APRIL FLASH FICTION CONTEST -LET’S GET CATTY


Cat

Fantasy and science fiction author Danielle Ackley-McPhail, author of Flash in the Can, was born in April 1970. As a present to her and to you, this month’s theme is cats! Because hey…who doesn’t love cats? So be sure to send loads of kitty fiction gifts this way for her to read. Stories can be any speculative genre and cats can be in any of the feline forms, but the stories must be no more than 1970 words long.

To learn more about Danielle and her works visit her official website, or connect with her on Facebook.

Entries should be mailed to especbooks@aol.com as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf attachment by April 30, 2016. Please include your name, story title, and contact information on your manuscript itself. If we cannot identify your entry from the file you will be disqualified. Multiple submissions are permissible, but reprints are not. Winning entry will be published on the eSpec Books blog and the winner will receive a free ebook copy of the eSpec Books title of their choice. Prize can be reserved for a future book if the winner already has the available titles.

Visit http://www.especbooks.com for a list of titles.

eSPEC EXCERPTS – A LEGACY OF STARS FROM FLASH IN THE CAN BY DANIELLE ACKLEY-MCPHAIL


ancient open book with magic light and flying birdsAn excerpt A Legacy of Stars
from Flash in the Can
by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

“I open the door of heaven.”
—The Goddess Sesheta,
The Book of Coming Forth By Day

Have you ever gazed into the heart of a star?

I have. You are blind to anything else forever after, no matter if your eyes are yet capable of seeing. The memory dazzles your vision, your mind, leaves you in open-mouthed awe at the wonder of it. No commonplace sight that the universe may offer can hope to compare.

I did not intend to alter my perception so radically. I had no choice in this.

My name is Sesheta.

It was not always, but any other name I may have laid claim to is long lost to me. Some may know, might even tell you if you ask, but otherwise it would not occur to them, blinded as they are, by the lingering light of that star.

In darkness…I shine.

This likewise was not always so.

On the day of my rebirth I was led to a chamber in the ship no other was allowed to access. Etched into the hatch was a single word: Library. I wondered at that as the simple portal opened. Inside was dark, near complete, but for a pinpoint of light on the far wall. The atmosphere was stale, heavy with the scent of dust, despite the steady rumble of cycled air.

“Go,” my keeper ordered. A gentle shove to my back sent me forward fearing to stumble, fearing what might obstruct my path, unknown, unyielding…but there was nothing.

“Go, child. You must. There is no other….”

He was ancient and all to him were ‘child,’ no matter that I was no untried youth.

I went forward, though I could not bring myself to anything but timid steps. My breath trembled in my chest. I remember this. I can yet feel the slick skin of sweat coating me, clinging my clothes to my body, chilling any bare skin. Nothing came up hard against my shins…nothing sent me tumbling to the deck. The point of light grew closer, if no bigger.

Don’t ask me how I knew. Such details simply are since I took up my mantle.

“You must look through,” the keeper murmured at my back, distant in both space and my awareness. “Place your eye to the hole.”

His voice sounded sad to me, but beneath that hope and dread and uncertainty colored his words. It was an echo of my own heart.

Fearful, but obedient, I advanced until my breasts flattened against riveted steel. The placement of the glass-covered hole forced my head to bow in compliance.

It was the last time I would assume such a position.

I saw everything and nothing. Every color of light flooded my vision and all the knowledge of the universe was at my command, wrote itself into my very being until such a simple thing as a name scarce had room for itself, it was buried so deep. For an instant and forever I heard the music to which all light dances, the singing of stars and the beating of their hearts, felt my sweat-dampened hair ruffled by the solar winds, tasted the bitter cold of space, scented by the aeons.

I saw forever in the heart of that star.

Do you wonder that I was so changed?

~ * ~

Read the whole thing:

Available on Amazon.
Available on BN.com.

PROMOTIONAL COPY

A collection of speculative microfiction by award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail, featuring works of fantasy, science fiction and steampunk. With an economy of words, yet decadently lyrical, each story looks deep into the heart…of the matter… of a star… of darkness…and finds the strength and beauty of humanity shining through.

NEW RELEASE – FLASH IN THE CAN BY DANIELLE ACKLEY-McPHAIL


We are proud to announce the release of Flash in the Can by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, an ebook collection of speculative microfiction.

ancient open book with magic light and flying birds

A collection of speculative microfiction by award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail, featuring works of fantasy, science fiction and steampunk. With an economy of words, yet decadently lyrical, each story looks deep into the heart…of the matter… of a star… of darkness…and finds the strength and beauty of humanity shining through.

Available on Amazon.