Return to Glory

Here's a little something I did a while back on a prompt from a friend

Return to Glory

by J. Aurel Guay

7597d920I wake from glory. The stale air greets me with an indifference that makes me wonder why I would ever leave the soft warmth of my sheets. The alarm rings again, and I remember why I must leave my refuge. The Dreamscape is gone, now it is time to pay the dues.

I manage to struggle through my routine. A bland breakfast of toast and black coffee are my only comfort. My allotment of water is barely enough to wash the sleep from my eyes, but it will have to be enough. 1 hour down, seventeen to go until I can see her again.

Down on the street I join the silent throng making their way on the same journey. Every face looks the same. Every eye so empty that I cannot bear it, I wonder what would happen if everyone took their plugs out, what would happen to the world.

I place my own plug to my temple.

The soothing effect is immediate, and a sigh escapes my lips as those thoughts fade into an oblivious calm brought by suggestive brainwaves and accompanying music. Amidst the soothing melody that primes my mind for the work ahead, the instructions for the day flow passively from my ear into my brain.

I board the monorail that will take me within a short walk of my post. They have a lot for me to do today, not that I will notice. Time matters little when they feed you a constant stream of consciousness control. I don’t care though, it is all worth it for the red haired beauty that awaits me back in the Dreamscape.

My stop approaches. Sixteen hours until I can be in her sweet virtual embrace. I reach for my briefcase beside me on the floor. The rail lurches suddenly. I feel the hard knock of someone’s head against mine and my plug falls out.

The noise suddenly stops. Disoriented I look around, fellow passengers stand ready to exit, oblivious to me and to one another. Anxiety starts to set in. Without being plugged in I’m not sure what to do. I am missing my instructions, a gaping void is left open where the artificial peace once reigned.

There! My missing plug lies only a foot away on the floor. Reaching for it desperately I collide with a stranger likewise trying to get the device, this time we are both knocked to the floor. Looking up my own dark eyes meet impossibly blue ones, framed in auburn hair. For a moment I forget all about the plug, about the dreamscape, everything. She tucks her stray lock behind her ear and smiles at me. She takes the plug from the monorail floor and hands it too me, then reaches for the second plug I had not seen.

It seems that I should say something; ‘Sorry for bumping you’, ‘I hope your plug is OK.’ Anything. It has been so long since I’ve talked to another living person the words will not come. She smiles again and a burst of energy flows through my chest. Such a feeling as I have only felt in the Dreamscape.

She hesitates a moment, then fits her plug back into her temple. Her eyes still vivid as ever, change subtly to  look through me in a faraway stare. I watch silently as she stands, straightens her grey pencil skirt and exits the monorail without another glance my way.

The chime sounds, I have only seconds before the door closes and I will have missed my stop. My plug is in and I’m exiting the monorail before I know what I am doing. The soothing peacefulness returns and I back to my routine. I am late, if I don’t move quickly they will cut my time in the Dreamscape, my time with Her.
My pace quickens as I move down the packed street. I pass a woman in a grey pencil skit. Her auburn hair and blue eyes seem somehow familiar, but I can’t place it through the thick melody and steady stream of sedating brainwaves. It doesn’t matter. I’ll be at my post soon, then just fifteen and a half more hours until I can return to glory.

Mechanized Masterpieces 2 Review (3.5/5)

jaurelguay:

Another Great Review of MMAA. Thanks so much Samantha!

Originally posted on LyonEditing:

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Mechanized Masterpieces 2 was sent to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. The book is an extensive collection of short stories written in the sub-genre style of steampunk. Each story draws inspiration, in varying degrees, from classic pieces of American literature. These works have been completely re-imagined, and the authors had the substantial challenge of working within very specific parameters in order to produce a new work of art to counter the original.

Before I elaborate on my experience with the stories, I would like to address the very real likelihood that readers will be directly comparing these newer stories to their originals. Personally, I don’t find such comparisons helpful or relevant in any way – these writers aren’t attempting to compete with legends of literature. They are simply presenting an established work in a new light, using inspiration to create a brand new story. Given…

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Blondes, Books and Bourbon – A WDB Anthology, by R. M. Ridley

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I had the great pleasure of being a co-author in the anthology in which Johnathan Alvey made his first public appearance. Now, the amazing Mr. R. M. Ridley has started us on the dark road that will follow Alvey through the White Dragon Black series of novels. Ridley’s latest work, Blondes, Books and Bourbon, brings us back to the short story format in a collection of stories from within the White Dragon Black universe and staring your favorite embittered, brooding detective, Johnathan Alvey.

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I’ll be honest, the level of dark paranormal and surprisingly detailed real-world mysticism in the WDB series is on the edge of what my sensitive self can handle. But then again, so are some of the things that I write myself… It is really Ridley’s talented writer that keeps me coming back for more. What I really love about Ridley’s writing, is that it’s not all about the magic and the occult. At it’s heart WDB is really about the life and struggle of Alvey, trying to make a difference, while struggling with the figurative inner demons that threaten to slowly strangle him (though there are also plenty of not-so figurative demons with the same goal).

Blondes, Books and Bourbon is an excellent example of this Ridley’s character driven writing. While Alvey is constantly faced with supernatural doings his most impressive solutions are those where he engages his Sherlock quality wit and Continue reading

Okay. So I leapt. Now what?

jaurelguay:

An author friend of mine is taking the leap. This is one you want to keep an eye on people!

Originally posted on Alyson Grauer:

My name is Aly Grauer, and two days ago, I quit my day job.

Gosh, that sounds crazy. Completely insane. In fact, I’m sitting here at my desk at home, on a very uncomfortable stool-chair (my apartment is too small for a decent desk chair) listening to the clock tick and my stomach rumble. I’m thinking about how I’m going to cover bills when my small savings cushion runs out. I’m wondering how I can get more people to buy my book. I’m worried about my parents. My dad is finally coming home from the hospital today and my mom has surgery scheduled on Monday. I’m thinking about my brother and his wife and their baby, and how amazing and strange and miraculous life is, even with all the twists and turns and sudden drops and stops. I’m wondering how many people will think it’s selfish of me to…

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MMAA Blog Tour; Spotlight on J. R. Potter

James PotterToday I would like to spotlight one of my fellow authors in ‘Mechanized Masterpieces 2, an American Anthology'; J. R. Potter and his short story ‘Rise of the House of Usher’ based on Poe’s classic work ‘Fall of the House of Usher’. 

A lover of graphic novels and the occult fiction of the late great John Bellairs, James gravitated towards the paranormal world from an early age. Watching the first episode of The X-Files with his older brother was a transformative experience, as well as an education in great storytelling and myth-making.

Since “growing up,” James has devoted his time to finding his voice through writing, publishing short fiction in The Portland Review, and winning two international short story competitions for science fiction and horror. When he’s not writing, he tours with his incredible wife Amy as “The Crooked Angels,” an Americana duo specializing in rocking your socks off.

Potter is currently collaborating with artist Klaus “Plaid Klaus” Shmidheiser in the graphic novel series “Glimmer Society.”

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Be sure and enter the RAFFLECOPTER contest to win some  great prizes from Xchyler Publishing!

1. Please share how you came up with the concept for your story?
To be honest, I’ve really benefitted from Xchyler’s writing prompts and challenges. There. I said it! I’m naturally driven to Continue reading

MMAA Blog Tour; Spotlight on D. Lee Jortner

Today I would like to spotlight one of my fellow authors in ‘Mechanized Masterpieces 2, an American Anthology'; D. Lee Jortner and her short story ‘Payoff for Aire-Pirate Pete’. 

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D. Lee Jortner – “I grew up in the West and love and miss the mountains here in the midwest, so I was happy to place my story out where the sky is big and the mountains reach past the clouds.”

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Playing with imaginary friends and writing and directing plays in the neighbor’s garage filled D. Lee Jortner’s childhood. Today she lets her imagination flow onto her keyboard as she writes mystery, fantasy and steampunk stories and novels. “Payoff for Air-Pirate Pete” is her first short story for Xchyler Publishing. She also enjoys her marketing role with the company and teaching English composition at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso, Indiana. When not writing or working, Jortner is usually busy with her husband, children or grandchildren.

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Be sure and enter the RAFFLECOPTER contest to win some  great prizes from Xchyler Publishing!

I caught up with Miss Jortner to talk about her writing:

Please share how you came up with the concept for your story? 

I always loved O.Henry.  I remember my Dad reading Continue reading

Conversation with Ginger Mann; Author Interview

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Today’s post is a transcript from a recent conversation with author Miss Ginger Mann, which occurred during her visit to my little corner of the etherverse.  Mann is an up and coming novelist and acquaintance of mine through Xchyler Publishing.

Ginger Mann_200x274Aurel: Hello Ms Mann, It was so good of you to accept my invitation for an interview.

 Mann: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to talk to you today.

 Aurel: As I understand it, you have a new work of fiction just released. What can you tell us about it?

 Mann: Yes, I have had a new work released. It’s a story called “Jilted River.”  Here’s a look at it:

A river siren lives in an Appalachian forest. She lurks at the bottom of a sinkhole, where a mountain collapsed more than a hundred years ago. Her magical voice haunts the underground river there, where she Continue reading