Freebies

Free stuff rocks. That’s why I’ve put together a page of free, no-strings-attached stories and novelettes for you to read, digest, and share. Many of these are available individually as e-books for the Kindle, Nook, and at Smashwords (multiple formats)…just so you know.

Fear Stomping (Novelette)
For as long as he can remember, Kenneth has been afraid. One day, he meets a boy, Vincent, who shows him how to conquer his fears, by finding the special places where fear is not real. A story about friendship and alternate realities.

The game went like this: He and I would sit somewhere private and I would divulge whichever one of my fears happened to be most distressing at the moment. He would then nod and look away for a moment, studying the details of our surroundings as if trying to rearrange the elements themselves. Whenever he fixed his gaze upon me again, there would be this gleam in his eyes, an overwhelming excitement about…something.

Read “Fear Stomping” online for free

Losing Character (Short Story)
Sometimes it can be difficult to discern which side of the mirror is real and which is merely a reflection.

My mind reels. How can I know anything but stifling dread after opening my eyes to a mirror reflection and seeing myself looking back with the magnitude of a complete stranger? I know I am myself, but I am also someone else…

Read “Losing Character” online for free

Node (Novelette)
James has a gift for seeing the darkness beneath the surface. When an encounter with a secretive organization offers him a chance to put that gift to constructive use, he finds that there is a price to be paid for making the world a “perfect” place.

“The problem is, there are no job fairs, no want-ads for the morbid, are there? We work to keep White Hall’s presentation spotless, and someone such as yourself is relegated to being an untapped commodity, suppressing your true nature day in and day out as you try to convince those around you that you’re normal. I can help—I can offer you a job.”

Read “Node” online for free

Distributed Logic (Short Story)
SimpliCITY. It’s the ultimate online sim game. The new version just came out, and it promises to deliver the best VR experience yet—but what happens when the boundaries between sim and reality begin to break down?

Bryan had a splinter-sized chip embedded just under the skin of his left forearm. His computer’s wireless receiver scanned his personal information and logged him on, connected him directly to the county mainframe. As he used the sensory inputs attached to his computer, real-time nerve impulses were generated by his inputs and processed by his bio-chip, which regulated the release of endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine levels, and so forth. As he experienced movement and action in the virtual world, his cerebral cortex processed it as normal, everyday sensory input: He felt gravity, pressure, skin sensation; he tasted, smelled, heard—all the senses were stimulated from the inside out.

Read “Distributed Logic” online for free

Bradbury’s Ghost (Short Story)
Douglas is a writer who’s lost for words. Desperate to find inspiration for his latest novel, he orders Ray Bradbury’s corpse off an online auction site—and that’s when the fun begins.

He scrolled down the web page, examined the sample photo closely. There was Bradbury, combed, coifed, and tuxedoed, resting comfortably in a mahogany casket. The likeness was uncanny, one of the best wax jobs Douglas had ever seen—latex, perhaps. A rendering to put the creature-creators at Spitting Image to shame.

Read “Bradbury’s Ghost” online for free

The Gilded Flame (Short Story)
In the snowy borderlands of Kyrth, the ultimate battle is about to begin as an elven traveler realizes that even immortals may grow weary, even gods may die.

“Many turns past, when I was a youth, my beloved Min and I trained at the Eternal Champion as royal athletes for your Games. While on display before the many gathered kingdoms, come to witness the splendor of the competition, a god let loose his wrath for the sake of his own passion.”

All cheer drained from Taurus’ face. “Speak with care, mortal child.”

Read “The Gilded Flame” online for free

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