Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Bountiful Day

I have two stories up today!

My story, Mistaken Identity, is up at Negative Suck. I hope you'll stop by and have a look. It's a great site.

Also, Michael Solender's Spring Challenge Contest at the Not has my story, Tasteless, as an Honorable Mention. Other great entries include: Angel Zapata (1st Place, accompanied by a great interview), Laurita Miller, Erin Cole, Tony Noland, John Wiswell, and more.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

After Hours - #FridayFlash

3 A.M. No chance of any hapless customer wandering into the entrance of Hell, so the pool table at Lucien's Bar transformed into a poker round. Clotho sat between Death and Michael; Lucien, Chronos and War took the other spots.

The bartender took everyone's order, returning with peanuts, chocolates, carrot sticks and sardines.

The game had been lively, a progressive back and forth of winners, when War threw down his cards in disgust.

"You're cheating again, Lucien!"

"Of course he is," Clotho said. She gently nudged a mouthful of feathers away with a mute apology to Michael and lit her own slim cigar. "You're such a poor sport."

Chronos felt something caressing his leg, winding its way up under his robe. It was quite pleasant – and distracting – but he wasn't sure if it was harmful or not.

"Lucien, is something under the table with us?"

"Oh, that's just Jezebel. Is she playing with you?"

Chronos knocked his chair over backwards trying to stand up. "You didn't tell me she was here. I would have worn undergarments."

"Sorry. I didn't know you were Scots."

"Come here, sweetheart." Death reached down and plucked the creature up, winding her around his neck. "No flesh for you to sink your tentacles into."

The creature's eyes flashed red but settled down once Death grabbed a sardine out of War's bowl of munchies and popped it into her mouth. She soon fell asleep on his clavicle, her tentacles winding around his ribs for balance.

"So, are you in?" Michael grinned over at War, who grumbled but picked his cards back up and tossed a chip into the pot.

Trying hard to focus on the game and not on how close he'd come to being maimed, Chronos studied his cards.

"Time, the rest of us haven't got a lot of it," Clotho chided. "Are you going to play?"

"Oh, sorry. I'm in." He tossed a chip and watched it hover in the air. The hourglass on his belt had a tentacle wrapped around it, causing time to sputter and spurt. He sighed and bit into a carrot stick for distraction.

"That does it for me," Michael said. He laid down a full house and started to reach for the pile of chips. "It's almost dawn. Back to work."

"Not so fast," Clotho said. She spread out a royal flush with a triumphant smile. "Pay up, Lucien."

He gritted his teeth and signaled the bartender. A box appeared in her hands. She leaned over and gave him an air kiss before throwing a thread and traveling out.

Death chuckled at Evil's look of consternation. "What are you going to do when your stock of Sumerian cigars run out?"

Lucien groaned. "Quit inviting her to play poker, I guess."

©2010 Laura Eno

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lofty Pursuits - #FridayFlash

The spires of the glass building rose high into the sky, the sun kissing the many facets until it seemed to be crafted from crystal. A bit ostentatious, Lucien thought, but where else would one expect God to conduct business?

The outside elevator certainly impressed visitors with its showy view of the rolling landscape while climbing up to the 981st floor of the tower. Lucien spent the time staring at the horizon without really seeing it. He wondered if his appointment would be kept this time. The secretary who made it assured him it would but that's what they always said. They seemed to enjoy toying with him for some reason.

When he exited the elevator, Lucien found himself staring down a hallway into infinity. He knew it to be an illusion, but the first time he'd come up here he'd tried to follow it and had been lost for two days. After that mishap, he'd learned the correct route before returning.

Lucien peeked into empty offices as he wandered down the hallway. Everyone was gone for the evening, nothing to see but tidy desks and empty chairs. The break room had the only bit of personality in this place. A bulletin board with the usual flotsam tacked onto it rested on one wall, notices of potlucks jostled for space along with employee benefits and words of wisdom. Another wall held a picture of the employee of the month.

"Why would anyone want to work here?" Lucien murmured aloud. His words echoed back at him.

Enough of this. He had an appointment to keep. Lucien turned right at the corner and into a side corridor. Finally turning down a thickly carpeted private hall, he came to a door carved with cherubs and seraphim. The guard in front of it had his massive arms folded, barring Lucien's entrance.

"Is your boss in? I have an appointment."

"You know She won't see you, Lucien."

He shrugged, his teeth clamped in a grin around a cigar. "No harm in trying is there? One of these days She might change her mind."

"I'm sure it will be a cold day in Hell when She does." Michael folded his wings into a more relaxed stance, a smile gracing his face. "But how are you doing? Sorry I've missed the last few poker nights; work's been a real grind."

"I've been great. I see you made employee of the month again."

Michael nodded, a smile on his face. "Third time this year."

"We're getting together for a game after hours this Friday," Lucien said. "Think you can come?"

"I wouldn't miss it. I'll see you then. Now, get out of here."

©2010 Laura Eno

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unluck of the Irish Anthology

Of course most people think of St Patrick's Day and all things Irish as lucky, right? Not so at Soft Whispers Ezine. Jim Wisneski has cooked up another anthology that delights me - the Unluck of the Irish.

You can find my story, Served Cold, on page 4.

The free download for the pdf with more wonderful stories is here, or you can read right from the screen.

Thanks to Jim for putting this together and accepting my story!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Awards and More Awards

I have been honored with several awards lately, for which I am thankful to have people who care about me that way. I'm also feeling guilty because right now I don't have the time to follow the rules with them. I do want to say thank you to the wonderful people that bestowed them though.

First, I would like to thank Sam at Future; Nostalgic for the You Are My Sunshine Award.

Next thanks goes to Hope at Tartitude for the Creative Writer Blogger Award.

Thank you to Jon Strother at Mad Utopia for the Honest Scrap Award.

This award was also given to me by Estrella Azul at Life's a Stage but I talked her into putting it back in the freezer where she's skinning people arranging flowers.

Both the Quillfeather Award and the Best Blogging Buddies Award are from Michelle D Evans. She had a lovely way of passing them on. If you commented on her blog, you received them.

All of you are wonderful friends to me, more than you may realize. I hope that each person reading this blog will visit the sites listed above and know that you are deserving of any of these awards and freely add them to your own blogs. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time Slips By - #FridayFlash

Chronos threw up his hands in disgust.

"I can't find it anywhere."

Death surveyed the small mountain of printouts that Chronos was crawling through on the floor, hoping that the rumpled pieces were no longer important.

"What are you looking for, old friend?"


"You lost a whole year?" Death eyed his friend with concern. Chronos turned and glared at him.

"I know what you're thinking, but it's just a paper thing."

"Of course." Death decided that the kitchen might be a safer place to be at the moment and went rummaging through the cupboards for some peanuts. When he returned, the situation hadn't improved any.

"Why don't you ask the Fates for a copy?"

Chronos sighed. "I was saving that as a last resort."

"A stitch in time…" Death popped a peanut in the air.


"Good morning Atropos. It's nice to speak with you." Chronos gave her a weak smile, sweat running down the back of his neck.

"Don't flatter me, Chronos. Every time you contact me on this infernal contraption, I know that you've screwed up the timeline. What did you lose this time?" She tapped a giant pair of scissors on the vidscreen. He was glad he hadn't sought her out in person.

"I seem to have misplaced 1986 in my records and I was wondering if you could send me a copy?"

She swung around without answering him and enlarged the tapestry in the background. The weaves and colors shifted backwards at a dizzying rate, finally coming to rest on one section. Atropos punched a button, glared and then snipped her scissors in a menacing fashion before breaking the connection.

"That went rather well, don't you think?" Death walked back over to the desk, slapping Time on the shoulder.

"How do you figure?" Chronos mopped his forehead with the sleeve of his robe, leaving a large wet spot.

"Well, you're still here, for one thing."

"Oh. When you put it that way, I guess so. All I have left to find now is June of 1972."

"It's not on your 1972 report?"

"No. Do you remember anything about that month?"

Death rubbed his jawbone, finally shaking his skull. "Sorry, dude. Why don't we just travel back and have a look?"

"It's not the best way—"

"Would you rather call Atropos back?"

Chronos leapt to his feet. "Are you ready to go?"


The strobe lights made seeing a bit difficult. Death and Chronos stood at the back of a packed auditorium, squinting at the empty stage. The curtain rose to the tunes of School's Out.

"I'd forgotten how well you handled the sticks," Chronos murmured.

"Look at you, with that long hair and playing bass!" Death tapped his phalanges in time to the music.

"I'm going to find out why we don't remember any of this."

Chronos turned his hourglass and stopped time for the mortals before striding towards the stage. Their earlier selves quit playing, puzzled as to the interruption. Alice Cooper spun towards them instead of freezing in time. He grinned and shifted into his preferred shape, conjuring a cigar while he waited. Lucien.

"Hello, boys. What brings you from the future?"

"Why are you messing with our memories, Evil One? And, while we're at it, why are you impersonating Alice Cooper?" Chronos was appalled that Lucien would bend the timeline like this.

"I played drums for Alice Cooper? How cool is that, dude?" Death walked over to talk to himself, leaving Time to engage in a battle of wits with Lucien.

"Look," Lucien said. "Alice needed a rest and I said I'd cover for him for a few weeks. He didn't want anybody to know."

"That does not include Immortals." Chronos stood firm, mashing his finger into Lucien's chest for emphasis. "You know you can't do that. Give us our memories back."

"No need to get physical, Chronos." He swirled his cigar three times counterclockwise.

The memories flooded back; the lights, screaming fans, groupies… Chronos blushed. What a wild month they'd had.

"Thank you. Sorry about poking you. I've had a rough day."

"Had to call Atropos again, huh?" Lucien shuddered and looked sympathetic.

Chronos waited until Lucien changed back before starting the flow of time again. He and Death stayed for the concert, each reliving the moment in time. Afterwards, they stopped for a snack before returning home.

"Do you miss that kind of life?" Chronos watched his friend drumming on the table between tosses of M&Ms into an eye socket.

"Not really. Now that I remember, it was fun at the time but I wouldn't want a steady diet of it. After all, who'd want to end up looking like Keith Richards?"

Chronos laughed. "You did play some killer drums, as I remember."

"You weren't so bad on the guitar yourself. You did have some timing issues though, as I recall." Death dropped his jaw and swung his arm around his friend. "Let's get back to our own time and pull out the Parcheesi board, old man."

©2010 Laura Eno

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Surf's Up - #FridayFlash

Chronos flopped down on his sofa, grateful to be back home after the strain of holding time in neutral for twelve hours straight. Suddenly, 'Surfing USA' assaulted his ears as Death plunked his bony frame down next to him, the earphones from his iPod reverberating the music much like a pinball machine would bounce a ball.

"Would you please turn that down," Chronos asked without opening his eyes. "Your bones don't do much to contain the noise and I have a massive headache."

"Sorry. I heard about that black hole tearing through the space-time continuum. Pretty bad, huh?"

"It's fixed now, but I'm knackered." Chronos heard a plink-plop, like pebbles striking glass. He opened his eyes in time to find Death tossing peanuts in the air and having them hit a pair of sunglasses that he wore over his eye sockets. The peanuts pinged around the room like small missiles.

"Why are you wearing sunglasses?"

"Oh, I forgot I had them on. I thought my game was a bit off." Death removed them and caught the next volley. "Much better."

"You could catch them in your mouth like normal people do," Chronos suggested.

"No challenge in that." Death unhinged his jaw so wide he looked like a cobra. "Mouth's too big."

Blinking back tears at the glare in the room, Chronos finally noticed the source. Death wasn't wearing his usual black robe and cowl.

"What are you wearing? It's searing my eyes."

"Isn't it cool? Lachesis wove it for me. It's called a tropical shirt. That's why I came over. I want to go surfing and I thought you'd like to come with me. It'll be fun." He turned his Beach Boys music back up.

Chronos waved his hands in surrender. "I'll go if you promise me no more music."

Death slipped his sunglasses back on and smiled. "Let's boogie, old man."


The sun and sand were pleasant, Chronos admitted to himself. He stripped off his sandals and relaxed, watching Death skim along the tops of the waves without benefit of a board.

When he came back to shore a crowd of young people gathered around, wanting to know how he'd done that. While Death entertained them, Chronos noticed something amiss and went over to stand by his friend.

"Hold still a minute. You have a loose thread here." Chronos tugged and snapped it off. One of the young surfers dropped dead at his feet.

"Oops… I forgot that Lachesis wove this. She must have used life threads to make it."

"Quick! Give me the thread." Death knotted it back onto the shirt, but missed the original placement.

"Whoa, that was unreal." The young man got to his feet, a bit unsteady. He looked around at his companions. "Why am I hanging out here, wasting my time? My father wants me to become a doctor."

He turned and walked away without a backward glance, leaving the others puzzled. Death shrugged.

"It wasn't his original weave but, hey, he's still walking. Maybe I should retire this shirt. Wouldn't do to snag it and change someone else's life – or start a war." He looked down at the material. "I wonder how many lives I'm wearing right now?"

He took off his sunglasses and linked arms with Chronos. "Did you get enough fun in the sun, my friend?"

Chronos laughed. "Plenty. I think it's time to go home. Play that surf song again though, will you?"

©2010 Laura Eno

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interview Up on Soft Whispers Today

I've been interviewed by Jim Wisneski on Soft Whispers today as the Feb Pic 1K winner for my story, Seaweed! You can see the interview here:

Feb Pic 1k Interview

Many thanks to Jim and his magazine for bestowing this honor on me.

You can also download a free PDF of the Feb issue here: Feb issue download.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I have a story called Seaweed up today at Soft Whispers. I'd love to have you stop by! Thanks to Jim Wisneski for accepting it!