Flash Fiction: “Fool’s Fire” by Hayley E. Lavik
It’s the cold mud that wakes me, and the taste of duckweed in my throat. In my mouth, my nose, my ears. It fills my lungs, creeps behind my eyes. I burst through the slime with a half-formed scream.
I retch until I feel empty, hollow, withered. Stagger to my feet, knee-high in the sticking black mire. The mud keeps oozing from my eyes. Fetid bog slime on my arms, my breasts, my mother’s finest dress. Torn bodice, rent seams in starlight. Embroidered with weed, black mud in a putrid train behind me. But where is he?
Hayley E. Lavik writes fantasy novels and short fiction, most likely involving swords, things with teeth, and women who get shit done. She lives in rainy Vancouver, BC.
Main Fiction: “Justice” by Suzan Harden
The tinkling bells that lined her cloak announced the girl’s presence as I ate my breakfast. “Justice Anthea, may I speak with you privately?”
Most Orrin inns were incredibly noisy, but the crowd here grew even more boisterous. It wasn’t often a priestess of Love addressed a priestess of Balance in a public business. Not that I could tell if her cloak was the appropriate red silk. At least, not the way most people saw the color. But the clientele went out of their way to speak loudly and ignore us.
The dry musk of pigs underlaid her expensive perfume. I spooned the last bit of eggs into my mouth. Even if her odor hadn’t given her away, she didn’t bother to sit or give her name as an equal should.
Maybe she was too cocky about her deception. Or she was too frightened.
Suzan Harden grew up on a working farm in Ohio Amish country, though she’s not Amish. Mucking out pig stalls gives a girl lots of time to make up stories. She currently lives in southeastern Texas with a husband who believes writing is a practical career option, a kid who thinks she’s too enamored with zombies, and a beagle who wants his belly scratched.
You can find her online at www.SuzanHarden.com
About the Narrators:
Sarah Frederickson was born in Oregon in the United States, and was raised in beautiful Minnesota. At a young age she realized her passion for musical performance and the creative arts. Sarah spent most of her childhood singing and acting — both onstage and off — and affecting various accents for fun.
She soon found herself competing in local, state and national forensics competitions (that’s competitive speaking). Her experience and awards landed her a forensics scholarship to Bethel University in St. Paul Minnesota, where she continued to compete as well as train other speakers at the collegiate level. Sarah graduated with a degree in Music Business and Audio Production. Shortly after graduation she traveled to Australia for a one-year holiday. During that time she became smitten with an Australian man who asked her to stay, and four years later the couple live and work in Australia, going on adventures, writing music and reading stories to their cat.
Deanna Sanchez is a voice over talent and actress, performing professionally for 14 years. She has voiced various commercials, industrials, and characters, and specializes in the “sexy voice” of powerful female roles. An avid fan of science fiction since her grandfather gave her a copy of Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky when she was 9, she feels greatly privileged to help bring this story to life.
While pursuing a voice talent and acting career, Deanna also consults in Geographical Information Systems and develops custom mapping applications for real estate and other industries. Her background in IT management does not prevent her from owning multiple old computers, some with Windows 98 still running. Three-dimensional visualization of spatial data is a favorite pastime, and she has spent many hours translating real-Earth elevation data into unique 3D worlds. Deanna’s voice over demo can be heard at the Lambert Studios website, an outstanding full service recording studio.