Flash Fiction Monday – Earning His Keep

october-31

I whined softly as the door opened. The familiar figure appeared in the opening, staring down at me. My eyes narrowed to slits and I felt the hackles on my back rise. Silhouetted against the yellow light that streamed from the filthy fixture behind him, all I could make out was his outline. But I’d recognize the skinny limbs and protruding gut anywhere. Not to mention the voice.

“Who’s a good boy?” he coaxed. The tone was oily and condescending.

I growled low in my throat and he flinched. He tried to cover it with an awkward laugh and a moment later the wet splat of meat landed on the steps ahead of me.

“Eat up, you mangy beast,” he snarled. “Tomorrow’s the big day. You’re going to finally earn your keep.”

I snarled and the door slammed shut behind him, leaving me in near-darkness. My eyes adjusted after a moment and the faint strip of light under the door and the glow of streetlights through the filthy basement windows was enough to help me find my dinner.

Not that I needed it to find food; my nose led me right to the dripping hunk of steak. I lunged forward, the chain connected to the manacle on my ankle pulling me up tight, but the meat had landed within my reach. It was hardly fresh and the cold from the refrigeration was off-putting, but it was sustenance. I scarfed it down in a few bites, my tongue lapping up any last trace of blood off the grimy stairs. I’d learned to overcome my squeamishness once hunger got the best of me.

The man’s words lingered in my mind. Tomorrow was indeed a big day, but he’d be sorely disappointed by the outcome.

I trotted down the stairs, the metallic thud of the heavy chain dragging behind me, a constant reminder of my incarceration. It was galling. He’d never have been able to subdue a fully grown werewolf in its prime if I hadn’t been injured when he found me.

He’d had no idea what I was; all he saw was a large, ferocious dog who could easily snap a smaller dog in two. So I’d been trapped, transported, and held hostage to take part in a dog fighting ring. I snarled at the indignity.

But I’d spent the past few weeks biding my time, healing and waiting for the next full moon.  Being injured had trapped me in wolf form, but tomorrow when I was taken to the ring to fight it wouldn’t be man’s best friend I’d rip to shreds.

It would be the man who’d captured me and all of his associates.

My claws clicked loudly on the cement floors, ticking away the seconds until the bloodbath. I pictured sinking my teeth into his gut, tearing out his innards, watching while he died a slow, painful death.  I could hear the crunch of his bones under my teeth, splintering into small white shards. The smell and taste of hot, fresh blood on my tongue and sliding thickly, richly down my throat  …

Oh yes, tomorrow would indeed be a very big day.


Well that was fun!  Happy Halloween, everyone. I went to a fun Halloween party on Saturday with friends and tonight I’ll be trick-or-treating with my best friend and her family. Hope you have a wonderful day, if you celebrate! I’d love to hear about your plans.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

 

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Wish I Was There Giveaway

I’m dealing with a serious case of GRL envy right now. I went in 2014 as a reader and had such a wonderful time meeting people and spending a weekend thinking about books.

I swore I’d go in 2015, but life didn’t cooperate. And 2016 hasn’t been any better.

I am, needless to say, hoping 2017 will be the year!

Honestly, this past year hasn’t gone the way I’ve planned at all. I am struggling to figure out how to get books finished and out faster. I think I actually did better with it when I had the full-time job (although my health really suffered).  I haven’t quite found that balance yet.

I’m earning enough as a writer to pay my bills, but not enough to move out of my parents’ house yet. *sighs*

It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m very close to things coming together but I am not quite sure what I need to do to make that happen.

But, many, many good things are happening so I’m trying to focus on that.

This past week, my co-writer and I submitted a novel to a publisher that we’ve been working on for three years! Technically, we’ve been working on two novels (with a combined word count of nearly 200k) for three years, but we submitted the first one and are very excited about it. We should hear back in about six weeks. Eep!

I am also working on an expansion of “Pain Management”. It was the short story that was part of the “Dr. Feelgood” anthology through Dreamspinner Press. The rights have reverted back to me so I am going to expand the 10k short into a novella. I hope to release that in November.

And I am 60k words into a novel that is coming together very well. It’s in the hands of one of my betas at the moment and I am hoping that have that out by January!

In non-writing related news, my annual Stratford, Ontario weekend vacation starts tomorrow. So I’ll be going to see “Macbeth” and “As You Like It”. I’ll spend the rest of the time wandering around a pretty little town, eating delicious food, and taking photos. It’s always a lovely, relaxing time.

My Kindle app is loaded with books and I am going to do my best to do a minimum of work. Ideally none, but I’m not always very good at that.

Taking the trip the same weekend as GRL wasn’t planned, but it did work nicely. I am glad I won’t be at home moping about not getting to hang out with my favorite authors and readers!

So I thought I’d do something to make life a little more fun for those of us who can’t be at GRL.

AdobeStock_100498078.jpeg

I’m offering a giveaway of one of my eBook titles to anyone who comments with what you would enjoy most about going to a writing convention! You can answer as either a reader or a writer (or both!).

BUT, there’s a little catch. If you see this posted on my blog, go to my FB fan group (Brigham’s Book Nerds) and comment there. If you see this in the Book Nerds group, comment on my blog.

And if you are an amazing fan who already has all of my eBooks, leave a comment anyway and we’ll figure out something else for your prize. 🙂

I will pick the winner tomorrow morning, so don’t wait to enter!

Flash Fiction Monday – And Owen Makes Three

october-3

“You two are ridiculous.” Byron’s tone held a faint note of mingled annoyance and fondness.

“You love us.” Wade sat up and propped his hands on the concrete patio as he glanced up at his boyfriend. Bryon’s lanky good looks were set off by ripped jeans and a threadbare T-shirt. He was too damn good looking to be behind the camera, but he’d never liked having his picture taken. “Did you get a good shot?”

“Yes.” Byron settled the lens cap over the end of the zoom lens. “It’s adorable. And ridiculous.”

Wade turned to Owen and held out a fist. “We are adorable.” The cat head-butted his knuckles in agreement.

Byron chuckled. “I can’t get over how much that cat seems to understand. He’s so well-trained.”

The look Owen threw him was so disgusted Wade was grateful that Byron missed it. Shit, maybe he and Owen were going to have to be a bit more careful in the future.

“Cats are smart,” he said and held a hand out to Byron, who effortlessly pulled him to his feet.

“I know that.” Byron’s hands settled on his ass and squeezed, pulling their bodies closer together. “It’s just uncanny sometimes.”

Uncanny is right, Wade thought guiltily as Byron kissed him. If only he knew …

The kiss turned hot and needy and Wade’s thoughts were swept away in a haze of lust as Byron dragged him into the house and spread him out on the bed.

After, when they were spent and sweaty and sprawled on the bed in a post-sex haze that Byron brought up the subject again. “Look at that.” He pointed to Owen who sat on the dresser staring at them. “I would swear that cat is jealous. He’s always watching.”

Wade swallowed and tried to keep his voice light. “Come on, pets always do that. I had an ex whose cat used to lay on its belly and stare at us through the crack under the door when we had sex.”

“It’s weird.” Byron sounded vaguely disgruntled like he always did when they discussed this. “You know I like Owen, but the way he looks at me sometimes … I dunno. I would have sworn he was looking at my cock and licking his lips the other day.”

A snort escaped before Wade could stop it. “Seriously?”

“Yes!” Byron laughed. “It’s unnerving. I swear one of these days I’m going to find out he’s actually a shape-shifter or something.”

Wade flipped onto his stomach and stared at the wall. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

“Hey, what is it? You went all tense on me.”Byron’s hand slid across his back. “If the jokes about Owen are making you uncomfortable I’ll lay off. I know you get touchy about that.”

Wade glanced over at Owen who was still perched on the dresser, watching them intently. Wade gazed into his eyes, needing the reassurance that Owen was okay with him finally confessing the truth to Byron. Owen squeezed his eyes together tightly and gave him a quick, almost imperceptible nod.

Wade took a deep breath and let out with a shudder before he turned to Byron. “It’s not the jokes. But uh, there’s something I haven’t been honest about.”

“Okay?” Byron sounded apprehensive, and who could blame him.

“You know how I talked about the guy I was dating before you?”

“Tyler? Yeah.”

“Well, that wasn’t the whole truth. His last name was Tyler.” Byron blinked at him and a moment later the muffled thud of a cat hitting the bed. “His full name was Owen Tyler.”

Wade gently ran a hand down Owen’s soft back. “He disappeared one night and the police said Owen just vanished with a trace. For a while, they even thought I had something to do with it.A few days after the man disappeared, this beat-up tabby appeared at my doorstep. It took the cat a while to heal and even longer for me to accept the truth, but …”

Byron stared at him, open-mouthed.

“I know, it’s crazy,” Wade said weakly. “I can’t explain what happened. Owen—now that he’s a cat—and I found a way we could sort of communicate using those little magnetic refrigerator letters. He bats them around on the floor to make words when he really needs to tell me something. But the best we can figure is that he was cursed.”

“You’re telling me this whole time you’ve been in a relationship with me, you’ve still been living with your ex?” Byron gestured toward the cat. “Who is a fucking cat.”

“Yes?” Wade said. “I didn’t know how to tell you.”

Byron stared at Owen with an inscrutable expression. Wade could almost swear they were silently communicating like he and Owen did all the time.

“So,” Byron said, after what felt like hours, “Did you and Owen ever discuss polyamory? Because I think I may be able to help undo the curse, but I’m not losing the man I love in the process.”


This went over the usual word count, but it was difficult to set up and then conclude in 500 words. Big thanks to Helena for helping me figure out how to wrap it up.

Unfortunately, this has turned into another plot bunny for me. When am I ever going to get time to finish writing these stories??

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!