Posted in Absurdity, Humor, Mystery, Short Stories, Uncategorized

Death by Peanut Butter – a short story (finally!!!)

I wrote this short story for school, based on the writings of Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock.  Leacock wrote a hilarious piece outlining the essential cliches of 19th-20th century serialized detective fiction.  It’s available online under the name “The Great Detective.”  (An even funnier version of the discourse exists under the name “Frenzied Fiction,” which I found in my grandpa’s well-worn copy of Leacock’s Laugh Parade.)  The punchline of my story is that, once again, the butler has “done it.”  This time, however, he has done it is to himself.

On the subject of Canada, I’d also like to thank my aunt for bringing three huge jars of Canadian peanut butter when she visited the week I received this assignment, as they served as my inspiration to write this. 😀

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The Great Detective and I were sitting down to a hearty breakfast when we heard the frenetic pattering of footsteps in the stairwell.

“A visitor, I presume,” my ingenious flatmate remarked as he spread a generous amount of peanut butter on his crumpet.  “It must be – and surely, he must be distressed, for the way he mounts our staircase is uneven and heavy.  Either that, or he is a drunken lout who has read too many of your stories, seeking my autograph.”

“Perhaps,” said I, fondly recalling the last case I’d dutifully chronicled for The Brand.  (You ought to read it after this one!) Continue reading “Death by Peanut Butter – a short story (finally!!!)”

Posted in General Fiction, Mystery, Written Works

All Hands on Deck!

Ahoy, mateys!  I’m taking part in another group-writing roleplay game thing on Young Writers Society.  This time, my character is one of many unlikely passengers on a cruise ship, where we’ve been assembled to solve a mystery and everyone has a dark secret.

The story is called All Hands on Deck – if you want to read the rest, it can be found here on YWS.  (Content warning: Based on what my co-writers are contributing, I’d potentially rate the story on a whole PG-16 for mildly suggestive dialogue, strong language, and violence a’la And Then There Was None by Agatha Christie.)  Here’s my first from my character, Jane‘s, perspective:

A hot, salty breeze whips her brown, almost black hair around, pulling tangled strands out of a halfheartedly fastened clip as she surveys the dockyard. There are clusters of brightly-colored tents, smiling locals hawking expensive but pointless souvenirs, and several sunburned tourists hover around the scene in skimpy attire and flip-flops.

Everything looks so happy … fake-happy. It hasn’t taken long for Jane to realize – re-realize? – that there’s no such thing as happiness in this world. Not even on vacation.

Jane West hasn’t slept a wink during the flight to the Bahamas. Lack of sleep = increased paranoia, she reasons as she walks towards the immaculately white cruise ship that’s docked a few blocks away. (You’re not in the city anymore, she chides herself irritably. Stop thinking in its block-headed terms!)

When she arrives, no one else is around. Jane wonders if she’s at the right ship, even if it’s the only one for miles that looks remotely cruise-ship-y. She consults the papers Pritchett gave her the week before – yup, this is the right one.

Drawing in a breath to steel herself, Jane hefts her worn, blue duffel bag – containing everything she owns – over one shoulder and makes her way up the gangplank.

Already, just by agreeing to come here, she’s earned three million dollars … and a promise that’s unlikely to be kept. But honestly, the three million will do just fine.

 

One week ago….

“Jane.” There’s something vaguely familiar about the way her name’s been spoken, although – to the speaker – the name itself is wholly unfamiliar. “Is that what you’re calling yourself now?”

Daring to sneak a glance at the customer she’s serving, Jane locks eyes with a tall, thin man in a suit whose tailoring made the worn, red bench he was sitting on seem tackier than usual. For someone so extravagant in appearance, he’s ordered a simple coffee, black and sugarless, and one soft-boiled egg.

Wordlessly, Jane sets the food down, being careful to not spill the mug’s murky contents. This wasn’t the first time a male customer had attempted to start a conversation with her today, and it hadn’t ended well the last time. Five bucks an hour is barely enough to get by as it is, but even Jane has her limits on how far she’ll go to earn a generous tip.

This one is persistent, though. “You need not be so aloof, my dear.” His beady, coal-like eyes dart across the diner’s faded interior. “Look around you. Although you may not remember, I may be the only friend you have left in this world.”

“Would you like anything else from the menu, sir?” Jane asks coolly, still skeptical and plenty suspicious. To herself, she’s wondering, How could he know?

The man gestures to the opposite bench in the booth. “Please, Jane, sit down and allow me to explain.”

Casting a glance at the boss (who’s busy putting out a fire from the newest excuse for a short-order cook), Jane slips hurriedly into the proffered seat and mutters, “You’d better make this quick, capisci?”

“I’ll make this brief,” the man affirms. “My name is Nathaniel Pritchett and I believe that we each have skills and resources to help each other.”

Jane rests her arms, crossed, on the table’s scratched, graffitied surface, and laughs harshly. “Who says I need anyone’s help?”

Pritchett smiles serenely, knowingly. “Jane West, I’ve watched you for longer than you can remember. And it is evident to me now, from your lack of recognition, that you cannot remember much.”

Bruce, “The Boss” of this two-bit Rock ‘n’ Roll Diner, tells her to get back to work soon, or there won’t be any for her to get back to.

“I have to go.” Jane slips out of the booth and dusts off the hem of her ill-fitting waitress’s uniform.

Pritchett slides a small envelope across the tabletop. “This will explain the rest. If you help me, I will help you to rediscover your past.” Jane takes it quickly – not out of eagerness or enthusiasm – and shoves it into the pocket of her apron. “I’ve included my contact information. Call me when you’ve decided. You have forty-eight hours.”

Posted in Adventure, Miscelaneous Musings, Mystery, Novels, Satire, The Writing Life, Written Works

Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes: Chapter Two

Gee, that’s one long title….

Well, anyway, I’m pleased to announce that the next part of Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes is out now!

Excerpt:

 Lord Daniel Valjean-Allerdyce was not only an Englishman, but, as his hyphenated name suggested, of French descent.  When we were escorted to his quarters by the guest house’s manager, Valjean-Allerdyce sat in a simple wooden chair, wearing an elegant velvet smoking jacket and puffing heavily on a pipe he held in a strong, weathered hand.  The finery of his ensemble contrasted greatly with the room’s furnishings, but he seemed almost oblivious to the fact.  Judging by his silvery hair and dark, lined features, he appeared to be about sixty years old.

 The manager, a small, balding man who sweated uncomfortably in his cheaply tailored suit and wire-rimmed glasses, introduced us hastily before creeping back to his station.

 Valjean-Allerdyce rose from his seat, standing well over six feet.  His steel-grey eyes examined us critically, as though he was looking for the most subtlest of imperfections within us.  Self-consciously, I felt inclined to button my cardigan a little higher to hide my rumpled blouse.  When his eyes settled upon the eldest of our party, Miss Anna Montvale, something in his expression changed almost imperceptibly. When he spoke, it was only to her.

 “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mademoiselle Montvale,” he said with a slightly patronizing tone to his voice.  “What, may I ask, brings you to my lodgings … and this infernal country?”

Read the rest at the Poets Cove!

Posted in Adventure, Miscelaneous Musings, Mystery, Novels, The Writing Life, Written Works

Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes

The first installment of Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes is out now, at Poets Cove!

Here’s an excerpt (just be forewarned, my “voice” for this story is shamelessly wordy):

  Uncle Petrie’s house was decorated with the spoils of his many travels: feline statuettes from Egypt, a gold mask from Genghis Khan’s fabled lost city, African tribal drums, a fragile paper fan from Japan….  Name a place, he’s been there, and usually has a gripping story to go with it.
 I was used to his long leaves of absence, oftentimes during those weeks I was to be home from school, but, as my guardian until I turn twenty-one (in a good seven years, mind you), he rarely disappeared without a written explanation.
 Which was why I was perturbed to find the house devoid of his presence when I arrived at the start of the summer holiday.

I intend for this to be a monthly serial, but knowing my tendency to fall into horrible writer’s block, we’ll just have to wait and see. 😉

Posted in Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Novels, Science Fiction

Premonition: Updated Prologue + Chapter One

Prologue

 I saw the flames as they licked the tops of the tallest trees, destroying not only the dry, autumn leaves, but the creatures that called the forest their home.  I saw the wreckage on the highway, the crumpled heaps of five cars and an eighteen-wheeler truck.

My mother’s body was being wheeled away from the scene on a stretcher by two paramedics, a thin sheet covering her from head to toe.  Her bloodied arm dangled limply off the side, exposed; somehow, the charm bracelet she’d worn for as long as I could remember had survived, though she would not.

The orange blanket around my shoulders did nothing to quell the chill going through my body.  It wasn’t just the shock of the crash.  It wasn’t the throbbing pain in my shattered leg.  It wasn’t the droning of the tactless police officer to my right as he asked me questions I couldn’t answer.

I’d seen this exact event before, in a dream.  If only I could have done something to stop it from happening.

One

His name was Abraham.  Abraham Smith, to be exact.  Irony of all ironies, his house was full of (intact) graven images.  Everything from smiling Buddhist figurines to little statues that looked vaguely like Hello Kitty took up space on shelves, tables, window sills, and armrests.

“I collect and sell these things, y’see,” he explained awkwardly as I locked eyes with one leering pre-Columbian carving.  “I don’t necessarily believe in them, in case you’re wondering.”

I shrugged, which isn’t easy when you’re leaning on a cane.  I’d had my share of odd foster families in the last few months. What could I say that wouldn’t offend my newest guardian, who also happened to be my fourth cousin thrice removed? Continue reading Premonition: Updated Prologue + Chapter One”

Posted in Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Miscelaneous Musings, Mystery, Novels, Science Fiction, Short Stories, The Writing Life, Written Works

Story scrap: “Premonition”

The other day, I decided to freewrite something.  The end product is a short piece that I suppose could be a prologue to a much longer sci-fi fantasy story.  I don’t know how far I’d be able to take this one, since I’m not particularly good at fantasy stories.  I’m calling this one “Premonition,” about a girl who can foresee future events, some calamitous, some not.   The question is, what is she supposed to do with this information?  Is the future – and the past – writ in stone, or can her actions in the meantime make a difference?

 I saw the flames as they licked the tops of the tallest trees, destroying not only the dry, autumn leaves, but the creatures that called the forest their home.  I saw the wreckage on the highway, the crumpled heaps of two cars and an eighteen-wheeler truck.  The truck was relatively intact, the bright banner advertising a soft drink company still emblazoned on its side.

My mother’s body was being wheeled away from the scene on a stretcher by two paramedics, a sheet covering her from head to toe.  Her bloodied arm dangled limply off the side, exposed; somehow, the charm bracelet she’d worn for as long as I could remember had survived better than she had.

The orange blanket around my shoulders did nothing to quell the chill going through my body.  It wasn’t just the shock of the crash.  It wasn’t the throbbing pain in my shattered leg.  It wasn’t the droning of the tactless police officer to my right as he asked me questions I couldn’t answer.

I’d seen this exact event before.  If only I could have stopped it from happening.

 

It’s definitely in need of extreme polishing, but it’s a start. 🙂

Posted in Doctor Who, Fanfiction, Figgies in the TARDIS, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Written Works

“Child of Time”

I wrote this after seeing Doctor Who’s “The Angels Take Manhattan”, but before I saw “Asylum of the Daleks” or any of the stories centering around Amy’s baby.  Therefore, I did not know that *SPOILERS* Amy could not have kids anymore.  But you never know, she could’ve seen a doctor in the 30s. 😉

Child of Time

(by Allison Rose)


1932

It was a dark and stormy night.  Just like in the books, River Song mused as she walked down the cobblestone streets of London.  She needed to get started on a book of her own.  It seemed everyone’s lives depended on this action, but River felt it necessary to do it in the company of the two most important lives she’d ever known, the lives who’d been given up to save the world, over and over again.

She glanced down at the paper on which she’d hastily written down their address.  (Somehow, she didn’t feel right using all of her technology here.  It seemed far too peaceful.)  A flash of lightning illuminated the brass number plates on each building.  Only a few more blocks to go before she got to the right place.  221-B Baker Street.

Finally, River stepped quietly into the building, escaping the heavy, pelting raindrops for the moment, and mounted the stairs.

Rory answered the door when she knocked, clad in the most comical blue pajamas River had ever seen, and a pair of glasses perched lopsidedly on his prominent nose.  He looked flustered and confused, as though he’d just been woken up inconveniently from a deep sleep.  Most likely he had.

“Hello, Father,” River said, smiling mischievously. Continue reading ““Child of Time””