The Augmented Man – Surface

What do you do when the ultimate weapon falls in love?

What follows is the first chapter of The Augmented Man. Enjoy (and let me know what you think).


Surface
1 April 2053

Trailer closed his eyes and sat at the end of the bar where the cigarette-burned, cheap black Formica countertop met the wall. He eased himself onto the last stool, tucking into the corner in the dim light, a spider hiding out of sight at the edge of its web. His fingers hovered over the cigarette burns closest to him as if divining their cause, sensing them like small, unhealed wounds, seeing the people involved, learning if each burn was an accident or intentional.

The door opened and he smelled the cool April evening on his skin. It was followed by the alcoholic breath and sweat of two men and a woman they supported between them.

Trailer brought his attention back into the bar, collating the activity immediately around him. The barkeeper, a heavy smelling man gnawing a toothpick, his face somewhere between needing a shave and growing a beard, walked over to Trailer. “Yeah?”
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Rachel, Above the Clouds – Now on Across the Margin

The terrible thing about sunlight is it shows the dirt. – Brigid Berlin

Across the Margin has published my first work of fiction in…a long time. The story deals with relationships and betrayal.

A short story where a heartache that shirked in the shadows comes to light…

 
Please feel free to congratulate me.

Below is a teaser. Please head over to Across the Margin to read the whole piece (it’s a quick read. About 1,200 words).

Joseph Carrabis' 'Rachel, Above the Clouds' on Across the Margin

 
SolarMax Ten to Houston, come in please.”
“This is Houston. Go ahead, SolarMax.”
“Ted, you feeling okay today? You sound awfully froggy.”
“Guess again, Rachel.”
“Benny? Is that you?”
“It is indeed. Hi Rachel, long time no hear.”
“What are you doing riding bridesmaid, Benny? I heard that you’d gone civ.”
“I have, I have. Mission Control said the last few days had been rough on you and thought you’d like to hear a familiar voice on your last morning up.”

Hope you like it. Let me know.


Blog members can read the original version here.

Gable Smiled

I’ve shared Gable Smiled with a few folks, on Facebook and in a few workshops. Here’s an excerpt to go along with my interview. Enjoy, and do let me know what you think.

Note: an updated version is available to sponsors.


Valen patted Gable’s muscular neck as they trotted into Lensterville. They’d been ten days out, mostly soldiering Sipio’s vast northern plain and this time of year that meant heat with a capital “H”. Valen could feel his own sweat trickling through the hairs on his chest and back and every time his Ranger issue travel cords relaxed around him, his scent rose like steam washing his face.

Not pleasant.

Not so Gable’s smell, though. Gable was a Callisto class ModEquid, part horse part…something. Valen was never sure what and Gable liked to keep him guessing. Mostly horse on the outside, Gable’s sweat was the sweet musk of heavy horse, working horse, a gentle giant unless riled and it took a lot to rile him. There was a tang of trail dirt and rich plains tallgrasses and lathering brow and flanks that Valen thought wonderful, comforting, reassuring, and it made him proud that Gable had taken so to him.

“Let me know when,” he said to the horse.

Gable smiled back, Any time you’re ready.
Continue reading “Gable Smiled”

So I gave myself an exercise (eating my own dogfood)…

…and it was oh so good!

You see a lot, doctor. But can you point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you – why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to…
– Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs

 
If you’ve read Writers’ Groups – Introduction, Writers’ Groups – Critiques and Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers then you know I’m on a quest.

To find a critique group that does critiques as I do them.
Continue reading “So I gave myself an exercise (eating my own dogfood)…”

The Coyotes Are Celebrating – Artwork by Lady Sparrowhawk

Wild Times in the Woods, Two-Leggers

Lady Sparrowhawk once again performs miracles (she previously provided artwork for The Boy in the Giant – Artwork by LadySparrowhawk). I shared a poem with her and invited her to come up with something fitting. Her artwork and the poem follow. Lady Sparrowhawk’s comments re the artwork follow the poem.

 

The Coyotes Are Celebrating

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