Earth Camp and A Gift to Save the Earth

The first story I’ve ever co-authored is now complete. In June, the first part, “Earth Camp,” posted on Lightning Quick Reads.

Scott Harpstrite and I tell the story of a futuristic Earth where a weapon destroyed most of the Earth’s atmosphere. 100 years later, a team of explorers are sent by the Solar Council to investigate Earth, look for survivors of the war, and test the planet’s habitability. What they discover rewrites their understanding of history.

Read “Earth Camp” here.Welcome

For December’s Lightning Quick Reads post, we conclude the story with “A Gift to Save the Earth.”

With a newly constructed time travel machine, the explorers from the Solar Council and some refugees from Earth embark on a mission to travel back in time and stop the weapon from ever destroying the Earth’s atmosphere. But can they change history?

Read “A Gift to Save the Earth” here.aurora-borealis

 

COMING HOME a short story about thankfulness now on Lightning Quick Reads

I’m not sure why I’m ending my year on Lightning Quick Reads with so many dark themed stories, but I am. Maybe it has something to do with the next several books I plan on writing. Or perhaps I thought the monthly theme of Thankfulness set itself up too easily for some sappy, everybody’s happy story. Who knows? But here’s another one.

In COMING HOME, after several years apart, John and Amber reunite after the unexpected death of their parents. Memories of a traumatic childhood haunt John, but Amber has a deep secret of her own.

****

Plane

Sometimes the worst situations can make us thankful.

COMING HOME

“Would you like anything to drink, sir?” the flight attendant asked.

“Another gin and tonic. Thanks.” This was going to be hard, but the gin made John not care…for now.

“This is your captain speaking. We will be touching down in St. Louis in about an hour. Current weather is eighty-five degrees with eighty percent humidity. Some scattered storms are in the area, heavy storms are expected tonight.”

If he only knew. He handed his credit card to the flight attendant. “You’d better make that two.”

He emptied the first 3 cl gin bottle into the plastic glass filled with ice, and topped it with tonic water. Three hurried gulps drained the first glass, and he reclined his chair to savor the other bottle.

As the plane descended to Lambert Airport, it passed into dark storm clouds. The windows went from dry to a sheet of rain.

“This is your captain. Welcome to St. Louis. Local time is 3:05 p.m. If you’re catching a connecting flight . . .”

John tuned the rest of it out. 3:05, huh? He would have guessed half past 6 looking out the window. Typical St. Louis weather.

In the airport he looked at Amber’s flight information. He checked the status of her flight on the message board. Another hour. I guess I’ll get a bite to eat.
In the restaurant he ordered a beer and a cheeseburger. How was he going to react to seeing her after all these years? She was his sister, but with a six year age difference, they never felt like siblings. Cousins maybe. Second or third cousins, once removed, by marriage was more like it. Even after all they had been through together.

He finished his burger and had another beer before heading to Amber’s gate. When he saw her, he could tell she had aged. But will she have matured? Her auburn hair was shorter than he remembered, and the tattoos covering her left arm were new.

She ran and wraped her arms around him. As if not feeling the awkwardness five years brings, not to mention parting on the terms they did.

She pulled away, her eyes glassed over with tears. “I can’t believe this. I just can’t believe he would do it. I just. . . I can’t believe it.”

The same reaction she had had when he called to tell her the news. He didn’t know what she couldn’t believe. Hadn’t they grown up in the same house? John had expected something like this for the past fifteen years. Yet his precious sister, their favorite, found it unfathomable. She should have known them better. But she never did have a strong grip on reality.

Continue reading on the Lightning Quick Reads blog.

 

My New Horror Story, Trimixer, Now on Lightning Quick Reads

I’m warning you right now, this is not a light-hearted, feel-good story. Advance at your own risk.

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Scary does not need darkness.

It doesn’t require monsters, ghouls, or ghosts.

Not all evil lurks in human form.

The most ordinary day can become a horror story.

****

Aiden’s childish screams pierced the humid air as he ran through his sprinkler. Water warmed in the inflatable pool. The cool, cloudy morning had turned into a bright, hot day.

Steve stood on the edge of the wet grass watching his son play. Matted hair dripped water from his head, and his soaked green and blue swim trunks clung to his legs and made a sloshing sound as he ran. Steve’s wife, Annie, sat on the front porch step. She looked striking in her cutoff denim shorts and maroon bikini top. He could think of a handful of things he’d like to do with her instead of work, but none of them would happen during the day with Aiden awake. Oh, well. Nothing wrong with planning ahead for tonight.

Once they wanted to have another kid; a girl would have been nice. A boy and a girl, what more could they ask for? But after three miscarriages in a row, the hurt became too much, and they decided Steve should get a vasectomy. With Aiden turning seven, they didn’t want to start over with a baby. This would mark the last time Steve would wonder what it would have been like having two children.

A dull, splashing sound brought Steve out of his daydream. He looked down to see water droplets splatter the toes of his work boots turning the tan leather a reddish brown.  He remembered he had work to do. As he walked to the silo shed, Annie’s phone rang. “Hello. Oh, hi Clarisse. Thanks for calling me back. Hold on, I have to run in the house to find the paperwork.”

He passed the barn door and remembered he needed to take another bale of hay to the orphaned calf. He had thrown several bails down, so as not to half to climb the rickety latter to the hayloft more than every couple days. After carrying a hay bale to the stall where he kept the calf, pulling off the twine, and breaking the bale apart, he checked the water tub and found the calf still had plenty before setting off for the silo shed again.

He found the light on in the shed. He had finished chores at dusk the night before; had he left it on? Mistakes like that happened when he hurried. He flipped the switch off, turned on the fuel to his old tractor and worked his way to the rear of the Trimixer to open the silo shoot. He turned on the silo unloader and gave it a few minutes to fill enough for the cattle.

When silage piled to the opening of the shoot, he started the tractor and turned on the power-takeoff (PTO) to bring the silage to the front of the wagon. And earsplitting screech cut deep into his sole. Something must be grinding. He reached for the PTO lever, but the noise stopped.  The shrill screech happened again, this time much shorter, and stopped. The sound couldn’t have come from metal grinding metal as he first suspected. It came from a living creature.

****

Continue reading the rest of the story here, if you dare.

ALL IS FAIR IN LOVERS’ WAR now on Lightning Quick Reads

My newest post on Lighting Quick Reads is now available to read. Actually, it’s been available since the 17th, but I didn’t want to run a second post on the same day Group 15 got their version of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud Chapter Three showcased. If you missed that project, here’s a link to the beginning.

As for the LQR post, I really like this main character. Not because he’s a great guy. He’s not! Wait until you meet him. But I like his voice, and how he’s ever so slightly out of touch with reality. See what you think.

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ALL IS FAIR IN LOVERS’ WAR
or How I Got Schooled In Love

Dagger

Through the window of the taxi, I could see a tear in her eye. She still had feelings for me. When she rolled down the window, I knew I would take her back the second she said, “I love you.”

Thunder cracked, and the downpour of rain splattered her face. She looked ready to burst with emotion, and she said, “If I ever see you again, you will regret ever meeting me!”

She rolled up the window and the taxi sped away. I thought it was a tear in her eye–I guess I was mistaken.

****

From the moment I met Mariana, I knew she was “The One.” She had everything I was looking for in a woman: intelligence, a sense of humor, light-brown hair flowing halfway down her back, perky breasts, a Russian accent–I didn’t even know I was looking for a Russian accent until I met Mariana.

I got a job right out of college designing set pieces for plays. Skip ahead a few years to when I landed a job to create the set for MACBETH. I delivered it to the theater the day of the first dress rehearsal. Enter Mariana.

Mariana had gotten her first acting role as the Third Witch. I should have guessed I would fall in love with a witch.

I wasn’t supposed to be at the theater when the cast arrived, but I had gotten a late start that morning. Nelly, a girl I had been seeing for a few weeks, got suspicious that I was cheating on her. Her suspicion aroused when my phone rang. I had gone to take a shower. The caller’s name was Tiffany, and she introduced herself to Nelly as my girlfriend.

In my defense, Tiffany was not my girlfriend. Nelly was. Tiffany was just a girl I had met at a bar a few nights before. I had drunk too much to drive, and she lived within walking distance. I don’t even remember giving her my phone number.

Nelly didn’t give me a chance to explain. I’m finishing my shower when her hand reaches in and turns off the hot water. I scream and turn off the cold. I can hear her yelling about “some slut on the phone,” not wanting to be “the other girl,” and “we’re through!”

I grab my towel and follow her into my kitchen. As she slams the door and leaves, I finally figure out what has happened. I step onto my second story balcony and waited for her to appear outside.

“Nelly, come up here so I can explain,” I say. But she grabs a flowerpot from the patio below and throws it at my head. I duck and the pot shatters against the wall behind me–covering me with soil.

Nelly climbs into her car and peels away, and I have to take another shower. This in turn makes me late setting the stage, and gives me the chance to meet Mariana. To quote MACBETH, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.” If I had known how bad showering would soon become for me, methinks I may have quit bathing.

 

You can read the rest of the story on Lightning Quick Reads.

Work For Hire Posted on Lightning Quick Reads

My short story “Work For Hire” is available on Lightning Quick Reads. As a fair warning, this story is a bit more gruesome than most of my other writing. It’s not terrible, I don’t think, and my posts on LQR over the next few months get worse. I don’t usually tell people not to read what I write, but if you’re squeamish about blood and guts you may want to avoid this one.

Earth Camp on Lightning Quick Reads

Since I always want my ability as a writer to grow, I often experiment with writing styles. For the first time, I tried writing a story with someone else. In my June post for Lightning Quick Reads, with the theme of ‘Camp,’ I’ve coauthored a story with my cousin, Scott Harpstrite. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but other than some ideas I wouldn’t have come up with myself, the story seem, in my opinion, to have an extra layer of depth. Check it out and let me know what you think.

http://lightningquickreads.blogspot.com/2015/06/earth-camp-by-eric-price-and-scott.html

Remember the Future–The Final Installment of Cloverleaf Project.

The three part short story, Cloverleaf Project, which I started in March, concludes with Remember the Future. You can read the complete story on Lightning Quick Reads.

Part 1: Thank the Lucky Stars

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Part 2: The Final Transmission

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Part 3: Remember the Future

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Also, anyone who leaves a comment on Lightning Quick Reads for the month of May gets entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. So let me know what you think.

Here’s a ‘just for fun.’ Each story has a dedication. The first person to comment here with the connection each dedicated person has to their particular story wins a free copy of my book, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud. If you already have Unveiling, you can win my upcoming release, The Squire and the Slave Master, instead. Think character names, story titles, phrases within the story…it could be anything.

Thanks for reading.