EFD1: Starship Goodwords

By Donna and Alex Carrick

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Carrick Publishing is pleased to present: EFD1: Starship Goodwords, the first in a series of cross-genre anthologies brought to you by editors and contributing authors Donna and Alex Carrick.

This collection includes: Mystery, Crime, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Literary, Paranormal, Science Fiction and Humor.

There’s something for every reader in this exceptional sampling of today’s authors.

 

Contributors by Genre:

Foreword: Donna Carrick
Crime Fiction: Catherine Astolfo, Family Recipe
Crime Fiction: Donna Carrick, Corner Store
Crime Fiction: Alexander Galant, Remember Me
Crime Fiction: Joan, O’Callaghan, Stooping to Conquer
Flash Fiction/Crime: M.H. Callway, Incompetence Kills
Flash Fiction/Crime: Sylvia Maultash Warsh, Family Values
Flash Fiction/Literary: Kathleen Bjoran, Giving Thanks
Flash Fiction/Literary/Humor: Melodie Campbell, The Battle of Beavercoat
Poetry: A.C. Cargill, Treasures in the Attic
Poetry: Rosalind Croucher, Dance
Poetry: Sheila Jeffries, Finding Calm
Poetry: Michael C. Slater, Murmur
Persuasive Article: Paulissa Kipp, Fostering Humanity Manifesto
Literary Fiction: Melanie Robertson-King, Cole’s Notes
Literary Fiction: Tracy L. Ward, Running Parallel
Paranormal/Fantasy: Susan M. Botich, The Minstrel’s Spell
Paranormal/Horror: Dayna Leigh Cheser, The Legend of Corkscrew Swamp
Paranormal/Horror: Troy Lambert, The Mighty Pen
Paranormal/Science Fiction/Humour: Ira Nayman, The Predator’s Prerogative
Humor/Fiction: Alex Carrick, My Wife and I Argue over our Travel Plans (Hey, I’m not Cheap but…)
Humor/Anecdote: John Thompson, “Oh, Okay, and the Good Soldier Schweik”

Excerpt from Family Recipe by Catherine Astolfo

Years after Pom-Pom disappeared, the trunk arrived at my door.

That afternoon I had Skyped the girls—young women, really—who, I can tell, I’m not stupid, are a little frustrated that their mother is still hovering. Their faces satellited in and out of the screen, frozen in cyberspace from time to time, but even through the cosmos I could feel the impatience. After two thoroughly dissatisfying conversations from different parts of the world, I went out and stood on the front porch, shivering, sneaking my last—once again—cigarette. I didn’t want any of my coats to give me away by soaking in the smell, so I was freezing to death as I inhaled the final (I swore it was) blessed smoke.

Just as I sucked out the last possible drop of nicotine, a delivery truck slid its way into the fortunately empty driveway and skidded to a halt. At first the cargo resembled a small coffin and I was not sure it was for me. But my formal title was clearly marked on top and once I’d proven my identity to the pimpled delivery boy, he left it in my front hall.

I tried twice to break open the thin wooden bars and façade in which the trunk had been delivered. Deciding to use something more efficient than my hands, I stopped by the bar, filled my glass with vodka and orange juice (the juice because it was still early), and proceeded to the garage. There I found a crowbar, an item I hadn’t known existed in the house of a politician whose hands, to my knowledge, had never even held a hammer. Back at the carton, I hacked away at the veneer until I uncovered a deep brown chest.

Exquisite engravings graced every face of the rectangular box. Beautiful figures in long sinuous gowns, male and female, danced through carved gardens from panel to panel. Their faces were slightly oriental, long hair flowing over shoulders or twisted into buns. Flowers, vines and stems intertwined over the lid and corners. An upturned brass handle, sealed with a rusty combination lock, grinned invitingly. The little trunk stood proudly on four brass claws.

Astonished by the craftsmanship of the trunk, but curious about the contents, I returned to the garage. I once more hunched over with a tool in one hand and a newly refreshed drink in the other. The pliers would not normally be strong enough to crack a lock, but this one was old and rusty and snapped after only a few minutes of muscled determination. A cloud of dust sprang into the air as I lifted the lid, forcing me to gulp quite a lot of my screwdriver in defense.

I got down on my knees and peered into the depths of the chest. It appeared to be mostly empty. A shoebox, a bunch of letters bound together with a withered elastic band, and an old photo album were its only contents. I went for the photos first. New drink in hand, I carried it to my reading chair, switched on the light, and opened it to the first page. And there, in the small black and white images, was my grandfather.