The young man stepped gingerly on the wet, algae-covered rocks. He’d learned his lesson: They are slippery; the aching bruise on his ass kept reminding him of that. He found a secure spot to put his feet and paused, listening. No footsteps in the distance. No dogs. Just wind and the babble of the swiftly-moving river. Good.
Encouraged, he started forward again, carefully placing his feet and grabbing whatever strong-looking handholds he could find that stuck out of the carved mud bank. South. South about 100 yards past the sharp bend. That’s what Harry had said. The rope will be there, Tony.
Tony looked back. The only sharp bend was behind him. How far? Had he come 100 yards yet? How could he tell? Tony tried to visualize a football field, but since he was way too skinny and uncoordinated to play sports—not to mention uninterested—he couldn’t. After another fifteen feet—five yards, right?—he raised his eyes from the intricate confusion of the rock and dead branch path to look again. What if Harry meant 80 yards? Did he pass it? What if Harry meant 120 yards? Then he wasn’t there yet. What if Harry didn’t know a yard from his… Continue reading
The Robbins: old farts gone bad
I’m writing a new novel. My wife and I recently bought an RV–whoops, I mean “motor coach”–and are starting to travel and meet the rather eclectic mix of people who do the same thing. Fascinating. So I’m thinking: what sort of trouble can a couple of travelling old farts get into?
Here’s a clip:
Early October 2015
The tall old man pressed against the rough concrete block wall, pushed his wispy silver hair—what was left of it—back along the sides of his head, and waited. The footsteps grew fainter then stopped, followed by the distant sound of a car door opening.
He had disabled a wall-mounted security light with a rock, but it still had a strange blue glow that didn’t do much to illuminate the side of the store; he still felt exposed. He pulled his worn olive-drab coat tighter against the night chill, pushed up his thick glasses and controlled his breathing as best he could as the headlights of the saleslady’s car swung around the corner then pointed toward the main road. After a moment, it receded and almost total quiet returned.
Wayne Robbins flexed his hands, scratched… Continue reading
I’m making a number of short stories available over the next few months. Here’s the second one:
A Short Story by Timothy A. Freriks
The shoe fit. She knew it would; it was hers, after all. She had stuffed it into the young man’s pocket as she left the masquerade ball.
Prince Robert raised his widened eyes to hers. “It’s you, isn’t it? I was hoping I had found you. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”
Cindy looked into his familiar and beautiful face, the strong, gentle brown eyes and full jaw. She didn’t know what would happen if she told him the truth at the Royal party, that she crashed it in a homemade gown. She couldn’t have known that he would be so taken with her; she hoped, of course, all girls hope a prince would fall in love with them. But here, in fact, was a prince, a real prince, standing in front of her, asking if she was the girl that had captivated his heart. Many confusing thoughts tumbled through her but in the end, the fantasy was too attractive to let go.
She was glad she had scribbled her address on the sole… Continue reading
I’m will be uploading a series of free short stories over the next month or so.
August 14, 1974
The screams shattered his peace. He sat up, breathing hard, sweating. He rammed his hands to his temples. Stop! he yelled aloud. Leave me alone! It was the kids, the taunting, jeering, angry kids that came to him when he slept. They were screaming in his head again, their madness engulfing his mind, their hate and laughter echoing.
The young man opened his eyes and looked around to get his bearings; he had drifted off to sleep, but the clock on the painted concrete wall in the hallway had not. It told him that he hadn’t lost much time, enough for the nightmare to visit again, but not enough to put him much closer to the event that would end his pain.
“You OK?” the large guard asked as he poked his head around the corner. The fat black man in the faded blue uniform had become almost compassionate since the final stay request was denied. He grunted and stared at Billy for a moment then tucked his head back to his solitaire at the little table behind… Continue reading
The United States almost ceased to exist in 1814. Based around true events and actual people, Roland is set in the very early 1800’s, a critical time for America as England was threatening to return the young country to the Crown.
An American ship’s captain is paid by traitors to deliver a large shipment of gold to people in London who intend to weaken America. The captain, a patriot, leads a plot to hijack and conceal the shipment so it can ultimately be used to benefit America. But all conspirators, including twelve-year-old Roland’s father, are killed in a skirmish between opposing forces. Before he dies in a shipwreck, the captain entrusts the boy with the secret. Roland survives and vows to someday use the gold to help preserve America’s independence. However, the First Mate, who discovers that Roland is the key to riches, also survives and swears to find the gold for himself.
Roland brings pirates and patriots together in a complex and engaging weave of mystery and… Continue reading
BOILING THE FROGS
By Unnamed. (withheld for protection)
Recipe for Boiling a Frog
- Do not boil water first; the frog, upon being thrown into a boiling pot, will instantly jump out and hop away.
- Simply place the frog in the water then slowly turn up the heat until it is boiling—the frog will become progressively acclimated and increasingly sluggish and unaware of the danger until it is too late.
- Reduce heat and remove the frog when it has lost its will to live.
- Strip the frog of all of its protective coatings; remove its independence, its need for self-expression and its soul, put it back in the water, adding flavorings to suit your tastes. It is now ready to serve you.
Cautions: Remember the life cycle of frogs:
Bondage to spiritual faith;
Spiritual faith to great courage;
Courage to liberty;
Liberty to Abundance;
Abundance to selfishness;
Selfishness to complacency;
Complacency to apathy;
Apathy to dependency;
Dependency to bondage.
Frogs are most tender as they move from Apathy to Dependency. Catch them at that point and don’t allow spiritual faith to occur.
The vast majority of people in the world are—and always have been— frogs. The people… Continue reading
I’m re-posting this because I got a lot of feedback. The majority agreed but some people wanted to modify my premise. One said maybe you should lower your expectations and “do what you like”. Do a job that’s “sort of satisfying”? I don’t think so–not my style. I believe everybody is good at, and has a passion for, something, and that something is the heart of what you love to do. Therefore, the key to finding something that you love to do is in finding what you really do well and have a passion for. Of course, if nobody will pay you for that endeavor, maybe you’ve just discovered a good hobby.
Anyway, here’s the original post:
“Do what you love and you won’t work a day” is inane bull-crap, IMHO. I love drinking beer, I truly do. But, no one will pay me for that. I love creating graphic art, which I think is pretty good, but it seems as though no one will pay me for that, either! Could I make a living out of playing with my kids? Doubtful. I’m passionate about writing songs, but since no one has bought anything I wrote,… Continue reading
Mrr is a departure for me, but a really enjoyable departure. It’s in a science-fiction/post apocalyptic genre and is alternately funny and tragic. (By the way: you’ll have to wait a few pages to find out what the title means). Here’s the synopsis:
Two hundred years after the apocalypse ripped the oxygen from the environment and people were forced to live in immense self-contained Domes, the last remaining human community uses time-travel technology to send Mrr, a time scientist, back to 1988 to recover the only substance that will reverse the decay of the oxygen levels. But that is a completely alien world. He is befriended by a woman, with whom he falls in love, but has difficulty in quickly understanding the culture. Missteps and misunderstandings lead to an often hilarious but deadly serious, set of events. Without intent, he has sent back inaccurate assumptions to the future, making the project fail. Mrr’s colleagues finally decide that the Dome cannot be saved and make plans.
The environmental disaster that befell the earth caused all oxygen to be bond to metals… Continue reading
This is a different genre for me, but I think I managed to combine some strenuous tension and hysterical humor (or so they tell me). This is a love story and an action adventure thriller set in post-apocalyptic Earth. There are angry mutants, dumb-as-stump civilians, and insane situations. Oh, yea: time travel to a place strange and challenging. It’s a fun read.
Here’s the opening to a possible new novel. It reads like it will be in the chick lit genre, which is not my primary genre. But I really like the main character so far, so I’d like to pursue it. I’m looking for help from readers to build the story lines. I’ll write the book around the story lines I think are going to work. If you’re interested, let’s start a conversation.
Julia is not ‘stunningly’ beautiful as most heroines tend to be. Neither is she ‘striking’, unless of course she happens to be striking you. No, Julia is none of that: she’s ‘odd’, not falling into any category or stereotype. With her round white face, pink-purple lipstick, and dead black hair, you might start with ‘punk’. However, the pink polo shirt screws that perception up pretty good although the strangely patterned and colored over-sized scarf flung over it might give you pause. The ragged, torn, and apparently dirty jeans might not bring you back to ‘punk’—more like ‘unkempt’. The cowboy boots? Well, aside from the fact that they match her hair, your brain might start to frazzle in its attempt to make any sense out of this.… Continue reading