2018 First Lines Contest
“Stand by, captain,” Jake Paulson, the Salvage-4’s pilot reported, “We’re coming up on our target now.” “Well it’s about damn time,” Captain Jamison answered, through his headset. Gus Jamison was an ex-marine and overall nice guy, but a hard ass. He needed to be in this line of work; space was a dangerous and hostile environment where mistakes were not forgiven. Everyone knew Gus would bust your chops if you didn’t have the hustle on.
A shrill scream pierced the otherwise still calm of the night. The young Afghan boy, wounds still bandaged, awoke from the nightmare and began sobbing. A woman rushed to his side, sat on the floor next to the padded mat he laid on, and cradled his head in her arms.
The moonlight shone down silver on a small, sleepy town on the outskirts of Colorado. I arrived just as the humans of the town were settling down, which meant that night-walkers, creatures like me, were out and about. Almost six foot of pure, sexy half-elf form, my slick boots and lithe figure slipped through the little town unnoticed
The Fall Feather Fair was just around the corner. Janoose the Goose was busy at the feather factory working to get enough feather pillows made for Mr. Rooster, the Feather Factory owner, to give away to the Fair goers. “We have almost all the pillows made. Maybe we just need one or two more loads of feathers and we are done,” Janoose told her co-workers Mallard the Duck and Margie the Hen who were stuffing pillows as Janoose poured feathers into the hopper.
“This is the third time you’ve thrown us out of the City!” The tall, lanky man with dark and stringy red hair, stood alongside two other men while several of Danthamore’s guards forced them away from the front of the gates. “Take your messages and displays elsewhere, If you don’t, you might find yourself swinging from Robber’s Row by your necks.”
The ship was sailing in the unknown seas, its prow dividing the water in two equal sides, forming a path of foam on its way. The sea was motionless and black as coal. And silent, so very silent.
Yanick DcCullen, inmate 3249 of the Minerva Penitentiary, could never re- sist taking advantage of a business opportunity. So when he learned he could get his claws on some choice pharmaceutical items, he decided to take action. In pursuit of this profitable venture, Yanick had managed to convince a fellow inmate, Buddash Kyo, to sign up with him for a repair and mainte- nance detail in the prison tunnels the day after tomorrow.
Category: Fiction /
- Mystery & Detective
Author: Tom Minder
Father Jim had writer’s block. He glanced out the frosted-over window of his small office in St. Augustine’s rectory on the cold November Saturday afternoon. He’d been a priest for five years and actually liked creating sermons while in seminary. Now he would gladly just wing it from the pulpit. Most people don’t listen anyway.
The sun shone, warm and red on her eyelids. She couldn’t open them and didn’t want to. She stayed curled up, cocooned in the heavy blankets. The smell of dust and old wood filtered through as her senses switched on, one by one.
It was a shadowy and threatening wind. A ‘Black Death’ shroud enveloped me in a twirling tornado of sharp knives and steel spikes, pinning me motionless against cold ancient limestone of my beloved medieval church at the base of Monte Chimera. Hopeless and lifeless, the airs of screaming ghosts and infernal ghouls were drawn from the deepest bowels of the earth…
Will blinked and fought to stay awake as the cab rattled along the dark streets. It was years since he had been this drunk. The night of their graduation, wasn’t it? Fred, seated between Jerry and himself, was clapping his hands. Whether it was in an effort to keep warm or that it was because he was just as drunk but more intent on keeping awake, Will didn’t know.
THORN STOOD AT THE bow of his ship ‘My Hedera’ starring out into the dark night, lost in his deep thoughts. The brigantine dipped and swayed into the huge waves that rocked the sea. Dark storm clouds stretched across the skies blending into the black sea.
Category: Fiction /
- Action & Adventure
Author: Ken Donaldson
Life truly does begin through the death of another. Following the funeral after the passing of his dad’s life in the year 1939, a man seen to light amidst worldly dealing he portrayed through a hidden mask. That one he held shown in view of public eye as a devoted loving family man with shared business ethics resenting God for the loss of his one and only beloved wife for all others to see.
As it turned out this was never really just about sex, at least in that way, once in a great while, something that involves me and a pretty woman isn’t just about sex. It all began a block or two beyond one of those classy, well-manicured neighborhoods, the ones where people post laminated posters on telephone poles offering rewards for missing cats. The revved-up engines of dueling lawn services, motorized Mexicans as they were known by those who become less politically correct when jarred to the reality of epicurean wine hangovers and pressing engagements, had broken the silence of the morning.
After I was born a bastard, my father having vanished on hearing of my conception, George Orwell was writing Animal Farm just a few miles from Stockton-on-Tees. The terraced house I was born in was a short distance from the first passenger railroad station in the world. The midwife suggested my Christian names but it was well over seven months until my baptism, after my father was sought out, and found, in Manchester, and forced to marry my mother.
Category: Fiction /
- African American
- Contemporary Women
- Cultural Heritage
- Family Life
Author: S. J. Francis
"Kate awoke with a start. It was a feeling she couldn’t shake and had no idea why. She didn’t know it yet, but a tide was turning close to home and, with it, a treacherous page in the book of her life. "
"Stay human. Stay human. Stay human."
"I could have you executed for this, Moreva Tehi," Astoreth said. My Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love, scowled at me from Her golden throne in the massive Great Hall of Her equally massive Temple. Sitting on my heels, I bowed my head and stared at the black and gold polished floor, trying to ignore the trickle of sweat snaking its way down my spine.
“YOU WANT ME to steal a Bible?” Jackson Douglas studied his potential client from across the table as she slowly nodded. “Yes.”
It all started when Ann and Joseph wanted a second child. They already adopted a girl through an agency in Brooklyn, but the adoption process this time seemed to be more difficult. They completed mountains of paperwork, had plenty of home visits, had to prove they would be worthy of a second child while continuing to allow the adoption agency to monitor the first adoption.