Free literary fiction Kindle books for 18 Dec 13

The Last Good Halloween

by Giano Cromley

Like most teenagers, Kirby Russo doesn’t want much: a calm home life, a couple close friends, a sense of direction and purpose. And a chance to relax with a cocktail now and then. And maybe some privacy whenever fantasy and hormones get the better of him. But his world’s upended when he comes home from computer camp to find his stepfather gone and his mom sleeping with their neighbor. In short order, he has to plan an epic road trip to save his family. Never mind the fact that he’s at that age where you take yourself seriously, but no one else does. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t have a car–it’s really more like borrowing when it’s a friend’s parent’s car and they won’t know it’s gone. And never mind the fact that he doesn’t know as much about life as he thinks he does.

Chopper Music

by Jay Allan Storey

Jackson Reilly’s world revolves around drinking, casual sex with bar girls, and riding his aging Norton 850 Commando motorcycle, but his life was once a lot different. As a child he was a piano prodigy. For mysterious reasons he gave it all up when he was thirteen, and he’s been at war with the rest of the world ever since.

It takes the death of his mother and a re-connection with his aging Auntie Jo, who once played piano with some of the cream of the fifties’ jazz scene, to make him see that what he’s really been battling against for all those years is his own destiny.

After years in the dark Jackson finally learns the meaning of ‘follow your bliss’, but has the lesson come too late?

Farewell to Hot Water

by Jim O. Neal

When Seth’s neighborhood is destroyed by a tornado, he becomes convinced the disastrous effects of climate change have finally arrived. He, his wife, Jen, and their seemingly prescient eight year-old daughter, Lily, flee to the mountains to wait out the collapse of civilization. They are managing to survive until Jen begins to have doubts. Seth wakes up one day to discover that Jen and Lily have vanished.

Seth’s loss sends him spinning into a mental breakdown until his extreme isolation drives him back to their former city, a city that no longer recognizes him. His search seems hopeless until he returns to the mountains and discovers an abandoned hot springs resort populated by a group of runaway teenagers and a woman with secrets of her own. He soon learns that this place holds the key to learning what happened to his wife and daughter, but as threats begin to encroach on his newfound community, Seth finds himself caught between the ghosts of the past and the uncertain promise of the future. Now he must decide whether he can do what’s necessary to protect the first place he can truly call home.

Peeling the Onion

by Debra R. Borys

A short story about the contrasts of light and dark in the life of young woman in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Homeless and filled with rage, Star battles to survive life on the streets and escape the past. Will she give in to the dark voice in her head or come to terms with memories that drive her to the edge? “It’s like peeling an onion, really, layer after layer, some sweet, some sour, until the only thing left is the core and the tears.”

Star is an early incarnation of the heroine Snow Ramirez in Borys’s Street Stories suspense novel, Bend Me, Shape Me.

Mature readers only. Approximately 1900 words


by Michael Ferrence

A man delves deeply into an unexplored state of conscious, uncovering the pivotal details surrounding his earliest memory, ultimately defining his future.

Notes From A Time Of Evil

by Ari Franklinos

Our minds cannot grasp the immensity and true horror of war and what it does to both the victims and the perpetrators of crimes. The picture of total war is on too vast a canvas to be understood and perhaps this is one of the reasons that wars are seen as evil and yet cannot be eradicated. This story, set in the Second World War, was written to show how one human being brought up in a genteel and loving environment can, under extreme circumstances be turned into a monster who will kill without thought, not necessarily in order to survive, but simply for the sake of an idea.

The Artist’s Dilemma

by Ari Franklinos

Though written as a story, this is essentially an essay on the creative impulse. For example, how does a composer build up a complex musical work, note by note until complete shape takes place? Where does the work come from? It is already here, like a natural truth that waits for a scientist to elucidate it by proof. An act of creation waits patiently for an artist who will give it form and bring it to life irrespective of the human cost and that act has its roots in faith.

A Girl Named X. (The Chronicles of the Restoration)

by Jon Thorpe

X. is an orphan. She believes her father was killed in combat. Her brilliant mother committed suicide. X. discovers she can phase in and out of reality. She watches time fold in on itself. She passes through multiple dimensions. She seeks refuge in the City of Memory. She discovers a single path. She befriends a talking cat. She receives a message from her dead father and journeys to find him. And in the moment she crosses over, the war for the restoration will truly begin.


by Mark Vuong

HUMANITY is a collection of four short stories.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT: Readers are taken on an airplane trip, one that is 30 minutes behind schedule on the backdrop of a wintry sky during Christmas. During the flight, the captain announces that they have been cleared for a shorter route in order to make up time. Minutes prior to reaching the destination, a flight attendant, on the PA, calls the on-time arrival a Christmas miracle. And then lives are lost.

LIFE-CHANGING: An early-20s woman is less than 9 months away from becoming a mother, something she has desired for years. However, she finds herself unable to let go of bad habits, even when another life is on the line.

TORRID: If you were married and your spouse allowed you one celebrity to sleep with, who would you pick? For a young, unmarried EMT, he has chosen talented and successful singer Souney Whittohn. And when he arrives on scene to a possible drowning in a high-end hotel in Manhattan, he discovers his very choice lying nude on the ground, lungs full of water, and body still warm.

TALKING HEAD: A late teenager visits his grandpa, who has a farm and a two-headed goat. One day, the boy swears he hears the goat bleat “Daaaad” to him. Cascading thoughts lead to his wondering whether he is the father and then his curiosity is piqued.


by L K O’Neal

A few years ago I attended my grandmother’s funeral in a small town in Pennsylvania. She was buried in an even smaller town nearby on a hillside cemetery where many of my relatives have been buried over several centuries spanning a stretch of time back to the birth of the United States. It was the place my parents and grandparents and great grandparents and generations before them had grown up and lived most of their lives.

For the first time in my life, all of this seemed remarkable. Even more remarkable, this small hometown, really just a cluster of homes spanning two small hillsides, was the same as I remembered the last time I had been there as a kid some 30 years before. Nothing had changed, not the houses, the three church steeples, not the barely paved road that pretended to be Main Street, not anything. It didn’t seem that one warn clapboard or porch railing spindle had changed. It was still a farming community with a cluster of homes in the midst of a bucolic landscape not really near any urban center nor with anything of interest that anyone else would ever want to visit.

Yet the changelessness was stunning. Everywhere else I had been, everyone I knew, everything I knew had changed in that 30 year span, and not just a little, but a lot. So I fell in love with a place that, for a few, anchored generation after generation and defied the sea changes that whipped lives, communities, cities and towns into a frenzy across the globe. My mother would call her hometown the most boring place on Earth, yet she could never give her up.

So I wrote “Tether” which is as much about a place as it is about the lives of those who would “give up” a small hometown. In this regard it has a few similar threads to Bedford Falls from “It’s a Wonderful Life” or Thornton Wilder’s play, “Our Town.”

It is the story of a troubled orphan from New York City who contributes to a terrible car accident that kills his adopted parents. He then is displaced to the sylvan but plain countryside of Pennsylvania to be raised by his adopted grandparents. Here the troubled young boy finds friendship for the first time with an adventurous young girl but as they grow into teenagers, they take one too many chances in their adventures together causing another nearly fatal accident.

They survive the accident but face lifelong consequences. The girl loses the use of her right hand ending a promising art career, and the young man is unable to live with the shame in such a small town. He is in essence a George Bailey who does not save his brother from drowning after falling through the ice and abandons the town to avoid facing its scornful citizens. The girl also leaves town for College and a career but seldom returns because of a lingering anger at the townspeople she grew up with who blamed the accident on her childhood friend.

Yet 30 years later, the small hometown draws them both back to attend the funeral of the orphan’s adopted grandmother who had been the one person to offer her grandson unconditional love. There are twists and turns that are discovered about the tragic events of the orphan’s life as if engineered by his grandmother from the grave. The small hometown’s tether takes hold to restore a bond that had long been severed not only between two people but among all of the townspeople as well.

Tether draws a portrait of the importance of a small and changeless hometown made through the eyes of an orphan who never had a place to be from or the foundation of a lifetime of family and friends.

It is untrue that you can never go home again. Instead, Tether demonstrates that one can never really leave a small hometown. It travels with you for a lifetime and is especially endearing when you discover it is impervious to time.

Stray Tape Mojo

by Agde Rhena Piriny

When Julie Aire, the 21-year-old curious ex-bass player from a far away Eastern-European country sits down in front of a camera to tell her story in her not-so-perfect English, her initial campfire-material soon turns into a strange carousel of events.

In her vividly reflective memoir she shares her stories of drifting through first experiences, from an odd porn movie through unexpected babysittings to ending up in the United States. With dangerous men around and hard choices to make, she is slowly becoming everything she was afraid of and eager for…


by Jason Tanamor

Unknown is in prison for fraud. Ambiguous is in prison for murder. And Stud is in prison for, well, no one really knows for sure. To pass the time, the prisoners tell stories to each other. They do this to avoid going insane. The facts and fictions often get misconstrued with each inmate attempting to one up each other so that his story is the most dynamic of them all. Whether the story is about stalking, pedophiles or throat chlamydia, each tale plays some role in the healing process. When each prisoner bales the water from his toilet bowl the result is a communication system through the drainpipes.

Nobody really knows who is telling the story, if the story is true and what the story actually means. The one certain is Unknown, the unofficial leader of this band of degenerates, who convinces each inmate to accept his action because the crime resulted in much needed legislation such as Amber Alert. But, as time progresses, even Unknown begins to question his stories.

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