Dr. Hurley’s Summer Contest Series № 2: Wet/Dry

Dear Snake-Oil devotees,

The doctor has informed us that he is inspired by the extremes of weather we have been experiencing around the world this Summer. While on a research mission, we, the Editors, experienced a taste of England’s Worst Summer Ever – by which they mean rain, floods, cold, and damp. Meanwhile, the States are experiencing history’s worst-ever drought. Where England’s strawberries and potatoes are rotting in the ground, America’s waves of proverbial amber grain are shriveling under an ever-hotter sun.

Never one to despair, Dr. Hurley has chosen to assign these phenomena as the basis of his next Summer Short-Short contest! Send us 100 words of fiction about Rain or Drought (or other major meteorological phenomenon if you’re in a more wintry clime) by next Sunday, July 29!

Hop to, writerly friends! We look forward to your scribblings!

Sincerely yours,

EEJ & DLR, Eds.

Hurley Pulp: The Storm-Collector

he sky was the color of a three-day-old bruise. A strong wind gave new life to discarded papers. My sister and I dashed into the house as a sharp crack announced an apocalyptic downpour. I noticed something strange as I shut the door—a man stood alone in the street, holding a bottle up to the sky.

I ran to the window, but he was gone. I thought I’d imagined him. It wasn’t until I saw his photo on an ad for Snake-Oil Cure that I realized that Dr. Hurley was the man I’d seen that day, collecting the storm.

Mary Mann

Kalar the Apprentice, № 06

“Lay still,” the voice told him. Kalar stopped trying to sit up and did as he was told.

He opened his eyes. Looked about. He was in a cave lit only by fire. The stocky frame of a man with long grey hair ambled over toward him.

“I am Crowstone. You’re lucky to be alive.”

Kalar couldn’t speak. His mouth was filled with salt and sand.

“Rest. When you are ready, we will speak,” Crowstone said.

Kalar lay back down. Fell to sleep.

Chop chop chop went the axe against the tree.

Hit it,” his Father told him. “Again.”

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 05

Hands beneath him. Pulling him. He opened his eyes. The suns above burned white hot. A hawk circled between them.

Kalar closed his eyes.

The sound of his feet dragged along the ground. A jingle of something.

His Father’s voice. “One day you will really see it.”

The chop chop chop of the axe into the tree. Thunder as it fell.

His Father. “Do not turn around. Go!”

He opened his eyes again. The hawk was gone. Glare of the white suns against the blue sky.

Kalar closed his eyes once more.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 04

That night he stole back to the camp. Everyone he’d ever known lay dead. He found his Mother’s body. Then his Father’s. He lifted his Father’s sword by the hilt, dragged it along the ground behind him as he wandered into the wilderness.

Who knew how long he walked or if he had any idea where he was going. He thought of the day he swung the axe over and over. That was all he could bear in his mind. Chop chop chop.

Eventually the suns stole the last of Kalar’s energy. He collapsed on the hardpan, spent.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 03

A full moonrise later, a tyrant and his men rode into the camp. Kalar ran between the burning shelters and fallen bodies to get to his Father. He found him cradling Kalar’s Mother. She was still, at peace for all the horror about them.

He spotted Kalar. He drew his sword. A long, heavy blade made by skilled hands generations before. The tip glinted in the sunlight. Amidst the blood and smoke, it was magnificent.

“Kalar, run into the forest. Do not stop. Do not turn around. Hide. Quickly!”

Kalar hesitated.

“Now!” his Father yelled. “Go!”

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 02

“Don’t be intimidated by the weight of the axe,” his Father said.

The forest was still. Silent. Nothing moved save the tops of the trees.

Kalar lifted the axe from where it rested against the tree stump.

“Now hit the tree,” his Father told him.

Kalar shifted the axe in his hand.

“Hit it!”

Kalar took a deep breath, lifted the axe, swung it at the tree in front of him. It barely bit into the bark.

“Again.”

He hit the tree again and again. He did not stop until it fell. The forest was filled with its thunder.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 01

“Take a good look Kalar,” his Father said. Kalar scanned the horizon. Endless miles of sandy earth broken by green forests. Rivers ran like veins through the land, lined with Jufura trees.

“I see it Father,” Kalar said.

His Father roared with laughter. He threw an arm around Kalar and held him close. “Ah, son! But do you see it?”

Kalar frowned as his Father squeezed him.

His Father waved a hand in front of them. “All that you see is the Westwind. One day you will really see it, Kalar. One day.”

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Hurley Pulp: The Wilde Adventures of Dr. Seamus Hurley

.

re you sure about this, Doc?”

“It’ll be grand, Parker”.

Parker buttoned her coat and stood tall. With a belly-aching upward motion, the airship began to rise, and Dr. Hurley puffed his chest out like a pluming bird. He steered for a while. Parker lurched around.

“You really think we can make it to France in two hours?” Below them, the Scottish countryside was a patchwork quilt.

Hurley pointed at the lever, and Parker clicked it into place. Cogs turned, and flames licked at the side of the ship, pushing them forward.

“Well,” Hurley said. “Someone’s got to rescue old Oscar.”

Daniel Le Ray

Hurley Pulp: Desert Sunrise

.

he sun rose orange and shimmering over the desert. Dr. Hurley rose from the bed he had fashioned from his saddle and a bright, patterned blanket he had received in trade for a remedy some days back. His horse stood tethered to an impossibly tall cactus nearby. He shook off the night’s sleep and the morning’s dew and stood, stretching, pondering the day’s plans. Today he would ride into town, make himself known, and wait for them to come. With any luck, he would stand over his enemy’s corpse by sundown. He mounted up and rode off toward his fate.

Ed. EEJ

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