Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.
Even though the wound was healed, his cheek still itched. Kenneth ran his thumb over it, thinking but not saying the words to the aether that would alleviate discomfort. Healing was a basic skill, but in the confusion of being struck he wasn’t sure he had done it correctly. It might still bruise.
“Are you alright?” Thorn asked. The halls they walked through were dim, the electric lights giving off a droning hum that Kenneth was beginning to think only he could hear. The quiet, though, was appreciated after the throng of people at the duel. The one he had ruined with his ignorance.
“I’m fine,” he said with a sigh. “Only my pride still hurts.”
The police quickly made their way through the main areas of the home—kitchen, living and dining rooms—before heading to the guest room and finally the master bedroom. Zane cringed when they entered Steele’s bedroom. His biker kept their sex toys in a small drawer in the night table, tucked behind the condoms and lube…
Rattletrap #16 by Tali Spencer
A heavy pounding thundered at the edges of Jedd’s dream and prompted him to open his eyes. Dry mouthed, he blinked at the darkness. It took a moment to realize he was alone and that the pounding came from his cabin door. The signal felt wrong, strange. Shouldn’t his contact device be vibrating? The lights have turned up? He reached for the tap and only then remembered he was device-less and his dream was real. The Batu was occupied by aliens.
More pounding. He sat up. Whoever was making the noise had to be human. The Ghisr could simply have opened the door.
Don’t Look Back #16 (4.1) by Julie Lynn Hayes
The dreams were variations on a theme. He was just a kid, under her control once more, and she’d left him alone—again. Locked him in a closet, one of many she used to contain him. She always claimed it was for his own good. Told him she just wanted to keep him safe. Even at the age of eight, Marshall didn’t believe her. But he was helpless to do anything about it. Everywhere they went, this became the norm of their lives. Running from place to place, never staying more than a few months in any one location. A different town, a different man.
Each place had one thing in common with the one before—the closet where she’d lock Marshall when she left. Trouble was, she sometimes stayed away for days at a time. Like she’d forgotten he existed.
“Where’s Dad? When are we going home to Dad?”
“Soon,” she kept promising him, but soon never came. He asked her once too often and she finally exploded, screaming, “Never!”
Hope: Chapter 45 by Chris T. Kat
“Shane,” I sighed. “Just for the record—I don’t like you, I love you. I’m not even sure what we’re doing here, but I promise you I’ll never decide to like anyone more than you or to leave you. I’m sorry I made you doubt me and my feelings. This… this was… is all a bit much to take in, you know?”
Shane gave a curt nod. “I can understand that.”
“I’d never try to come between the two of you,” Silvion chimed in. “If you want me gone, say so, and I’ll leave you to it.”
Time of Reckoning by Shelly Schulz
The girl behind the counter at the café smile patiently at me as I dug through the wad of receipts at the bottom of my school bag. Reluctantly I upended the satchel onto the counter, pennies and change rolling away like prisoners fresh from a jail break. I found the crumpled lump of bills and separated them out, face burning with embarrassment, handing over enough to cover my total. Scooped everything back into my bag and slung it over my shoulder.
Then I pretended not to care that she was looking at me like I just sprouted a second head.
As Ryan paced back and forth, he became more and more agitated. There is an answer and I’ve got to find it somehow. I just don’t know where to begin looking. I’m getting really frustrated. The sound of his comp-com ringing startled him out of his thoughts. Duncan was calling his. “Duncan. What’s up?”
“I’m just calling to check on you to see how you’re doing.”
Washed Right Out: Chapter Seven by Sarah Hayes
He was sitting on the steps leading up to Riley’s apartment building. His figure seemed small, set against the towering levels of the complex. Judging by the several overturned empty coffee cups and crumpled fast food refuse, he’d been sitting there for a while. His dark chinos were heavily creased, one pocket out-turned, and his dress shirt was untucked at several points.
Riley’s body felt heavy. Around him, the world was moving, but he wasn’t. He couldn’t.
“Jo—Jonathan?” His nickname for his now-ex-but-maybe-not-no-definitely-ex boyfriend almost tumbled out of his mouth, but he stopped himself just in time.
Lost Inside: Chapter 41 by Cia Nordwell
Benny sat up straight. He’d never heard Carlit speak a full sentence. His voice was deep, but he hesitated and mumbled, still staring at the floor. Peten turned to Carlit and lifted his head.
“Hey. Look at me.” He waited until Carlit slowly listened, then continued in a soft voice. “That’s not you. What they did to you… to me. That isn’t our fault. You aren’t what they said.” He didn’t say breeder again. “We’ll never be hurt like that again.”
Yuri slid away from Benny and moved quietly to kneel by Carlit and Peten. Carlit shied back, but Yuri
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