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Twisted Shorties
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Summary

From the inventive minds of the writers of the late, lamented website Gather.com comes a book...

...a book of odd little stories, with fiction astonishing and intriguing, and yes even creepy. Flip the pages to find romance, sci-fi, fantasy or horror, and then turn into the lilt of poetry and the whimsy of a child’s tale.
We have twenty-three authors extraordinaire gracing the pages, writers who have come together in collaboration to pen words on paper and create brief, but memorable narratives.
These talented writers include: Patricia Gilliam, author of The Hannaria Series, A. F. Stewart, author of Ruined City and Killers and Demons, Sheila Deeth, author of Flower Child, Black Widow, and Refracted, Barbary Chaapel, author of Estuary, No Name Harbor and Journey of the Snow Goose, Tracy Fabre author of Evan's Castle, Reasons, Sending Rupert Home and Callie By The Bay and Douglas J. Westberg author of The Depressed Guy's Book of Wisdom.
They and others of equal ability are bringing you the experience of...

Twisted Shorties.

Editor in Chief: Pam Brittain
Formatted and Published by A. F. Stewart
Edited by:
Len Maxwell
John Beck
Greg Schiller

Published: A. F. Stewart on

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Twisted Shorties - A. F. Stewart

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jacket

FOREWORD

A. F. STEWART

When I was asked to write the foreword for this anthology, I knew it wouldn’t be hard to accomplish. Saying nice things about the contributors to this book and this project came easily.

Twisted Shorties is the result of a collaboration of talented writers who post and interact on the website Gather.com. It’s the brainchild of writer, Gather member, and all-around good person, Pam Brittain, who in cooperation with editors Len Maxwell, John Beck, and Greg Schiller brought her idea to glorious life. This book brings together diverse and wonderful people ready to shower you with an assorted array of enjoyable stories and poems.

I’ve known these writers for several years now, as my own book adventures started with the Gather.com, one of the first websites I joined when I ventured out into cyberspace as a novice author. Its strong writing community is what attracted me and I discovered a home there, finding friends who offered help and support. I have been charmed by its talented imaginations and watched some of the site’s brilliant writers go on to be successful published authors, said goodbye to some who’ve left the site, while welcoming other gifted writers into the fold. Moreover, a great many of my own books got their start in this wonderful society.

That is the shining grace of Gather, the sheer brilliance of its storytellers, whether they share strange new worlds of fantasy, a true-life tale, or something for the younger readers it’s always a fascinating read. Many of those people worked on completing this book, some writing the twisted little tales on the pages, others behind the scenes as editors and designers, molding Twisted Shorties into an eclectic mix of fun.

So settle into your most comfortable chair, flip the pages and dive right in. You’ll find a grand melange, ranging from sci-fi stories written by the likes of Patricia Gilliam, author of The Hannaria Series, R C Larlham and yours truly, A. F. Stewart, to romantic Chemistry by Sheila Deeth and even the sweet lilt of poetry by such exceptional poets as Jax and Barbary Chaapel. You’ll visit the Space Creature Zoo courtesy of Douglas J. Westberg, have some Pillow Talk with a Vampire (brought to you by Greg Schiller) and find out just how wacky 100 words can be thanks to Tracy Fabre.

I’m certain you will fall in love with their imaginations as much as I did.

CONTENTS (By Authors)

A. F. Stewart

Foreword

Last Meal of the Day

Last Moments

Forest Sentinels

Blood Night of the Moon

Spanish Melody

Alice Grimes

Salt Covenant

The Truth of the Matter

Dedicated to the victims of 911 and their families and friends: Evil Outwitted

I Am a River

Out of the Valley

Barbary Chaapel

Lunar Spell

Bernard M Coldwell

Homestead Town (incomplete)

Ogmore Vale

Thief of Hearts

Ramblings

Wilbur

Douglas J. Westberg

Space Creature Zoo

Comb Hooking (from the journal of Rev. Spooner)

How to Recognize Me if I Try to Contact You from the Afterlife

Medicine

The Test

Greg Shiller

A Cautionary Fairy Tale

Pillow Talk with a Vampire

The Cat Box

The Roost

Visiting

Jan Hersh

August Love

Cosmic Rhythm

Eve Resurrected

Gather is a Feast

Water Ballet on the Saguenay ( A Fiord in Canada)

Jax

The Three Pigs

Fibonacci Beauty

Romeo's Letter

Watch What You Say

X, Y, Z

John Beck

She's All of These ~ a Poem in Metaphor

Cats on the Trails

Call of the Sea ~ a Ghazal in Anapestic Tetrameter

Mountain Driving

Julian Date 2243879*, a Day Which Lives in Infamy

Katryn Dougherty

Sky Poetry

Summer Haiku

Len Maxwell

Going Down?

Dead Science Project

Doctor Feel

Hell In Heaven

Jack and Jill - A Different Version

Lord Gregory

The Archer

Pontis Paradisus

Magical Toby

Milo the Great

Ms Lee P.

The Dogs of Doom and Steampunk Grandma

Where is Excalibur?

Flying South

The Night I Met Rudolph

The Crossing (A Journal Entry)

Pam Brittain

The Truth About Wyatt Earp

Cowboy Tom

The Devil Did a Good Deed

Patrick's Tales

The Cowboy and the Vampire

Patricia Gilliam

The Hannaria Series: Career Day — Andrew

September 13th, 2112

Bloomington, Indiana

The Hannaria Series: First Meeting — Rhaynan

May 7th, 207 B.C. (Earth Time)

Palace City, Hannaria

Patricia J.

Genre Shorties Prompt Week 108 Me, Myself and Indians…

Patrick Moore

Conversations with My Daughter

Deer Ser

There's Something About Mary

Winter Misery

The Battle of the Magic Pony

R C Larlham

Love and Rain

She Found Herself Tripping over Miracles

Tangled Web… Metaphorically Speaking

Deserts End

The Stairwell

Richard Lynn Livesay

You Found Me

Fifteen Minutes

Sheila Deeth

Chemistry

Dexter

A Paper Life

Excalibur

Sleeping While Reading

Terry McDermott

Bufford the Boxing Hound

Mike's Golden Touch

Alien Donkeys

Pink Bubbles

The End

Toni Vernetti

Alien Kumquat

A, E, _, O, U

And They Call Him Whardolf the Wise

Tracy Fabre

Just Do It (Monday Writing Essential)

Genre Shorties #59 -- Just Don't Say Armadillo!

Genre Shorties Week 14 -- Not Quite the High Chaparral

Genre Shorties Week 57 -- Running On Empty

The Credentials of Captain Obvious

CONTENTS

By Category

Romance

Salt Covenant

Alice Grimes

Love and Rain

R C Larlham

She Found Herself Tripping over Miracles

R C Larlham

Chemistry

Sheila Deeth

The Archer

Lord Gregory

She's All of These ~ A Poem in Metaphor

John Beck

You Found Me

Richard Lynn Livesay

Sci-Fi

Last Meal of the Day

A. F. Stewart

Last Moments

A. F. Stewart

Tangled Web… Metaphorically Speaking

R C Larlham

Going Down?

Len Maxwell

The Hannaria Series: Career Day — Andrew

September 13th, 2112

Bloomington, Indiana

Patricia Gilliam

The Hannaria Series: First Meeting — Rhaynan

May 7th, 207 B.C. (Earth Time)

Palace City, Hannaria

Patricia Gilliam

Pontis Paradisus

Lord Gregory

The Dogs of Doom and Steampunk Grandma

Ms. Lee P.

Where Is Excalibur?

Ms Lee P.

Genre Shorties Prompt Week 108 Me, Myself and Indians…

Patricia J.

Alien Kumquat

Toni Vernetti

The Truth About Wyatt Earp

Pam Brittain

Children’s stories

Dead Science Project

Len Maxwell

Space Creature Zoo

Douglas J. Westberg

The Three Pigs

Jax

Magical Toby

Lord Gregory

Flying South

Ms Lee P.

The Night I Met Rudolph

Ms Lee P.

Bufford the Boxing Hound

Terry McDermott

A, E, _, O, U

Toni Vernetti

Humor

A Cautionary Fairy Tale

Greg Schiller

Pillow Talk with a Vampire

Greg Schiller

The Cat Box

Greg Schiller

The Roost

Greg Schiller

Visiting

Greg Schiller

Doctor Feel

Len Maxwell

Hell in Heaven

Len Maxwell

Comb Hooking (from the journal of Rev. Spooner)

Douglas J. Westberg

How to Recognize Me if I Try to Contact You from the Afterlife

Douglas J. Westberg

The Test

Douglas J. Westberg

Milo the Great

Lord Gregory

Just Do It (Monday Writing Essential)

Tracy Fabre

Genre Shorties #59 -- Just Don't Say Armadillo!

Tracy Fabre

Genre Shorties Week 14 -- Not Quite the High Chaparral

Tracy Fabre

Genre Shorties Week 57 -- Running On Empty

Tracy Fabre

The Credentials of Captain Obvious

Tracy Fabre

The Crossing (A Journal Entry)

Ms Lee P.

Conversations with My Daughter

Patrick Moore

Deer Ser

Patrick Moore

There’s Something About Mary

Patrick Moore

Winter Misery

Patrick Moore

The Battle of the Magic Pony

Patrick Moore

Cats on the Trails

John Beck

Cowboy Tom

Pam Brittain

The Devil Did a Good Deed

Pam Brittain

Fantasy

Forest Sentinels

A. F. Stewart

Jack and Jill - A Different Version

Len Maxwell

Mike’s Golden Touch

Terry McDermott

And They Call Him Whardolf the Wise

Toni Vernetti

Call of the Sea ~ A Ghazal in Anapestic Tetrameter

John Beck

Mountain Driving

John Beck

Patrick’s Tales

Pam Brittain

Fifteen Minutes

Richard Lynn Livesay

Horror

Blood Night of the Moon

A. F. Stewart

The Truth of the Matter

Alice Grimes

Deserts End

R C Larlham

The Stairwell

R C Larlham

Dexter

Sheila Deeth

The Cowboy and the Vampire

Pam Brittain

Poetry

Spanish Melody

A. F. Stewart

Dedicated to the victims of 911 and their families and friends:

Evil Outwitted

Alice Grimes

I Am a River

Alice Grimes

Out of the Valley

Alice Grimes

Lunar Spell

Barbary Chaapel

Sky Poetry

Katryn Dougherty

Summer Haiku

Katryn Dougherty

A Paper Life

Sheila Deeth

Excalibur

Sheila Deeth

Sleeping While Reading

Sheila Deeth

August Love

Jan Hersh

Cosmic Rhythm

Jan Hersh

Eve Resurrected

Jan Hersh

Gather is a Feast

Jan Hersh

Water Ballet on the Saguenay ( A Fiord in Canada)

Jan Hersh

Homestead Town (incomplete)

Bernard M Coldwell

Ogmore Vale

Bernard M Coldwell

Thief of Hearts

Bernard M Coldwell

Ramblings

Bernard M Coldwell

Wilbur

Bernard M Coldwell

Fibonacci Beauty

Jax

Romeo's Letter

Jax

Watch What You Say

Jax

X, Y, Z

Jax

Medicine

Douglas J. Westberg

Alien Donkeys

Terry McDermott

Pink Bubbles

Terry McDermott

The End

Terry McDermott

Julian Date 2243879*, a Day Which Lives in Infamy

John Beck

Romance

Salt Covenant

By Alice Grimes

I fall into his eyes, alive with love,

Glistening with desire, telling of fire,

Not tapped thus in decades of life,

Knowing God had saved our best for last.

~

I trace the lines around those beloved eyes,

As I memorize the gentle lips that part

In sweet surprise to claim mine as his own,

Both certain our hearts have found home.

~

Committing before Abba to love each other

And cherish this gift in the winters of our lives

Our portions of salt, once separate, made one

Speak silently how deep the covenant bond.

~

Copyright 2012 Alice Grimes All rights reserved

http://nalice.gather.com/

Love and Rain

By R C Larlham

I awoke to black rain in a vacant lot. Goldenrod startled me with brushes of wet seedheads as I sat up. A broken corner of concrete dug into my hip. I said something unkind. Vodka was never my friend, and I wondered what he’d gotten me into this time.

She’s gone, Vampire lisp. I loved her.

Yeah, I stood up. Vodka, she broke my head, stole my money and left me here, just to get away from you. It’s over. Too late, I smelled gasoline.

Uh-huh. The match scritched. The soft "Whump!’ belied the fury of the flame around him.

~

Copyright 2011 – All Rights Reserved R C Larlham

http://mohawk742.gather.com/

She Found Herself Tripping over Miracles

By R C Larlham

She found herself tripping over miracles... again! The damned things were everywhere. This was the worst thing about being the lover of a god, and living with him. He NEVER put ANYTHING away! Beneath me, he’d say, I don't put away." But he and his friends could stay up all night drinking the booze they conjured up, and top each other’s miracles until dawn… and leave them all where they fell. Not ONE of them would stoop to picking up or putting away one… single… miracle.

She stumbled over a small cask of cognac. VSOP, she had no doubt. He never did anything by halves, this one. Why couldn’t he just do the hand-wave thing and make them away?

Olandas, she called, "come clean up this mess. I’ve had i… OW! She stepped down squarely on some small bit of miracle. Now!" she squawked, grabbing her abused foot and hopping about the room, re-scattering the already scattered miracles.

What now? he groused, appearing in the doorway, fingertips to temples. I have the daemons’ own rock-hammer in my head. Can’t you be a little quieter? He looked up and grinned through his hangover. Very nice, he purred, watching her hop about the room, breasts, young, high and firm,