Writing Update, Free Ebook

I released Bonds That Bind late last year. It took time for me to realize it but my release of the book was contrary to what I stand for. To remedy this, I am now giving my collection Bonds that Bind for free here on Writings By Ender. If you enjoy it and want to support my writing, you can still by the book but I want to make it accessible to everyone. https://writingbyender.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/bonds-that-bind.pdf This is the link. No strings attached, straight-to-download. If you wish to support me and my writing after reading the book, you can buy it on Amazon here(reviews are nice too): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M5BIGM7

Link for readers in the UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01M5BIGM7/

Thank you for your time! 

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What We Must, Flash Fiction

Bryce turned his back to the stage and exited stage left. His body dripped with sweat and the stage lights made his scrawny back and shoulders glisten, thereby accentuating his exhaustion. Left in the center of the stage was a bloodied body lying face down. His chest didn’t move; the man wasn’t breathing. The house lights were fof leaving a perfect darkness beyond the stage and as Bryce left, the crowd cheered and begged for more.

“Bryce. What did you do,” asked a scrawny white man. Bryce walked passed the man without answering but the man followed behind. “You knew our rules Bryce, we don’t kill each other. That’s what they want.” The man pointed out towards the stage but Bryce wasn’t reacting to the man’s tirade.

Bryce’s face flushed red, his hands clenched and he turned to the man. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Bryce started reserved but momentum was building against his control. “You weren’t there, you don’t know what he asked of me.” He paused for breath. He smelled the blood on his body and it mixed with his the musk of his sweat. “He begged me to kill him. He told me he wanted to die and he begged like a child.” Bryce felt the heat escaping his body and he was growing furious. “I couldn’t let him go on like this, he was going crazy in here. You know as well as I do that some can’t handle the constant fighting. I had to do what I had to do.”

The stage was cleaned off and two more men rushed to the theater to fight for their audience’s pleasure.

In Our Time, a Flash Fiction

The entirety of Vince’s life was burdened with chaos and everyday was a compound of the last until Vince was miserable. Work, romance, community all lost meaning as he instead pursued isolation. Vince worked overseas teaching English and after getting fed up with the chaos, he left his job but he did not turn back to the States. There it was worse, politics and social tension were the only thing to be found in there and so, with nothing more than a backpack and substantial savings, Vince roamed Europe but ended up in Turkey.

Istanbul was a dream. The fusion of western and Muslim cultures culminated there and the people, despite their oppressive rule were kind and hospitable.

Vince drank tea with Mustafa, a self-made artist and writer. The walls of Mustafa’s home were adorned with tapestries and various paintings littered the walkways. The air of the home was a haze from the hookah that Mustafa voraciously smoked and together they drank tea from curved glasses and appreciated the twang of the Bağlama saz, a Turkish guitar-like instrument. The radio enchanted with these twangs and for a moment Vince felt his heart at peace. Mustafa said to Vince as Vince finally smiled, “See? Music is very good for the soul.”

The news was playing and though Vince didn’t understand much Turkish but the images of bloodied bodies populated the screen. There was live footage of a plane unleashing destruction onto an unsuspecting city. The reporter was on the ground looking for survivors. Vince asked Mustafa in the little Turkish he knew, “What’s happening?”

“They’re saying it’s a new world war, my friend. That communism and democracy can no longer coexist.”

Vince motioned for the hookah and took a long draw then after returning the pipe to Mustafa, sipped his tea and said, “That’s a shame.”

Writing Prompt: Freedom

Prompt

I want to challenge you all with this writing prompt. My goal is to get those who participate to consider their lives and all of the moments where they have experienced freedom. I’m not talking a shallow sense of freedom but a personal liberation so grand that it moved you. So this week consider every facet of your life, dig deep and think widely, and write about that exact moment.

As is true with every week, those who post will get featured on my Saturday post (free publicity!) Depending on the amount of participation, I’ll even post the work to social media and have it go the rounds adding to the traffic that goes your way. So what do you have to lose?

The Cold to Come, Flash Fiction

The noon sun beat down on the city of rubble and ash and dirt. Color had long vanished from the building from the constant baking from the sun and a perpetual grey conquered the entire city. If it weren’t for the footsteps of the fifteen person caravan the city would have been enveloped in a perfect, human-less silence. Having no regard for the peace nature finally bestowed to the land, the caravan headed into the city.

The caravan itself carried a diverse crowd of people, who were so diverse in fact, that some of them were injured so terribly so as to be maimed or otherwise unable to walk. Those were the people who limped, rolled, or otherwise moved at the back of the caravan. The other ten were healthy but frail. Their ribcages popped through their thin shirts and their eyes sunk into their skulls. The didn’t ride on horses, but rather pushed rickety shopping carts or pulled wagons.

The caravan stopped at the first intact building, an old apartment building. The stairs leading to other floors crumbled to a pile in front of the main entrance and so the fifteen of them piled in for shelter in the four rooms accessible on the first floor. The five of those who were injured shared a room. They would take refuge from the murderous heat until before sundown then they would either set out again or decide based on wind and visibility to stay where they were.

The hours passed in silence. The crew had known each other for so long they had nothing to say to one another. Being in each others presence was enough to bring peace. Jeb, as he was called, was in the room next to the injured with the leaders of the caravan.

“We’ve got to do something,” said the tall brown leader of the caravan.

“There’s nothing we can do,” said another darker man.

Jeb interrupted the leaders, “If we’re so desperate, let me settle the problem.” He showed his crooked yellow teeth as he said this and he played with a rusting metal handgun.

“Has it really become this dire?”

“I think it has,” said the leader of the caravan. He faced Jeb and said, “make it discreet.”

Jeb giggled and shot to his feet. After grabbing his pack and hat, he left the room and knocked on the door of the injured. A man with a major limp opened the door. “Yeah?”

“Boss says we got to go on patrol.”

The man looked shocked as did the others who had overheard what Jeb said. But couldn’t complain, it was orders right from the leader. The crew of six ventured into the waning heat of the desert. One of the injured had to be brought along on a wagon. Jeb took them back the way they came and into the harsh wasteland. When he was sufficiently in the desert Jeb yelled “Take off your clothes and don’t move, or I’ll shoot you.”

The man in the wagon laughed but it ended abruptly as Jeb put a bullet in the man’s head. “Take off your clothes, give me your gear, or I’ll shoot you.”

The leaders were continuing their council. The world was silent again save for them, and then they heard the first gunshot ring out. “Did we make the right decision,” Asked the leader.

“Killing them gives us a few more days to find food. Killing them brings the rest of us a bit of hope. And Jeb won’t even feel bad about it anyway. A win-win situation I’d say.”

After a few moments four more loud concussions permeated the desert and silence was restored. The wind blew ever so slightly causing the wind to howl within the open windows. The sun was setting, lending its space to the bitter cold to come.