J.M. Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Ice Ice Raven – 3LineTales

Oct
26
tltweek91

photo by Julien Laurent

Its name was Ice; of course it was.

Kevin held his hand out to the bird, switching on his boombox with the other–Step back, collaborate and listen…

The raven’s dance moves were uncanny.

*Written as a response to the Three Line Tales Week 91 photo prompt.

Trouble in Paradise – What Pegman Saw

Oct
16
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Mauritius ©Google Maps

Both cars were out of fuel. Not that it mattered; Kori couldn’t drive a car across the ocean. This island paradise she had chosen for her first vacation after losing Derrik had become a prison. No, something worse than that–a slaughterhouse.

Hearing a shuffling sound down the road, Kori rolled herself over the road barrier. She heard it coming, step by mindless step, its broken leg dragging along the ground, its half-missing jaw moving up and down as if it was dreaming of a meal. But Kori was sure these things didn’t dream. And there were no meals left, except for people.

She drew her knife, leaning tight against the metal barrier, letting it approach. Then dispatched it with several hard blows to the back of the neck. It fell on its back and Kori took a close look of its face–she now recognized the formerly handsome hotel bellboy.

*Written as a response to the What Pegman Saw October 14th photo prompt. For some reason this picture had me thinking of the video game Dead Island. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you should. It’s one of the most emotionally intense bits of zombie film I can recall seeing, despite being a CGI movie that is now visually outdated. The video was widely praised when released. Unfortunately, the game didn’t live up to these grand expectations.

A Two for One — 3LineTales

Oct
13
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Photo by Austin Chan

For this week’s Three Line Tales I came up with two–rather obvious–responses. You guys can tell me which is better. Here’s the first try:

Cadriel leaned heavily on the bar, sipping his IPA from a tulip glass–having been around since the creating of beer, he was a bit of a connoisseur–pondering his existence. He set his cold drink down hard, watching the fog evaporate off the glass, revealing the image of a sword. Recovering from his shock, the angel of death rose from seat and approached the miscreant biker gang conversing loudly in the room’s opposite corner.

That one derives from the religious connotations of  “looking for a sign,” though with a celestial being swapped for the typical human. Here’s the next one:

Luke Skywalker rubbed away a stain on the old, decrepit bar, staring down a shady twi’lek who still had not paid for his drinks. “The sign’s a joke–an old jedi thought I might be the chosen one,” Luke said to another nearby patron, “but I never really bought that rubbish, and the New Republic hasn’t worked out as I was hoping.” Raising a hand towards the deadbeat twi’lek, Luke said, “You want to pay your bill.”

This one follows on the obvious source of the sign’s wording, which derives from the infamous “These are not the droids you are looking for,” line from the original Star Wars. Though, I’m not one for fanfic, so I don’t know how I feel about this story. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to write it. 

So which one do you prefer?

~J.M.

A Little House – What Pegman Saw

Oct
07
littleton-west-virginia

Littleton, West Virginia © Google Maps

It was a little house, on a little street, in little corner of West Virginia. Regarding shape, it was about as perfect a rectangle as something could be; it gave off the air of rectangle, and little else. There was a group of little kids who rode by every morning on their little bikes, on their way to the little school a few blocks down the rode.

Everything about the house was little. Everything, of course, except for its gigantic inhabitant. He was Kwerg, first son of Galactic Emperor Tal, Conquerer of Endless Space, Destroyer of Suns, The White Plague, and Enemy of Vacuums.

Kwerg hoped his father would not find him here, hidden amongst the lowly little creatures of Earth. His father simply couldn’t accept that Kwerg did not want to be a destroyer. He wanted to paint landscapes, like his hero Bob Ross.

*Written as a response to the What Pegman Saw October 7th prompt.

The Birth of a Master – 3LineTales

Oct
05
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photo by Kira auf der Heide 

“Master, I’ve completed my work.”

“What’s this?…I asked you to paint reality in its purest form.”

“This is it–here we see only that which is true to the nature of the page, air and dust and pulp, untainted by the arrogance of man.”

*Written as a response to the Three Line Tales Week 88 photo prompt. 

~J.M.

I hope you enjoyed the story. If you like what you’re reading here, why not join the Rabble, my little mailing group? I will be sending out the first exclusive bits in the coming days, including the first reveal of the cover for my upcoming epic fantasy serial, Call of the Guardian!

A Dog Named Trouble – What Pegman Saw

Oct
04
casablanca

Casablanca, Morocco © Google Maps

Lâche-moi!” the woman shouted, before any further cries were muffled by a gloved hand.

She struggled to free herself from her captor, who was double her size but–as betrayed by his disheveled and broken clothes–only half as civilized.

Samuel Thacker remained in the shadows, under an old, stone arch on one side of the narrow alley. He had come to the Mediterranean to find his progenitors, to find answers. But trouble seemed to follow him wherever he went like a sickly dog.

The man had his arm around the woman’s throat, dragging her away from the main road, towards where Samuel hid.

The vampire grabbed the thug by his heavy collar, lifting him off his feet, breaking his grip on the woman. Samuel slammed the man into the stone wall, and once the témoin féminin had fled from view, he took a bite.

*Written as a response to the What Pegman Saw prompt for September 30. This story features the same lead character as my flash story that will be released by Flash Fiction Magazine on Halloween. A prefect day for a vampire story, eh?

~J.M.

I hope you enjoyed the story. If you like what you’re reading here, why not join the Rabble, my little mailing group? I will be sending out the first exclusive bits in the next couple days, including the first reveal of the cover for my upcoming epic fantasy serial, Call of the Guardian!

Only One – 3LineTales

Sep
28
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Photo by Bryan Minear

My breath is heavy; I can’t catch it, nor the blood seeping out from the slash along my side. It was a hard fight, and for a moment I thought it was over for me. But the final blow was mine, and now I can feel…the quickening! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

*Written as a response to the Three Line Tales Week 87 photo prompt. Yes, I know this is technically four lines, but the last bit was mandatory. 

If you like what you read here, why not sign up to join my Rabble? I will be sending out my first letter in the next week, which will include an exclusive cover reveal for one of my upcoming major projects. You can sign up by entering your email in the popup or at the right of the page.

Born of Struggle – What Pegman Saw

Sep
24
cambodia

Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia © Google Maps

Their lasers could not cut through the trees. If their drop-ships came too close to the jungle canopy, the smoke and ash from incinerated vegetation would kill their thrusters.

History had shown the Vietnamese to be quite difficult to defeat. After resistance was crushed in the rest world, they were the last ones fighting. A cradle of hope in a hopeless swamp of green.

Chau drove her squad mercilessly on, whipping them with words like a French colonial governor might have done to his servants with a switch. She led them across the old border–one that no longer mattered–to one of the last surviving ancient ruins. A place that still did matter.

Approaching the site, marching at the head of her squad like her grandfather had done, she saw the slime-black aliens clustered around the temple.

They had made it into an outpost!

*I think this is my first time doing the What Pegman Saw prompt. This picture really stood out to me. It probably helped that I am watching Ken Burns’  The Vietnam War on TV while I write. I am considering a larger project along these lines, perhaps a short story about an alien-invasion centered on the Vietnamese–or maybe Afghans–whose history is one of constant struggle and opposition, as the last hope of mankind. Does that sound like something you’d read?

Hey there! Do you like what you’re reading here? Have you signed up to join the Rabble? In a week or so, I will be sending out the first bit of exclusive content, including the first reveal of the cover for my soon to be released series with Fiction Vortex! You don’t want to miss it. Sign up by putting your email address in the box to the right.

What a Word! – 3LineTales

Sep
24
tltweek86

Photo by Ben White

The wonders of reading still struck Tommy like wild kicks from rowdy kangaroos; by the age of three he had moved on from pretty pictures to the colorful world of words. One such word now drew his full attention, forcing his eyes and mouth open in shock. It was a word his father had once said in frustration, had warned Tommy never to utter; Tommy mouthed it silently, defiantly–poppycock!

*Written as a response to the Three Line Tales Week 86 photo prompt.

Hey there! Have you signed up to join the Rabble? In a week or so, I will be sending out the first bit of exclusive content, including the first reveal of the cover for my soon to be released series with Fiction Vortex! You don’t want to miss it. Sign up by putting your email address in the box to the right.

A Brilliant Discovery – 3LineTales

Sep
15
3lt

Photo by Matt Palmer

He held it up on a the end of a stick, amazed to have found such light in the bleak backdrop of arctic darkness. Micheal brought it closer to his face, hoping for a better view, as sparky bits of luminescence leapt from its body into the night air. His eyes, and soul, opened wide when the creature smiled back at him.

*Written as a response to the Three Line Tales Week 85 prompt.