Category Archives: short stories
Time of Horror
by Joy V. Smith
“So you see, Father, we really can’t allow you to hold your services in the community meeting rooms; separation of church and state is the law,” Frank Saunders said, his voice a trifle less belligerent when he realized the priest was not protesting.
“We’ve already made other arrangements until the church is rebuilt,” Father Tim said mildly, gazing across his desk at the militant atheist who had recently won a seat on the city council.
Something about the priest’s gentle demeanor made Frank uncomfortable. Nevertheless, he had run for city council so that he could right this wrong. Then he realized the implications of Father Tim’s response. He turned and glared at Samuel Goldman, the fellow councilman who had accompanied him.
Samuel nodded. “Yes, I warned Father Tim.” No way I’d let you have the satisfaction, you petty, would-be tyrant, he thought. Furious, Frank stood up reluctantly. He had been looking forward to this confrontation.
Samuel added slyly, “I’m surprised you haven’t changed your name since it’s from the Bible.”
Frank stiffened. “It is not,” he snapped.
“Frankincense is certainly from the Bible. Everyone knows that’s where Frank comes from.”
Frank paled with rage even as he felt the familiar burning sensation in his temples. He sputtered as a half dozen angry thoughts fought for utterance.
Samuel continued inexorably, “What are you going to do about all those holy days, excuse me, holidays? And the calendar. What are your plans for the calendar? You know, don’t you, that…”
Frank had gone from pale to crimson. Now he turned and rushed out the door with a snarl. Almost immediately after the door slammed, the two men heard squealing breaks and a faint, sodden whump.
“Good Lord,” Samuel said faintly, “I never meant–” They rushed outside.
The ambulance deposited Frank at the hospital. A woman in a starched white habit met him in receiving. “Welcome to Sisters of Mercy Hospital,” she began. He was still screaming when they wheeled him into surgery.
Patient’s chart (Frank Ambrose Saunders)
12/26/00: Patient admitted. Injuries not serious.
01/01/01: Patient badly burned his hands while making a bonfire with old and new calendars he gathered from throughout the hospital.
03/02/01: Patient stabbed himself with a fork while attempting to attack the nurse when served a piece of angel food cake with his noon meal.
04/08/01: Deranged man who claimed to be Jesus Christ took two sisters hostage in receiving. After due consideration, the Mother Superior sent Mr. Saunders in to talk to him. The sisters managed to pull Saunders off the man after they worked themselves free from their bonds. I believe the man will walk again, but it’s a pity about his eyes. Saunders fractured several bones in his feet and hands.
12/18/01: West wing flooded when Saunders tried to flush a small Christmas tree which had been placed in the corridor outside his room. Saunders slipped and hurt his back.
02/17/02: The aliens that landed in downtown St. Petersburg continue to wreak havoc. Sister Angelina has suggested a plan, though we have no armaments, nor could we use them, of course….
02/18/02: Sister Martha brought out from storage a large box of sling shots she confiscated during her years of teaching at St. Joseph’s.
02/19/02: We told Mr. Saunders the aliens were missionaries and sent him to the alien ship. As he told us afterwards, when he ran out of stones, he used the slings to jam all the levers he could find throughout the ship, after changing the settings. According to news reports, the aliens began rushing to the ship immediately. Saunders ran out even as they were charging in. They took off in such a hurry, that not all of them were on board. (I’m afraid those aliens left were killed by an enraged populace.) The ship rose in a flickering haze; it was several miles up when it exploded, quite spectacularly, in a blaze of glory, if I may say so. (All of the sisters involved are, of course, doing penance.)
My story (SF and fantasy) collection of 14 reprints, The Doorway and Other Stories, is available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2
Cold New Planet can be found in Science Fiction Consortium, an anthology of short stories: Amazon link
Are the colonists alone on the slowly thawing planet? This planet was supposed to be theirs; their backers, who had their own agenda, had paid enough money to ensure that. And what lies under the snow and ice?
Crystal Quest is one of the new stories included in Mystic Signals – Issue 17, which combines the Jan 2012 issue of The Lorelei Signal and the February 2013 issue of Sorcerous Signals: Link
Crystal Quest combines magic, sorcerers, and sentient plants.
Fourteen other stories are included in my collection of reprints: The Doorway and Other Stories: Amazon link
Joy V. Smith’s reprint collection, The Doorway and Other Stories, is free on Amazon starting August 24-August 28. Enjoy this mix of 14 science fiction and fantasy stories: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2
The Doorway and Other Stories: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2
I’m happy to have some of my old stories in one place. Except for The Princess Quest, which is a humorous fantasy, and Old Rex, a ghost story, the rest of the stories are all science fiction adventures of different types, involving aliens, time travel, symbiotes, and humans searching for a home and/or family. All the stories have been published elsewhere–sometimes more than once–over the years, except for Royal Guardians.
Pretty Pink Planet is always free: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93615