Story Excerpts

Want a taste of our writing? Here are some short excerpts from some of the stories in our first anthology, Dark and Dangerous Things.

From “Under New Management” by M.A. Chiappetta

Officer Castro eyed me as he stirred another creamer into his paper coffee cup. I squirmed under his dark, probing gaze, hoping he wouldn’t ask if I had skipped class again to hunt in the woods for the spaceship. Because I had. And I didn’t want to lie.

No one believed me about the ship, but I knew what I’d seen—a silver streak across the sky, streaming trails of dark smoke like a dragon crashing to earth. The spherical UFO went down beneath the forest’s canopy, where I couldn’t see it anymore. Moments later, I heard a series of booms and then the ground shook. The rest of the town heard it too, felt the shaking. But no one else had seen the ship. They didn’t believe me, not even
when the alien walked into the diner’s front door, asking for work in broken English.

He was short, squat, about four feet tall, with shuffling flat feet and exceptionally long fingers. His silvery, scaled face looked like it had been squashed in by a giant fist. Calling him ugly would have been generous. I couldn’t understand why no one else was reacting. But as soon as I stuttered a confused question about his appearance, Mom pinched me and hissed in my ear, “Don’t be rude! He’s one of those short people, is all.”

Everyone in the diner was staring at me like I was the weirdo. Even Jim looked disgusted. I didn’t want to set my stepfather off, so I mumbled an apology and let him do the talking. He wanted someone to clean the bathrooms. The next thing I knew, poor Vergel, the silent crash survivor, was working in the diner as a lowly janitor. I was the only one who knew the truth.

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From “The Moon Dial” by Margaret Margrave

With a cry of rage, Steven hurled himself at Iris with the poker. It connected with her temple, causing a sickening crack. Still, Iris did not fall down. She leapt at his throat, pushing him backwards with all her might. They knocked over the chaise and crashed against the heavily curtained windows. The force of the two of them together then bounced them onto the floor, where Steven rolled out from under her in a second. Lying on his back, he kicked at her with his black boot, but she in turn grabbed his leg and jerked it so violently that he was propelled past her into the fireplace. His hand grabbed a burning log, and he held it above his head, getting ready to throw it at her when he heard Martha cry out.

Lavender-scented chestnut hair tumbling out of her cap, Martha held one hand to her mouth to keep herself from crying. Her hands and face were bleeding and torn from the broken china, but it was her eyes that looked the worst to Steven. She looked at him as if he were the devil himself! For a moment he was confused, but then he understood. Fighting with Iris, his eyes once again glowed red, his fangs dripping with saliva. She knew what he was now. She knew and she was afraid!

Knowing his horrible personage was still on display, he tried to make his voice calming. “See what she has done to me, dear Martha! You must help me!” Lowering the log, he reached out to her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From “You Just May Get It” by Donna A. Leahey

Megan turned left at the stoplight toward their favorite Thai place, and the three friends settled into silence. Abby quietly stared out the window as they passed a trio of hot guys staring down into the open hood of a big red car. Her neck craned as she watched the shirtless dark-haired guy bend over, displaying a flawless physique decorated with a stunning tattoo of a dragon covering a large part of his back.
Her face abruptly met the seat in front of her as the car screeched to a halt. “Holy crap, Megan!” Abby complained, sitting back up. “What was that?”

“Three guys—one tall, dark, and handsome, one tattooed, the third blond with a big red muscle car? They’re our guys!” Megan executed a sharp turn into the parking lot and wheeled in a few spots over. The three men straightened, looking at them in the car. Abby was impressed by Megan’s powers of observation. The three did, indeed, match what they’d wished for.

Unfortunately, now that they’d arrived, not one of the women had the confidence to get out and talk to the trio of handsome men. Finally, the blond man walked up to the car, a charming smile on his face. “Excuse me, ladies,” he said. “I don’t suppose you have jumper cables in your car, do you?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From “Pinochi OH!” by L.A. Smith 

Pinocchio looked towards the noisy kitchen. Hopefully the others would soon get bored with their destruction and they could leave. Sighing again, he once more dropped his head to his arms and lost himself in misery.

It was the smell that stirred him from his thoughts. He hadn’t paid much attention to the shuffling noise, assuming it was merely one of his ne’er-do-well companions. But the smell—the overpowering stench of week-old road kill on a hot day—that smell made Pinocchio look up. He stared in shock at the group of rotting corpses slowly making their way single file toward the kitchen. Noticing his movement, a couple of the walking
dead glanced his way, gave a sniff and walked on, ignoring him.

Pinocchio jumped up, knocking his chair to the floor, and ran to the other side of the room. His back to the wall, he stared at the grotesque procession in mute terror. More undead were still filing in, blocking his escape. The one in front had almost reached the kitchen. Oh no! The kitchen! His buddies were in there!

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You can buy Dark and Dangerous Things through Amazon.

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