By: Sheal Berube
I just recently filed an entry (due date was November 1st, I made it within three days of the due date) with these folks: Commonwealth Short Story.
I’m really excited to see if I’ve gotten even a nod. I won’t find out until May 2020 and I can’t tell you what unpublished piece I’ve entered into the contest. I’m also, after such a long time away from it, doing NaNoWriMo again. Last time I won a NaNoWriMo I wrote These Chains under the Tabitha Todd pen name. The time before that I started the Soul trilogy but never finished even the first book. I aim on using NaNoWriMo to be a rebel (again, just can’t help being a rebel) and finishing that first Soul series book. Tamashii.
I’ve mentioned this trilogy before. I’ve even shown a few excerpts from the first book, in fact my favorite excerpt. You ever get those moments where you make yourself giggle like a lunatic while you’re writing? Yeah, that moment – the one where you seriously question your damn sanity and whether or not it might be detrimental to your freedom for how often you talk to yourself while writing…
“Tell y’all what, if I can grab that coin from this old man’s hand before he can close it y’all will see I speak the truth honorably” The ‘slinger offered.
“He’s old and slow. Too easy” Someone called out from the group of people gathered around. Denny grinned slyly and pulled Kara closer to him. She’d been sneaky and inched her way closer to the ‘slinger through the growing crowd. Denny could see the workings of a little girlie crush starting in her eyes and on her face. She was very obviously both curious and smitten with the ‘slinger. He didn’t seem to notice himself though. Denny put the gold coin in Kara’s hand and put it and her in front of the impostor ‘slinger. Better to burst the girls bubble now rather than later after she’d given it up to this smart ass. The ‘slinger get up must have been a rouse to grab himself some tail and to make himself look dangerous to the roving gangs so he could move about freely from village to village.
“Uh, I…okay” Kara stuttered shyly staring at the ‘slingers boots.
“Very well, the little lady will do fine as a volunteer” The ‘slinger responded with a smile, watching Kara with a twinkling interest. Denny grunted, seems the ‘slinger had noticed Kara’s curiosity and womanly interest in him.
“Hold still now, keep yer hand at this level and count to three then close yer hand” he spoke softly to Kara. She only nodded with a blush.
“One, two…. three” She counted and then snapped her hand closed. She frowned and looked up into his eyes questioningly. Denny roared hurling insults and calling the ‘slinger a lying bastard and cheat. The ‘slinger only looked at Kara, straight in the eyes and raised his fist and with a finger pointed at her hand with one brow raised. She stared back at her closed fist, uncertain at best and scared at worse for what might happen to this man if the group that was now huddling in closely, ready to pounce on the poor man if the coin was still there. She slowly opened her hand and nearly cried out in surprise at what befell her eyes.
The coin was no longer a gold coin. It was a smaller, heavier silver coin. She lifted her eye line upward and was met with the gold coin between the ‘slingers fingers staring back at her in plain sight. The group of villagers gasped, roared with satisfaction and clapped happily. Denny was slack jawed and speechless behind her. Her eyes drifted to his and he winked at her. He threw up the gold coin and what happened next cinched the fact that he was indeed an old school ‘slinger after all.
The draw of the Blackhawk six shooter from his left hip was blindingly fast. So fast that none had time to realize he had drawn his gun, not until the report of the ruger had vibrated off the bodies and buildings around them. The sound of the gun was excruciatingly loud, the smell of gun powder nearly gagging in the confines of the closed in crowd of bodies. The gold coin went tinkling across the wooden porch of the buildings behind Kara and came to rest at Denny’s feet. It had a perfect round hole in the middle of it. The crowd was now completely silent and completely still. Kara suspected you could hear a field mouse fart if it had a mind to right about now.
Kara broke out into a wide grin at the very thought of a field mouse farting right in that moment. She couldn’t help it and started laughing uncontrollably. The ‘slinger grinned himself and chuckled as well, stepping up the stairs and picking up the gold coin. He plopped it into Kara’s hand with the silver coin and nodded at her still smiling.
That one is my favorite and it makes me giggle like a damn moron, it does to me what titmouse does to Homer Simpson. The field mouse bit gets me cackling like an idiot every time I read it. The first time I wrote it I’m pretty sure the people around me thought I’d finally gone completely “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest”, Jack Nicholson style. Or maybe gone, “here comes JONNY” levels of crazy. I’m pretty sure I laughed entirely too hard at my smart ass moment. In Fact, I know I’ve laughed entirely too hard at that smart ass moment one too many times.
But I digress don’t I?
Are you attempting NaNoWriMo this year? If so, hit me up to buddy up – Tabitha_Todd79 – See you on the NaNo flip side folks and good luck this year!