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Cia

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  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Cia

    Acredies

    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.
  4. 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.”
  5. Each week 2 stories from the GA Extreme Halloween challenge will go live. They'll be featured in the GA Newsletter, in GA Stories, and here! Enjoy!!
  6. 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!
  7. Our second set of 2 stories are... The Treasure of Escanaba by Cole Matthews Our House by CassieQ
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.”
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. Cia

    Writing Prompts #706 & #707

    October has come! It's time to enjoy some flash fiction this first Freaky Friday. What's that sound...? Is it... a creepy cackle? A spooky rattle? Maybe you can come up with a spooky twist to prompt #706 because I know that would freak me out and there's all sorts of paranormal premises that you could use! Hmm.... Prompt 706 – Creative Tag – Sleep The patient has been in the hospital for longer than you’ve been alive. They barely look eighteen, and doctors keep running all sorts of tests. You were hired to exercise the patient’s muscles, keep them groomed, and clean. While bathing them today, the patient woke up. What happens? Prompt 707 – Creative Tag – First Line “But I’m never going to finish on time.” Remember to post a link in the comments if you've written a flash fiction piece to share with readers!
  14. Our first 2 stories are... Joining in by Northie The George Mackenzie Poltergeist by Dolores Esteban
  15. Cia

    Chapter 51

    Not a leech. Those things gross me out, no matter how they used to be used medicinally. ICKS! Not flea either. Certainly not its name. Yuck. LOL Thank you, Nephy!! I'm glad you're enjoying it. Keep jumping in when you can. You guys were all drawn off by Kohen's confusion. It's great! I gave a big clue with what Captain said but you have to think back to how he's connected with Kohen already. What do you know about their existing connection...? Or, you know, wait for next week! More about this little gift and the next steps in their journey are coming!
  16. Can you believe it? Yes, it's nearly that time of year already!! Now, since there is so much going on, we're going to keep this simple, but fun, and a tad diabolical. It is themed... Halloween, after all! We all probably know someone who has a thing for going a tad overboard, shall we say, for holidays. Your story must include a character who starts their Halloween celebration on October 1st and keeps it going all month long. The rules: 1. The Halloween-obsessed character does not have to be the main character, but they must be a primary character and their over-the-top Halloween celebrations a major component of the plot. 2. Any length, any genre is okay. *Under 1k must be posted as part of a collection. 3. Can I do more than one story? Sure, once you have completed and posted a story, you can do more, but if you are doing 2 or more, only 1 story should be under 1k. Or microflash pieces can be done as 1 submission as its own collection. 4. As always, keep some fun and mystery going and only share teasers about your story except with your beta/editing team, but please chat it up in the topic! The twist: What would a story challenge by Cia be without a twist? How about a little story character or plot device inclusion based on some fun Halloween Trivia, first come first serve? Pick a trivia question below and answer it (in this GA forum topic) with the correct answer to get your themed device that you must include in your story somehow... so pick what you answer with care! And if you get it wrong, there just might be a penalty, so be doubly careful googling! *Cia will check your answer against her answers and instrument of torture master key, and reply with your plot device, so watch your notifications or follow the topic! The other details: 1. Stories due: Friday, September 28th (that gives you 33 days!) 2. How to post them: Unpublished, NOT post-dated, in GA Stories as a story. 3. Then what: Send Cia a link via PM for inclusion in the newsletter, chat it up in the forum topic, have fun waiting for all the other great stories. 4. When will they go live? Sunday, Sept. 30th, Sunday, Oct. 7, Oct. 14, Oct. 21, Oct. 28 (depending on number of stories, in order of submission to Cia) Trivia: 1. True or false. Europe’s Celtic people were some of the first to celebrate Halloween. 2. European immigrants brought Halloween to the United States. Immigrants from which country really made the holiday popular in America during the 1800s? 3. The modern conception of zombies originated in response to which African religion? 4. Which classic monster is a corpse whose skin and dried flesh have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or lack of air? 5. True or false. Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back to more than 2000 years ago. 6. Traditional Halloween cake was baked with a what inside? 7. Which classic monster is inflicted with a disease called lycanthropy? 8. Which classic monster needs to drink blood in order to survive? 9. True or False. The vampire bat was named after the monster. 10. Which spooky comedy features a cameo by a giant Marshmallow Man? 11. Which famous vampire movie stars Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder? 12. What is the name of the young-adult vampire series that takes place in Forks, WA? 13. What is the name of the famous hit TV series staring Sarah Michelle Gellar about a teenage vampire slayer? 14. What is the substance called that ghosts leave behind? 15. What is a poltergeist? 16. Which monster fears garlic, sunlight, and crosses? 17. According to myth, what is the only to kill a werewolf? 18. What is the combination to get into the Addam’s safe in the Addam’s Family Value’s? 19. In what country was the first written account of children saying, “Trick or treat?” on Halloween? 20. What year will the next full moon occur during Halloween? 21. Name the 3 Sanderson Sisters. 22. A circle of what substance can protect someone/thing from supernatural creatures? 23. Where did Mary Shelley get the idea for Frankenstein’s monster? 24. True or false. The Muppet vampire Count von Count from Sesame Street, is based on actual vampire myth. 25. What is the fear of Halloween called?
  17. Cia

    Chapter 51

    Mackinack was going to be dangerous. Deke wasn’t happy Captain didn’t take more people with him, but their argument seemed like something they said before and were saying again just to say it. I watched them but tried to make it subtle, so they wouldn’t know I was watching them. “At least you’re going,” Deke grumbled. “He won’t let me go after last time.” “What happened last time?” I asked. I took the new knife Deke handed over. “This one doesn’t have a paralytic, by the way. It wasn’t a big deal. I just broke a few appendages off this Faa Loo. They’re practically stick people anyway. Fragile.” “Uh huh. That cost me twice what I would’ve had to pay for the fuel pods we needed so he could afford to regen. Maybe three times.” Captain grunted as he slid into a tight harness, buckling it around his chest. “Set Kohen up with a light rig.” “Light rig?” “Mackinack is underground. Depending on who you negotiate with, where you go, you’ll need different types of illumination to be able to see. Freska and her team developed these light rigs. They have settings, here, here, and here.” Deke pointed to different spots. “Everett or someone else can show you how to turn on what you need.” “I’ll show him,” Captain said. “Ready?” The harness pinched, and I rolled my shoulders and took a deep breath to settle it. “Fine. Yeah.” The trip down was long. It was rough. There was something to be said for having an underground city, apparently, when the winds were as strong as the ones raging across the flat soil that made up the majority of Mackinack’s crust. The city above was nearly deserted, and those beings moving about were protected naturally or with artificial fields. A few hardy things lived up there, but we started to encounter more life signs on the way through the hidden, twisting tunnels that riddled the firmament. “How does Central not know this exists?” “Masking, scanner jammers, a lot of misdirection and disinterest.” “Not even scientists when they categorized the planet?” I’d learned one thing when I started all the different species on the ship with us; the databases held research on all the beings, creatures, plants, resources, anything and everything Central might be able to use—when they found a new planet. Unless there was a species already advanced enough to prevent it living there. “The Faa Loo didn’t allow it. They already claimed this planet. And they’re mercenary enough to enforce it.” Mercenary? “But, Deke…?” He’d damaged one. “As a species, not individuals.” Captain glanced over. “What someone looks like and physically are capable are isn’t all they are. I know that.” I frowned. What did that mean? We stopped the shuttle at what looked like an empty cave, but as soon as we stepped out, Captain hit a button on his rig and gestured toward mine. I tapped it. A green beam lit up the room, and the darkness was gone. In its place were clear walls with small sparkles reflecting the lights. “Oh!” The other side of the cave was the open city area, and it was teeming with beings. Unlike the other port, there was little sense of public community. These people were here for business. They walked quickly. They stayed in groups. My muscles tensed, and I stayed right on Captain’s heels. The rest of Deke’s guys fanned out on either side and behind us. “You know where to go already?” I asked. “Yes. We’ll sell the ship, get credit in advance, make what purchases we need, and I bet Freska will be parked alongside and transferring crew before we get back.” Captain’s head was up, his strides long, his arms swinging freely at his sides. I was out of my element as we trekked through the caverns. We dropped through two grav chutes, hunkered over and scooted through a small tube, and then entered a room that was shaped like a large octagon with a glowing crystal roof. Captain shut off his light, and I copied him. My translation device didn’t seem to work, or I was hopelessly muddled because I couldn’t begin to follow whatever it was that he did with the beings who oozed down from the center of that ceiling to hang from long slimy strands that vibrated every time it spoke. Okay, so maybe I just didn’t want to look at it. I’d seen some weird alien species: some were beautiful, some ugly, some bizarre. This one looked like… mucous. Captain touched it, and I gagged, expecting his hand to come away glistening with nastiness. There was no sign of anything on his hand but, still, he’d be cleaning it before we touched. Eventually, I drifted, following Captain’s body, watching his back, but leaving the rest up to him. We were in a tiny antechamber, our rigs glowing purple to light up the room, when he turned. The others waited outside, as they had at the last three places we’d stopped. “Here,” Captain said. He cradled something. “What?” I held out my hands instinctively and then nearly dropped the thing he put in them. It was alive. “What is it?” I peered at the tiny creature in my cupped hands, pulled protectively close to my chest. “That is a synthgar. They’re not real, well, real but not wild. Bred, so you don’t have to fear a premature sting. They are something of a natural wonder on my homeworld.” Captain cleared his throat. “It is a bond gift. For you. If you accept him.” “Bond gift? Accept him?” We were alone in the antechamber now. “Accept me,” Captain said. “We have a bond already, but this will mingle my body and your body. Then he will stay on one of us at all times, as long as we live.” A pet, and a gift, and a… poison? Blood bond? DNA tie? What to call it…?
  18. October brings us a nice long month to read, a full 28 days, so I wanted to feature a series. Carlos Hazday's Atlantis Shift series delves into the mystical world under the waves that so fascinates many due to the very mystery it still holds on the planet, and I couldn't pass it up. It's also another older feature from his early days showing his creativity from the beginning and his growth since then. You'll get to know more about these stories and Carlos in my interview at the end of the month, so make sure you read up and come back on October 29th! Atlantis Shift Series by Carlos Hazday Tidal Power Length: 8,373 Description: Two ancient species join forces to battle a common enemy. A Reader Said: I think I agree with most guys here in that you left us wanting more! After reading the story I have an entirely new appreciation for dolphins that I never even knew existed The wolves are still my favorite, though! ~albertnothlit Detskoye Porno Length: 8,858 Description: The dolphins of Nova Scotia return in an all new adventure! A Reader Said: Definitely interested in more. I like all three of the shifter groups we've met - the wolves, dolphins and the dragons. Great story. ~avidreadr Don't forget to come back for the Discussion Day on Monday, October 29th!
  19. Thank you to everyone who played along with this Halloween game and sent me a story! If you get the newsletter, you can see the 8 authors who shared a story with me for the event. I'll be releasing 2 stories each Sunday with the newsletter feature and a GA site feature. It'll take longer but spread it out through October and each story will get some more exposure.
  20. September has nearly fled, October is fast approaching, and the Extreme Halloween flash fiction stories are due. Did you write a prompt piece for that event? We're going to share it in the newsletter and more, so make sure you get that flash piece posted! If you didn't, maybe you can write something for these prompts, provided by GA's very own prompt guru, Comicfan! Prompt 704 – Creative Tag – New Home You’ve bought a home that is over a hundred years old, but looks like brand new. You meet the previous owner to take the keys and are informed there is one small detail that must be done daily. They inform you, that no matter what else happens, make sure to leave a fresh bowl of cream on the kitchen counter every night. They stress this must be done for your own sake and leave. What does this mean? Do you follow the directions? Prompt 705 – Creative Tag – List of words Use the following words in a story – a lab report, a smashed vial, a pink shirt, a wrist watch, and a cell phone. If you write a flash piece in the last week, make sure you share a link in the comments below!
  21. As a few authors might have noted, there was some cause for concern earlier this week in regards to unsolicited commercial interest in some GA authors' stories. We have shut that down, hopefully for good as the so-called author/eBook producer has pulled their content from sale as well, but I will be continuing to monitor content for a while to see if they pop back up again with any stories that have GA content in them stolen from the site. Which is what I'm here to talk about today... We don't just have the mod queue to protect from plagiarism happening when authors post new content on the site. I also help authors whose content has been stolen and posted elsewhere, either for free or for profit. I've issued takedown notices on behalf of the site and, unfortunately, a whopping 5 different times for my own content. And while sometimes that alert comes from fans who are reading on alternate sites, other times I've been able to find my content stolen, for sale, or just posted on websites that I do not want my name or content to be associated with or 'hosted' on and hadn't given permission to do so. How did I know? I checked, and I continue to check, as often as I can. I'm not talking about Torrent sites, or free downloads, though those are a nightmare, but mostly about sites where authors are either flat out stealing your work as their own or trying to make a fast buck by ripping it off with a cheap cover and gathering royalties. How to check your stories for plagiarism: 1. Pick a distinctive phrase such as: Nyle looked up nervously as he rode under the portcullis. 2. Search the phrase within quotation marks "Nyle looked up nervously as he rode under the portcullis.". 3. Repeat search with a distinctive phrase without names: "The austere chapel and rigorous training had been a sharp contrast to his youth". Tips: Search on multiple search engines (Bing, Google, etc...). Search phrases from the first chapter and later chapters. Search distinctive phrases both with and without names in case those have been changed. DO ALL OF THIS OFTEN. How do I get the story removed if I find one or more that's been stolen? How to report plagiarism: 1. Look for a report button or a contact us link. 2. Copy the story link to the stolen story. 3. Share the stolen story title, author name, and links to your original. Haven't posted online? Keep copies of all sent mail to beta readers/fans with advanced reader copies of your work to prove when the content was written and sent. Offer to provide a forwarded copy of said email. If you really want to protect your work, purchase an official copyright, especially if you might publish later. If the site requires it, fill out an official DCMA notice. 4. Follow up. Most sites will work with you to remove the content. Sometimes you have to take it further to the ISP. If you suspect a story or other content on site has been stolen, please report it! This not only protects the site, but protects the authors, and the original artists. How to issue a DMCA notice: 1. Contact the site owners/ISP with the following information: Your signature, links to your copyrighted work, links to the plagiarized work, your physical and online contact information, a statement in good faith that the plagiarized work is unauthorized, and a statement that your information is accurate under penalty of perjury.... There's a lot more to DMCA notices I don't want to outline here, but there is a great website which explains the process: The DMCA Takedown Notice DeMystified by Ken Liu Sample notice:
  22. Cia

    Chapter 50

    The nightmare that consumed my mind as I slept held me in its grip when I woke as a hand touched my shoulder, and I lashed out and backed away. The corner of my cell was safest when they were trying to prod me out. They’d get me, eventually, but I couldn’t make it easy on them. “No, no, no, no,” I chanted as I rocked. The darkness shocked me. My cell was never dark. What new trick was this? “Kohen, open your eyes.” I froze. That voice didn’t belong. Not here, not in this place. “Kohen. I need you to open your eyes and look at me. It’s Everett. You’re safe. Just open your eyes.” My breath sawed in and out. Not again. I’d had another nightmare, and I’d hurt Captain again. I didn’t want to open my eyes and look at him, see what I’d done. “I’m fine. Don’t worry, just open your eyes. Look at me and see.” Captain’s hands were on my face, his fingers stroking my cheeks. Cautiously, I opened my eyes. His were the first thing I saw. The darkness was gone, a low light brightening as we kept moving around. I searched Captain’s face, his neck, his bare chest. There was a faint red mark on his shoulder. “How…?” “Before I woke you up, I put a cushion between us. It blocked most of the blow.” “You shouldn’t have to… I’m sorry.” I touched the spot. “I should go to my quarters.” “No, you shouldn’t. You should stay right here, with me.” I pulled away, pushing to my feet. I had to use the wall for support. “We can get enough contact when I’m awake and it’s safe for you.” “But I like sleeping with you. Space is cold, even when the ship’s enviro controls are set to perfect human parameters, it feels chilly. I’ve never had someone in my bed before.” Captain was still at my feet, and it was strange to look down at him. I wanted to offer him a hand up, but I hesitated. Finally, I held one out. “Are you going to stay down there?” Captain heaved a big sigh but let me help him up. “I was thinking about it. If I’m vertical, we need to get back to work. We should be arriving soon, and I want to ditch this ship.” My mouth was probably around my knees. “Ditch. The ship?” The words didn’t make sense together. “Shame for something like this to be sold off for parts, but it’s time to go underground. When Freska gets free, she’ll pick us up.” Captain pulled me into his arms. I relished the feeling of his skin against mine and drew in all my sense of him. He seemed okay, not favoring his arm. I probably hadn’t hurt him, but I hated the risk. I wanted to do the meditation exercises Lakshou had taught me to calm down, but they were tainted with the knowledge that he’d just gotten close to me so he could get my trust to turn it against Captain and hurt me. “So where exactly is this place? That you can sell a whole ship?” It was strange to quietly clean up and dress. I moved around Captain’s quarters with him, like we’d done it a hundred times or more instead of being new. “Most races know of Mackinack, but don’t actually know which planet it is. Have you heard of it?” I shook my head. “No.” Captain smiled. “Mackinack is like… the shadiest dreams can be reality. Nothing too dark, no slavery, no eating sentient beings or anything like that, but if it can be voluntarily bought and sold? It is. Or gambled. Or traded. And it all happens below the surface, literally. The virtual market is on a secondary plane, a virtual one that can be accessed below the crust. You must know a gatekeeper to get in, and you must have something the gatekeeper wants in order to garner their interest enough to gain access.” “Do you?” That was a silly question to ask. Of course he did. “Never mind. So you’ll sell this ship there? And Freska will meet us? Will it be safe for her? She won’t be tracked?” Captain snorted. “No one could track Freska’s ship if she doesn’t want it to be. I’m sure she’s late because she decided to draw away some pursuit or saw some means of capturing more intelligence. She is very capable. If she was one whit more bloodthirsty, she’d take over Deke’s position. Well… if she cared for more than machines. It’s harm to any of her precious metal companions that really pisses her off.” Captain shook his head, a wry grin creasing his cheeks and forehead. “Her poor babies, she moans.” “I’ll keep that in mind.” No crushing any shuttles or other metal parts around the crazy mech lady. Got it. “So will we get to Mackinack soon?” “We’re arriving at J277 Alpha Zenta in the Jexan quadrant now. That’s what Central knows this planet as. I’ve a few contacts here, no one anyone else would recognize. Friends of friends of friends. People who served and know what it’s like.” His grin was gone, and Captain paused with his hand on his stomach. “Mackinack is… underneath?” I asked to break him from his trance. “Yes. We’ll go down with a few guards. Leave the ship up here where it is safe and take a shuttle like we’re going down for supplies. I’ll use vid images to make the trade.” “We?” Captain stopped, and I nearly ran into his back. “Together, remember? Where I go, you go. I learned my lesson. Nothing is going to separate us.”
  23. Cia

    Happy Birthday, Wildone

    Whoops! Happy Birthday, hun!! (((hug)))
  24. September was a short month week-wise for reading the CSR story, so we had a shorter selection (and much shorter than last month's!) with Remijay's Time Will Tell. Did you make the time to read this contemporary twin feature? That's one of the interesting parts of this--the story started posting years before it was finished. Make sure you share what you think in the comments below, but first I want to share my interview with Remijay where I ask him about writing over the course of years. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate If you were an animal, what would you be? I would like to think a Tiger. What brought you to GA? My favorite author, Comicality. Is there any quote or saying about writing that resonates with you? There is a lot of quotes that I could use, but the one I like the best is, "Without risks there are no rewards". What’s the best part of being an author? The hardest part? The best part would be inspiring others from your words. The hardest part would expressing yourself in a way that leaves you vulnerable You began writing Time Will Tell a very long time ago. Do you remember what prompted you to begin the story? I was in a very dark place at the time. The story Time Will Tell, originally was supposed to be a poem. But I couldn't shake the feeling that it could be much more. If the author you are now could give advice to the author you were then, what would it be? Listen to others. Write from your heart. Be passionate about what you write. If you could pick actors to play Devon & Josh, who would they be? Dylan and Cole Sprouse. What’s your favorite scene in the story? There are actually two scenes. One is when Devon is introduced to Trent, and the second would be the ending part of the story. What else are you writing or plan to post next on GA for readers to enjoy? I am currently continuing to write Twist Of fate, along with Modern High Take 3. Other than that, whatever comes to my mind as a story.
  25. Flash fiction is a great way to help keep your inspiration juices flowing, especially if you're blocked on a long writing piece. Or you can use it to explore different writing techniques. Either way, just make sure you give it a try and pressure your author friends to try it too. In this case, peer pressure is a good thing, lol! Seriously, expand your repertoire and try your hand at something new if you haven't done it before. Or have some fun if you have but aren't really using it to push your skills in new directions. These prompts might be about ordinary things, but let's see what you can do with.... Prompt 702 – Creative Tag – List of words Use the following words in a story – text books, new sneakers, a bus, a cup of coffee, and a ripped bag. Prompt 703 – Creative Tag – First Line “Is that a baby crying?” Did you write a flash fiction story last week? Make sure you share a link below.
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