With the ever looming danger the world possesses and no allies, Tarian shifts his focus to the dead creature that attacked him. He arranged for the brightest people to delve into the mysteries the body can illuminate. Over the course of a week, the colony’s scientists are unable to discover anything. Tarian unwilling to wait any longer barges in and demands what they have...

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With February’s polls complete, I turned my focus to the first story for the month, a Drama. This time instead of heading to NYC Midnight, I turned to a different source for a prompt, a first line generator. The text message said, very clever… I stared at that line for a while as I let the ideas percolate. Thoughts rushed into my mind but I kept knocking them away. None of those thoughts seemed like a good foundation for a story...

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Full Moon Howl

When dealing with fantasy, the words full moon invokes a particular image. They prepare the reader to encounter werewolves. So before starting to listen to this story, I expect the heroes to deal with some shape-shifting menace. Or if such a being isn’t the central antagonist, it would play a significant part in this case file. Much to my delight, the opening pages of this novel live up to the expectation.

In Tombyards & Butterflies, Orlando Sanchez paints a typical word picture of these creatures only to upend that image in the initial chapter of the book. In this scene, a werewolf is seeking help from the detectives. During that meeting, he informs the duo he’s sick, and before much else can happen something forces him to transform, without the full moon. Oh, and as a bonus, the creature is immune to all of its weaknesses. The result is a rampaging monster that the detectives kill in self-defense...

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Next Step

Three months after promising the railroad, Nathaniel examines the latest report of destruction by the wildlife. Once more, he’s having to balance the requirement for weaponry or repairing the damaged tracks. While eating a meal, Marcus barges in to discuss the status of the tracks and latest from Kethra ploy...

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Shifting Form

After the alliance with the Dwarves and Elves shattered, Tarian spends his time sulking in the former meeting hall. As the days and weeks march on, only Keldon can disturb his solitude. Though those meetings continue growing briefer...

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Smart Voting

With two Patreon stories down, I focused on the last tale for January, a Political Satire. Getting these stories always is a mixed bag, because I’m not a political person. In fact I try to avoid the news altogether. But there are times when I can let some of my personal beliefs bleed through and takle particular issues...

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With both teams back on the boat, the Captain plots a course back home. The entire crew is somber with the destruction of everything they have ever known. While some members can cope with this enormous loss, others become ill-mannered with short tempers...

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Somber Hollowing

With my first Patreon tale completed, I turned my attention to working on my second story, a Historical Fiction. I’ve gotten this genre a few times and they are always fun. They require a lot of work, but they’re enjoyable to craft. The last one I wrote in this genre was Letters for the NYC Midnight competition. Just like with Letters, I dug into the history of the period to graft clues to ground the piece in its place in history...

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Bombing Run

“Why do we need the escort?” The navigator asked while she referenced her map.

The pilot’s fingers tightened around the steering yoke as he inquired, “Aside from us being at war?”

“Their aircraft aren’t as advanced as ours, Erik,” she said, leaning into her seat. The young woman pulled her legs onto the edge of the chair, wrapping them up with her arms.

“True,” Erik hedged. “Unfortunately, that’s not the only aspect of warfare. But their sorcery far outstrips ours.”

“What can five witches do for us?”

Erik covered his mouth, stifling a yawn, then snatched the microphone from the console and switched channels...

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I hope everyone is enjoying the New Year. When I collected the votes from the Patreon Poll for January, I was excited to work on the Crime Caper. I’ve gotten a few of those recently, so I count on everybody being ready to revisit Jessica in her latest transgression...

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