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“What the hell kind of noise is that?” Jim mumbled to himself as he made his way through the thick underbrush. Over forty years hunting in these woods and he’d never heard nothing of the sort…..

Here’s your challenge. What will Jim find? I have no idea. Do you? Finish this short story and post it in the comments or on your site with a link in the comments below. I look forward to reading all your responses!

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Photo credit belongs to Douglas McIlroy

Here’s the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other Friday Fictioneers. This one gave me fits, but here’s what I finally came up with:

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Out of breath, he reached the summit. The trek had taken him over desolate rock fields with no visible life.

“Snow, at least I’ll have fresh water.”

Turning in a circle, he spied his surroundings, an island. Unfortunately, the other side showed more of the same.

No vegetation. No food. Perhaps the tide pools would contain some edible life forms? Although, without access to fire, he’d be doing sushi.

Curse his luck. First his ship malfunctions, next his life pod crashes in the ocean, now land with no food. Could it get any worse?

The ground shakes, the smell of sulfur stings his nose. “Well hell.”

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Here’s the photo prompt for #Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other Friday Fictioneers. Here’s my 100 word take on the photo:

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Unsuspecting.

An innocuous word, many more suitable ones existed, but none as succinct.

He gazed at the once innocent beauty of the rainbow. Bile rose in his throat.  Of all the things to use as a dimensional portal, why that?

Unsuspecting.

He kicked a dirt clod. Damn sneaky aliens, time someone turned the tables.

The rainbow flashed out of existence, signaling the arrival of  more little green men. Leprechauns, legend spawning from truth, yeah right.

He slung his AK47 over his shoulder motioning for his team to follow. “Let’s go get us a pot of gold.”

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Here’s the photo prompt for #Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other Friday Fictioneers. Here’s my 100 word take on the photo:

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“Set up the satellite…” Jim turned in a circle while looking up at the moon. It made her dizzy just watching. “…here.”

Char unpacked the tech, glad to finally have a site. Jim, a brilliant scientist, was just a touch scatterbrained, a fact allowing Char’s subtle sabotage to go unnoticed. Pinging the Chinese moon base? Yeah, not going to happen.

Jim fiddled with the controls, adjusting.

“Here let me.” Char reached down, setting the dial to her preset coördinates.

“Hey! What do you…?” The com squawked with clicks and clacks, her native tongue unrecognizable to humans.

Char gazed up, her ship’s outline visible in the moon’s corona. She pulled out the bag of candy pieces, thankful she hadn’t had to resort to making her finger glow. Phone home, yeah right.

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The Backworlds is here!

The first story in the Backworlds series by M. Pax. A vision of how humanity might colonize the galaxy some day in the distant future.

The Backworlds

After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks

Other links to more outlets can be found at either Wistful Nebulae or MPax

The Backworlds is an ebook and a free read. All formats can be found at Smashwords and Feedbooks.

It’ll take a few weeks to work its way down to free on Amazon Kindle. It will also be available on B&N and iTunes. Sign up for M. Pax’s mailing list to be notified the day it does go free on Amazon, and when the book becomes available at other outlets. You’ll also receive coupons for discounts on future publications. NEWSLETTER

M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.

The sequel, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, will be released in July 2012. It will be available in all ebook formats and paperback.

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Photo courtesy of Mary Shipman.

Here’s the photo prompt for #Friday Fictioneers. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other Friday Fictioneers. Here’s my 100 word take on the photo:

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They swirl through me, relentless in their quest. Shutting them out is not an option.

They know what I am.

I glance at the gap in the wall. Ten sets of small human bones, and they call me a monster. Sometimes I hate this gig. “Anybody know an Abbey?” A sharp pain in my temple. “Not Abbey, Abigail?”

“Yes, that’s my daughter’s name. Is she…here?”

“Yes. She says she’s sorry she skipped school that day. She loves you.”

Closure, now she can move on. I extend my black wings against the light of ascension, the young always go up.

The guard jerks my chain. “None of that Demon. I like to see you burn.”

Like I said, I hate this gig.

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Here’s the photo prompt for #Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other Friday Fictioneers. Here’s my 100 word take on the photo:

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It turns, a constant twisting, sharp spikes protruding. Whatever draws near, it injures, indiscriminate in its actions, equality in pain., not a goal but a result.

“Keep your distance.” It shouts, barbs glistening for all to see. A warning advertised, not hidden away.

Subterfuge all.

Look hard, beyond the defenses, see truth peering out; blue-eyed and blonde. A rough gemstone, previously injured, secured behind prison walls of her own making.

She is dear and precious. Reach beyond her barbed defenses, set her free with your love.

She waits.

Are you willing?

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