Tag Archives: shapeshifters

Mutual Back-Scratching

Regulars around here will know that I take part in weekly flash fiction challenges over at Chuck Wendig’s blog. These are a lot of fun in their own right, but occasionally he switches things up and gives us the chance to co-op a little bit. Last week we were tasked with creating an interesting character, and this week we’re using those characters created by other authors in short stories of our own.

Well, I crafted a sketch of a shape-changing individual last week, and that character was picked up and run with by Kira Jessup, in a story she called “Shifters.” It’s pretty cool. Also, she’s Australian. Check it out!

Bound Howler

Chuck’s challenge this week:  Subgenres.

This one’s a bit longer than most, but I think it’s worth it.  That in mind, I won’t beleaguer you with a drawn out explanation, I’ll just let the story speak for itself.



Bound Howler


Trina threw down an armload of ropes and a sturdy length of chain on Ark’s counter, drawing a hearty laugh from the proprietor.  He leaned his smudged elbows on the smudged oak and leered at her.

“And what on earth are y’doin with all that, then?”  His eyes traced a long slow route down her blouse and her skirt before arriving, much too late, back up at her face.  She wasn’t the prettiest girl in the village by any stretch, but she wasn’t the ugliest, either.  He’d certainly had worse.

“Not sure if that’s any of your concern, Mister Ark.”  She, on the other hand, stared fixedly into his eyes, she had no use for the rest of him.

Ark spat.  “My supplies, my concern.”

Trina sighed and leaned in toward him across the countertop.  Again, his eyes strayed south; she wasn’t above using what wiles she had to her advantage.  “Storm last night.  Spooked my horses.  They broke their gate and scattered all over MacLaren’s land.  I need to secure the gate,” she nodded at the chain, “and throw together some bridles til I can have proper ones made,” she nodded at the rope.

Ark’s eyes fell on the bandage just above her left elbow; she’d tried to conceal it with her sleeve.  “What happened there?”

She yanked her sleeve back down, covering the dressing.  “Snagged it on a nasty tree branch.  Chasing after the horses.”

His eyes began creeping down her body again.  “So, how do you plan to –”

“I’ve got coin, you lout.”

Transaction completed, she rushed home.  The darkening sky was all the sign that the village needed to begin closing up early; it was already a full moon, and likely to storm again besides.  Storefronts were being closed up and bolted shut, horses tied a little more securely in their stables, children hurried inside over their whines of protest.  As she crested the little hill before her squat stone house, Trina paused next to the perfectly intact stable door; all her horses were completely undisturbed.  She shifted the ropes and chain on her shoulder and moved on toward her house as the first drops of rain began to fall. Continue reading

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