombie short. All content © 2016 by Gillian Zane.

Nixon – Part II

I realized I might have made a mistake as the two-lane highway became an isolated causeway over miles and miles of swamp. There were no turnarounds and nowhere to go but forward. I weaved in and out of stalled cars, some with the dead still rotting away on the inside. At this point, they were barely skin and bones. They beat on the windows weakly as I passed. Their fingers clawed for escape. I tried not to cringe as bone met glass in a sickly, nails on chalkboard, sound.

Dead bodies were strewn in my path and I had to slow the bike. The gas had made it this far out of the city, taking out an entire group of the fuckers. They disintegrated where they lay, their bodies already half decomposed before the gas got to them. I slowly rolled over them, the squish of their jellied body parts making my stomach heave.

As the carpet of dead bodies faded to cement so did the tall trees that hemmed me in on both sides. Even though I had never seen a cypress before I recognized the statuesque trees from their dripping leaves and knotty roots. Thick swamp led to a few trees here and there and then finally to open water as the lake that bordered New Orleans to the north came into view.

I had never been good at geography, so I couldn’t remember the name of this particular lake. It had been long and funny, though, I knew that. I wonder if anyone remembered its name? Would one day all of our names fade into unremembered history, renamed and repurposed. When humanity finally got it’s foothold, started progressing and taming the world around them, again – would they look back on us and wonder about our motives, like we did on the ancients?

Would we wonder why we built a lady with a torch in the middle of a bay? Wonder if it was a token to the gods?

Too damn introspective. I was losing my edge since the gas drop. That would be fine and all if the danger was gone, but it wasn’t. The dead still lurked in the hidden bits of this world and the living were doing everything it took to survive. And that usually didn’t mean good things for me.

Gotta stay focused. There was plenty of time to wax poetic or whatever the fuck it meant to cook up crazy ideas in my head, once I bunkered down for the night in a safe a secure hideaway.

The cool wind bit through the leather jacket that was my prized possession. It was October, if my day keeping was accurate, which it might not be. About two-hundred and forty-three days ago I took a header off the side of a bridge trying to escape a very persistent group of fuckers and had hit my head pretty hard. I had crawled into a minivan and passed out. I had come to at day break. It might have been the next day, it might have been a few days. I had been hella thirsty and starving, but I had been alive.

The bridge went up and over and as I rounded the corner I sucked in a breath. The view was amazing. Blue sky stretched over a dark blue lake. Eagles circled in the air, the high pitched screams a dead giveaway that they were the revered bald eagles. As I neared their dark bodies and white heads confirmed what they were and I couldn’t help but smile. The animals that endangered before were now thriving in a world without men. Someone might as well prosper from our downfall.

The highway opened up before me when I reached the midway point of the causeway, stalled cars fading behind me as if the area had been cleared. Pieces and parts of cars were scattered on the ground of the highway, making me wonder if this was indeed what had happened. A side mirror lay on the cement, broken glass scattered across the road. Blood splatters but there were no bodies. Someone had taken the time to clear the highway. But who?

In the distance a highway sign loomed, dark spray paint splattered across it. I figured it was more of the same from the doom and gloom painter from before. But I slowed to a crawl when I could make out the words. In big black letters painted neatly across the sign read:

Safe Zone. New Orleans. French Quarter. Follow the signs.

Reese

“You’re not going, and that’s final Reese.”

“I’m not a kid anymore,” I hated when they forced me to be petulant. I hadn’t been a kid for a long time. Hell, I hadn’t been a kid since I watched the first zombie chomp down on fresh flesh. That kind of changed a girl.

But, this town was overrun by military hot heads and I was a skinny teen they had scooped up on the side of the road, screaming for help. I had been carted off and placed with stand-in parents and lumped in with the rest of the brats that were lucky enough not to become zombie chow. There hadn’t been many kids that made it and the ones that aged out of kid status weren’t being allowed to transition into the grown-up jobs.

“Eighteen is still too young,” the shift coordinator, Paul said as he crossed his arms.

“I’m nineteen.” I corrected him, clenching my teeth. “And I’ve been training with the squads for two years. I moved out on my own six months ago, what’s it gonna take to get on a mission?”

“Approval by the council,” he stated flatly.

“This is ridiculous, and the argument for keeping me behind the walls is invalid.” I went for logic. I had gone with anger the first time. Frustration for the second time. Spoiled brat the third. Now that this quarter’s shifts were about to go up, I would go for logic.

“You know they gotta approve everyone I let out the city, Reese and they aren’t going to green light you.” Paul sighed, finally hitting me with the truth. The truth we had both known but didn’t want to admit. It all came down to three people. The Voiters, those damn over-protective asshats. Sure, they had taken me and my little sister in when everything had gone to hell, but that didn’t give them the right to lord their rules and regulations over me. It didn’t help that Hank and Barbara were on the council. Or that Hank’s little brother, the man I called Uncle Romeo was one of the reasons this city existed at all.

“This is dictator bullshit,” I grumbled.

“You can’t be a dictator when you’re one of seven,” Paul laughed, but he quickly tried to cover up his smile when he saw that I wasn’t amused. “Look, Reese, you don’t want to be out there. Stay safe. Stay inside the city.”

I didn’t respond. There was nothing I could say. They didn’t care about my ideas or the fact that I could help this city survive. All they cared about was the past and how so many had died. Sure, it was still dangerous out there, but I could handle myself. Since the world ended I had been training non-stop, learning how to protect myself, learning how to protect my sister, so I wouldn’t lose another family member.

“I need the part, Ryan. And no one’s going to get it to me.”

“Your biodiesel experiment. Anything that runs on gas is out, nothing you can do about it.”

“Says you.”

“Says the rest of the city.” I threw up my hands in disgust and huffed off. These fools wouldn’t see past their own agendas. No one would give my biodiesel idea any credit. It was too much work, it was too hard to convert. Blah, blah, freaking blah. I had found a way to do it and I had found the perfect vehicle, all I needed were a few parts. The only problem, from the old advertisements I had found, the place was in Kenner. A city fifteen miles from my location. It would take me half a day to walk it, a few hours if I could find a bike. And now that I was going to do it on my own, a whole lot of courage.

“Screw it,” I said out loud, kicking at the overgrown grass that bordered the street. I had everything prepared, I could make it there and back in two days at most. The only problem would be sleeping arrangements that night. But, I could find a place to hole up. Sure, I had never been out on my own in this screwed up world.

All the zombies had been gassed. What’s the worst that could happen?

Liked what you read?

Check out the NOLA Zombie series free on Kindle Unlimited.

NOLA Zombie Prequel

Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

It’s been awhile. I have nothing but long and drawn out excuses that you don’t want to hear. They involve a wasp infestation, the fact that I can’t say no…and the genius idea of turning rentals into AirBnB’s but doing all the work myself. But, I made it. And I’m writing again. I even have a release schedule. What? Yup. And I thought my “back on the horse” flash fiction, would take place in the world of Karma Inc. which is my current series.

This is an unedited Karma Inc. short. All content © 2017 by Gillian Zane.

read more

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A convenience store is the location, angst is the theme. A pack of cigarettes is an object that plays a part in the story.

read more
Page 1 of 212
Thursday Flash Tale – A NOLA Zombie Exclusive Short

Thursday Flash Tale – A NOLA Zombie Exclusive Short

For Apocalypse month our Flash Tales will not be so random. This month’s flash tales will be tales of the apocalypse – and today’s tale is set in the NOLA Zombie world. This is not a character that was in the NOLA Zombie books – he’s new. Enjoy.

This is an unedited NOLA Zombie short. All content © 2016 by Gillian Zane.

Nixon –  two hundred and forty-three

I had survived one thousand, three hundred and twenty-two days. Alone. Well, the majority of the time I was alone. I had made the mistake, early on, of teaming up with a few breathers. It was in the beginning. When I was only a dumb kid. I learned quickly that they only make things harder, the living that is. Their fear and stupid emotional reactions drag you down. They want to talk about their feelings and go on and on about how they just want it to go back to the way it used to be. They quickly labeled me the bad guy because I didn’t get all torn up when shit needed to get done. Like when Amanda had gotten bit.

I didn’t want to even think her name. She was a good kid. Barely fifteen.

So, I left. They wanted to wait and see. They wanted to treat her. She could be cured. She could be different. Denial is how you die. They thought I was the big bad because I wanted to separate her, lock her in a room, maybe kill her. There had been accusations. Screaming. They told me to leave. I left.

I didn’t turn around when the screams of anger turned to screams of fear. It carried over the air. The night was cool, the sound carried, I still remember like it was yesterday. The moans of the dead became more excited, more energized as the screams of the living intensified. That was nine hundred eighty-two days ago.

Now I knew better. If they were alive, they would know better. The bites change you. They should have let me kill her. But, they had hope. And this world wasn’t one where you could let hope grab ahold of you. Hope meant death. Hope was for morons. Hope was dead.

This world wasn’t for the stupid or the hopeful. It was for the strong and the smart.

You couldn’t be weak. You couldn’t be led by your emotions. I had started out weak. But, luckily I wasn’t stupid, so I made sure I wasn’t weak anymore. The old me wouldn’t recognize the person I was now. Wouldn’t know what to do with this new me. The extra forty pounds I had carried around were sloughed off because there were no endless nights behind a computer. There also wasn’t that much to eat. I had definition in my arms and my chest because of what it took to stay alive these days. Killing was quite a workout.

I could have let myself get soft again after the planes had come. The planes that flew low as they blew out noxious gas. The gas was followed by xerox copied pamphlets that boasted about a cure. We were saved. We had a government that would come to the rescue.

La tee fucking da.

They forgot one thing, though. What about the fuckers that they didn’t gas? The ones in the houses? The ones under bridges or the ones in remote areas that they weren’t able to get to? Typical government.

Like the group that was coming toward me, right at this moment. I smiled. I’m sure it was insane looking. I enjoyed killing them. My post-apocalyptic workout. I had been so weak when this all went down. Now look at me.

Swing. Chop. Thrust. Repeat.

It hadn’t always been like this. The first large group I took out, my arms had ached for days. Now, it was like second nature. I gripped the machete in my hands, like a bat. A small one stumbled toward me. It’s head reached my chest. I logically put together that it was a child, but I didn’t want to acknowledge that. It was just a short fucker. I planted my legs and waited for it to get closer. The moment it came in reach I swung.

“Batter, batter,” the sound of crunching skull was pleasant in a psychotic way. Wet shit flung back as I made contact with the skull. My machete cleaved through the head with less effort than I expected.

“Fuckers zero, Nixon two hundred and forty-three,” I banged my blade on the sidewalk to dislodge the flesh that still clung to it. They were getting slower. The second one hadn’t even reached me yet, it limped painstakingly forward, it’s mouth gaped open. A horrid sound emanated from its throat, it wasn’t quite a moan, more like a rattling breath.

One swing of my blade and it went down with a wet crunch.

I glanced to the left and right to see if there were any more coming. None. That was the last one. I was on a deserted road, in the middle of Who-The-Hell-Knew where. I wasn’t really paying attention when I had driven up here. I had started moving a few months ago and hadn’t stopped. Head South. Seemed like the smart thing to do at the time. It was better than up North. No winters down South. The winter had nearly killed me.

Fucking almost froze my ass off. Almost burned a few houses down too. After a blizzard that had me holed up in some shit-hole motel for a month, eating stale cheese twists and drinking melted snow, I was done with that crap. I needed sun and humidity.

I slipped my machete into the homemade sheeth on my thigh and got back on my bike. I wasn’t used to riding long distances, so my ass needed a break every now again, but with no fuckers in sight, time to get back on the move.

I had taken to calling the infected, fuckers. What else was I supposed to call them? Zombies. Fuckers were more appropriate. Zombies were fiction, from television or books. My friends and I used to discuss for hours what would happen if a zombie apocalypse hit. We hadn’t known shit. We had been such idiots. Now they were all dead and I was barely alive. So, they were fuckers. Started out as dead fuckers, but that’s too long. So fuckers it is. Not that I would offend anyone with my foul-mouthed tendencies. I hadn’t seen a person in sixty-two days and it hadn’t been a person I wanted to get to know better.

The breathers were sometimes a lot worse than the dead. The breathers pointed guns at you and tried to steal your bike and your food.

And I had considered myself anti-social before the end of the world. Who was I kidding?

I chuckled out loud. I was prone to talking to myself since I was my own company.

Something glinted off in the distance. A highway sign that was still standing. The cracked blacktop road I had been racing down for the last week was now merging onto a raised causeway. The area around me had gone from pine forest to swampy without me noticing. I tried to remember what highway I was on so I could place myself. Many of the highway signs were missing or in disrepair. Some asshole had painted ‘This is The End’ on a lot of the ones in this area, covering up the words beneath. I had no idea where I was.

I slowed as I neared the big green highway sign, still in pristine condition. It read:

New Orleans 30

I had always wanted to go to New Orleans.

Liked what you read?

Check out the NOLA Zombie series free on Kindle Unlimited.

NOLA Zombie Prequel

Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

It’s been awhile. I have nothing but long and drawn out excuses that you don’t want to hear. They involve a wasp infestation, the fact that I can’t say no…and the genius idea of turning rentals into AirBnB’s but doing all the work myself. But, I made it. And I’m writing again. I even have a release schedule. What? Yup. And I thought my “back on the horse” flash fiction, would take place in the world of Karma Inc. which is my current series.

This is an unedited Karma Inc. short. All content © 2017 by Gillian Zane.

read more

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A convenience store is the location, angst is the theme. A pack of cigarettes is an object that plays a part in the story.

read more
Page 1 of 212
Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A convenience store is the location, angst is the theme. A pack of cigarettes is an object that plays a part in the story.

This is an unedited work of fiction. All content © 2016 by Gillian Zane. This content can not be shared or republished without express permission from the author. 

The Stranger by Gillian Zane

“Just run in and grab me a pack of smokes,” Billy whined from the back seat. He was a douche on a good day, drunk he had me wanting to beat his head in. This surprised me since I considered myself an even tempered person and not prone to violence. Billy always brought out the bad side in me.

“Will you stay put?” I asked my own pleading tone an embarrassment. I gritted my teeth and tried to not scowl. I had one thing to do, deliver his ass to his parents in a relatively unharmed condition if I wanted my bonus. Bonus, as in ten grand. I was getting that money. That money would be the best thing that Billy Wallace ever did for me.

I had checked every low-rent casino and strip club in the tristate area and finally found his ass at the Big Horse Casino on a three-day binge of what seemed to be meth, gin, and black jack. He had also been in the hole by over fifty grand. No wonder his father offered me ten to find him, I was a bargain.

Billy looked up at me with bloodshot eyes and gave me a goofy grin.

“Billy, if I leave you in the car do you promise not to go anywhere?”

“Cross my dick and hope to sober,” he laughed at his joke, which fell way short in my estimation.

“I don’t believe you,” I mumbled and then said louder, “I’m locking you in.”

I parked the car in the spot on the side of the convenience store, so if Billy made a scene the clerk couldn’t see him. I slipped out of the sedan and clicked the remote to lock him in. I had another fifty miles to go with the drunk William Wallace the fourth in the backseat if I plied him with cigarettes and sugary soda maybe he’d not talk as much.

I was tired of hearing his mouth. Tired of hearing him reminisce about our childhood like he cared.

“Remember that time, Kel? You know when I got locked out of the house…and you stayed with me in the tree house?” I had been hearing stuff like that for three-hour drive back to his parent’s manor.

Working for the Wallace family wasn’t my ideal career choice, but they paid ridiculously well and I usually made my own hours. My father had worked for them before me when they had only been the owners of one prestigious horse farm. I had grown up around the family. Billy and I had practically been raised as cousins. I cringed at my own thoughts. Cousin was a bad analogy since at one point I had the hots for him, but I was a teenager and dumb as a box of rocks, not to mention relatively isolated at the manor house.

But, then his father had run for office. And now the manor was a veritable compound and Mr. Wallace employed hundreds of people, including myself.

I thought about the stupid girl I had been. The daughter of the Wallace’s beloved trainer. We had lived in a little house by the stables and I thought the sun and moon set on the boy that rode the big white horse named Thor. It had probably been years since Billy had ridden and even more since my obsession with him had fizzled. That attraction, what I had believed to be love, had quickly been doused as Billy found things to do other than riding. Hobbies like drinking, drug use, and a lot of very casual sex.

“Stay put,” I mouthed.

He tried the door and when it didn’t open he banged on the window. He called my name, but I shook my head and rattled the keys at him.

I hated treating him this way, but there was no choice. He went missing two weeks ago and his father had been livid. There had been all these strange people hanging around the manor, men with creepy eyes that didn’t blink when they watched you. Mr. Wallace had assured his staff that they were here to work with him.

“Big changes,” he had told us. “And all of you will be with me when it happens!”

But then his son had disappeared, on another binge and those creepy men had become anxious, Mr. Wallace had gotten more and more frustrated until he finally pulled me into his office, along with two other of his security staff – and offered the person that found Billy ten grand. I knew Billy, I knew I would be the one to find him.

Yet, a tingle in my stomach, an itch at the back of my neck had me worried that someone else had known this. Someone knew I would find Billy and that someone was watching me. I scratched at my neck, my hair was pulled on top of my head in a professional bun.

Billy was still banging against the window, I turned back to look at him once more and he pulled his face in a grimace, his skin tinged with green. He was going to be sick.

“Oh shit,” I cried and clicked the release button. The door flew open, Billy must have been yanking on the handle. He fell from the car and fell forward with an audible oomph. The moment his hands hit the pavement he began to vomit. Wet retching sounds making me swallow as my mouth filled with saliva, I was never good with puke.

I hated him. It was a revelation to realize the truth. But it was the truth. I had loved the boy, I hated the man. The weak man. Looking back on our lives together I could see the weak man in the boy I had loved, but before I had seen him through rose colored glasses. I had viewed his greed as ambition. I had played off his selfishness as confidence. It had taken a lot for me to wake up and view him for what he really was and it stung because I had cherished my friend. Now, I hated him.

I stood over him as he vomited and made no attempt to help him.

“Friend of yours?” I hadn’t heard anyone walk up. Not the crunch of gravel, or the sound of a stray breath. I had been trained to be a member of the Wallace security team, so I was supposed to be aware of my surroundings. I had thought I was good at my job.

“Where did you come from?” I turned to the man that stood next to me, staring down at Billy. He was a few inches taller than me but much wider, his shoulders filling out the leather jacket he wore. I only caught his profile, an aquiline nose, a strong jaw and hair in a sleek fade.

“Your friend is drunk.” He stated the obvious.

“Quite,” I snorted.

“That’ll make this easier,” he said and in a blur of motion was grabbing Billy and yanking him to his feet. He looked up at me. His eyes flashed. Those unsettling eyes like the men from the manor. They bore into me, challenging me. My stomach dropped and my breath hitched.

“Stop,” I drew on the man. This was the first time I had drawn my weapon, I had only passed marksmanship last month so I could get my permit. I was relieved to see my hand didn’t shake.

“Your little pistol means nothing to me,” the man laughed, holding Billy by the back of his neck in a tight restraint. Billy squirmed half-heartedly, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Did he even realize what was happening to him? B

“What do you want from us?” I asked with as much command as I could muster.

“Nothing from you, female, everything from your employer, that’s why I’m taking his eldest son. It’s time for him to pay the piper,” he smiled and I saw the gleam of white teeth. Too white and too sharp. The man was handsome in a predatory way, in a way that was pristine and well-packaged–creepy. The kind of man you would see in a magazine that was photoshopped and touched up. But, here he stood, with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, no photoshop needed.

Billy heaved again and the stranger let him fall to his hands and knees to avoid the forthcoming puke explosion.

I pulled the trigger. The metal of the trigger resisted as my finger pulled it as if to say, “do you really want to do this?” I had no reason to shoot, he hadn’t made a move to hurt Billy, the only thing I had going was my gut feeling and that feeling screamed TIME TO FREAK OUT. The gun kicked back, the sound exploded over the empty parking lot and the smell of gun powder fanned my face with a caress. The violence of the shot was shocking to me.

I went for the biggest target, his chest like I had been taught. The stranger jerked once, but he stayed erect. His eyes on mine. A hole appeared in his shirt, but there was no blood, he didn’t fall, he didn’t even wince. His smile became bigger and he looked down at the smoking hole in his shirt.

“Ah, Kelsey, that tickled.”

How did he know my name? How was he still standing?

“What?” I gaped at him.

“I don’t have the time or the inclination to explain,” he waved me off like I was bothering him. He pulled Billy up by his hair, which had Billy whimpering and complaining.

The man dragged Billy with him as he walked closer to me. He bent over and scooped something up. My keys. I must have dropped them when I drew my weapon. The man pushed Billy into the backseat with a kick and then got behind the wheel. I stood there, my gun pointed at him, but afraid to shoot again.

“Tell you’re employer Pace called in his marker,” the man made a dismissive wave with his left hand and started the car.

I finally found my voice and lowered my weapon, knowing it would be of no use. A weird doubt in my head that I wasn’t used to. I couldn’t shoot, I would miss. This man was too strong. I was too weak. I was nothing compared to this man.

“What are you going to do to him?” My voice left my mouth in a wavering, shaky pattern.

“That depends on William the Third. He knows what I require.”

“You can’t take him like this, he’s a drunk, but innocent. He’s not like his father,” I chose to use logic over force.

“I know this,” he said softly. “Call Wallace, he knows how to get in touch with me.”

“I’ll find you, you can’t do this!” I found my confidence. He couldn’t do this. The man looked me up and down, his smile never wavering.

“For some reason, I believe you and I look forward to it.” He winked. Winked! Like we were flirting and my gun arm slowly raised. I could shoot him through the head, no one could live through that.

He pulled off with a spin of the tires, kicking up gravel that hit me in the shins. I watched as the tail lights got smaller and smaller. I wanted to shoot out the tires, like the movies. I wanted to chase him, but something held me back. That crippling doubt that flashed through my mind. Too slow. Too weak. Too dumb. Too human…

That was odd. I blinked, the last thought breaking me out of my cyclical thoughts. What had just happened? I had lost Billy.

Reluctantly I pulled out my phone and punched in the number of my employer.

Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

It’s been awhile. I have nothing but long and drawn out excuses that you don’t want to hear. They involve a wasp infestation, the fact that I can’t say no…and the genius idea of turning rentals into AirBnB’s but doing all the work myself. But, I made it. And I’m writing again. I even have a release schedule. What? Yup. And I thought my “back on the horse” flash fiction, would take place in the world of Karma Inc. which is my current series.

This is an unedited Karma Inc. short. All content © 2017 by Gillian Zane.

read more

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A convenience store is the location, angst is the theme. A pack of cigarettes is an object that plays a part in the story.

read more
Page 1 of 212
Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A train is the location, weakness is the theme. A fur coat is an object that plays a part in the story.

 

This is an unedited work of fiction. All content © 2016 by Gillian Zane. This content can not be shared or republished without express permission from the author. 

Just Another Day by Gillian Zane

 

This always happened to me. You would think by now I would have learned my lesson. I stumbled and grabbed at the coat I had hastily thrown around me so it wouldn’t fall open. I had broken into the neighboring sleeper and grabbed the first thing I saw. That first thing happened to be a calf-length faux fox fur that looked like something you would see in a rap video. It was about five sizes too big and wrapped around me like a robe, which was probably a good thing, since I was butt naked underneath it.

How did this shit happen to me?

I didn’t want to answer that. I knew damn well how this shit happened to me. The train lurched and I grabbed for the back of the seat closest to me. The man in it looked up at me in irritation and then scowled. His eyes widening when he took me in.

I must look like shit. I wound my way down the aisle of tightly packed seats to the restroom. The train lurched again. Or was it just me? My head was throbbing and there was a black film over my peripheral vision. There was someone coming out of the bathroom and I pushed past them, antsy to get in the confined space.

“Hey, what the hell,” the woman said, but she fell away when she got a look at me.

“Fuck off,” I didn’t let her respond, slipping in the bathroom and locking the door behind me.

I glanced in the mirror and laughed. I was a sight. Mascara rimmed my eyes, my lipstick from last night was smeared across my face. If some dumb ass paparazzi tracked me down they wouldn’t recognize me, I barely recognized myself. I tried to clean up the mess but make-up these days was like permanent marker, the shit was impossible to get off with only soap and water. Like they put some kind of special sauce into the stuff, that only came off with their coordinated make-up remover.

Someone banged on the door.

Ocupado,” I said in a bad Spanish accent. There was grumbling from the other side of the door.

My coat had fallen open and I glanced down at myself. I had lost more weight. That happens when you live off of energy drinks, cocaine, and rough sex for two days. I noticed the bruises on my legs and winced. Maybe it was time to reassess my life choices. I had thought grabbing a train for a cross country sexual escapade with DJ Levithius, the act I was opening for, was a good idea. Then I found myself in the hall of a train, headed to God knows where, butt naked, holding back puke only because I hadn’t eaten in three days. All because he said I was annoying and talked too much.

“Mother bitch,” I muttered in the mirror. I had to call my manager. I didn’t even know where my pack was. It had my phone in it and all my credit cards. I remembered it was in my hotel room…had I left it?

Levithius had knocked on my door, smiled that ridiculously charming smile, waved a bag of uppers in my face…and mentioned we had a 3-day break between cities and he always wanted to take a train.

My bag had to be in his sleeper. My hand slipped on the wet counter and I hit my head on the mirror.

“Fuck!” Someone banged on the door and I hissed back a slew of curses.

There was a red mark on my forehead. I rubbed at it and it pulsed in pain. My headache focused down to that tiny spot and throbbed like a nuclear bomb about to burst out of my skull. I could use an upper right now, just to get me out of this funk. I would feel so much better. I needed to call my manager. I needed to get to…

I couldn’t remember the next city of the tour. Cincinnati. Chicago? Something with a C. Or maybe it was Shreveport, wherever the hell that was. I drank water out of the sink, the cold, chemically tasting water did little to quench my thirst, but it focused my attention back to what mattered. I needed my clothes and pack from Levithius’ sleeper.

I pushed open the door to be greeted by the faces of two scowling attendants. They both stepped back and the female placed a hand over her mouth. Yeah, I looked bad. My face was still painted in swirls and dots that glowed in the dark, from the rave last night. Some of it had wiped off, but they looked like a bad tattoo now. I hadn’t been able to get the mascara off, so my eyes were dark holes of tragedy. Don’t even get me started with the lipstick that had sort of washed off, but my lips were still tinged purple. Rave hangover was a tragic sight.

“Boo,” I motioned with my hands, realizing too late that I was holding the coat closed. They got a peek.

“You’re welcome,” I said in my gritty voice as I maneuvered to get the coat closed.

I shoved past the staring duo, not giving two shits about what they thought of me. Judge. Judge. Judge. I’ve been judged all my life. I was used to it.

I walked past families that clutched their kids tighter as I passed, and stuffy businessmen in their cinched up business attire, looking like they had rods shoved up their tight asses. Then there were the semi-stinky hipsters on holiday, over-doused with cologne and pepermint flavored lattes, taking selfies whenever they passed something worth noting on Snapchat. I glanced down at the mega tablet that one of them was holding, reading some newsblog.

“Bugger,” I ripped the tablet out of his hand, slapping at his other hand when he tried to grab it back. “One second stinky.” I stared with horror at the screen.

ELECTROPOP SENSATION KIKI SHOCKS TOURISTS WITH PUBLIC PDA WITH DJ LEVITHIUS AND UNKNOWN MALE

And there I was with Levithius’ hands up my skirt and the unknown male’s mouth on my tit, which of course were on display but blurred out. His name was Ray, or maybe Paul. A fan. We had rocked his world.

“Oh shit, you’re her, Kiki,” the guy across from me said. I ignored him. I scrolled down the page. There were a few more pictures. Apparently, I had a threesome near a fountain in downtown San Antonio. Too bad I couldn’t remember it. I remembered getting on this train right after and leaving Paul, or was it Liam, in the station.

I handed the guy back his tablet and got up, accidentally flashing him. He gaped at me.

“You’re welcome,” I leered and rolled my eyes. Time to get back to Levithius’ sleeper. I needed to pass out, or take something to wake me up.

Some how I managed to get down the hall and figure out which compartment we were in. I was almost there when I heard someone shout from behind me.

“That’s my coat! Stop, or I’m going to get the APD.” I turned around and rolled my eyes at the plump lady that was pointing a finger at me.

“I needed it,” I said with a shrug.

“Take it off!” She insisted.

“Fine,” I let it drop to the floor and she hissed in response.

“You’re welcome,” I turned around and banged on the sleeper that I hoped held Levithus. He opened the door and a cloud of sweet smelling smoke poured out, he took one look at me naked in the hallway and smirked, pulling me in and slamming the door behind me.

“You’re a dick,” I pouted as he threw me a little baggy that contained a few pills. I didn’t even question them as I popped them into my mouth and dried swallowed them. I instantly felt better, even though I knew it would take awhile for the effects to hit.

“We’ll be in Colombia in four hours,” he ignored my insult. I knew it started with a C.

“What we gonna do until then?” I sat down on the bed, not caring that I was still nude.

“I’ve got some ideas.”

“You think you’d be bored, we’ve been going at it for the last 48-hours,” I tried to stifle the yawn.

“Just another day…” he did yawn.

 

Cassie’s Coffee Shop Escapades – Flash Fiction Thursday

It’s been awhile. I have nothing but long and drawn out excuses that you don’t want to hear. They involve a wasp infestation, the fact that I can’t say no…and the genius idea of turning rentals into AirBnB’s but doing all the work myself. But, I made it. And I’m writing again. I even have a release schedule. What? Yup. And I thought my “back on the horse” flash fiction, would take place in the world of Karma Inc. which is my current series.

This is an unedited Karma Inc. short. All content © 2017 by Gillian Zane.

read more

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

We are trying something new on the PJV, we call it Flash Tales. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Joss and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

A convenience store is the location, angst is the theme. A pack of cigarettes is an object that plays a part in the story.

read more
Page 1 of 212
Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

Thursday Flash Tale – A Flash Fiction Adventure

It’s my turn! Today is Flash Tales Thursday. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Gillian and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.

Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:

An internet cafe is the location, hatred is the theme. A delivery van is an object that plays a part in the story. 

Trigger warning.

This is an unedited work of fiction. All content © 2016 by Joss Glass. This content can not be shared or republished without express permission from the author. 

The Opportunist by Joss Glass

 

“I’d like him to bend me over that espresso machine,” drifted into my mind as I stepped forward in line. I was at my favorite coffee shop, Café Net. I tried not to stumble as the waves of desire drove through me. It used to be weird to experience other peoples’ thoughts and feelings, but after five years of being telepathic and empathic, I’ve gotten used to it. It was actually kind of fun in some cases. Charlie was working tonight and his broad shoulders, golden skin, and laughing green eyes always encouraged a certain level of lust in the patrons.

“Hey Charlie, I’ll have my usual.” “You got it, Rebekah.” I paid and scooted down to the end of the counter.

“I wish The Purge was real. I’d kill Neal. I’d kill Neal twice. I’d walk into Neal’s fucking office and straight up kill Neal. No, first I’d set his Best Boss plaque on fire, and then I’d kill Neal.” I shook my head and laughed to myself. You’d be surprised just how common it was for people to fantasize about killing their bosses. It was usually associated with the feelings of self-righteous indignation, irritation, and mockery.

After I woke up from a coma five years ago, I had the frightening discovery that I could not only hear what people were thinking, but I could feel what they were feeling. I literally heard voices in my head. After finding out that I was not in fact a schizophrenic, I then looked towards a split personality but since I was the one hearing the voices and not the one portraying the voices that fell through too. So I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have to pay attention to other peoples’ thoughts and emotions regardless of my interest. At first, this was my own personal hell as a self-proclaimed introvert and people hater. I would have rather spent my time in my favorite coffee shop reading my books and ignoring the other patrons like a normal human being.

It took a couple of years of a constant litany of other peoples’ thoughts before I embraced what I now considered to be a gift. I also found that instead of being an aspiring author, I could become a published author by taking all the interesting things I heard and writing them into a story. Some may call it cheating or even plagiarism, but whatever. So I’m a fake. I’m a phony. I’m also very successful. I found that I could hang out at Café Net and write while I let the customers’ thoughts and feelings filter through me. I always have my plot in mind, but it’s nice to have the thoughts of others to help jump start dialogue and characters’ personalities.

Charlie handed over my latte, and I headed over to my favorite table. As I set down my cup and got out my laptop opening it up to see the screen, I felt the man’s emotions before I heard his thoughts. I felt anger. Red, hot anger. The type of anger that occurs in the hearts of radicals, of road ragers, of the jilted, of the ignored. This was rage. It pressed in to me. It wrapped firm, prickly arms around me. I’d never felt such intense madness in my life. “I’ll slice those pretty lips.”

I looked up. What the hell? I stopped trying to figure out whose thoughts were floating through my head years ago. I didn’t see pictures in my head. I just heard the thoughts and felt the emotions. In a room full of people, I would seem like a lunatic if I tried to pinpoint the person. But hell, that was creepy. I glanced around the room. There were several men in the coffee shop that day: a guy in a black hoodie, a surfer boy with typical blonde hair and dark skin, a man in a suit, and an average guy in a company polo. My money was on Mr. Hoodie.

None of the men appeared as if they were currently fantasizing about cutting up some women’s lips. Though now that I’d looked around I’d put my first born, if I had a first born, on the suit being the Neal Killer.

“Stupid bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Whore.” His voice was seething. It reminded me of a hissing snake. I stretched my neck both left and right trying to release the tension that the rage was building inside me. “I’ll scalp her.” My stomach started to turn from his thoughts. I felt like I drank six Jager Bombs, and then sniffed a dumpster.

The rage was suffocating me now. I was enveloped in a black cloud of sharp needles. It pricked my skin all at once. I couldn’t stop the tear from rolling down my cheek. I swiped it away. I stared harder at my laptop screen. “I’m going to pull her skin off in strips.” I gasped. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Screw it. I was now full on looking around trying to pinpoint the man. “I wonder if she’ll still feel the pain once her skin is gone?” Even more revolting than the rage was the nauseating accompanying feeling of satisfaction this man was feeling towards his thoughts of torture.

Hoodie man stood up and tossed his cup into the trash. The anticipation of the rage releasing me made me stare at him as he walked across the room. All of a sudden, he looked at me startled. Shit. I looked away. When I looked back at him, he was headed out the door, but the rage was stronger than before. Feeling absolutely stupid, I glanced around again. This is why I stop trying to figure this shit out. I look like a maniac.

The surfer boy in the pale blue v neck and jeans stood up.  He checked his phone screen and gathered up his things and left the coffee shop. As he stood outside on the curb, the rage dissipated. Holy shit! Him? I got to stop him. As I ran towards the door like the maniac I was afraid of appearing to be, I saw through the glass doors a green delivery truck pull up.  Surfer guy jumped in and the truck drove away. I shoved open the doors and ran out onto the sidewalk searching for the truck. It was gone.

Guess, it’s time to write a horror story.

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