Author’s Start Note: Set in an alternate timeline from Parts 1 and 2, “Operation Walleye” explores another deadly consequence of the Cold War that lingers today well after its conclusion: the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the thousands of Soviet weapons engineers suddenly unemployed and desperate for cash (see end note).
It’s Been One Year of Dick Winchester
It’s been one week… – Barenaked Ladies This morning, it occurred to me that we are one day away from the one-year anniversary of my latest serial character: Dick Winchester, a man who lives by his own rules, drinks to excess, and never strays far from his gun.
- Top Story - November 2023
The November NetworkTop Story - November 2023
This story is a continuation of "The Final Two Minutes" told from the opposing side and picking up where the events of the previous story leave off. While not necessary to enjoy "The November Network," you can read Part 1 for a fuller appreciation of the context of a world on the brink:
It’s the First of the Month
We know it by many names. October. Spooky Season. Spooktober. …I’m sure there are more out there. Anyhow, with an increase in focus on the scary comes an influx of scary content. New horror book unveilings. New spooky challenges on Vocal, coinciding with a decided uptick in the number of unnerving stories making it to the front page with the vaunted crown of Top Story. They even decided to throw in a holiday at some point to cap it all off. Quiet prescient.
- Top Story - October 2023
The Final Two Minutes
Combat Commander Lou Dowds sat at his station, leafing through the pages of a worn paperback of On the Road. His love for Kerouac’s subversiveness had always drawn suspicious gazes from his superiors in the straight-laced and stiff-backed United States Military.
- Top Story - September 2023
Be Me, a Vocal+ MemberTop Story - September 2023
Wake up, brush teeth, look at the Vocal app. Oh, a red dot! Realize it’s only creators I’ve subscribed to posting new stories. Swallow equal parts disappointment that no one has engaged with my stories and impostor syndrome that I can’t seem to match these authors’ paces. Promise I’ll go read the new stories later.
Bambi, a Life in the Woods
I am a fanatical fan when it comes to certain creations. A long time ago, convinced that Kathryn Lasky had finished her Guardians of Ga’Hoole series with Book 8, I could not accept that it was all over. Not that The Outcast would have been a bad ending to the series. In hindsight, I almost wish it had been the terminus, but I won’t go there this time.
Dick Winchester in... The Fairy Tale
Little Red Riding Hood skips gaily through the forest, reveling in the sunshine. Unbeknownst to this innocent child, another figure shadows her in the undergrowth. As he slinks through the brush, a thorn bush catches on the edge of his cloak, momentarily exposing a rounded green square with the tops of the letters “Ub” showing.
Moldy the Cold-Nosed Reindeer: My first-ever short story
Author’s Note: It took me a bit to determine what even counted as my first-ever piece of writing for this challenge. My writing journey stems all the way back into my childhood and had 2-3 starts and stops before I fully embraced my identity as a writer in high school. Even then, my writing goals, focus, and, most of all, style has changed a good deal since those fledgling days (thank goodness).