No-Name Lake – In Progress

No-Name Lake – In Progress

Chapter One

The dog growls, a quiet rumble deep in her belly. She longs to bark, but the One silences her with a word more vibration than sound. The dog doesn’t like the Silencing Word, but she obeys as she’s been trained to do. She flattens her ears though, down and back so they nearly touch behind her head. The One will surely notice this protest, this sign of her deep displeasure at the silencing.

Crouched next to the One on the flat top of a large boulder, the dog’s legs quiver even as the warmth of the sun-time stone soaks sleepily into her underfur. She can smell the creek below. Wet grasses. Sticky pine and fir. The leavings of prey she will hunt once the danger passes.

Right.

But the dog can also smell the Others. Sweat. Blood. Fear. Two of them, they struggle upward along the creek, approaching where the dog lay next to the One on the sun-time boulder. They crush the smell of grass and pine beneath boots too big for the path they carve.

Wrong.

She heard their wrongness before she smelled it. Branches cracking. Scolding calls from the Bushy-Tail Prey. Rocks hitting water. Harsh words that the One never uses. More than enough time for her and the One to find their hiding place before the Others came into view.

The dog wants to growl as she had before the silencing, bark at these Others, these wrong ones. They must have missed her first warning, too distracted by their loud breathing, the stomping of their too-big boots. But the dog heeds the One. The One who saved her from the Dark Place where all those who were like her stopped moving and grew cold until it was just her and one other who was like her but also not like her.

No, the dog does not like the Silencing Word, but still she crouches obediently on the flat sun-time boulder next to the One who saved her from the Dark Place. She crouches with her ears nearly touching behind her head, watchful but silent. She crouches so long that she forgets her protest. Forgets to hold her ears.

The dog waits, ears cocked forward, waiting for the un-Silencing.

Waiting for the word she likes.

Aphasia: A Novel

Aphasia: A Novel – Complete

Katie Lynne knew her future: a year teaching English in Prague, a romantic engagement, a fairy-tale wedding. She just never expected the end of the world. Aphasia, a 75,000 word work of literary post-apocalyptic fiction, follows Katie’s journey as she navigates an altered world, a modern-day Tower of Babel brought about by a global pandemic.

Katie and an unfriendly colleague named Honza spend three months quarantined in the Czech secondary school where Katie once lived and they both once taught. But their precautionary measures fail. The Babel Virus spares their lives, but like all other survivors, they awake with a new and specific form of aphasia: though they can still understand one another, they can no longer speak nor write in their native languages. Only Honza’s lessons in Czech save Katie from the madness of losing English.

Now Katie and Honza must travel through the looted and dangerous city to find Honza’s family and Katie’s fiancé. Though much good still survives beneath the golden spires of Prague, the pair faces German-speaking gangs, a Kazakh mafia boss bent on controlling the city, and a Swiss researcher determined to find a cure no matter the cost. Worst, Katie earns the ire of Luka, the Kazakh’s second-in-command and a merciless killer who will stop at nothing to prevent her from reaching her fiancé. In this new world of violence, and with the wrong man at her side, Katie must discover her identity outside of the English she once spoke and the love she now seeks. If she doesn’t, only silence awaits.

Short Stories

Expecting” – Available in the Jul/Aug 2019 edition of Eclectica Magazine

Yukako Ajayi cared deeply that the other 649 residents of Sigma Colony thought well of her, so when fellow engineer Pavel Li suffered a catastrophic brain injury, she struggled to contain her relief.

“People Mountain, People Sea” – Completed

The schoolgirl’s head strikes the edge of a stone step. A dull crack like a dropped melon, and she crumples onto the dusty hútòng street. Blood pools between cobblestones, slender rivulets tracing careless rectangular patterns. An ancient willow hunches nearby, its tree well eager to accept any excess flow.

“R.I.M.” – Completed

The chill water closes over her like home. She pushes off the wall, arms straight, thumbs locked, fingers stacked. A perfect streamline.

“Soledad del Mundo” – In Progress 

“Traitor” – Completed

We find the stranger in our ark near East Fence. Me and Ada. Not a real ark, just some old rotted logs and pine branches for a roof. We usually set up inside after morning prayers. Pretend to fight off the infected. Patrol doesn’t come by in winter – too much mud – no one crazy enough to go over the mountains, not with all that snow and ice. No one except the stranger.

Projects

“Expecting” – In Progress 

Yukako Ajayi worried deeply about what the other 649 residents of Sigma Colony thought of her, so when fellow engineer Pavel Li suffered a catastrophic brain injury, she could hardly contain her glee.

“Traitor” (a short story) – In Progress

The stranger offers to teach Emzara how to read if she promises not to report the compound breach to Patrol. Emzara knows she risks infection, but she’s always had more curiosity than sense.

Aphasia: A Novel – Complete 

Katie Lynne knew her future: a year teaching English in Prague, a romantic engagement, a fairy-tale wedding. She just never expected the end of the world. Aphasia, a 75,000 word work of literary post-apocalyptic fiction, follows Katie’s journey as she navigates an altered world, a modern-day Tower of Babel brought about by a global pandemic.

Katie and an unfriendly colleague named Honza spend three months quarantined in the Czech secondary school where Katie once lived and they both once taught. But their precautionary measures fail. The Babel Virus spares their lives, but like all other survivors, they awake with a new and specific form of aphasia: though they can still understand one another, they can no longer speak nor write in their native languages. Only Honza’s lessons in Czech save Katie from the madness of losing English.

Now Katie and Honza must travel through the looted and dangerous city to find Honza’s family and Katie’s fiancé. Though much good still survives beneath the golden spires of Prague, the pair faces German-speaking gangs, a Kazakh mafia boss bent on controlling the city, and a Swiss researcher determined to find a cure no matter the cost. Worst, Katie earns the ire of Luka, the Kazakh’s second-in-command and a merciless killer who will stop at nothing to prevent her from reaching her fiancé. In this new world of violence, and with the wrong man at her side, Katie must discover her identity outside of the English she once spoke and the love she now seeks. If she doesn’t, only silence awaits.