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Cia last won the day on November 7 2016

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  1. Please enjoy this review brought to you by the lead of our review team, Timothy M! Never Too Late northie Reviewer: Timothy M. Status: Complete Word Count: 42,149 November is approaching, a dreary, cold, dark month in the northern hemisphere. The Danish poet Henrik Nordbrandt once wrote: The year has sixteen months: November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, November, November, November. Read the poem out loud and you’ll get the feeling of how long and boring November is. (Of course, this doesn't apply to the GA story November Falls). Now imagine it’s November and you’re an old, poor and lonely man living in a cold, damp cottage in England. Then you’ll have the setting of northie’s story Never Too Late. It’s a rather unusual tale on a site where most protagonists are teens or adults below age 30, handsome and/or charming, fit and friendly, or at least with some redeeming traits. Maybe the only thing Eric has in common with the normal main characters is being gay. And deeply closeted but opening the door. The person Eric opens the door to, is Andy, a young charity volunteer who does fulfill the usual character criteria. At first they don’t get along at all, but with nudging from Adam, his clever boyfriend, Andy manages to salvage the initial disaster and gradually win the trust of Eric. He discovers how to help the taciturn, proud oldster who in turn gradually opens up to potential friendships and a glimpse into the unobtainable world of gay romance and relationships. But at least Eric now has a connection to the gay community which Andy wants to broaden by introducing him to computers and the internet. Not an easy task at all. Never Too Late culminates at Christmas and the New Year, two events which can be especially depressing for people without family and friends. So why do I recommend a story which sounds as sad as November? It’s because northie once again has managed to capture my heart with something real; with characters who make mistakes, but strive to improve; with gentle but piercing observations on how society ignores the needs of the poor, the old, and the lonely. Most of all, how the kindness of a few people, who reach out to Eric during the story, makes all the difference in the world to him. northie’s tale has attracted a small, but devoted group of fans, some of whom shared their personal experiences and perspectives on the topics mentioned above, both via interesting chapter comments and in the discussion forum. Their opinions are perhaps better advertising that anything I could say: @Carlos Hazday : Love your way of writing these stories, sensitive and emotional characters, bordering on pathetic without actually reaching that level. @drsawzall : well done and vitally important that we see stories in this subject. Life isn't simply led as some of the stories would have you believe. We all struggle with and hide what we don't want others to see. @dughlas : My heart still aches for Eric. There is much missing from his life. Andy and Adam are bringing new experiences to his life. @ColumbusGuy : This story is just amazingly warm, especially once Andy got over his 'save the world' complex and saw Eric as a real person. Do you know how rare that is for elderly or handicapped people? We look forward to the next book (already into chapter 12 according to northie and due to start posting early in 2019), where we hope to see Eric’s life brighten in various ways. Take your time to savor Book One, which may not be full of action and drama, but has plenty of the compassion and understanding to which we as humans should aspire. And if nothing else the story may make you appreciate what you have in your life in terms of comforts, health, friends, and best of all love. As @droughtquake said: I feel so lucky compared with Eric! Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Romance Tags: young adult, senior, gay, europe, coming out, friendship Rating: Mature
  2. Cia

    Epiphany... Say, What?!

    Going back to the car thing where you see which side to fill is on is on the dash, the little green exit number on the top left or right on the freeway exit signs tell you which side the exit is on. For all those who fumble around and close tabs on accident like me, before you do anything else, remember: Control, Shift, T In a bunch of browsers/devices it'll reopen closed tabs.
  3. Our third set of 2 stories has been released! Brujo by Disjecta Membra Food Impostors House by Valkyrie
  4. Happy Friday! This week we had 2 features for a rather romantical story, but these prompts can go in completely different directions. Just what would you do if you were considered "stock"? *shudders* And fast forward past Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to plant that living tree you chose to use in an ecologically-conscious move... Is Mother Nature rewarding you? I hope to see some great prompt responses! Prompt 710 – Creative Tag – Baby News In the order only those deemed mentally and physically fit are allowed to breed. Those who are picked are taken from their normal lives and go into the new exclusive living spaces. You’ve been chosen as male stock. Those not chosen as stock may continue living their lives normally, only they are sterilized and may apply for a child if they so desire one. Gay or straight doesn’t matter. What does that mean to you? Prompt 711 – Creative Tag – Sudden Wealth You were digging a hole to plant the balled pine tree you used for a Christmas tree. You discover a gold nugget the size of your head three feet down. The money from it makes you incredibly rich and that wasn’t the end of the vein. What do you do now? Did you write a flash piece last week that you want to share? Post a link in the comments!
  5. Cia


    That names does not appear via a search as a profile member, author name, story title, etc... so whoever or whatever it is or was clearly is not on the site under that specific "Acredies" title. If you had a mutual person in common (fellow friend/reader, etc...) then you might approach them privately for more information.
  6. Cia

    Chapter 53

    Captain went rigid, and I stepped in close to support him but didn’t touch him. His breaths came sharp and his jaw was clenched. “Quarters. Now.” He marched through the ship and we followed in his wake, drawn along silently. Deke’s hand stayed next to his belt and his weapons. The traitors, whoever they were, must really have him on edge. “Are we secure?” Captain asked in the lift. “No. Not even close.” Deke was grim. “I couldn’t arrest those named without alerting some who were unnamed.” I frowned. “If they’re unnamed, how do you know who they are and that they’d find out?” “If you are part of a conspiracy, wouldn’t you know your conspirators? Especially once some of them have been caught for questioning?” Deke growled. “I think a few got off the ship.” “Onto Mackinack?” Captain smirked. “Won’t do them any good without an in with those who guard the portals.” “But they might find passage off the planet and reveal our location.” Deke locked Captain’s door behind us as we entered his quarters. “Won’t do them any good. We’re not gonna be on this ship much longer. I sold it. We’ll transfer over to Freska’s ship, and I authorized her to do a few makeovers. Just in case and all that.” Captain went over and created a few drinks. “Thirsty?” He offered one to me and then asked Deke what he’d like. He refused, settling on the chair in the sitting quarters. Captain paced from side to side. “Report. Don’t draw this out.” “It’s not your fault there are traitors on the crew.” “They’re my crew. Of course it’s on me—I’m the captain.” “No, they’re not. You didn’t put them on this ship.” Captain sagged, turning to lean against the wall. “So they’re not original crew members?” Deke shook his head. “Not from the beginning, no. But they’ve been here a while. And it’s more than I’m comfortable with. Little cells. We broke their code, so we know them all, but they don’t all know each other. Not even Lakshou knew who else on the ship was dirty.” “Really?” I scrunched my eyebrows down. “Don’t you think he would’ve sensed it?” “He had a narrower focus than that, remember? And there’s a lot of emotion on this ship, especially after we do a rescue mission.” He spat out the words, his disgust clear. “Oh, right.” It felt like forever ago, but it hadn’t been that long when Captain and Deke had opened my cell. “Names, Deke. Who is it?” “Basma Kada, Aparoe’s assistant is the one who did the poisoning back when we stopped to resupply. Vlassil, Kressisida, Berilyn, and Taxxii from Environmentals, which means we’re vulnerable to manipulation there. Worse, SaARALA MaDAreda from communications.” “That’s it?” I asked when Deke stopped talking. “Isn’t that enough? A medic with access to medicine that can also be poison, four people who can get into our food, water, even our fucking air, plus one of the few people not only rated to handle our communications but repair them which means they can also destroy them?” “When you put it like that….” That was six people too many. “What did you do to them?” “Do? Nothing. I have security watching them. Captain has to make that call.” Captain pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut. I stood, going over to him. “It’s going to be okay.” “No, it’s not. I’m just fucking done. When did our side, the side that’s supposed to be the good guys, become as bad as the fucking bad guys?” Deke snorted. “When did you become so naïve that you thought there was a good guys and bad guys side? Politicians are bad guys doing the wrong thing while trying to pretend they’re doing the right things. Soldiers are often forced to do the wrong things while trying to fight for the right things. It’s a shitty fucking universe, but it’s the one we got. So buck the fuck up and give me an order, Captain.” Deke was barking by the time he was done speaking, and Captain had gone from slumped with his hand over his face to standing rigid, nearly at attention. He glared at Deke. “You want an order? I can give you a damn order. Terminate the threats to this crew and the people we rescued. Happy now?” “No?” Deke shook his head. “Makes it a little easier to share the blame when the nightmares come though.” He stood and stalked out of the room while we stared after him. “Shit.” All the anger had drained out of Captain. “Just when I think I hate him, he goes and shows he’s still got a heart in there under that ruthless exterior.” “I think Deke needs a vacation too,” I said. “I think you’re right.” Those six crew members went missing in the shifts to the shuttles, but the only one who really noticed was Aparoe. They were informed by Captain, who awkwardly patted their back while they cried until Captain escorted them to a tiny bunk room. There were twenty bunk rooms, with five bunks each. There were two pilots quarters with room for four pilots total. Then the Captain’s quarters, which were tiny compared to the ship but still twice as big as my cell. “If there are fifteen shuttles, why cram this one so full?” We had all the rescued members plus at least twice that in crew. There was maybe one or two beds free and that was sleeping in shifts for the crew. “Because,” Captain said. “We’re not going with everyone else. This is my original crew, Kohen, and the people I will save this time. It’s time to make our move.” “We’re just abandoning everyone else? Finding a new planet to hide one? Vacation?” “No vacation yet. But I will see this through with only those I know I can trust. Freska will meet us soon.”
  7. Did you catch Monday's blog featuring the ads for The Zot's short story, You Meet Your Soulmate in the Strangest Places? This short story is a romance of a different sort, full of unexpected moments, sweet surprises, a bit of angst (what good romance doesn't have at least a little?) and some hot, hot kissing. Check it out! I picked this excerpt because it creates a moment of romance, some humor, some of that drama I mention, and you're left with a wait... what? right at the very end. LOL. It's hard to do all that within just a few paragraphs and in one moment of time in a story, but The Zot managed! To read more, click here.
  8. One of the earliest authors on GA, @TheZot has stories featuring a mix of genres and styles, and one of my favorites among them is this quirky story. Not quite what you'd expect and definitely with a twist at the end, I think you'll enjoy this short story as much as I did! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to find out what excerpt I picked to showcase The Zot's writing as well! Length: 7,416 Description: Drew never expected to meet his true love on the train, but that's okay, he did anyway. Now if he can just figure out who the guy was and find him again... If you want to spread the word about The Zot's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!
  9. Our second set of 2 stories are... The Treasure of Escanaba by Cole Matthews Our House by CassieQ
  10. I think there can be some great spooky stories to come from these prompts. A party hat, crime scene tape? A costume party gone wrong? Or just what might you see when you're tired and passing by... well, what can you come up with? Let's see some creativity! Prompt 708 – Challenge Tag – Description Create a scene where the main character is exhausted. Make it clear to any reader how tired the character is. However, you may not use the words tired, exhausted, sleepy, or worn out. Prompt 709 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following words in a story – a party hat, crime scene tape, a diamond earring, a puppy, and a book. Did you write a flash piece? Post a link in the comments!
  11. Cia

    Chapter 52

    “What do you mean? Exactly.” I had to ask. My heart was racing, and I couldn’t slow my breathing down. My hands shook, but the synthgar didn’t seem to mind. The tiny creature had shiny blue scales tipped with red peaks on each one. It’s body was nubbly, but smooth and not poky. “Did you say sting?” “I did. But you don’t have to worry about it happening on accident. The bond will only be cemented if you’re willing.” “Willing for what?” I asked again. I’d already given him everything. All that I remembered of my past, my life at the demands of the alien doctors and scientists who were apparently working for some damn politicians. Even my body. What more did I have to give him? “Lakshou said he could see our auras mingling. That is something that only happens when two compatible beings on my home world are willing to link their lives together in an intimate bond. That you depend on me and I you for our physical wellbeing already is unusual, something that doesn’t usually happen until one partner gifts the other with a synthgar. “We might already have mingled out spirits, but I believe that our bond can only be deepened by this ritual. His venom will free our spirits to mingle fully, and we will form a permanent bond. As part of our spirits, the synthgar will need to stay with one of us or he would sicken like you did before.” Captain stood close, cupping one hand below mine to still their trembling. He nudged the synthgar under one side, and it flipped, itss short limbs tipped with miniscule claws waving as Captain stroked its paler underbelly. “Do we do it here?” I looked around the small stone chamber. It was empty, but I could hear the guards outside and more people moving around beyond them. What Captain suggested sounded… intimate. “No. He’ll be okay for a time without a bond with us, but soon.” Captain inhaled and let his breath out slow. “Do you say yes? Do we take him with us?” It was more than just committing to taking care of this little creature in my hands. The choice might have been taken away from us before, but now Captain was asking me to make it. He’d apparently already had. I pulled my hands in closer to my chest. The synthgar had curled into a tight ball in my palm and closed its eyes. It was like holding a small, warm ember in my hand. It tickled as he moved and stretched, his claws pricking the soft skin of my hand. “Yes.” Captain cupped my neck and leaned down, tenderly brushing our lips together. “Soon,” he promised. “Behind us,” I muttered. I walked a step to the right and behind Captain, my chest brushing his back. “Uh-huh.” “Friendly?” Captain took a few breaths, gauging the guards’ responses. “Not sure.” “Plans?” “Keep moving. It’s Mackinack.” Captain didn’t hesitate. He stopped at one more shop and haggled with the dealer and the little aliens who scampered around about knee high. “What’s happening with the tail?” he asked when I turned. “You know it has an actual tail?” “Funny. Report.” I straightened. “It broke off. A new species began following us, but it’s a flier. It’s also freaking small. No bigger than a few handspans, but it’s got something red on its head.” Captain stopped, his eyebrows raised. “Red? Like a helmet, a covering?” He mimed the same shape. “Stop, it’ll see,” I hissed. “It’s okay. They’re not hostile.” I crossed my arms. “If they’re friendlies, why aren’t they making contact? Why are they following us?” “Not hostile and friendly….” Captain waved a hand. “Try intermediaries. Messengers.” He glanced over my shoulder. “We just have to be available. Freska’s message will delivered.” “Freska? Why would she send us a message this way?” “Have we had any communication with the ship?” “Well, no.” I frowned. “But you sold it.” “No, it’s because there’s no way to get a signal down here to the surface and then up to space. If Freska is here we’ll rendezvous with her.” “Won’t we just fly the shuttle up to her ship?” “Gotta find it first. She’ll have changed it. And if she’s under pursuit, we might have to bug out in a hurry. These guys will go facilitate the process, once we know when and where.” Captain’s predictions came true. The man knew his crew and knew his plans, even if he didn’t know his family. Freska’s message contained a coded location. We headed back to the shuttle which was surrounded by crates. We loaded in a flurry, and the claustrophobia of the tiny shuttle was made worse by everything inside taking up all the available floor space, and even some of the not available space. Good thing I didn’t mind being close to Captain. I’d worried the synthgar might get crushed, but it curled up around my ear, tangling its claws in my hair and anchoring in place. I didn’t even feel it after a few minutes. “I didn’t even need my weapons,” I said. “This time.” Captain patted the sheath on my wrist. “I feel better that you have them though. Freska’s message said she’s still being pursued. Our,” he paused, “guests are either more important than I thought or have some important information on someone who really doesn’t want to be revealed as part of this plot.” “Isn’t that everyone?” Captain stopped, his hands on the controls. “Good point.” So now we had what seemed like confirmation that there bigger bad guys out there. “Hopefully Deke has gotten some answers.” “If he hasn’t, I’m sure Freska’s crew has come up with some creative methods; her staff always have a certain… flair.” Deke met the shuttle. “We have a problem,” he said grimly. Captain pulled up short. “What?” “There’s more traitors on board, and you won’t happy when you hear who they are.”
  12. In the past, I've done Caption This Challenges in the newsletter, and since we have an open blog today, I thought we'd have some Halloween fun with one on the site blog. It's a super simple challenge that helps get your creative juices flowing... write a caption for this image below that tells the story in a minimum of words and share it in the blog comments. You have just 30 words or less to share what you think is happening in the picture. Narrate the scene, share what's going through the viewer's mind, give us a peek at the events about to happen... Is it exactly what it looks like? Will there be a twist? You tell us! CAPTION THIS Remember, authors, you can get featured in the site blogs with several author features but you have to sign up for them! Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here Story Recommendations: Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin.
  13. Cia

    Story Review: The Web

    Who's into a spooky story? It's October after all, and time for all sorts of shivery scary stories all set to send a chill up your spine. Check out what Puppilull thought about one of MrM's short stories from his flash collection of vignettes. Sometimes, it just takes a few words to truly bring out the heart-pounding fright... and he kicks it off with the title alone: The Web (eww!) Vignettes Collection: The Web MrM Reviewer: Puppilull Status: Complete Word Count: 1,696 Autumn is upon us and curling up inside with a nice read is high on the agenda. But deciding the right story can be difficult. Romance? Suspense? Hmm… Why not go for getting scared half to death? Read something that can very well give you nightmares of evil things dwelling in the dark recesses of your basement? Then The Web, a short, stand-alone story, part of MrM’s Vignettes Collection, is just the thing. Just remember, I did warn you! I’m not a particularly sensitive person and can often find myself drawn to the darker side of stories. But even I found The Web to be a quite disturbing story of a spider living in the basement of a house. There it lies in wait for prey… As short as it is, this story was still terrifying enough to make the hairs on my arms stand at attention. It unfolds as intricately as the threads of a spider’s web, getting the reader increasingly ensnared, wanting to get away but feeling compelled to read it to the disturbing end. Throughout the story, you can feel the menacing hunger of the creature, which as any predator feels no remorse for sating its need for flesh. Then again, would you feel remorse over eating, say, a plate of pancakes? The story was written as part of a Newsletter Game Challenge, where the writers were instructed to pick the scariest creature imaginable and then write a story about it. And boy, did MrM manage to hit this one out of the ballpark! In only little over 1500 words, MrM manages to create a truly terrifying tale of that which lurks in the corners of basements. If you need anything from your basement, get it before you read this story. Chances are you won’t go down there any time soon…  Category: Fiction Genres: Free-Verse (Horror) Tags: dark, serious Rating: Everyone
  14. Cia

    Halloween - is it just me?

    I like all the paranormal fun of it since I adore fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal genre stories anyway. This is just a time of year when it's okay for everyone to say they do too. Plus, people LOVE to be scared, as evidenced by the stories throughout history that prey on the fight or flight center of the brain. As far as pumpkin spice, though, I think all the blame for that belongs to Starbucks. Bah.
  15. Our first 2 stories are... Joining in by Northie The George Mackenzie Poltergeist by Dolores Esteban

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