The Augmented Man – Surface

What do you do when the ultimate weapon falls in love?

What follows is the first chapter of The Augmented Man. Enjoy (and let me know what you think).


Surface
1 April 2053

Trailer closed his eyes and sat at the end of the bar where the cigarette-burned, cheap black Formica countertop met the wall. He eased himself onto the last stool, tucking into the corner in the dim light, a spider hiding out of sight at the edge of its web. His fingers hovered over the cigarette burns closest to him as if divining their cause, sensing them like small, unhealed wounds, seeing the people involved, learning if each burn was an accident or intentional.

The door opened and he smelled the cool April evening on his skin. It was followed by the alcoholic breath and sweat of two men and a woman they supported between them.

Trailer brought his attention back into the bar, collating the activity immediately around him. The barkeeper, a heavy smelling man gnawing a toothpick, his face somewhere between needing a shave and growing a beard, walked over to Trailer. “Yeah?”
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Rachel, Above the Clouds – Now on Across the Margin

The terrible thing about sunlight is it shows the dirt. – Brigid Berlin

Across the Margin has published my first work of fiction in…a long time. The story deals with relationships and betrayal.

A short story where a heartache that shirked in the shadows comes to light…

 
Please feel free to congratulate me.

Below is a teaser. Please head over to Across the Margin to read the whole piece (it’s a quick read. About 1,200 words).

Joseph Carrabis' 'Rachel, Above the Clouds' on Across the Margin

 
SolarMax Ten to Houston, come in please.”
“This is Houston. Go ahead, SolarMax.”
“Ted, you feeling okay today? You sound awfully froggy.”
“Guess again, Rachel.”
“Benny? Is that you?”
“It is indeed. Hi Rachel, long time no hear.”
“What are you doing riding bridesmaid, Benny? I heard that you’d gone civ.”
“I have, I have. Mission Control said the last few days had been rough on you and thought you’d like to hear a familiar voice on your last morning up.”

Hope you like it. Let me know.


Blog members can read the original version here.

So I gave myself an exercise (eating my own dogfood)…

…and it was oh so good!

You see a lot, doctor. But can you point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you – why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to…
– Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs

 
If you’ve read Writers’ Groups – Introduction, Writers’ Groups – Critiques and Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers then you know I’m on a quest.

To find a critique group that does critiques as I do them.
Continue reading “So I gave myself an exercise (eating my own dogfood)…”

The Boy in the Giant – Artwork by LadySparrowhawk

I’m blessed to have Casey Wilkinson, aka Lady Sparrowhawk, a gifted artist as a friend. She provided the artwork for this story (which also appears on my Patreon feed.

Enjoy!

Once upon a time, when a small, magical child lived in a magical woods, a horrible thing happened. Someone left the child outside in the cold, rainy, wet damp of dawn. It doesn’t matter if this happened once or a thousand times. When you are a child, even once is enough.

It so happened, as the child grew into a boy, that others came by who were blind to the child and the boy and splattered mud as they passed. The mud covered the growing boy, its coldness reminding him of being abandoned in the cold, damp dawn.

The child grew into a clever boy. He kept his eyes open and watched the flowers spreading their petals to let in the morning sun, spiders spinning delicate webs stronger than the strongest steel, and squirrels and ants busying themselves gathering winter’s harvest.

Over time the boy fell in love with the world around him and decided that no matter what happened to him, he could learn from it. Quickly the boy’s wisdom grew as he watched and studied and quietly observed until he became quieter and wiser than most in the Woods.

But while he grew, there was a mud caked child inside, a child the wise boy knew nothing of, crying in the cold, damp dawn. The boy lived with the ache of the child inside so long it became like a cloak which no one else could see and which was more real to the growing boy than anything else in his world. The boy sat and watched the mud that caked around him as others splashed and noticed it hardened as it dried. The child gave the boy an idea.

“What would happen if I took some mud and fashioned a cloak around myself?” As the mud hardened he could make the cloak stronger and harder. Eventually the cloak would keep out the cold and the rain and protect the boy and child from pain.
Continue reading “The Boy in the Giant – Artwork by LadySparrowhawk”