Free eBook Fridays: December

On our next installment of Free eBook Fridays, we have a short collection of short stories, “Dollar Tales From the Morbid Museum: Flash Fiction.” I self-published this collection on June 30, 2018 as an eBook. Today only, until midnight, the eBook is available for a free download. Once a month I offer one of my eBooks for free in the hopes that those who download it will read it and write a review on either Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews are not mandatory, but an honest review will help promote my works and are greatly appreciated. Get your free copy before the promotion ends. Download Here.

The purpose of the Dollar Tales collection is to build up the anticipation for the full paperback collection The Morbid Museum. I publish a couple of stories as an eBook for a dollar and get feedback on the stories. I also have a few stories published in online magazines which are included in the paperback edition. This process has helped me outline and figure out exactly how I want to present all these stories in one collection. Not simply a collection of stories with a similar theme but a story within a story. That’s why I created the idea of the Morbid Museum.

The Morbid Museum is curated by Siris Grim who holds a fascination with death; the prevailing theme of the Morbid Museum. He acts as a kind of narrator between the exhibits and each exhibit has a number of stories. This is a nice little preview of the overall collection. The full book is available in paperback and kindle. Enjoy your free copy.

Visitors to the Morbid Museum seek the dark and twisted corners of the world. They are both terrified and intrigued by the unknown. Tales of killers, monsters, and madmen are curated by the Master of Death, Mr. Siris Grim. Mr. Grim collects the darkness that everyone attempts to hide and displays it within the corridors of his gruesome gallery. Who will be next to purchase a ticket and walk the halls of the Morbid Museum?

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Fiction Friday: Highway 491

I drove down Highway 491 in early June of 2008. My watch said 3am and I hadn’t seen any other cars for at least an hour. I started to get that uncomfortable feeling. The one you get when things don’t feel right; like something bad will happen. I looked out the windows up at the sky. I expected to see a bunch of bright lights flying around. I never believed in aliens, but for some reason I kept looking up.

I finally stopped looking feeling foolish. I put my eyes back on the road and I saw it. It felt strange that I didn’t see it before; a circus tent with cars parked all around. Some of the cars looked old, but shinier than mine; like restored classics. I couldn’t understand why a circus performed in the middle of the night. 

Is my watch broken?

I had driven for a while and needed the rest, so I pulled over. I at least wanted to see the old cars from all decades; as much as 80-years-old.

I never saw a circus themed car show. After looking at a few of the classics, I went inside to see what the show.

The smell of popcorn attacked my nose as I entered. I could feel something crunching under my feet though I didn’t hear it from the loud music. Peanut shells covered the ground. An elephant in the center ring balanced things on its tusks. No one stood at the entrance, so I found myself a seat.

Everyone in the audience wore clothing from different decades. I didn’t notice at first how strange people looked. When I saw a man with one of those curly mustaches throwing popcorn, I started looking at everyone. One section had a group of soldiers dressed in World War II uniforms. A bunch of flower power hippies threw flowers instead of popcorn in another section. No one noticed me or any other people around them. The performances in the three rings hypnotized the audience.

I leaned over and spoke to the man next to me.

“What kind of show is this?” I said.

The man looked at me confused and uncomfortable. Without answering he returned to watching the well-trained elephant. After the elephant, a group of clowns ran out from behind the trainer and started goofing around. I decided I had stayed long enough and began to leave.

A man in a candy-striped jacket and straw hat stood at the entrance with an over exaggerated smile. He put one of his hands up.

“You cannot leave.” He said.

“I’m sorry I didn’t pay, but no one was around.”

“Admittance is free, but you cannot leave.”

The wide smile on his thin face and shrill voice made me uncomfortable. 

“Why can’t I leave?”

He snickered.

“It is almost time for the finale. You do not want to miss that.”

He gestured for me to sit back down.

I returned to my seat but looked back every now and then to find the creepy man still standing there watching me. Before the clown act ended, I noticed a young man and woman walking into the tent greeted by the creepy man. I found it strange that the girl wore a blue shirt that said Clinton 2016. I took my chance and snuck out behind the creepy man while he spoke to the couple.

As I left, I could hear the Ringmaster on the loud speaker.

An excerpt from “Highway 491” from the short story collection The Morbid Museum.

Fiction Friday: The Panel Moderator

This was a fun story I wanted to develop as a comic book to sell at conventions. It was published locally in November 2018 in Tucson, AZ for a used book stored, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange.

Who maintains order at conventions around the world? Who keeps celebrities on topic during Q&A sessions? Who fights menacing villains to protect the safety of convention goers everywhere? That’s right, it’s The Panel Moderator! The Panel Moderator travels the globe attending every convention to uphold Truth, Justice, and Nerd Way of Life.

The Panel Moderator basks in the glory of yet another successful convention.

“Ah, the Exhibitor Hall is lively and energetic this morning.”

“Panel Moderator! Panel Moderator!” A young boy called from far off.

“Hello Billy! How are you?”

“Panel Moderator, he’s back and he’s doing mean things again.”

“Who’s back, Billy?”

“The Photo Bomber! He jumped in my picture with the guy dressed like Batman.”

“That Dastardly Devil! Don’t worry Billy, I’ll stop him!”

“Go get him Panel Moderator!”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Exhibitor Hall, a man in a dark cloak lurks behind a crowd of onlookers as photos are being taken of Storm Troopers. The man in the cloak runs, jumps, and flies through the air covering many of the troopers as several photos are taken.

“The Photo Bomber strikes again! MWAHAHAHAHA!”

“Stop there you Pathetic Plague on Picture Takers!”

“The Panel Moderator! I hoped I had gotten your attention when I bombed little Billy’s photo with that pointy eared dork. Now come and get moderated by the Photo Bomber. MWAHAHAHAHA!”

As the Panel Moderator charged at his enemy, the Photo Bomber opened his cloak to reveal several flashbulbs that ignited simultaneously. With his nemesis discombobulated, the Photo Bomber escaped.

“That Flashing Photogenic Fiend! I must find him before he ruins another innocent child’s photo!”

Will the Panel Moderator find the Photo Bomber before he claims another victim? Will the Storm Troopers be able to Photoshop the villain out of their pictures? Will Billy have another chance to pose with Batman? Keep an eye out for the next installment of The Panel Moderator!