Dec 05, 2014 – Sun Chasers prequel

Posted on 5 December 2014 | No responses

The sky stretched out in front of him, the perfect frame to the setting sun straight ahead. Below were only clouds, and above he could see the stars starting to come out. It was the stuff of stories.

“Lieutenant Hannigan. We have what we need, you can turn around and bring her home.”

The voice, distant and tinny through the radio, was an unwelcome intruder on the moment. He ignored it.

“Bill?” His partner’s voice could have been on the other side of the world.

“I need to do something first” he said. “I have to see….”

“See? Oh, don’t tell me—“

“Can it Barry, and just tell them to keep their pants on.”

He looked down at the instrument panel and smiled. He didn’t know why they accepted his application to be a test pilot, but he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. They said the SR-71 Blackbird was the fastest plane that could ever be built. Good. The Air Force wanted to show off to some Navy Aviators? Well, they could pay the price, at least for a few minutes.

He eased the stick and brought them to the heading he needed. 270 degrees on the money.

“Lieutenant Hannigan, we show you off course.”

“There is a bit of turbulence we are going around,” Barry said into the radio. He then clicked off the transmission. “Bill!”

“Almost there.”

He punched the throttle. He didn’t need all the speed they said these birds had, but he needed most of it. He double-checked his altitude and looked at the scrap of paper he had written the math out on. There was a spot he had to hit, just pefect. Too high or too low, too fast or too slow, and it wouldn’t work.

“Bill, just give it up, already.”

“Barry, I said—“

“Lieutenant Hannigan! Return to—“

And then the sun changed. He looked out at it, and slowly, he lifted the visor on his helmet. It was still there, yellow-red in the early evening sky, but there was something more. No, not more… less.


“Do you see it too?”

Silence. He looked down at his instruments and smiled, and then the ship shuddered, a ripple of the imagined turbulence made real, and the moment was lost.


Cursing, he lowered his visor against the painful glare of the light and looked at the instruments again. Their altitude and velocity hadn’t changed, but somehow, that didn’t matter.


“Let em know we’re on our way.”

Despite his words, it was a long moment before he could bank the plane back towards the airfield.

Back on the ground, as they exited, a ground tech chuckled and shook her head.

“Mad Bill Hannigan. I’d heard stories, I didn’t expect them to be true.”

He smiled at the tech. “I’m sure you haven’t heard the best, though.”

She smiled. “Offering to tell me?”

Before he could respond, Barry grabbed his arm.

“What was that, Bill?”

He glanced back, but the tech was walking away, although she did glance back herself. He sighed and looked back at his co-pilot.

“Remind me to tell you a story sometime, Barry.”

“A story?”

“Yeah, a story. The story of the Sun Chasers.”

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Categories: Flash Fiction

Dec 04, 2014 – Reluctant Warriors

Posted on 4 December 2014 | No responses

“I’m sorry.”

Smoke drifted up slowly from torn ground. Dead were strewn about much like the toys of a child, forgotten where they fell and without order. The field was silent, though. There were no dying, just the dead. One could almost close their eyes and imagine none of it was there, that this was nothing more than an overcast day in the middle of summer.

“That’s all you have to say? Sorry?” Erika’s throat tightened as she looked across the field at the other woman.

“No, but I don’t think it really matters, now does it?” Kira slowly turned around, looking at the field, but somehow never letting her guard fall. “Although, I’m not saying it to you.”

Erika took a deep breath, smelling smoke and death. “You didn’t have to do this.”

“Neither did you.”

Erika almost shouted back that of course she did! How could she not? But the words caught in her throat. Kira could have easily said the same. Surely she felt the same, but it didn’t change the fact.

“No, but we did, didn’t we?”

“We could stop, I suppose.” Kira laughed to herself. “Just stop and go back, as if nothing happened.”

“I never wanted to do this.”

“Me neither.”

“Bad decisions all around, it seems.”

Kira nodded and turned back. “And today really won’t make a difference, will it. Not in the grand scheme.”

“Probably not.”

They stared at each other. They had been friends. Were still friends? Did something as little as war really just end a lifetime of connection? Summers spent running to wherever whim took them? Nights up late, talking about philosophy, religion, or who was seeing who. Somehow, the gossip felt so much more important, now.

Erika shook her head. “Not going to stop us, either.”

Kira smiled, but there was no joy in it. “Probably not.”

Erika took a step back, drawing her sword as Kira did the same.

“I’m sorry, too.”


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Categories: Flash Fiction

Dec 3, 2014 – Library Scene Flash Fiction

Posted on 3 December 2014 | No responses

Dust drifts down in the beam of light, a galaxy of motes drifting in the otherwise stagnant air. Her eyes adjust to the light, and she rises to a single knee and squints out into the darkness. The air smells of dust and old paper and forgotten stories, and as she stands, her boots scrap against the floor like the sound of a blade against the strop.

She glances up to where the light is bleeding into the room to make sure no one is following, and then steps into the darkness. As if the light somehow held back not just darkness, but the room itself, she is swallowed by darkness, its velvet cloak wrapping around her, not hostile, but not friendly either. More as a host unaccustomed to guests but still polite. Oh, come in, it says. Let me make you some tea. There might be scones.

Her eyes adjust, and the room is cast in blues and blacks that are felt more than seen. Shelves lined with unlettered spines of books, a desk with an antiquated terminal and printer, a slightly padded chair, comfortable but not cozy. Oh, the darkness seems to say. I hadn’t expected company.

“You rarely do,” she says. “I’m sorry.”

Sorry? Yes. Sorry. There should have been company. The darkness should not have been here, alone, all this time. Company besides empty books, dust, and regret.

She walks to the shelf and crouches down. There, on the lowest shelf, is a single stamped spine, gold leaf flaked and faded and barely legible. She pulls the book off the shelf and the darkness takes a breath and holds it in, becoming heavy. It is a weight that sits on more than the shoulders, but down in the heart, where dark secrets that yearn to break free are held in to die silent.

She does not open the book, but only runs her fingers along the spine, feeling the rise and fall of pressed lettering, the different texture from rough to smooth back to rough back to smooth. She cannot see the lettering, not really. There isn’t enough light for that. But she can feel it, and it can feel her, and the darkness feels them both and for a moment hopes and fears.

She glances to the chair, but opts instead to cross her legs and sit in the floor, looking back to the light and the dust. She smiles, book in her lap and still unopened. It had been so long, so many little reasons, like pebbles ignoring they were part of the avalanche. She had been here before, just like this, returned and vigorous. She had left before to, disillusioned and broken. Why not one more time? The darkness exhaled, bowing to the inevitable, and settled in. If there was more, it kept it to itself. But in some small, distant café where light and darkness take afternoon tea and discuss their affairs, it knew it would say it was glad.

She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, still smiling.

“Let me tell you a story.”

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Categories: Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Initiative

Posted on 3 December 2014 | No responses

A friend of mine is organizing a “Writer’s Gym” thing to help encourage writers to build the good habit of writing daily. Her project is starting on Jan 1, but I hate things linked to the supposed New Years Resolution. Any motivation derived from New Years Resolutions from community pressure to follow “New Year New Me” fades as the community hive mind hits the walls of “Maybe not.” So yeah, I’m starting now. I won’t be writing all that much “admin”-ish a blogs or thoughts on writing or anything like that. I’m going to go much more micro. My goal is between 100 and a 1000 a day for exercise. Maybe once I get my prose warmed back up, I’ll get back into longer form story telling. Hell, maybe Tijervyn might even get rolling back up in a slightly different format. Who knows. enough meta, on with the art.

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Categories: Admin Blog

Finding the Character

Posted on 26 April 2013 | No responses

I find it funny, how you can think you know your character, but then you get into this corner where you can’t get them to do what you want. You try and you try, and pound your head against them, saying “WHY WON’T YOU MOVE!” and then, suddenly, months later after almost giving up on the project, you hear a voice. It is the character, and they are telling you why they wouldn’t. It is because it wasn’t them. The words on the page are a lie, and they need to be fixed. And so you do. You agree with the character that, no, maybe they actually already know this other person, and they kind of like them instead of distrust them. And you realize that they always did, and you had just been lying about it from the get go.

Yeah. That happened. It is strange, how characters are their own things. Half the time I think writers are truly schizophrenic. Well… maybe we are. But at least keep it on the page, right?

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Categories: Writing

State of the Fife

Posted on 28 February 2013 | 1 response

This is not a post apologizing for not posting. Nope. I have no shame. Yes, this space is kind of going unused. Sue me. But here is why!

-My play was produced! Yay. And it actually was a good success. Reviews are here and here. Not bad at all for a first play, if I say so myself.

-I have been super busy with JordanCon prep, and the Writers’ Track this year is going to ROCK! (If I say so myself)

-I have also taken to directing an Improv troupe as my involvement in the Browncoat Pub and Theatre here in Wilmington has been expanding. Yeah, that eats up time.

-And finally, not on a writing notice but a general grouse about society: why do 1st graders now have 2 hours of homework a night? Who ever in their right mind thought this was a good idea? Seriously. /rant.

So, this space is probably going to continue to be somewhat neglected for now out of simple prioritization. Tijervyn and the short stories will still be there, though, as well  all the back log. So that’s something, eh? And I’m sure one day I’ll get back to here. Just dunno when. You can still follow my shenanigans on facebook and twitter, though. Just saying.

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Categories: Admin Blog

The Bittersweet Ending

Posted on 14 October 2012 | No responses

So, I’ve been noticing lately that I have a penchant for loving the bittersweet ending. Not just in my own writing (hey, I’ve had one or two happy endings!), but in what I take in as well. What is it about the bittersweet that has so enamored me, and if I may be so bold, people in general?

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Categories: Writing

The pain of a line-edit

Posted on 8 October 2012 | 1 response

There is a certain magic of a well written book that I love. It is that point where you stop reading words on a page, and you instead see the story in your mind’s eye. Kind of like your subconscious takes care of the reading bit for you, and you get to just immerse yourself in the world. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever experience that with my own writing.

Now, I’m not saying it is because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to craft words in such a fashion as to be able invoke that power on a reader. No, it is because, when I read my own writing, I am always editing it. Every word is suspect, and I’m always wondering if I should have done something differently with the prose. And when I line-edit, it is the worst.

Right now, I am line-editing Revenant, getting rid of those last typos before I see if I might be able to market it better. And as I am going over those words, looking for misspelling or even word-choice errors (and there has been some word-choice editing and a few added lines of description here or there), I see the words, force myself to see the words, and it dispels the illusion.

I feel decently confident in my writing ability, but I will say, doing a line-edit sure makes me feel like a novice again.

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Categories: Writing

Five Years

Posted on 16 September 2012 | No responses

No, not Five years of Fife Ramblings. But Sunday, September 16 marks the five year anniversary of the death of a man who managed to shape the very fabric of my life without ever having been directly in it. I am speaking of Robert Jordan, the man whose writing inspired me to write. Today has actually been surprisingly emotional, carried on the wings of technology as my Facebook has been overflowing with remembrances, stories, and pictures of James Oliver Rigney Jr. I was then further honored when JordanCon and Dragonmount linked to my Legacy post, which contained the transcript of my speech at JordanCon III, saying that they “spent all day wondering what to say, but realized Richard Fife had said it already.”

So, aside from that, what have I been doing?

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Categories: Admin Blog

New Host, Give Me Time

Posted on 21 August 2012 | No responses

Up and running (after a fashion) on a new host. Give me some time, and if after this weekend you find broken stuff, email me or comment here to let me know. Thanks.

Categories: Admin Blog

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