The Late Shift

“I am of the night. I am the night,” Dallin said to his reflection.

“Dallin, get out of the bathroom!” a friend shouted from the other side of the door.

Dallin huffed and lowered his head.  “I’ll just be a minute,” he called out.  With one last look in the mirror, one final affirmation, he was ready. Continue reading

Mission Failure

Alone.

The voyage was to be one of teamwork, companionship.  For years her team trained to take humanity to new worlds.

Being alone was never even a contingency plan.

She ran to the spaceship’s command module.  Her leg aching in pain from the most recent encounter with…whatever they had met our in the black.  She could hear it still; dozens of legs tapping against the floor of the craft.

Her crew mates fell long ago.  She was the last hope to message earth; stop the mission.

Alone she saw a dozen legs in her path.

No message would be sent.

You’ve Earned a Badge

“You’ve earned a badge!” the robot’s voice chirps from inside a just stopped alarm clock.  “That’s five days in a row without hitting snooze.  Say ‘sure’ to share the accomplishment with your social feeds!”

“Sure,” says the ever so groggy Embry, prying covers off of himself and stepping to what he hopes is a pile of clean laundry.  Work started in a mere hour.  He had to move.

“You’ve earned a badge!” the robot’s voice called from his smart-watch, “you’ve shared your last five badge accomplishments! Sharing your accomplishments is good!  Say, ‘sure’ to share the news with your friends.” Continue reading

Gravity

When the planet dried up, we took to the stars.  Ships made way for the edge of the solar system and kept going.  Humanity spilled through the Milky Way in search of a home, but found the ships more home like than any rocky orb could accomplish.

Traditions long held kept strong.  Space faring humans told stories, played games, taught our children ambition and the golden rule, and we entertained one another.  My role, aboard the Fleet Ship Hoffnung, is to carry on the grand tradition of entertainment.  I am a juggler.  A simple feat, older than civilization itself, but an important one.

I perform and people smile.  Child and adult alike; amused and bemused by a little coordinated movement and a flick of the wrist.  Of course, lighting things on fire and throwing them in the air helps a bit too.

One thing the jugglers of old did not have to contend with, but I face down nearly every day, are pilots who have access to the on/off switch for the artificial gravity.

It Wasn’t There Before

Father and son stared up an early evening moon.  The moment, so universal, was not lost on the father.  He knelt beside the young one and started what had been done countless times since the dawn of humanity. They talked about night and day and the craters they could spot from so far away.  The moment was used to teach the young one to be curious, to question; to learn.

Countless times the discussion had occurred the world over.

“What’s that?” the child asked.

A unknown light beside the moon grew larger, brighter.

In that moment the father taught fear.

Frayed Strings now in FreEbook

frayed-strings

 

I’m really enjoying putting together incredibly web-reading unfriendly stories lately.  Short stories just long enough to meet characters, see what they’re up against, and then move on to the next thing are, in my incredibly biased opinion, pretty cool.  It’s like single episode reading.

Frayed Strings is now available in ebook format and available for download at Barnes and Noble or Smashwords for your reading pleasure.

Come see Dayton and Maribelle’s terrible day go from odd to horrible (and odd) in a hurry.

Download the book from Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/frayed-strings-shawn-cowling/1124714884?ean=2940153756967

Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/668962

And it’s free. Woo hoo!

 

Frayed Strings

Dayton was never a morning person. Rising from slumber was typically a slow, painful, and curse word filled experience. From time to time his dog, a terrier type by the name of Fenrir, barked during alongside the expletive laden morning rant against the alarm clock. Those were Dayton’s favorite mornings; mornings with an ally.

He blinked sleep away from eyes, muttering between annoyed groans. Drool dried at the corner of his mouth and he felt his thick hair doing battle with gravity as his bed-head hairdo shot skyward. Some morning more than others he was very happy to be single; no one was around to see this.

As his eyelids cracked open, he noticed an unusual blue glow to the room.

“What the fu,” he started. Fenrir barked right on cue. Continue reading