The following stories offered free of charge represent a significant investment of time; and though it's a joy to bring these stories to you, I need your support to achieve my writing dreams. Should you enjoy any of the following stories, please consider providing a payment of your choice. The minimum for such a payment is set at $1.50, based upon what one might pay for a cup of coffee. I am thrilled whenever readers discover my fiction, and the decision to provide payment is entirely up to you, my reader, to pay whatever price you consider the story deserves. Should you feel uncomfortable with providing any form of payment, but would still like to contribute to my writing goals, please consider sharing your thoughts regarding the story by writing a review and sending it to letters@flatlandfiction.com.


Shadow Weapons of Doom

The men in the tight suits and narrow ties grow wealthy by cultivating the worth of their towers’ sparkle. Yet their economy depends upon the toil of the polishers, who work to keep so much glass clean. A magic dancer jeopardizes the fragile skyline when her steps summon a thundering herd, turning the polishers into hunters, and threatening to shatter all the foundations made of fragile glass.


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Llungruel linger in the lom fields around the village. The llungruel is a feared lizard, whose bite brings ravaging fever that drives the mind wild. Malek and Elloch hate the creature, but they must bear the poisonous lizard to grow a sustaining harvest. But after the llungruel kills a brother, Malek and Elloch vow to destroy the lizard, and so discover secrets more bitter than the choking lom.


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Kate no longer runs in the field with her loyal dog Gyp. Gyp worries for Kate's exhaustion. Gyp sees how the color fades from his beloved master. He knows how Kate sweats through sleepless nights. Gyp suspects a terrible sickness gripping Kate, and he fears the family cat Isis holds a terrible secret from him, one which Gyp is determined to learn no matter if he has to shake that cat apart.


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The Khy'Meir tribes posses few weapons with which to combat the Alhambran Empire. The tribes cannot match the empire's swords, nor do they have the stones with which to build walls. The tribes' only weapon is fear, wielded by their shadows infiltrating the enemy's homeland. But the tribes underestimate how deeply the fear cuts, realizing too late the doom shadows help to summon.


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Brandon Tuggle slumbers and toils upon the world's sharpest acres. During the day, he mans the salvage crane and stacks refuse into teetering piles. During the night, he traces maps in his dreams. His skin is scarred by the salvage yard's sharp piles, and lonely Brandon wonders where all his uncles have gone. It takes a surprise visit from Mercy before Brandon can see a color other than rust.


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Glorious Gardens of Teetering Rust

Stars of the Shoemaker

Marble Fish

(A Sample Excerpt from the Novel, The Sisters Will Dance)

FICTION WITHOUT FORMULA

Three bullies steal the wonderful, swirling marbles offered that year during the summer, county fair from the brothers Brad and Brett. Brad fears that such cruelty might crush his younger brother Brett's heart. Brett has not yet learned the injustices crowding the real world. Yet a game comprised of tossed marbles reminds Brad that fairness, and miracles, have not yet faded from the world.


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Given to Glass

The world's troubles make Mrs. Queen hum. But when her son threatens to separate her from her grandson unless she gains control of her behavior, Mrs. Queen vows to master her nervous habit of humming. The world's wars and famines, storms and earthquakes, fail to cooperate with Mrs. Queen, and the sweet woman must decide if chasing away her hum is worth placing her neighbors in peril.


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The House on Maple Street

Cat-Tooth Magic and Dog-Eared Miracles

The Resonance of Sweet Mrs. Queen

Chuck Wuebbles has lost much since his relocation into Old Town. All of the possessions Chuck earned as a younger man have been noted in the Administrators' black notebooks, to be liquidated to pay for the care Chuck's age will inevitably demand. Yet the Administrators have not taken all. Chuck still possesses his old skills; and with a knife and cleaver, Chuck vows to keep one final freedom.


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Polish, Dust and Sparkle

Kennel, Kingdom and Crown

Glass Desires

The Tent and the Gymnasium

The day's greatest athletes wear the green and gold sneakers crafted by the Shoemaker. Spectators cheer as the most revered sporting records fall to the men and women sporting the Shoemaker's trademark shoes of green and gold. And now, the Shoemaker brings a new sneaker to market, one that promises to turn any wearer into a superstar, no matter one's level of talent or dedication.


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Hudson Keel cannot control his imagination, and so he fears that the tent of singers and storytellers which rises each year in his school holds a secret his classmates cannot fathom. Hiding a pocketknife in his sneaker, Hudson takes his first step into the tent and is surprised to learn that his imagination is a treasure, instead of the curse his mother and his classmates regard it to be.


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FANTASY

The Old Town Butcher

Gareth harbors no desire to wear the heavy Stonebrook crown. But a brother's murder wrenches Gareth from his cherished dog field and sets him upon the keep's throne. Gareth has spent his years in the training of war dogs, and he knows little about ruling a kingdom. Somehow, Gareth's loyal dogs will have to be enough as he faces the monsters a necromancer cloaks in the fog.


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Fay appears at the corner of Fifth and Water whenever Adam suffers a recurrence of cancer. Her silver hair and spinning halos comfort Adam during his deepest suffering. Together, Adam and Fay visit fantastic worlds twirling in the snows of magical, glass globes. Adam knows he and Fay would be happy, if only Fay could see how her beloved Regent so cruelly toys with her sprite heart.


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Goodman Asher has marred his face to show humility. He has sewn shut his mouth. He has broken his nose and cut notches into his ears. Such hurts reward him by summoning a Fay Regent to his mirror. Goodman Asher smiles, for it is rumored that treasure follows the Regent. Only, Goodman Asher misreads the Regent's intention, and Asher's sewn mouth fails to correct the terrible misunderstanding.


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Ralph sticks his tongue between the terminals of a nine-volt battery, and so becomes initiated into the pack of children who assemble to fight the beast lurking in the river, draining their town of life. The monster has stolen precious treasure from each child who pedals his and her bicycle towards the dark to confront the monster, and those young warriors speed out of town to earn their revenge.


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A Cruel and Burning Ice

FLATLAND FICTION

The Beckford Bottom Beast

Markus Kohl's aching body struggles to attend to his duties as the kingdom's lowly tinker. Though his neighbors rely upon the tinker to keep the mechanisms of their livelihoods in working order, few in the kingdom appreciate Markus's effort. Regardless, Markus satisfies his king's newest request with a creation that will remind all of those in the kingdom of the debts owed to the humble tinker.


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The Llungruel and the Lom

John Johnson is tired of his family and name, and so his dreams weave elaborate stories to replace the mediocrity of his days. And then one summer night, a tattooed wizard arrives at the community park to unfold magic of the most incredible kind. With a final unraveling of chain, that stranger transforms John Johnson into a new man by replacing the bonds John knows with much more sinister knots.


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A reunion with his life’s only true love, Maxine, relieves Gerald Hollenkamp from his years of regret. Time, however, cannot be paused for the sake of memory; and Gerald fears he has lost his true love for good when Maxine’s weakening mind places her in a retirement home. Yet a magic remains, and with a glamour masking his gray beard, Gerald has a chance to remain next to Maxine.


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Legacy of the Chain

(A Sample Excerpt from the Novel, The Sisters Will Dance)