Story: "Quitting the Game"

Not From Here has very kindly selected "Quitting the Game" for inclusion in their Dog Days of Summer Chapbook. I'm excited! Thank you, Michael J. Solender. I'm honored to have my little story included among the works of such talented writers. My story is on page 31 of the Chapbook. Pin It Now!

Story: Heat Wave

Heat Wave
by Chris Hugh

It was hot today for the tenth day in a row. Hot and dry and I had to walk home from work again. It's still hot now, even though the sun is coming down and shining sideways through the leaves outside and lighting up all the gray dust on my computer screen. I'm glad my room has air conditioning. Electricity's expensive, but I don't care. I've got it going full blast.
Pin It Now!

Drabble: I Wished for Snow on My Birthday

Tonight's assignment was 'write a story about this: I wished for snow on my birthday.'

I could have gone a lot of directions with this. My writing buddy and I both live in California, so I was thinking about exploring the folly of wishing for things that: 1) you can't control; 2) aren't going to happen; 3) really aren't that great anyway.

However, I inspired by this one autumn night I jumped into an unheated pool. I thought I was gonna die and it felt really, really lonely like I was all alone in the universe with the black sky overhead and my heart going still. And, since I'm obsessed with this band called Eisbrecher, I decided to shove an icebreaker ship at the North Pole into the story.

Sorry Eisbrecher dudes, I would have mentioned the German scientific research vessel Polarstern, 'cause I know you're into it, but that's a lot of words and this is a drabble.

If you wanna see the lyrics to the new Eisbrecher Die Hölle Muss Warten along with my translations from German to English, click here

Okay, deep breath, ignore the LOLcat above and get ready for gloooom......

I Wished for Snow on My Birthday

I'm in the Arctic Circle and the world is upside down. The ocean is inky black like a midnight sky and perfect white icebergs float in it like clouds. The sky is gray.

Now we're at ninety degrees latitude, the North Pole, and a white world arcs below. The icebreaker ship heaves its bulk onto the ice and its tremendous weight cracks it and reveals the sea. Behind us trails a black road.

I jump. The sudden cold clutches my heart. I'm alone at the top of the world in the vastness of time and space.

The universe is black.
Pin It Now!

"The Good Wife" published on In Between Altered States

In Between Altered State's new online issue is available. Click here to read my creepy little story "The Good Wife."

Pin It Now!

Heather Goes Straight

My writing buddy and I generally trade one story a day. He often writes elegantly and with great insight on lesbian relationships. He wrote a nice story where Claire and Heather sneak off to a hotel. Heather is hiding her lifestyle from the other lawyers at her firm; their relationship is quite moving and beautiful which of course inspired me to write a story to ruin their day. Hehe. I hope people will enjoy it in the evil, sarcastic spirit in which it was written. If you find yourself getting upset, don't forget the way I skewered Ann Coulter in The Bride of Frankenstein Dances with Celebrity. Here I'm trying to offend the other end of the political spectrum.

If you're familiar with Blondhilda, see if you can spot her. She's going under a different name here...

Heather Goes Straight

"Well, wasn't that interesting." Eve absently tapped her ornate letter opener against the table. Rainbow Gorilla, the radical gay group, headed by Heather's vindictive ex-girlfriend, had just outed Heather in the middle of a legal conference and thrown banana-cream pies at all the senior partners, including Eve. Eve had used karate to deflect the pie, then had single-handedly overpowered all the protestors and held them for police. She smoothed her flaxen hair and surveyed the male partners who had only just stopped gibbering in the corner.

"I guess my career is over," Heather mumbled.

Eve stared at her with glacial eyes until Heather quailed. "What do you mean by that?" Eve asked softly.
She owed that woman an apology. Heather knew that now and she also knew she did not currently have the strength of character to offer one. She considered returning to the hotel room she was sharing with her girlfriend Claire and winced with disgust. An honest yearning, long denied, stirred in her. She went to a bar near the military base and found herself a man for the night.

Pin It Now!

More acceptances

"Deathhouse Mansion Inc." will appear in DarkFire's Halloween issue.

And my punny little drabble called "Curses! Foiled Again!" will be published in a certain chapbook on September 1, 2010. I'm supposed to keep it secret until then.... Pin It Now!

Short story: Aron and Claire Play

Here's a short story featuring two of my writing buddy's characters. Aron is a stuck-up rather racist prince in one book, and Claire is a lesbian heroine in another. Here they cross worlds to play a video game together and do a little math.

But first, on a completely different note, did I ever mention that I was in a house fire in April? Yeah, it was loads of fun. I wrote a story about it featuring Oroka, a Manga character who's afraid of being locked in the refrigerator. That's a stab at the assinine tendency of some authors to create a female and then kill her and lock her in a fridge as a cheap plot device. I want to sell the story before I post it, but here's an excerpt:

"Come on, Oroka" Nakama said consolingly. "Don’t be afraid. No one’s going to lock us in your refrigerator. I noticed it’s a Maytag," she said with false cheer. "Your kitchen is probably just on fire." 1.6 millions Maytag refrigerators were the subject of a recall due to fire hazard. Oroka relaxed a bit. "Maybe it’s even not that," Nakama continued. "Maybe it’s your Maytag dishwasher." 1.7 million Maytag dishwashers were subject to a separate recall, again due to their propensity to catch fire in the middle of the night. Oroka wavered.

Anyway, house fire. The smoke alarm never went off. It was pretty exciting. If my brother hadn't happened to be awake preparing for work when the fridge caught fire at 5 am, we'd probably all be dead. Thank you, Maytag. Thank you, whoever manufactured the smoke alarm. Here's an article on how to select a smoke detector that might possibly do its job: LINK

Oh yeah, later that month I walked into my kitchen to find my Maytag dishwasher had been stuck on the dry cycle for about six hours. Isn't that great? And now back to our regularly-scheduled post:

Aron and Claire Play

"Baser, I'm going to kick your--"

Aron squaled when Claire kicked his shin, then they both concentrated on the game, Aron smug that he could beat any Asian at a driving game, Claire focused on the task at hand.

Aron could have kicked himself when drove his souped-up cyber Civic into the grocery store. Claire crowed and won with a new high score.

"I can't believe it!" Aron screamed. "Here I am in my ninth year of live and I can't beat my inferiors!"

"I didn't know you were eight years old," Claire said.

"I'm nine, like you, stupid," Aron said.

Claire looked at him coldly. "When you were just born, were you starting your first year of life?"

"Of course, moron."

"And how old were you when you were just born?" Claire asked. Aron stared at her. "Zero. So, when had your first birthday, you were starting your second year of life. So after your eigth birthday, um, when you turned eight"-- she looked at him like he was a mentally deficient bug—"you were starting your ninth year. So if you're nine years old, you're working on your tenth year of complete stupidity. Congratulations."

She walked away. "Learn to count, then learn to drive," she said over her shoulder.

Pin It Now!

Sparkle Threw Us Together

My story is now available on The Long and Short Review. Learn how cat barf can bring two lost lovers together.

Don't you think this is the cutest little graphic they made for my story? I love it! Pin It Now!

Short story: Blondhilda Saves SCB

Here's Blondhilda, the graphic novel warrior goddess-turn real goddess saving her creator, artist and author Stanley Chester Brown.

Blondhilda and the Hydra

Blondhilda and the Hydra

"Look, I don't know," the woman's voice said. "The car started, okay? I don't need a jump anymore. Just get him into your car and go!"

Blondhilda gunned the engine and the powerful motorcycle surged. The hostage was out in the open desert, just over the rise ahead, his cellphone transmitting his kidnappers' conversation through Blondhilda's headset.

"Alright—get in here, you," a male voice said. Blondhilda heard a door slam. "What are you waiting for?" the same voice shouted, seemingly to the other driver. "Go!" Blondhilda came over the ridge and spotted the cars. A yellow sedan on the left and a red on the right, so close they almost touched. Each suddenly accelerated in opposite directions.

Blondhilda had to choose which one to follow.

"What the--" the male voice said. "You've got a cellphone!" There was the sound of a sharp blow and a yelp of pain. The phone bounced off the floor. "You think I can't shoot you and drive at the same time?" Feedback stung Blondhilda's ear as an explosion came through. The man cursed. "As soon as I get this gun unjammed, I'm blowing your head off." More curses and muffled thumps; then the phone went dead. In seconds Stanley Chester Brown would be dead too.

Blondhilda expertly twitched her machine to the left and gained on the yellow car.

* * *

Pin It Now!

Another story about Pope Xeter

As you know, the evil Pope Xeter (from my writing buddy's scifi world) killed Soo-Soo, the cat. Here's my take on Pope Xeter.

The Pope's Fall

"Watch Soo-Soo, my lord!"

Pope Xeter didn't, and thus tripped on the sacred cat and fell down the stairs. His realistic pompadour flew off as his head struck the railing. Panicked, he stuck out his arm to catch himself, but it caught between two of the banister's vertical supports. A crack echoed as a damasked-covered bone snapped. Prone, feet pointed downward, the Pope slid down remainder of the stairway, friction causing his elaborate costume to ride up, exposing his bare backside to the assembled Court and also causing certain damage insuring he would produce no further hereditary heirs.

Everyone laughed. Pin It Now!

Story: The Tablet

The challenge was to write a story in six sentences in my writing buddy's SciFi world. I've changed the names so that when you buy his upcoming best-selling books, I won't have tainted them. Here's the backstory: Pope Xeter is an evil, evil guy--he killed Soo-Soo the cat. Now his daughter's pregnant by her illicit boyfriend....

The Tablet

"It'll be okay, Kender; go tell him."

Kender took Margina's small dark hand in his large pale one and kissed it. The idea that their baby was growing in her womb almost overwhelmed him with its sacredness: their love had created a new soul.

But her father...Kender thought of the hundreds Pope Xeter had murdered for committing miscegenation, the thousands he had tortured to death for fornication, and now Kender had committed both sins with the Pope's very daughter.

Margina pressed a white tablet into Kender's hand; he looked at her tenderly and raised his eyebrows in a gentle question.

She smiled at him and explained, "Cyanide--just in case you're a sissy about being tortured."
Pin It Now!

"Sparkle Threw Us Together" to be published by LASR

The Long and Short Review, which reviews romance fiction, has very kindly accepted my short story "Sparkle Threw Us Together" for their weekly short story. It will appear on Thursday, August 12. It's a sweet, corny story about two lovers who seem doomed to go their separate ways until a sick cat brings them together.

Pin It Now!

Amazing Story in Three Sentences

Here's a link to a powerful story written in three sentences. I didn't write it; only wish I did:) Last Rights. Pin It Now!

Drabble: "Blondhilda and the Lawyer"

Blondhilda the Warrior Goddess plays against type here as a forensic technician from my upcoming The Mr. Kitten Murder Mystery.

Blondhilda and the Lawyer

by Chris Hugh

Forensic technician Blondhilda Brown held her pen in her teeth as she coiled her flaxen hair. She stuck the pen through the bun and faced the lawyer. "Are you serious?"

"Absolutely! I have to know."

"I understand you're upset." Blondhilda looked down at the body, then back to the lawyer. "But why do you need the exact time of death?"

"He was on the clock. We need to bill the client."

Blondhilda drew an ornamental sword from the wall. "This is a crime scene," she said coldly. A chill wind blew. "Leave now or I'll cut your billable rate permanently."
Pin It Now!