A short/flash story of mine got published by Daily Science Fiction. You can read Cursed Timeline here. There are also some closing thoughts at the end once the story is over; don’t miss those.
“Who is, or was, this Bardo?” Corin asked.
“Is, he is still alive as far as I know,” Dolman said and a faint smile crossed his face. “He was discharged. His place wasn’t the army. Oh, he was pretty good, but…” his voice trailed off and the smile became a chuckle.
“He was one of von Strab’s Morons,” one of the hunters explained.
“That’s uh… an officer?” The scribe ventured.
“No, those were von Strab’s Idiots. The Morons were then brain-scrambled boys they grabbed when the war got really nasty.”Continue reading “November 15 story: Twenty Feet, Part III”
The businessman shot off to nearest alley, loudly cursing the sudden downpour. There, in the recessed doorway of an old building, decorated by the grotesque, jutting moldings that were a fashionable feature of the Old City district, he found shelter. And other men were looking for the same thing, or at least that’s what he thought at first.
The four men didn’t seem worried by the rain, and they walked his way with an almost casual pace. He didn’t like how they were dressed, or how they looked (and looked at him,) but he repressed the thought since he was a tolerant fellow.
The second half of the interview with the fictitious writer James L. Cunningham. Part I is here.
Weber (editor): Does that come from your years in the army? You fought in Sudan, correct?
Cunningham (writer): Yes, against the Mahdists. Although ‘fought’ is not the best word for what happened there. Keep in mind that, when I was young, I read stories and tales of our Empire’s wars in the Far East. The ones from the Indian Rebellion of 57 were my favourites. Soldiers still fought duels back then. Not many, true, but it was not unheard of for men of both sides to single each other out for combat. But when I fought in Sudan… that was not the era of the duelist anymore, but the era of the Maxim gun. The closest I ever got to an enemy was perhaps thirty meters, a very angry Dervishe who became the inspiration for my first published story and, I guess, the original seed for many other.
“Let’s go back to your military… insights,” Corin said. “You are known for your unique tactics. Is there something you believe the standard troops could learn from your experience against the green horde?”
The man with the nose bone scratched his chin and then grinned malevolently with his black teeth. “Fire,” he said. “You need a lot of fire.”
“Firepower?” Corin asked
“No, I mean fire, literal fire. Even the orks are not stupid enough to walk through a blaze.”
This is the full interview with the British-American writer James L. Cunningham. It first appeared on All-Men’s Adventure Magazine in 1935. The original interview was half as long and its most “juicy” aspects had been cut off, probably out of fear of upsetting the moral authorities that back then were keeping a close eye on this kind of magazines. The writer died later that year from cancer, which could explain his strangely forthcoming and open answers. After Monroe Webster, the editor and interviewer, died in 1965, the original interview with lines marking the parts to cut out was found among his papers.
The town of Hanel had once been known for its vineyards, and for the first months of the war, their inhabitants still thought they would be able to go on with their lives as always. But the Germans advanced with surprising speed, the war front grew, first from the south and then to the north, finally growing into sprawling trenches.
The Germans on one side and the English on the other, tried to outdig one another in their march to the English Channel, and the trenches squirmed upwards, finally leaving the small French town on the German side. Although they were gentle with the local populace, war has its priorities, and the town infrastructure fell in disrepair, then most of its inhabitants left, and finally, in the pull and push between the Germans and the British, the town was all but destroyed.
I was thinking recently about how disappointed I have been by some W40K stories I had tried to read, so I have written my own fanfiction here as part of the November story-athon. I’ll probably divide it into two or three parts. The title may not make sense now, but it will later on. I hope.
I have uploaded a new
short story adventure novelette, Life of the Party [I took it down as explained in a future post], and to celebrate that Cirsova #9 is out, where you can read my short story The Orb of Xarkax, both The Butcher of Greystone, a gothic dark fantasy short story, and my non-fiction book Dangerous Gamers will be free from September 3 to September 7, Pacific Time, (well, the second book from 4 to 8, so you’ll have to wait at least another day.) As far as I know, this doesn’t work for those outside the USA, but for those living there, it should already be working, at least The Butcher.