Chain Writing Game 6: The Wall – ep. 13

Episode 13

“Uh…I,” Jadir stuttered as his body reacted to Eliya. He backed up and tripped over his feet, tumbling to the ground. “I’m…flattered, but I love another woman. Her name’s Camilla.”

Eliya’s face turned quizzical, then frowned. “You think I wanted to mate with you?” She chuckled. “This is just how my people dress. There’s not much use for…coverings,” she gestured at Jadir’s clothes, “that hinder movement and catch on branches. In fact…” She pulled a blade from a thigh-sheath and strode forward. “…some of that needs to go.”

Jadir flushed, but allowed her to cut his clothes to shreds.

Chain Writing game

I’m not against romance, I swear. It just seemed like a good part to highlight cultural differences (yeah, that’s the ticket) between Jadir and Eliya with a little misunderstanding. Will love grow between the soft, citified Jadir and jungle survivor Eliya? That’s entirely up to YOU. Join in the Chain Writing Game and add your own 100-word contribution to the story. It’s unlimited entries (we go to 30 total) and you only have to wait until three others go before you post after your first.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Speakeasy #145: Her Majesty’s Ranger-The Hunt



I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness. The murderer of my mentor, Mallais, ever eludes my grasp and the Queen’s justice.

He shall not do so again.

Hidden like a common cur, I stride through the dust of Hope. A ‘free’ village, the peasants shuffle with an absence of their community’s namesake. A lift-skirt eyes me, suspicion and warning mixed with desperation. I bury myself deeper within my cowl and hurry on, uninterested in losing my cover due to worries over lost business.

You need to change your walk, Izzy, vibrates in my ear. Even disguised you scream “Ranger!”, and you know what they say.

Rangers hope for hot glares instead of cold steel in Hope, I sub-vocalize. My hound companion, Keats, waits on the outskirts, his distinctive appearance a detriment instead of boon during this excursion. Maybe Cezanne will be drawn out by rumors of-

Two figures, dressed in royal blue-gold livery, halt my advance with their presence farther up the street. Plas-sheets adorned with my visage flash at uncooperative villagers. “Artemis’ ass,” blurts out of my mouth.

I bolt inside a tavern, murmuring, “Forgive me, Goddess, my blasphemies.” A haze of pipe-smoke sears my senses as I inhale my new surroundings. Silence, broken only by the soft flap of cards shuffled, holds sway. Villains stare at colored shards of plas with cold intent, my presence unregistered as they attend their sport.


QueensHands. Later. I sidle up to the bar and signal the tavern-master for ale, unsure of how to proceed. The Royal Guard of Her Majesty, known as the QueensHands, draw worthies from across the special forces wielded by the kingdom. Those few accepted are augmented by arcane sciences held secret for centuries.

Mallais served with them, only to die at the hand of his partner, Cezanne de Paulo.

I imagine the same intelligence about Cezanne’s whereabouts graced their path as it did mine. Fear, not a foreign emotion, but distant enough to be mere acquaintance, announces his presence within me. I fear not the punishment for leaving without authorization on my hunt, nor do I fear the QueensHands, formidable foes, but also fair.

No. I fear justice delayed and vengeance denied.

With my movements hindered, I find myself at a loss. It feels as if the Silver-Maiden turns away her favor.

Thoughts of surrender race through me. I stand, ready to face the Queen’s judgement, when a quick tug upon my cloak halts my despair. A small boy grins and motions me closer. I lean down and the scamp whispers, “I know who you seek.”

Child-wisdom senses my disbelief. “Cezanne the Darkhand, he resides at the Planetfall Inn.”

Gold flashes between my fingers, and disappears with alacrity inside his tunic. I ruffle his hair, though he sends me to a trap. He runs off, no doubt to call my arrival. “Forgive my doubts, Artemis,” I whisper. “I shall see the hunt through to fruition.”


Izzy? The QueensHands can monitor these frequencies.

I hope they do. Meet me at the Planetfall Inn.


My Goddess smiles upon me as I reach Cezanne’s den without meeting my pursuers. Tabanca fills my hand as I throw off my cloak. Concentrated plasma explodes the door into splinters, and screams betray those hiding in ambush. “DARKHAND! I, Isabella Florentine, have come. Face me.”

A slow clap answers my bravado, and thugs encircle me in a moon of filth. “You are a persistent one, young Isabella.” His voice echoes from a communicator on a table. “Too persistent. Ah, well.”

His timbre hardens. “Kill her.”

My eyes swivel to each man. “I offer you one chance. Leave now. If not…”

“What?” one of them asks.

“Then you will learn a poet’s sting strikes down the mightiest of mortals.” My whistle pierces the evening. The questioner falls, throat missing from a black flash. Tabanca sings, sending to eternal sleep one, then another.

The last piece of my trap falls as blue-gold blurs descend upon my would-be slayers. Monofilament-blades sparkle as foes fall. In moments bodies litter the streets of Hope.

I stride to the communicator. “Hear me, Cezanne. You may hide, but I will find you. This is not over.”

His laughter mocks me. “I shall enjoy the pursuit, dear child. Fare thee…poorly.”

“Ranger.” A Hand approaches me, eyes glittering. “By order of Her Majesty…we are to aid you in your hunt.” He smiles. “If you’ll have us.”

I glance at Keats, who nods his blood-muzzled head. “The hunt continues.”

Word Count: 750

Speakeasy #145. Her Majesty’s Ranger, Isabella Florentine, and her faithful hound, Keats, are back with a new enemy and some new allies. If you missed their introduction, you can find it here. In keeping with the previous story, I incorporated the artist’s name into the story. Mostly because I think Cezanne kicks gluteus maximus as a bad guy name.

The prompts this week are Cezanne’s CardPlayers-1, to be referenced in some way, and the sentence “I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness”, to be used as the first line.


  • Your post must be dated January 19, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • Your piece must include the following sentence as the FIRST line: “I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness.”
  • The Speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.
  • The badge for your speakeasy #145 post is found in the sidebar. Add the code to the html view of your post before publishing.

Hope you enjoy this foray into the planetary kingdom of Gliese and my delve into sci-fantasy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Sunday Photo Fiction: “Rolling Stoners” Epizodo Ses

42 01 January 12th 2014

Rick stirred, opening his eyes to see a metal gate with a rusted chain and lock keeping it closed. A rotten smell hit his nose. “Agh! God…Terry!”

“Wakey-wakey, asshole.” Terry’s mug peered down at him. “Remind you of that time in Tijuana?”

“I told you that donkey show looked shady.” A soft purr caused him to sit up and glance around the cell. A creature that looked like the tiger-woman they’d spied on slept curled in the corner.

Terry followed Rick’s gaze. “Heh. Our own naked alien. These guys rock!”

Rick glared at him. “You ever stop to think we might be this…whatever’s dinner?”

“I don’t eat junk-food,” floated a soft growl. “Especially that provided by the Leono sedimento.” Tiger-woman stretched, arching her back, then started licking her fur.

The “cat-bath” mesmerized Rick. He turned his head…his eyes taking in Terry’s pants pointing. “Dude!”

“I can’t help it, dick.”

Curious green-gold eyes watched. “You two are strange. Not like the others we’ve found.”

Rick kept his gaze averted. “There are others?”

“Yes, though I’m afraid our execution will keep you from meeting them.”

“E-execution?” Rick glared up at Terry, who leered at the alien. “Sometimes I really hate you.”

Sunday Photo Fiction

Another chapter in the ongoing saga of Rolling Stoners, for Sunday Photo Fiction. The host of Sunday Photo Fiction is creating a new blog for a new challenge: Haibun. He’s after photos and artwork, so if you are interested head over to the Sunday Photo Fiction page, leave a comment and he’ll contact you.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Rolling Stoners. Now I have to figure out how to write myself out of the execution corner 😉

By the way, some of the language is Esperanto.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn








Flash! Friday – Vol 2-5: The Breakup

Wawona Tree Road. Photo by the National Parks Service.

Wawona Tree Road. Photo by the National Parks Service.

“I want to go there.”

“Yosemite? Any particular period?”

“June 28th, 1929.”

An eyebrow raised at the specificity of the request. “I assume you have your Time Passport up to date?”

Phillipa shook back her sleeve, revealing the Special Bureau bracer underneath. The T-Travel agent’s eyes widened. “S-sorry, ma’am! I didn’t realize-”

“It’s okay.” Phillipa smiled at the flustered young woman. “You’re just doing your job.”

“Uh, any luggage?”

“One carry-on.” A card fluttered to the desk. “Pre-Approved,” Phillipa said, voice hard.

“Okay. Enjoy your trip. Don’t interact with the natives of the timeline, and thank you for choosing T-Travel for your time traveling today!”

Phillipa nodded and stepped to the transport pad. The world twisted and broke, depositing her in a wooded area. She checked her bracer: May 28th, 1929. Sighing, she looked for an area to set up camp, her high-powered rifle heavy in the bag.

She had a month to wait for her ex’s great-great grandparents to come through.

Word Count: 160

For Flash! Friday – 2-5. This week’s prompt is the photo above. The extra element to be incorporated:

Time Travel

The contest opens every Thursday at midnight Eastern Time and closes at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Friday. Join in the fun!

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Sunday Photo Fiction: Greetings

Sea King Rescue Helicopter and Lifeboat at a Coastal Display July 2011

Sea King Rescue Helicopter and Lifeboat at a Coastal Display July 2011

Rick pushed his way through the thick under-foliage, the strange colors of the plants now wearily familiar. Quarter-remembered Boy Scout lessons about direction thrust the guide position on him as he and Terry searched for the city seen from the tower. Terry walked silently, his normal complaints absent. Rick hoped it would stay that way.

“Heh. Remember that time the Coast Guard had to rescue you, dumbass?”

Rick sighed. “That was you, Terry. You saw those girls nude-sunbathing and decided to stand up in the boat…without your suit on.”

Terry chuckled. “Good times.”

“I’m sure that nice blue-haired grandma walking with her grandkids along the beach thought so. Along with everyone else that saw your bare-ass when the chopper pulled you up.”

“What can I say, I’m a giver.”

Rick sighed again and turned to unload. “Those kids crie-”

A thick maned lion-man, nude except for weapon straps, appeared, stopping him short. Terry whirled around. “I got this, dude.” He stepped forward, holding his fingers in a V-shape. “Take me to your leader.”

The lion-man pulled a sleek-looking gun and red light buzzed out, engulfing the two boys. Lion-schlong. Why does my life suck so hard? Rick thought as darkness engulfed him.

Word Count: 200

Sunday Photo Fiction

Will our heroes survive? Why does everyone seem to be naked? Can I keep shoehorning totally unrelated pictures into the story? Stay tuned to “Rolling Stoners” on its new home: Sunday Photo Fiction! Every week, the shadowy over-lord, known simply as “Al,” posts a photo to lash his minions into creating works he collates and stores to use in his nefarious plans to take over the world!

Head on over and join the fun! I’m sure Al will bequeath you a sizeable land grant as he establishes his dark reign!

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn