Inspired by the Alphabet Quartet (Greg van Eekhout, Tim Pratt, Heather Shaw, and Jenn Reese) and a Sesame Street rhyme ("A is for Apple, B is for Ball, C is for Cat that sits on the wall..."), these are 26 stories, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. Some are humor, some horror; some are grisly, some serene; some science fiction, some fantasy; and some...just are.
The titles make up a poem. These are all subject to change at any time as I change my fickle mind.
A Is for Anchor (Magic Realism; 10574 words; incomplete)
B Is for Bard (Fantasy; 10092 words; incomplete)
C Is for Clowns that Creep Through the Yard (Horror; 5719 words; complete)
D Is for Dragon (Fairy Tale; 6369 words; complete)
E Is for Egg (Science Fiction; 4975 words; complete)
F Is for Fangs Sunk into Your Leg (Science Fiction; 9656, incomplete)
G Is for Gravesite (Fantasy; 2204 words; complete)
H Is for Haunted (Horror; 5309 words; incomplete)
I Is for Investigation: Unwanted (Urban Fantasy; 6627 words; incomplete)
J Is for Jackpot (Dystopian Science Fiction; 3069 words; complete)
K Is for Kiss (Fairy Tale; 3191 words; complete)
L Is for Lucky, on a Hit or a Miss (Superhero; 3219 words; complete)
M Is for Moons (Science Fantasy; 3378 words; incomplete)
N Is for Nocturnal (Erotic Fantasy; 5678 words; complete)
O Is for Oath of Service Eternal (Fantasy; 2101 words; incomplete)
P Is for Prey (Science Fiction/Cyberpunk; 3630 words; complete)
Q Is for Quest (Fantasy; 1557 words; incomplete)
R Is for Ritual Performed as a Test (Horror; 4599 words; complete)
S Is for SkullCosm (Science Fiction/Cyberpunk; 3672 words; incomplete)
T Is for Talents (Dystopian Science Fiction; 3622 words; incomplete)
U Is for Unicorn Imbalance (Dark Fantasy; 1826 words; complete)
V Is for Vanish (Superhero/Supervillain; 1959 words; incomplete)
W Is for Waste (Science Fiction)
X Is for Xenolith Deliberately Placed (Science Fiction)
Y Is for Yesterday (Urban Fantasy)
Z Is for Zombie (Science fiction)
These are the stories that keep sleep from me.
First sentences of each story:
A: Both of her parents knew that Annie was different from the day they brought her home from the hospital.
B: Bran rode calmly between his captors, carefully not making a sound.
C: Clowns could be anyone.
D: Princess Darlene awoke in a haze.
E: Eva Girard had always considered herself lucky, but being chosen to make potential first contact?
F: Fernando surveyed the site of the base camp.
G: Greg Drew stood on the outskirts of the old cemetery, leaning on his shovel, watching the place intently.
H: Duke Henry of Norbridge died in agony, mouth gagged and hands tied, castrated and slit crotch to sternum by a jealous mistress.
I: This charming 3BR/2BA house is situated on five heavily forested acres in Inashowah, Alabama.
J: Joseph spent twenty dollars he could ill afford on an Offworld Colonization Lottery Ticket.
K: Once upon a time, in the far-off land of Kelmdar, the good King Osran and his gentle Queen Eryna consulted a fortune-teller to foretell their futures.
L: As far as superpowers go, I drew the short end of the goddamned stick.
M: The largest portion of the body lay roughly in the center of the room. (This is not currently the first sentence, but it will be when I rewrite it.)
N: Nathan Grant sat at the bar only half-watching the game.
O: TRANSCRIPT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE OF DEMON O____ [FULL NAME OMITTED PER DEMONIC NAME PRIVACY ACT OF 6243 BC, HUMAN RECKONING] VS. HUMAN ORSON MASON PRITCHARD, IV. TRANS-DIMENSIONAL COURT OF DEMON CONTRACT REGULATIONS, DISTRICT 1703-39E, THE HONORABLE JUDGE DEMON S_______ PRESIDING.
P: Paul ducked behind a concrete barrier.
Q: Quentin ran into the kitchen where his mom stood at the sink.
R: Rodney held the small, dirty, leather-bound book in one shaking hand.
S: Sarah looked around.
T: Tyler waited in line like all the others his age as, one by one, they were escorted into a small chamber with only a chair and a screen on the wall.
U: Ulfric looked over his report one last time before entering the Wizard’s Conclave.
V: Tony Rogers discovered his abilities accidentally, the way most superheroes—or supervillains—discover theirs.
W: All right, is this thing recording?
X: Scientific American - MARCH 13, 2034 - A new study aided by the the new extremely sensitive LITHOS satellite system has determined that, far beneath the ice sheet covering the southern continent of Antarctica, there is a gravitational anomaly that registers higher on the scale than any other so far discovered.
Y: Yesterday, everything changed.
Z: “Activating kill signal,” I said, then pressed the ENTER key.