Indie Snippets is currently closed to submissions.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From "The Side-Effect," as it appears in "I Held My Breath as Long as I Could" by Kristopher Kelly

Just about the time Larry was going to give up, put a gun to his head, and blow his tortured brains out, something else happened that was not zombie-related at all: Larry discovered he had the ability to fly. Why he should suddenly develop such ability at the age of thirty-seven, Larry could not say, but in a land that had been overrun by the living dead for the last six months, he supposed anything was possible.

He discovered his new talent one humid morning in late August when he woke up with his nose pressed against the ceiling, his body floating horizontally, a sextet of hungry fiends swaying and moaning beneath him. They must have broken through the kitchen barricade sometime during the night. By all rights, he should have already been quite well gnawed. When he realized the nature of his predicament, he waved his hands below him, trying to get even closer to the ceiling, expecting any second to drop into the rotting appetites beneath him, like Wile E. Coyote falling into a chasm after a moment of perplexed suspension.

But that moment didn’t come. He stayed afloat, out of reach of the groping zombies ...

From "Better Off Without Him" by Dee Ernst

You would think that there is nothing in the world more embarrassing, not to mention humbling, than taking dating advice from your teen-aged daughters.
Well, there is.

Try taking fashion advice from your teen-aged daughters.

Jessica struck at the kitchen table.  “What are you wearing?” she said around a mouthful the chocolate Pop Tart that was her breakfast.

I was peeling an avocado.  For my lunch.  It was, after all, past noon, but the girls and I are on a very separate dining schedules during the summer.  “What am I wearing when?”

“Tonight.  With Mr. Keegan.  He’s a very young-thinking guy.  All his other dates have been twenty-something, so he’s used to fashion-forward women.”

“Are you suggesting I’m not fashion-forward?”

She looked at me with skepticism.  To be fair, I was wearing khaki walking shorts with very frayed cuffs and a navy T-shirt that said “Republicans for Voldemort”.

From "Venture Untamed" by R.H. Russell

Young Venture and his master's daughter, Jade are attacked by a group of older boys on the road to her father's estate.

Run, Jade, Venture wanted to say. Please. Just run. But he didn’t dare call their attention back to her. He cursed at the boys instead, swung wildly, and managed to make contact with one of their noses, but then he took a boot right in the gut for it. He had to get up before they noticed her again. Had to. He breathed in dirt and he coughed it out and he kept getting up, and they kept pounding on him.

Then one of them said, “Hey! She’s gone!”

“Never mind her. Let’s finish him.”

Thank God, she’d gotten away, disappeared into the roadside brush. He imagined her slipping through the weeds and into the trees, soundless and quick like the rabbits she liked to help him track. When the time was right, she’d get up and run, taking the shortcut home.

But he was still here, still breathing dirt, still going to die with the pounding of their fists and the roaring of their laughter like the throbbing triumph of darkness itself in his ears.

From "Concentric Circles" by Aithne Jarretta

Watching the romantic sunset from St. Michael's Tower a top the Glastonbury Tor...

Shayla leaned into him, increasing the feeling of belonging.

“Can you hear it?” Meekal asked while rubbing his chin in her hair.


“The sunset.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Shh,” he murmured. “There’s still time. Focus on the sun’s orb, and then close your eyes. Let the earth’s song guide your inner vision to see the sunset. You’ve been attuned, so now you’ll hear it. The ancient Celts referred to the earth’s beautiful music as Òran Mór. No human has ever created anything to compare to it because it’s the combined synergy of every living creature, earth breath and ocean wave.”

She stilled, lashes resting against windswept cheeks. A slow lift at the corners of her mouth was the only indication she heard. Meekal allowed his heart to soar, meeting hers above the earth, joining in the song.

A gentle breath escaped her as the last curvature of the golden orb slipped past the horizon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"33 From "Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping on Floors. Chasing A Dream" by Bill See

I awake to the sound of rain absolutely pouring down.  As I come to, I have this feeling like something’s different.  Maybe this is what it really feels like to be reborn, not that hollow religious rebirth crap.  I know it doesn’t sound like much considering I’m stuffed inside a sleeping bag on a hardwood floor, packed in a tiny room with four other guys in sleeping bags, but for the first time in my life it feels like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

This is how we heard it’d be from all those bands that showed us how to do it, that went out to chase down their dream in rented cargo vans.  I’m ready for this to be the first of many floors we’ll sleep on.

As we make our way out of Portland, we experience the completely alien concept of doing exactly what we want to do while the rest of the world carries on with their dull and dismal Saturday morning errands.  Back in L.A., you play a gig then face the tremendous letdown of returning to your shit day job, school, mid-city traffic, whatever.  For us, it’s back on the highway to follow the breadcrumbs left by our heroes in this sort of parallel universe.

From "Sliding on the Snow Stone" by "Andy Szpuk"

It was 1941 and I’d just turned 14. I’d grown up in some very tough times. None of us expected things would improve much, but we wouldn’t be sorry to see the back of the Soviets. Like a spider spinning its web, the Nazis infiltrated and occupied every corner of our beloved Ukraine. The disorganised and bedraggled Soviet soldiers were easily driven back. Many times we cowered in the darkness of our homes in the chilly autumn evenings, listening to bombs exploding, some far away, others very close. Too close. It wasn’t long before the Nazis were amongst us.

As they drove through the village, some people greeted them with traditional offerings of bread and salt, and a large crowd assembled to cheer them. The procession of Panzer tanks, armoured vehicles, and Nazi soldiers on motorbikes was truly impressive. Everything about them, the vehicles, their uniforms, their weapons, all seemed superior. Would this mean the end of the purges and the terrors? Maybe people wouldn’t just disappear anymore. Soviet rule had left its scars on us. Surely things couldn’t be any worse under the Nazis?

From "Lust Demented" by Michael D. Subrizi

Kiko seemed to hover above us all, forcing the entire crowd to start at the pointy toes of her stilted blue leather boots and follow floral black lace leggings to her lunar skin mid-thigh, tangling our minds deep in a short black and white anime maid's dress, slices of fabric missing which allowed her tattoos to burst through bleeding color. Her hair dyed deep blue where it was not jet black, short where it was not spiked up in a fuck the world typhonic wave.

“Why don't you all shut up?” The room filled into an immediate hush as Kiko snarled, whipping her neck around jaw first.
“You… you just stand there waiting to hear me read the same words that you read to yourself. The same words that you make mean whatever you want them to mean. You think they're written for you, but these are my words. Monika used to say… Kiko you're my porcelain muse, stay near me so I can write. Never shatter.” Kiko licked her lips, fighting the endless desert in her mouth.

“I can't do this.” Choking up with two fingers inserted past the knuckle, Kiko shook Gloom's latest novel like it was an extension of her fist.

“Pale skin and pale words.” Lars rolled his eyes, twitching on account of the unwanted attention. The gawkers that weren't wrapped up in Kiko‟s trance were staring down Lars from all corners of the room.

“What do we do now?” I was getting restless, short-attention span and all.

“Listen.” Hawaii used a roguish whisper to undress Kiko on stage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From "A Place of Forgetting" by Carolyn J. Rose

Sick of small-town sympathy for the loss of her boyfriend but aware that her father will object to her plans, Liz Roark pretends she’s going off to school, but intends to head to Chicago and a new life...

It would be hours before they found the note and by then I’d be two hundred miles away, maybe more.

The thought of all that distance squeezed my heart. “You can’t be homesick until you’ve left home,” I lectured myself as I poured half a cup of coffee and filled it to the brim with milk—the way I always drank it. I’d stop at the college and use a familiar ladies room, because after that . . . Well, that was uncharted and frightening territory.

“Don’t worry until you have to.” But in case I ended up squatting in the brush beside a road, I took a roll of toilet paper from the pantry and stuffed it in the brown leather purse my father said reminded him of a horse’s feed bag.

The rain had diminished to a sputtering drizzle when I stepped out onto the porch in a green hooded raincoat with my books cradled against my chest. Buggy gleamed in the graying light like a beacon. I dashed across the sodden lawn, unlocked the door, opened it on squealing hinges, and slid inside.

“About time you got here,” a voice whispered.

From "Bloody Murder" by Kate Kulig

“I’ve never seen a crime scene contaminated by muffins before.”

“Next time I discover a body, I’ll try not to trip over it, okay?”

The cop snorted. He’d already tried for ironic humor by commenting that a shop with the name Bloody Murder was the perfect place to have one. I was not amused. Instead of the busy, productive morning I had planned, I had a painfully sprained ankle, a hysterical partner and now a fifty-something weather-beaten homicide dick, stress on the ultimate word, from the First Precinct trying to be funny. To top it off, I was bruised and covered with blood. Not my own, but it was making me nauseous and lightheaded. I felt like I might faint again. No, amused was nowhere near my vocabulary right now. 

From "The Fright Factory" by William R. Potter

Tied to chairs, Robin and Wesley have only minutes to free themselves before a bomb detonates...

Wesley stared at the candle and saw less than an inch of wax above the hole with the dynamite fuse. He began to feverishly kick his feet and tug his wrists hoping for a loosening or the break of a strap. Instead, the rear legs of the chair snapped, sending him over backwards, resulting in a loud crack when his skull met the wood floor.

He shook his head slightly and glanced up at Robin next to him. She was straining to see him as he fought to meet her eyes. He could not see her face.


“Um—think so.”

“Half an inch,” Robin said, in a small, childlike voice.

“I know.” They were both quiet for a few seconds. Wesley was able to move enough on the floor to see the candle. He couldn’t see Robin’s face or stand or break free of the chair but he could see that damned candle.

“I’m sorry,” Wesley said.

“Huh, why?”

“For bringing you here.”

“You only did because I was pressuring you for us to get away.”

“I love you, Robin. More than you know.”

“I do know, Wesley. I love you too…I’ve loved you my entire life….”

From "Fire & Ice" by Kate Aaron

As much as he longed to set off in pursuit of Alyssia, Skye couldn’t help but regret that soon they’d have to leave their little flat behind. This small, shabby box, with its worn furniture and creaking bed, had felt more like home to him than the palace ever had. He was used to Fenton, accustomed to his presence. He couldn’t imagine parting from him once they returned to the Realm.

He looked up, smiling at him over the papers he was holding. Fenton’s eyes rose from the knife he was sharpening and met his, smiling back. Skye reached out and took it from him, placing it carefully on the table. He leant forward, kissing Fenton softly on the cheek.

“What was that for?” Fenton asked, surprised.

Skye shrugged and blushed gently.

Fenton reached out, pulling him close. Skye nestled his head on Fenton’s chest, wrapping his arms around him, feeling the vampire’s fingers tease the curls of his hair.

“You know we’ll have to leave soon?” Fenton reminded him. “We’re as ready now as we’ll ever be.”

“Not yet,” Skye whispered.

“No,” Fenton agreed quietly, “not yet.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

From "Whiskers" by Donald H Sullivan

Whiskers was thrown from his master's car in a collision, and in a
daze, has wandered into a swamp...

As he paddled he caught sight of something floating in the stream.  At
first it appeared to be a log, but as it neared him he saw that it was not a log, but a living creature…and it was coming toward him.

He was not yet halfway across the creek, and decided his chances would
be better by  returning to the bank from which he had started. He turned, and paddling with all his might, he started for shore.

The thing was moving fast, and barely making a ripple in the water as it closed the distance between them.
He kept swimming until he was near enough to shore that his feet touched bottom.  Nearly exhausted, he pulled himself out onto the muddy bank.  He was out of the water now, and safe.
 He lay there and panted, watching the creature. It was no longer moving, but was lying still in the water, only a short distance from the point on the bank where Whiskers rested.  Its eyes, protruding above the water, were watching him.

From "Her Royal Thighness and the Mannequins of Doom" by Lulu Dean

Florine Willoughby sat in my kitchen with one hand wrapped around what looked like a dead ferret and the other clutching an application for the Little Miss Regal Mail In Beauty Pageant.

“Let’s go over everything again,” I said. “Want me to start?”

“No, I can,” she said, fighting back tears. “I’m so lucky to have you as a friend, Lu.”

I agreed, of course, but didn’t say anything. When she’d arrived earlier, I’d been right in the middle of my second piece of red velvet cake. I was having what my husband calls a “crazy vacation,” which generally involves roiling waves of emotional instability, some ugly-face crying and a blatant disregard for anything at all having to do with Jenny Craig.

Or Weight Watchers.

I was up to my cankles in low self-esteem, but I knew Florine was in worse shape when she appeared on our doorstep in a flannel bathrobe, Dallas Cowboys jersey and paisley leggings.

“Where are your shoes?” I’d asked.

“One’s back home in our driveway,” she’d told me. “And I threw the other one at some moron on the interstate. He kept getting in my way as I tried to pass on the shoulder.”

From "Insectland" by Neil D Ostroff

Be frightened! Be very frightened! Tiny, dragon-like creatures hiding in our homes are going to harm us.

From "In the Shadow of Mountains: The Lost Girls" by David George Richards

Rolf has brought the lost girls back to his cottage in the forest and is immediately hit by a barrage of questions...

“Where’s the telly?” Jemma asked.

“It’s cold in here,” Rowena said.

“Where’s the bathroom?” Jane wanted to know.

“Where’s the kitchen?” Sophia asked. “I’m hungry.”

Rolf was quickly surrounded. Karen smiled at him as he put the bucket down on the table and did his best to answer their questions.

“All that you see is all that I have,” he told them.

“What! No telly?” Jemma moaned.

Vanessa clipped her across her ear.

“Ow!” Jemma yelped, and rubbed her ear. “I was only asking!”

Rolf continued with his explanation. He pointed at the bowl and the bucket on the table. “The bathroom is here in this bowl. I have brought water so that you can wash and bathe. I will find you towels to dry with. As for food, I will get some bread and meat from the pantry. First, let me light the fire so that I can heat the house and boil some water for coffee.”

That perked up Bernice. “You have coffee?” she asked eagerly.

Sophia was more interested in the food. “Never mind that! Get the bread and the meat! Do you have anything else?”

Jemma called out, “She’ll be wanting a pizza next! Ow!”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

From "The Life and Times of Rebecca Walker" by Rachel Hanson

Over the next few days as I was developing my photos I become mesmerized by the beauty of the legs. I was especially impressed that some of the models had slight hairy legs and they bared them for me anyway. Talk about courage! Unfortunately I'm superficial and Tiffany's lightly tanned and smooth legs are my favorite.

My next step is to talk to my agent. Hopefully he’ll like my legs as much as I do and he’ll help me get a show together. Wish me luck; I'm going to need it!

From "Hunting the Five" by Maria Violante

Silently, she crossed her arms and slid them up her sides.  With a circular flourish, she drew out the pistol and the revolver and settled them into the ready position.

She didn't hear the click; she sensed it.  Instantly, she could see an image in her mind, the hesitant slide of a safety switch, the red dot warning that the gun was ready to fire.


Alsvior dropped to his front knees as she buried her face in his mane.  The area above him exploded in a shower of drywall and stone, the shot missing them by the smallest fraction of a second.


Alsvior jumped up and took off running.  With one swift motion, she vaulted off of his back, firing from midair towards the bullet's origin.  Before she hit the ground, she was rewarded with a scream.

Got you.

Alsvior was completing the circle.  Her hands clamped around the gun-grips, she jumped into the saddle with a gigantic springing leap.  More snake-like than human, the vault would have shocked any bystander.  "Left, sharp!" she shouted, and he turned abruptly without losing speed, spinning on his hooves in a low lean.  

From "World of the Chernyi: Going Home" by D. K. Richardson

Noah, a survivor of the conditions in Capital City, talks with Martha, one
of Jake's Recondo crew...

"Look Martha.  The city, before," he paused, then continued, "was over a million people.  You include everything from Ring City to the south, Parker
to the extreme north and going east - say, until you hit the flats.  Well, that number almost doubles.  Parts of the city were damn near a war zone -
or at least a continuous slow-motion riot even before this.  Let's be honest
with ourselves, this city was badly broken long before this Chërnyi, as you
call it, came along.  You and the PMA will not be able to put it back together.  There is really nothing to put together."

Martha was impressed; Noah had clearly given this a lot of thought.  "What do you think we should do then, Noah?"

He shook his head.  "I don't really know, Martha.  Triage, maybe.  Salvage - if not."  He looked up, "I have an old car radio I rigged up where I am staying.  You can hear a lot at night.  Some places seem to be getting it back together, the places with farmland nearby, some kind of energy sources, mostly.  I haven't heard anything from east of the Mississippi since I started listening to my radio. "

From "Waltzing in the Shadows" by Dale Day

A farmer's inn located in the northern part of Austria...

A blanket of white covered the world during the night. The sun shone in a cloudless sky, the snow sparkling diamond-like.

The only discordant note of the morning came from a flock of crows fussing at each other in a big bare-limbed tree next to the road.

It took a bit more than an hour to reach the small village perched on the bank of the river with chips of ice strewn where water met land. Thirty houses huddled together around the usual village square, faced by a few shops and stores with living spaces on the upper floors.

Each building, three stories high, had different facades in varied colors, the windowsills empty of the bright flower boxes that would fill them in the spring. Steep roofs shed the snow and Hausfrauen had already swept the streets in front of their homes.

A half dozen rowboats rested upside down on the block wall against the riverbank, nets hung to dry in the weak sun. They saw a small tavern with three unoccupied tables, so the foursome sat down and ordered Glühwein, the perfect drink for a cold morning.

They strolled upriver six or seven kilometers, enjoying the surroundings. Bill learned more about his companion every step of the way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From "Coloured And Other Stories" by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

His wife’s face perked up as they both leaned forward to see a man, riding on the mini tractor, plowing his field next door.

    “Go and ask him,” she turned her face full of hope.

    “Ask him what?” Sundar replied, his eyebrows rising.

    “Ask him what to do with our grass!”

    So this was how he had come to find himself, on a fine Saturday morning, walking out of his house, down the driveway, into this neighbor’s territory rather than seated at the table reading the story of little Jenny MacGill and the lawsuit against her negligent babysitter.  Having reached the edge of his neighbor’s lawn, Sundar stopped and observed the newly clipped grass.  It was neatly shorn, the blades no higher than his toes, and its reek was worse than any Calcutta street.  It was amazing how this green stuff could smell; there were cows lazily wandering the streets, not goats being herded through traffic by little boys with twigs, and yet the little newly clipped shreds of green managed to emit an odor fierce and offensive to Sundar’s nostrils.  It wasn’t dung exactly, more like the odor of warm cow patties laid on roofs to congeal and dry, decimating their stench throughout the neighborhood.


From "Love Potions" by Michelle McCleod

“My name is Raven and this…” She thrust her companion in front of her, “Is Marion.”

“We’ve met,” Aidan said with a nod to Marion.

“Actually, we’re done meeting.” Marion finally twisted free of her friend’s grasp and glared at them both as she rubbed her arm.

“You were the one watching Marion on the dance floor, weren’t you?” Raven asked.

Aidan nodded. “There’s something unique about the way your friend dances.”

Raven laughed. “Yeah, it’s called sexual frustration.”

Marion gasped and hissed, “Raven.”

Raven ignored her. “You see, Marion’s my roommate and she never goes out. She sits at home and blows up love potions in ratty old sweat pants. I can’t take it anymore. She’s ruining my love life. Since you seem interested, I thought I’d facilitate a conversation.”

“I’m going to hex you the second we get home,” Marion said.

“I’ll double-hex you back,” Raven said with a sigh of exasperation.

“Are you looking for love?” Aidan asked, interrupting the two before their spat escalated.

“No.” But Marion wouldn’t meet his eyes when she said it. There was a troubled expression on her face that made him wonder what her previous romantic experiences had been like.

From "One Small Victory" by Maryann Miller

Don’t discount what a mom can do when the safety of her children is at stake...
“What’s so damn important you had to get me out of a meeting?”

Jenny faltered at the force of Ralph’s antagonism coming across a thin wire of communication like some insidious emotional cancer. She gripped the telephone receiver until her fingers burned. “Your son.”

“If there’s some kind of trouble we can discuss it—”

“Ralph, will you please just listen.” Jenny hesitated, some inner core of compassion trying to keep her voice gentle.

“I have half a mind to—”

“Ralph, it’s Michael—”

“What fool thing did you let him do now?”

Again, a deep stab of pain, but Jenny fought the urge to attack him with angry words. She could never be that cruel. “Please Ralph. Just let me . . . He’s . . .” She paused again, finding the word so incredibly hard to say. “. . . dead.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

From "Honey Trap (A Noah Milano short story)" by Jochem Vandersteen

Hopping bars and getting paid for it. Sometimes life as a security specialist isn’t that bad. I was visiting the bars and clubs of Hollywood looking for one certain, special girl. Not because I was looking for romance, but because I was looking for a blackmailer.

Blake Trainor had been a chemist for years, working to create perfumes for one of the bigger giants in that industry. The formulas for these perfumes are well-guarded secrets. Somebody wanted Trainor to reveal them. He’d been divorced just a few months ago and looking for someone to make him forget his loneliness. Or probably he was just horny. Anyway, he went club hopping in Hollywood a week ago and met this incredibly hot young girl that seemed to be totally into him. He took her home and slept with her. When he woke up she was gone. There was a note on his bed that explained he’d just been sleeping with a minor and pictures had been taken of their little tryst. He was to e-mail all his formulas to a hotmail-address or the pictures would go to the police.

Trainor had no intention of going to prison, he was a pencil-neck geek.

From "The Mercenary's Marriage" by Rachel Rossano

After a siege, Darius, a mercenary, and his master, the King of Braulyn, are inspecting the remnants...
A movement caught the edge of Darius' vision, but he did not acknowledge it.

Darius swept his gaze across the room. Speaking so only his master could hear, he added, “We have an observer.” The man crouched behind one of the tapestries along the walls. Both exits were two or three hiding places from the hidden man’s position.

“Where is he?” The king did not move except to look up and catch Darius's eye as if they were in conversation.

Just then, the figure darted between shelters. Darius felt his mouth drop; he quickly disguised it by saying, “A girl.”

“Did you just say it was a girl?” Jenran's weary eyes sharpened and focused more carefully on Darius.

“Yes.” Darius carefully turned so he could watch both his master and the girl. “Small build, dark hair, she is definitely not Gwendolyn or one of her frequent companions.” The girl darted to the next hiding place. She was one sprint away from freedom. Darius knew how she felt. The tempo of the heart pounding in his chest and the taste of liberty on his tongue were both familiar sensations. “She is mine,” he said. He glimpsed the king’s smile.

From "Price of a Bounty" by S. L. Wallace

A mysterious young woman recently entered my life. I noticed her the second she walked into the café and was pleasantly surprised when she walked directly to my table. I immediately wondered why – why had she come to me? Did she know who I really was? If so, what kind of help was she seeking? She introduced herself as Madeline.

Madeline was beautiful, and she had the most amazing green eyes. She was well dressed yet looked hungry. Despite her clothing, I knew she wasn’t Elite. I could also sense that she needed something, possibly food, probably something else. She must know, but who directed her to me?

I ordered my favorite, Chicken Kiev, a side of mixed vegetables and a bottle of Chardonnay, and then hesitated. She really did look hungry. “Would you like the same?” I offered. If she saw that I was willing and able to offer this, it might put her at ease. I was well aware that asking for help could be a daunting task. I wanted to make this as easy as possible for her.

But, she didn’t ask. Not then, and not as the conversation continued.