Category: Contemporary Fiction

  • Isolation – Part 9 – Contemporary Fiction

    This is a work of fiction. I’m lying on the bed that Mercy used until we sort of started sharing my bed. She still keeps her stuff in here, and her phone’s on the nightstand. The screen is lit and displaying Mercy’s apps, but I can’t reach it. I’m lying on my side, facing out […]

  • Billy

    In 2020, I wrote Lockdown, and last year, I started Isolation. The latter is almost finished, and I’ll post the last part(s) soon, but there’s going to be at least one more story for Billy to tell. Instead of posting it on this site, I’m going to publish the next one on Smashwords. It’ll be […]

  • Ruth – Part 4 – Romance

    This is a work of fiction. Chapter 4 Sean and I ended up ordering one of everything, and we spent the meal chatting. While Sean was getting the kids ready to go, I realized I hadn’t invited him to dinner yet. “Would you and the kids like to come to dinner at my place the […]

  • Isolation – Part 8

    Sorry, I can’t seem to get this post to convert to audio, so there’s no podcast episode. This is a work of fiction. As I paint, I keep thinking about Mercy. What did she mean about being able to sit and do whatever she wanted? Whose funeral did she attend nine years ago? Where had […]

  • Isolation – Part 7

    This is a work of fiction. My throat is sore and I’m thirsty. So this is it, I think as I tiptoe into the bathroom and fill a glass. This is the virus. I never thought to ask Mercy how hers started. Were her symptoms this mild and innocent, like a little bit of a […]

  • The Basket – Part 4

    This is a work of fiction. Laine must have read the article on Friday. Poor Laine. Even though she’d said she didn’t like him, it was possible she actualy did like Arnie, the man who’d gotten the night off while she’d had to work. I needed to talk to her, but first, I was going […]

  • Isolation – Part 6

    This is a work of fiction. “Do you think you’re going to be okay?” Mercy asks. We’re sitting at the kitchen table, eating lunch. She’s still smiling from our fun, but she also looks worried. “I feel fine, so maybe I won’t get it.” “I really hope you don’t.” She takes a bite of her […]

  • Ruth – Part 3

    This is a work of fiction. Chapter 3 My day wasn’t over. I played and swam until nearly six. I was starving, and didn’t feel like having to drive home first. I went to my car to get some of the leftover salad, but there wasn’t any. Oops. I must have given it all to […]

  • The Basket – Part 3

    This is a work of fiction. My sister really was too thin. As soon as I saw her, I couldn’t believe I’d ever thought her weight was normal. “What?” she said sharply. “What are you looking at?” “I’m sorry,” I said. “I just . . . well, I never thought I’d see you like this.” […]

  • Ruth – Part 2

    This is a work of fiction. Chapter 2 Well, I had been thinking about the beach, so that was where I was going. I supposed it wasn’t the nicest thing to do, considering Jason was probably having to comfort Ruth and listen to Tracey crying (could little babies grieve?), but it was too hot and […]

  • Isolation – Part 5

    This is a work of fiction. Over the next few days, Mercy gets worse, and then she starts to get better. I spend the time bringing her water and then soup, cleaning, and working on paintings. I don’t ask her about Eva. I also don’t ask her if she wants to call anybody. I’ve seen […]

  • Isolation – Part 4

    This is a work of fiction. “Eva!” My eyes fly open. I look at the clock. It’s 1:01 a.m. “EEEE-VA!” Mercy is screaming, but her voice is so dry and cracked, I’m afraid she’s going to damage her throat if I can’t calm her down. “Eva! Where are you?” I wish I knew who Eva […]

  • Ruth – Part 1

    This is a work of fiction. I started writing this story as part of this post about writing dialog. I’ve revised it and added more. Prolog “I told you,” Jason said. “I’m not coming home, so don’t pester me.” Pester him? As if I were a whiny little kid. The whole thing made me both […]

  • Isolation – Part 3

    This is a work of fiction. “Would you like me to call an ambulance?” Mercy shakes her head. “Would you like to sleep in my guest room?” “Please,” she whispers. Thank goodness there’s one on the main floor. I’ve been setting it up for when Mom, Dad, and Mona come to visit. So far, there’s […]

  • The Basket – Easter Weekend

    This is a work of fiction. I jumped off the couch and ran to my fallen sister. I barely noticed the book and my project hitting the floor. I wasn’t fast enough to catch her, but she didn’t hit her head on the way down. I checked for a pulse. There was none. She wasn’t […]

  • The Basket – Good Friday

    This is a work of fiction. The Basket Good Friday Laine found the body. We always visited Grandma at Easter. At Christmas she came to our parents’ house, and at other times of the year we visited her, but Easter was special. We normally went on Thursday and stayed three nights. I’m sure it started […]

  • The Christmas Room – complete story

    Listen to Podcast Episode The Christmas Room This is a work of fiction. This story has two endings. This blog post and podcast episode contains the entire story. The Beginning The tree was at least twenty feet tall. How such a gigantic pine had been uprooted, transported, and set up there without any apparent damage, […]

  • Isolation – Part 2 – Contemporary Fiction

    This is a work of fiction. I spend the weekend helping Dad clean the house thoroughly, moving my things to my house, visiting Mom and Mona, and shopping for groceries and other important things. Once Mom and Mona are home, I go to my house. Mom and Dad ask me to stay, but I think […]

  • Isolation – Part 1 – Contemporary Fiction

    Podcast Episode This is a work of fiction. I wanted to know what happened to Billy after the events in “Lockdown,” and being in his head was so much fun. Mom and Mona are both asleep. “What should we do now?” I ask Dad. He looks exhausted, and I hope he’ll decide to go home […]

  • Writing Advice: Break up long sections of dialog, and an accidental story

    When I sent Wounded Bride to be edited, the book was full of long sections consisting of nothing but characters talking to each other. In that story, the detectives talk to suspects, and you’d expect there to be lots of dialog, but it should be broken up by actions, sentences about what your characters are […]

  • The Choice

    This is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspiration writing course from The one-word prompt was “choice.” It was published in six blog posts in April 2020. Each post was fairly short, so I’ve combined them into one for a podcast episode. The Choice What to do? She looked at the clock. […]

  • Need a Distraction? I offer free fiction on this website

    Since starting in April 2020, I’ve finished five pieces of free fiction, and two are in progress. All of them can be found on my fiction page. To help you decide which one to read first, here are short descriptions of all of them. The Choice Rita hates her job, and an e-mail she receives […]

  • The Christmas Room – Ending 2

    This is a work of fiction. The house is quiet. One of the stockings has my name on it. It’s right beside Dylan’s. All of them bulge with presents. The pile of gifts under the tree blocks quite a few of the lower branches. I look at some of the tags on them. They’re in […]

  • The Christmas Room – Ending 1 – Contemporary Fiction

    This is a work of fiction. I listen. The house is quiet. The room is full of light. I walk over to the wall where all the stockings are hanging. One of them has my name on it. When I was a kid, I used to wish for mountains of presents. I walk across the […]

  • The Christmas Room – Contemporary Fiction – a story with two endings

    This is a work of fiction. The tree was at least twenty feet tall. How such a gigantic pine had been uprooted, transported, and set up there without any apparent damage, I had no idea. Every branch was hung with strings of great big red, green, and white lights. At the top, there was a […]

  • What is my free fiction about?

    I’ve been talking a lot about free fiction lately, but I’ve neglected to write “About the Story” blurbs for most of the pieces I’ve posted. To correct that oversight, here they are. Once you find one you like the sound of, click the link above to be taken to the page with links to all […]

  • Short Fiction Sunday – The Choice

    Rita is offered a choice: either stay in the job she hates, or take a chance. The Choice was the first piece of short fiction that I published on this blog. Check it out, and find out what Rita chooses… and the consequences of that choice.