An Eon-old, Icy Tomb

At some point in the near future, mankind will land on Pluto – but what if we aren’t the first sentient visitors?

A mysterious spacecraft is discovered partially buried on the surface of Pluto in “An Eon-old, Icy Tomb” – my most recent science fiction piece to be published. Inspiration for this particular story came from photographs taken by the New Horizons probe. Pluto offers some absolutely breathtaking landscapes, shaped by both slowly unfolding geological events and violent outburst that can occur quiet suddenly.

The real backbone of the story concerns the primary characters attempting to flee from an erupting cryovolcano – no easy task. Most of the action occurs near the Wright Mons, which is the geological feature that drives the action. The origin of the ancient spacecraft owes to an eon-old curiosity of my own.

Pale Ghosts Magazine published “An Eon-old, Icy Tomb” in November of 2016.

Click on the image below to be taken to “An Eon-old, Icy Tomb” somewhere among the chaos terrain and wastelands of Pluto.

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Larissa is Coming

Can Sarah Chavous give the Earth a puncher’s chance in an interplanetary war?

I recently had a science fiction piece, “Larissa is Coming“, appear in Twister Sister Lit Mag. The story concerns Sarah Chavous, an astronaut sent beyond Mars on a dangerous mission. Extraterrestrials within Neptune have decided to destroy mankind and have launched one of Neptune’s smaller moons at the Earth. As the collision would devastate our planet, Sarah has been tasked with stopping the weaponized moon. 

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The “Neptunians” live within a massive ocean of liquid diamond that exists within Neptune. These extraterrestrials are something of a local “exterminator”. The Neptunians systemically destroy any rival intelligent life that develops elsewhere in our solar system.

Click on the image to be taken to Twisted Sister Lit Mag and find out if Sarah is able to save human civilization or if the Neptunians will cross another item off their “to destroy” list.

Sleeping at the Rum Cherry Motel

Fleeing to Mexico isn’t nearly as easy as you’d think, especially when you sleep at the Rum Cherry Motel.

Sleeping at the Rum Cherry Motel” falls somewhere between The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Todd McHugh is on the run from the law in my recent piece appearing in Twister Sister Lig Mag‘s “Payback’s a Bitch” issue. Todd is hoping to slip away to Mexico after murdering his wife, and he’s stopped for a few hours of sleep at the Rum Cherry Motel. Click the image below to see if Todd evades justice and melts away into the Mexican backcountry.

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Five Billion Kilometers Closer to Heaven

Pluto is five billion kilometers from Earth. Is that halfway to heaven? The Jurrjens family would like to think so.

I recently had a science fiction piece appear on Backhand Stories. I wrote “Five Billion Kilometers Closer to Heaven” in early September of 2016. Just before I started to write this particular story, I had read several pieces of news regarding the New Horizons space probe. New Horizons had recently passed by Pluto and Charon, revealing a great amount about each that had previously been unknown. The landscapes on Pluto are absolutely amazing. Cryovolcanoes. Chaos terrain. Frozen lakes of liquid nitrogen. Pluto is a science fiction gold mine. 

Click the picture below to be taken to Backhand Stories and “Five Billion Kilometers Closer to Heaven” – or at least part of the way.

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You First

Check out my horror piece that was recently published by Flash Fiction Magazine.

I was fortunate enough to have a short horror piece published by Flash Fiction Magazine last week. I wrote “You First” in August.

I grew up in a somewhat isolated farmhouse, where (much to my family’s chagrin) the power and telephone frequently went out for long periods. I remember that the mildest thunderstorm often was enough to knock out our utilities. The power and telephone companies rarely had an explanation and certainly took their time restoring service to us. I had been reflecting on those childhood experiences before I started to write this story. The setting for “You First” is essentially my parents’ house, with some elements of my grandparents’ house (which was an even larger, older farmhouse that had a seriously creepy vibe on certain nights). The setting could easily be located in rural Pennsylvania or West Virginia

“You First” takes place on the remote Hetherington farm, where two local farmhands, James and Pat, are making a routine delivery of hay bales. Their early morning work is interrupted by bizarre sounds from the farmhouse. Concerned for the safety of the elderly Lawrence and Martha Hetherington, James and Pat investigate. The pair encounter a frazzled Martha, who shares that her family has been murdered by a devious entity that she has managed to trap in the basement. James suspects that the old woman has gone mad and murdered her loved ones, but Martha invites the two men to have a look in the basement for themselves. 

“You First” is just under 1,000 words. The first draft ran close to 1,500 words. Editing out a third of the content was tricky, but I am satisfied with the result.

Clicking the picture below will take you to “You First” (the picture, by the way, is the actual basement door from my parents’ house). Let me know what you think!

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More #twitterfiction

I have more #twitterfiction to share with the world!

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Follow me @jojascully!

With the school year starting, I haven’t had much time to post. However, I did want to share some more of my #twitterfiction. A few of the posts are tagged differently (#microprompt, #thepush, #zealouswriter, etc.) but remain examples of #twitterfiction as far as I am concerned. Generally, my posts could be categorized as science fiction, although a few may contain elements of dark comedy or horror. A few don’t fall into any single genre. 

There are plenty of additional examples posted on my Twitter – @jojascully. You can also find a few here. I try to post at least a handful each day. 

Let me know what you think! 

Rounding a curve, he noticed the other train fail to crest the final hill. The became much more terrifying.

Unexpectedly sent into the game to return a punt, he was elated until he noticed a burning wick sticking out of the laces.

He ordered the moat be filled with snapping . If he was going to face a siege, why not have some fun with it?

The new ski slope in was a success, sans the “” issue. The poor dears tended to wander in the way.

No matter how tight he made the stitches, this arm just didn’t look good. He grabbed his shovel and went to find another.

He lowered the phone just as a voice answered. She was still gurgling with life. He didn’t want help to arrive too soon.

Police cruisers shot through the cemetery gate with blue and red flashes. His career as a grave robber had been a brief one.

He stepped back slowly. The dryer had been eating socks. Now, the dog was missing and there was a collar in the lint trap.

From the ground, he could see the graveyard was alive. Birds. Rodents. Insects. All examples of life. He was no longer one.

She was upset when he built a . She was more upset when he brought back hatchlings for the kids.

An old man rushed back into the burning apartment to save his stamp collection and found himself in a sticky situation.

He never had so much cash in his wallet. Who needed two kidneys? One was fine. Now, where to first? The hospital or Macy’s?

First responders to the circus train wreck gained a new appreciation for the “death-defying” feats of the performers.

The car ride to the ocean had always been long, hot, and boring. Now that the world was drying up, this was even more true.

His release from the hospital occurred just before a zombie plague was introduced to the emergency room. Finally, a lucky break.

The Norse used animal fat in place of butter. Unfortunately, the “I Can’t Believe it’s not ” industry never took off.

Of course, no one knew he was a serial . But, brother, the folks at the lumberyard would be sorry they fired him.

! ! ! She cashed her first paycheck of the 21st century and planned to shop ’til she dropped!

Reaching the top of the cliffs, he strained his failing eyes to focus on the sea. He wished to see a spring tide one last time.

Charred survivors of the blaze were rushed to the hospital. The spread of the fire to that haven was an unwelcome development.

#twitterfiction

I’ve been alive for about 11,016 days, and for 11,006 of those days I had no idea “Twitter fiction” existed.

A good friend of mine introduced me to the idea of “flash fiction” a few weeks ago. Writing a good story with thousands of words can be a real challenge. However, writing a good story with only hundreds of words is just as strenuous. I’ve tried my hand at writing a handful of flash fiction pieces over the last few weeks and have done my best to keep each story at less than 1,000 words. The difficulty in doing so becomes readily apparent once you realize that this paragraph alone has 100 words. That’s a tenth of the entire story!

The world of flash fiction inevitably brought me to “twitterature” – #twitterfictionTwitter fiction is surprisingly complex, although this article does a relatively good job at effectively summarizing what a newcomer to the 140-character tale should know.

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Quite a few of my #twitterfiction pieces involve the railroad.

I’ve posted some Twitter fiction to my Twitter over the last week to mostly positive results. My approach has been to crunch the central event or climax of the story down into a sentence or two. The imagination of the reader goes from there to create the beginning and ending of the story. I should note that this is not the universal approach to posting fictional writing on Twitter.

 

Writing Twitter fiction can be tedious. I find often that I’m just a few characters over the limit. That requires me to trim a letter or two (and occasionally an entire word), which is often a conflicting process.

My Twitter is @jojascully, but you can also see my work by simply searching Twitter for #twitterfiction. I’ve tried to post at least one Twitter fiction piece per day since August 9th. Searching Twitter for #twitterfiction will also allow you to view the work of other users. I usually write my Twitter fiction pieces while I’m at the gym or watching baseball. I stockpile the pieces as drafts and publish a few to Twitter each day. Generally speaking, my Twitter fiction tweets are not connected and each one stands alone. I’ve yet to try my hand at a “twovel” – a Twitter novel.

You’ll find examples of some of my #twitterfiction below. Please let me know if there is one that you especially appreciate.

The dunes seemed to roll toward the sun. As he wearily stretched an arm across the white sand, a raindrop struck his palm. #twitterfiction

When sparks fell from the bride’s eyes, the priest suddenly understood the need for this secret, nighttime ceremony. #twitterfiction

He twisted and kicked as long talons ripped into his back. Discovering a giant species of eagle had been a mixed blessing. #twitterfiction

A pepper quickly rolled across the counter. When a tomato sprouted arms and seized a fork, she decided not to make a salad. #twitterfiction

The crowd shrieked as he rounded third. These were not cheers. The catcher had convulsed into an unearthly creature. #twitterfiction

The #Tyrannosaurus ominously loomed over him. This was an unfortunate time for the buttons on his #TimeMachine to stick. #twitterfiction

As long as she kept skiing, she could stay just ahead of the abominable snowman. However, no slope went on forever. #twitterfiction

He was certain that he knew how to kill a #vampire. But a vampiric #cephalopod? Three hearts. He only had one stake. #twitterfiction

As he watched a railroad car roll across the ferry’s deck, he realized the urgency in his captain’s order to abandon ship. #twitterfiction

The beast straddled the tracks ahead of the locomotive. Deciding to take his chances in the forest, he leapt from the cab. #twitterfiction

He fell in the snow beside the poacher. Each man scrambled for the rifle. The mammoth trumpeted – the beast was still alive. #twitterfiction

She could swing the oar clumsily at best. She had no idea #merfolk were flesh-eating and never considered that possibility. #twitterfiction

Crouching, he steadied his rifle. He thought he could get off at least one shot before the #yeti was on him. He was wrong. #twitterfiction

Knee-deep in freezing water, he wanted to kick himself for suggesting an Antarctic cruise. So much for winning the #lottery. #twitterfiction

Although the police weren’t far behind, he was only a mile or so from #Mexico. Of course, a mile is a long way to swim. #twitterfiction

The clock struck midnight. The governor hurriedly picked up the phone. He had forgot to wind the timepiece today. #twitterfiction