Friday, August 31, 2012

The Winners for our Second Giveaway!

Our Second Giveaway is over and here are the winners randomly picked from Rafflecopter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kelly S. wins a critique from Jenn Baker.
Leigh S. wins a critique from Krystalyn Fowler.
Carey N. wins an ARC of The Farm.
T.J. wins a signed ARC of Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You.
Kat V. wins a signed copy of How to Save a Life.

For those who have won books please contact us at FictionFemmeFatale (at) gmail with addresses no later than *September 7th, so we can send your prizes out ASAP. Those who have won critiques feel free to email us at the same gmail address with pages and Krystalyn or I will get back to you lickidy split! Congrats and thanks for entering and spreading the word!

*Should we not hear from a winner by September 7th we'll pick a new one for that prize through Rafflecopter.

Friday, August 24, 2012


My heart quickens as the rain pouring on my roof turns into the clattering sound of hail. Furious wind wraps around my house like squeezing fingers, and the boards squeak and moan. This house is so ancient it wouldn’t surprise me if it could be easily crushed like a pack of crackers.
      Stop being paranoid, Thea. It's just a storm.
      Another flash of lightning cuts through my dark room, and in that tiny second, I swear I see a face looking through my rain-spattered window.
      Nope, nope, nope. I tell myself. There’s no way someone is out there in that storm. I need a serious reality check.
I pull my comforter over my head—just to be safe—and shove in my earbuds to block out the sound of the screaming wind chimes outside.
      My iPod lights up the dark cave of my blankets as I scroll through the songs. I finally settle on Lady Gaga. Surely her weirdo music can drown out the noise. I squeeze my eyes shut and try to ignore the feeling of the walls of our hundred-year-old house rattling.  A siren shrieks through my room, and for a few seconds, I think its part of the song. But I realize—too late—that it’s the tornado siren.
      I punch the pause button and yank out my earbuds. The room has gone still. The only sound in the world is the wailing siren piercing through the trees. Maybe the siren is wrong. The storm has basically stopped.
A roar louder than the siren detonates from the sky before I have the chance to move an inch.
Glass shatters. Metal squeals. Wood cracks. My house is exploding into splinters around me, and I can't do anything but hunker down in my bed and cover my face.
      The deafening wind yanks me from my bed and pulls me across the room, dragging me like I weigh nothing. I try to stand, but the floor disappears from under my bare feet. I'm afraid that if I open my eyes, I'll get an eyeball full of debris, so I keep them shut. But I'm certain that I'm no longer inside my house. I'm not even sure my house is a house anymore.
      My body is whipped around like a rose petal, curled in ways that it's not supposed to bend, but I can't stop it. I don't have any control over myself. I try to hug my arms to my chest, but they're ripped away, taken in whatever direction the wind wants to blow them. Something slices across my cheek and I cry out in pain. I open my eyes with out thinking, and I'm astonished at what I see.
      I'm inside of it.
      The tornado that plucked me out of my house has not let me go yet. It's dark, but lightning bolts are flashing around the funnel like a strobe light. Pieces of metal and wood swirl past me, and I try to tuck my head down to avoid them. But the wind tosses me around and shakes me loose. Furious pressure tugs at my limbs, like I'm going to explode the way my house did.
      I hold my breath. I know I'm going to die soon, and I wish it would just happen already.
      This is an awful way to die.
      Then as suddenly as it started, it stops, and I'm falling. But I don't have far to fall, so when I hit the ground, it doesn't hurt as bad as I expected. I lie still and try to catch my breath, expecting the wind to pick me up again. It's raining—drops bounce off my forehead and run down my face.
      What the hell?
      I slowly turn my head from side to side to make sure that my neck still works. I wiggle my fingers and toes. Thank God. Nothing is broken. In fact, besides the burning cut on my right cheek, I think I'm okay. I sit up and open my eyes. The rain is still coming down in sheets, but the wind has subsided for the most part. As I brace myself to stand up, my left hand touches something smooth. I hold it up and laugh as I realize what it is. My iPod.
      It’s too dark for me to be able to see where I am, so I climb to my feet and start walking. Surely the tornado hadn’t brought me far, and I can find a neighbor’s house and call my parents.
I can’t believe I just survived a freaking tornado.
I stick my iPod in the pocket of my sweat pants, and trudge through the muddy grass of someone’s front lawn and rap on the front door. A blue moth flutters around the yellow glow of the porch light. I look closer at the moth and realize that it’s not a moth at all. It’s a tiny bird with brilliant blue feathers and a tongue as long as a frog’s. It flitters about, snatching the bugs around the bulb into its mouth with a quick snap of its tongue.
      How weird. I’ve never seen a bird like that before.
      The door swings open and I am face to face with the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. She stands two heads below me, which I’m used to since I’m pretty tall. The girl peers up at me with eyes the color of sapphires. They glitter as the reflection of the tiny bird’s beating wings pulsates in her irises. Her red hair is almost orange, but it suits her creamy skin.
      “Who are you?” she asks with narrowed eyes. I’m sure I’m a mess after what I’ve just been through, so I don’t blame her for being suspicious.
      “My name’s Thea,” I say. She waits for an explanation. “This is going to sound really weird…”
      The girl puts ahand on her hip and gently shoos away the bird that is now flapping around her head. She looks up at me, her fingers clenched around the edge of the wooden door so she can slam it in my face if she needs to.
      “Who sent you, Thea?” she asks warily.
      “Um… No one sent me here. I was sort of dropped here. Out of the sky.”
      A nervous laugh spills through my lips as I realize that my explanation makes absolutely no sense. The small girl doesn’t seem amused though. She looks… afraid.
      “You’re not from Inbetween?”
      “No,” I say, shaking my head. My soaking wet hair slaps against my cheeks, stinging my cut. “Wait. What in the world is ‘Inbetween’?”
      The girl pokes her head out of the door, looks around, grabs my wrist and yanks me inside.
      The inside of her house is as tiny as she is. It’s sparsely decorated with a small couch and a coffee table made out of a tree trunk.
      “I’m Cinda,” says the girl, closing the door behind me.
      “Do you have a phone I could borrow? I need to call my parents.”
      “Sweetie, I don’t think you’ll be able to reach your parents from here,” Cinda says as she gently grabs my arm.
      A deep feeling of dread spreads through me as I think about the fact that I’ve never seen a house like this anywhere near my neighborhood. Where am I?
      “I live in Lawrence, Kansas. How… far am I from there?”
      Cinda’s nose crinkles.
      “Thea,” she says.“I’m sorry, but you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re Inbetween.”

 *Author's note: I am sorry this story doesn't have an ending. It is an idea I've had floating around in my head for a while and it turns out that it's much more book-shaped than short-story-shaped. If you guys like it (or know what it REALLY is, hee hee) let me know! I'd love to know if you would want to read a book like this. 

PHOTO BY: Bradley Mason/iStockphoto

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Second Giveaway!!!

It's one of those crazy five Friday months again so you know what that means....

Fiction Femme Fatale is giving stuff away again!!!

This time we have several new arcs to offer up as well as two critiques from the lovely Jenn Baker and Krystalyn Fowler, our very own femme fatales!!!

Here's what's up for grabs:

An arc of THE FARM by Emily McKay


An autographed copy of Sara Zarr's book, HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

Your choice of a query or first chapter critique by Jenn Baker, who edits for a living by the way up in NYC!!!!

A critique by Krystalyn Fowler, who's book SPIRIT WORLD comes out this spring with Entranced Publishing!!!

Here's what you have to do:

Comment and link to the contest on Twitter, your blog, or Facebook. For every one of these that you do, we will give you one entry into the giveaway. If you only want to be eligible for certain prizes, (ie books only or critiques only) please tell us so in the comments below.

***Please note: we will only count entries that come from an established blog, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. If you create an account specifically for this giveaway your comment will not get counted.You will need to have one or more followers and for the blog, at least one blog post. Winners will be chosen using rafflecopter. If you'd like to be considered for only specific prizes, please let us know in your comment.

****Unfortunately, this time we will only be able to have entries from the USA. We will try to alternate and offer some giveaways worldwide, but can not do it for each giveaway due to costs.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 17, 2012


I need to save somebody.

I don’t mean this in some Biblical way and I’m not gunning to be Superman or anything. It’s just that I’ve been pretty lucky all my life and sometimes it’s disconcerting, a building chill in the meaty part of my bones. It feels like I’m racking up all of my good experiences now and all the bad ones are piling up on the back end of my life, an avalanche of crappy years I won’t be able to avoid.

You need to know this because my being out in the woods behind the local Winn Dixie looking for a girl who might be sick or crazy or both won’t make sense otherwise.   I found out about her from the shelter where I work—part of my whole plan to save people and stuff. Anyway, she’s come around the shelter a couple of times. Alone. She can’t be more than fourteen, but she’s been rumored to be living full time in these woods, a pretty dangerous place for anyone to hang out, but especially a girl and one as fragile as she seems. Both times she came to the shelter she left before anyone could talk to her, but not before she made sure I was there. Mary at the shelter thinks she has a crush on me or something. Now I’m the cheese—bait–in their version of a “for her own good” kind of trap. I’m okay with my Velveeta status. If it helps get her into a home with parents that’ll take care of her, I’m more than okay. I’m ecstatic.

I spotted her wandering along the edge of the woods while I was parking my car beside the grocery store’s dumpster. She was wearing a man’s overcoat, striking a stick across a tree trunk as she walked, and wearing grocery bags on her feet instead of shoes.  I eased my car door closed, but it still made a noise as it shut. She took one look at me, half-smiled, and bolted further into the trees.

 I had to work pretty hard to catch her. It felt good. Different. Working hard isn’t exactly something I have to do. Ask anyone. I didn’t get the nickname SG (solid gold) for nothing. I’ve never been sick a day in my life. I have an allowance bigger than most people’s monthly paychecks. Heck, I could model if I wanted to…I’ve certainly been asked enough times.

Sickening, right?

Now I’m standing across from the girl at the edge of a small pool of water. It’s fed by a skinny stream. It seems deep. The water’s almost black. But I can’t focus on the water. I’m here for the girl. Her face looks mud-blushed, the dirtiest bits are the apples of her cheeks. It brings out the brown in her eyes. In a weird way it makes her beautiful. Imperfect. Wild.  I stand very still, try not to spook her.  

 “Hi.” I let my mouth curve into my most endearing smile, the one that usually makes girls go all silly. “I won’t hurt you. I just want to find out who you are.”

She tilts her head and her forehead creases. I’m not sure she understands me, but then she opens her mouth.

“Why would you want to know who I am?” She asks.

Her voice is gravelly and low. Rough. If she weren’t standing right in front of me, I’d be convinced it came from an old woman who smoked all her life. She settles onto a rock beside the pool, skips a small stone across the surface. One, two, three times it bounces across the water before going under. She looks up at me and grins before offering me a spot on the rock beside her.

 I’ve already won her over just by smiling at her.

 I can’t help but feel a little disappointed.

See, I’m a walking cliché, but no one seems to care. Probably she doesn’t either. I’m not even the type of guy they write about in romance novels anymore. Those guys have to have flaws now.

I know.

Cry me a river.

The truth? I would if I even knew how.

“So I can help you.” I look behind her at the crude little tarp she’s fashioned out of garbage bags between two trees and the small stash of canned goods and junk food beneath it. “Find you a better home than this. A better life for sure.”

She skips another stone. The throw is weaker, less sure. It sinks after only two bounces. “Of the two of us, it’s me you think that’s in need of help. Not you.” She says slowly. She studies me, waits for me to answer.

I almost laugh. I’m so far from needing help that actually admitting it seems cruel. “Well, kind of, yeah,” I say as gently as I can. I skip a stone of my own. It bounces five times across the water and lands safely on the ground beyond the pool.

 Ha! Even my stones don’t sink.

“You need to help me, don’t you?” Her hand brushes against mine.

Her touch loosens something inside of me. For the first time that I can remember, I actually feel like crying. You can’t cry. You haven’t earned the right.  I tell myself. It makes sense for a person to cry when bad things happen to them, but if you cry when nothing but good happens to you, what does that say about you?

“Will helping me make you happy?” she asks, her eyes inches from mine.

“Why wouldn’t it?” I choke. What was she doing, turning this around so that it sounds like she’s doing me a favor? Did my helping her count if she saw it as helping me?

“Okay, then I will let you.” She smiles into my face and I can smell her breath. It smells like the wet ground around the water—dank, but somehow appealing. She cups her hand, scoops some of the pool’s water in her palm, and offers it to me. “Drink with me, a toast to your helping me.”

I feel light, unburdened for the first time in a long time. I’ll take her back to the shelter and maybe visit her at her foster home. I could be her friend. Help her make a real life for herself.  She’ll have a better life because of me. Be happy. Maybe I can allow myself to be happy too. I won’t just receive good fortune, but make it.

I drink the water from her hand. It’s ice cold, so cold that it burns as it makes its way to my stomach. She drinks quickly after me and smiles. “Thank you,” she says and she leans over and kisses my cheek, hugs me tight. I close my eyes. I’m dizzy. I feel full of relief and hope, but it weighs nothing at all. It lifts me, makes me feel like I’m spinning.

When I open my eyes I can’t make sense of what I see at first because I see myself. Only I’m still in the woods and not in front of any mirror. “What?” I croak…the voice speaking these words is hers, not mine at all.

“You did what you came to do. You saved me,” I say to myself, but of course the boy standing across from me isn’t me at all now. Somehow it’s her. I look down at the hands at my sides. The nails are covered in dirt. What is now my right hand is still dripping river water. Somehow I am her and she is me. Only something is wrong with the body I’m now in. If feels weak, temporary. And suddenly I can’t breathe. I try but when I open my mouth the only thing that comes out is river water. It pours from my throat and nose. I start to fall forward, try to brace myself and fail. I don’t skip across the water like the stones. I sink.

The last thing I see before the water goes black and still around me is my body and whoever or whatever is in it leaning over the pool, watching me drown.

 Story by Amy Christine Parker

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Calling All Writers!!! Submissions For This Month Are Almost Due!

If you are considering writing a flash fiction piece based on this month's picture, don't forget that this Thursday is the deadline for all submissions. We will post EVERY SINGLE submission that meets the guidelines on our submissions page by the end of the month. We'd love to read your work and help you get it out there for other people to see. Join us in experimenting with flash fiction and writing for the pure, unadulterated joy of it. It's fun and can only strengthen your other writing.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

C'mon, you know you want to....

Our picture for this month. It could be a wet baby...or a malformed alien...or a totally freaky baby doll...let your imagination run WILD.

Friday, August 10, 2012



Callie’s older brothers are jerks. This’ll be the first thing she’ll tell anyone who asks her on her first day in a new school. The second is that they have a fascination with all things soda and meat (beef particularly, in all forms).

Her brothers have been caught, as early as this morning, hiding in her closet to jump out and scare her wearing last years’ ghoulish Halloween masks. The week before they took one of the dolls from her bookcase leading Callie on a chase to find it either buried in the backyard, hanging from a floss noose from the ceiling fan, or floating in the toilet. “Her very own spa,” they said.

The story her brothers like to tell is of throwing her in a pool when she was just a babe. Her mother interrupts as the boys hoot and holler speaking over each other attempting to tell the tale accurately. Her mother tries to comfort Callie by saying the whole time she was in the water the boys held onto her not letting her top half go under. That her parents could see her through the window a cute, fleshy baby covered in droplets.

“You cried a lot,” Evan says before burping out of the side of his mouth then tossing a soda can in the bin.

Callie doesn’t doubt she cried. To this day pools and baths are out of the question, though showers are acceptable.

Nigel gnaws on some jerky with vigor. He narrows his brows to scare her.

“Cut it out,” their mother warns at the table and so the two boys shush.

Callie starts middle school at the same place her brothers attend. All her friends went to Harrison Middle School. She tugs then fingers her ponytail as she often does in times of crisis. She doesn’t want to be the baby who hates water and things that move fast in her general direction with the bulky brothers who excel at every sport and make friends, or enemies, pretty quickly.

“Do I have to go to the same school?” she asks for the third time that morning.

“It’s not a bad school. Besides, it’s easier for your dad and I to have you all in the same place.” Her mother kisses her on the cheek as though that should settle the matter.

“Why so scared, Cal?” Evan asks. Even Nigel looks intrigued to hear her answer.

“I’m not scared,” Callie insists but the way her heart beats and her hands shake say otherwise.

Both boys shrug, finish their breakfast of sausage and eggs, and mumble a ‘thanks’ to their mom. Their feet pound against the floor noting their location in the house.

Callie’s mom rests a hand on her back. “Your brothers will look after you, they always do,” she says.

Callie leans out from her chair, sees them pushing and bear hugging each other, one tripping up the other and slipping away so he can take hold. Sighing Callie responds, “Doubt it.”

#   #   #

Callie’s knapsack outweighs her by a good thirty pounds. She hunches over as she exits the bus, almost tripping over the steps onto the concrete.

She huffs with each step. Her mother gave her notebooks, pens, pencils (colored and regular), markers, binder clips, paper clips, snacks, an emergency mobile, along with one of her favorite books and her teddy bear.

“Just in case you feel like you need something familiar.” Her mother looked Callie over, keeping her upright every time it seemed Callie was about to tilt over and wondered out loud if she may have missed anything.

Callie shifts her knapsack and makes the trek towards the room she sees a bunch of others her age walking to. She smiles at people as she walks by. Some smile back, some don’t. Many take a gander at her backpack.

Another kid with a huge pack, another tortoise in the race, shuffles at a slightly faster pace than Callie, his face already red with effort.

Callie suddenly feels herself going forward the force and weight of her knapsack leading her to the floor like a magnet. Bracing herself with her arms a sting ripples through her body at the contact with the linoleum. Callie swishes back and forth to get on her back. Above her stands a girl with Pippi Longstocking hair, a braid on each side going up and down.

“Watch it, pipsqueak,” the girl says, her voice gruff.

Callie stares wide-eyed at the girl unable to speak.

“What’s up, Callie? Getting to know the floor?” Nigel asks smacking his lips. She stares up to see her brother snap off a piece of SlimJim.

“Hey Lore. This is our little sis, Callie. You wouldn’t be making trouble for her, eh?” he says.

The Amazon girl blushes, her hands go behind her back and she seems to hide a grin when she looks away from Nigel.

“My fault, Callie.” She offers a sweaty hand that Callie’s unable to grab.

Nigel and Evan lift her up. Evan places a hand on Callie’s shoulder and Nigel places one on the other.

“Make sure she’s taken care of, yeah? We don’t want anyone messing with her. At all,” Evan says loud enough that the group of students around them can hear.

“We don’t hit girls or nothing, but we gotta defend our sister's honor. Bro code and all,” Nigel adds with a shrug.

Lore backs away uttering more apologies. “Yeah, yeah, sure. Sorry, Callie. Nice bag.” She waves but looks back at Nigel, “You gonna be on the court later at lunch?”

“Sure,” Nigel says and waves at her with his SlimJim hand.

The bell rings and the kids disperse. Evan takes the knapsack off of Callie relieving her of so much pressure, more than she thought possible.

They escort her, a brother on each side, to class. 
Callie suggests that middle school may not be so bad.

“Tell you this,” Nigel says finishing off his jerky, “the food is all kinds of crap.”

Story by: Jenn Baker
Photo by: Bradley Mason/iStockphoto

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We're Changing Our Submissions Requirements!

Now that we have a new Fiction Femme Fatale posting stories on our fourth Friday we're tweaking our submissions process and posting new guidelines. We realize that we are a fledgling blog and still growing our readership and probably won't always have a large batch of submissions every we've decided to try something radical:

We are going to post every submission that we receive!!!

We'd love for all of you to join us in experimenting with flash fiction. I know that for all of us here at Fiction Femme Fatale it's a great way to take a break from our longer projects, try something completely out of our comfort zone, and generally blow off steam. There's something inherently wonderful in being able to complete a story in a few hours instead of a year (or sometimes more).

Here's how it'll work:

1. Submissions will be due the third Thursday of every month (one day earlier than before, but necessary if there are more than a few submissions for us to read). We'll tweet and post reminders about the due date as it gets closer each time.

2. We will read the submissions and as long as they are:
  • Rated PG (no extreme cursing or explicit sexual content. There can be kissing. We like that.)
  • From followers of this blog.
  • Geared towards young adults or middle graders.
  • One thousand words or less.

All submissions will be posted on this blog the last day of the month unless we receive an avalanche in which case we reserve the right to post them over the days before and after the last day as we see fit..

3. At least one of us will comment on each entry, keeping in mind of course that this whole exercise is more for the fun of it than anything else.

4. If there aren't any submissions for a given month, there will not be a post that month, but if there's even one, it's game on.

AND we're starting RIGHT NOW. So what are you waiting for? Write something and send it our way. We can't wait to see what you come up with!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Scent of Water

by: Krystalyn

I pump my legs, darting between the shattered houses and burnt human remains. The stench brings bile into my throat, but I can't stop to get sick when I know he's only a block away, scenting me. Even with his broad eyeless forehead and the large slits that serve as his nose, he looks more like a child than a Martian. But damn, he's fast.

I'm smarter though. It's what's kept me alive for the past six weeks.

The day they came, I was taking a history test, answering a question about Henry XIII. First, came the shrieking sound which made us all drop our pencils and run to the window. Just like in the movies, the clouds parted and hundreds of metallic disks appeared in the sky. Then came the explosions, followed by car alarms and emergency sirens and ringing in my ears that made me think I was going deaf.

Some of the kids started screaming. Some ducked under their desks as if a layer of particle board would keep them safe. I held my breath and wondered if I was going to die with my fingers in my ears and the names of Henry XIII's wives written on my hand.

The strikes, a cross between a lightning bolt and a laser beam, came in rapid succession from the center of the disks. I watched silently, wondering where the strikes were hitting, thinking surely, my home and my family was safe. But when the row of houses across the street was vaporized, I bolted from the room. No one stopped me.

I was one of six kids that found refuge in the girls' locker room. The earth shook for two days, but the walls stayed upright, and once the explosions stopped, we took a few tentative steps outside the locker room. Half the school was rubble, but at least the six of us were still alive. A week later, it was just me.

I weave my way through mountains of concrete and pipes and wires, and run straight into a fallen oak. There is no way around it, so I push myself over it. The alien is only a block behind me when my shirt catches on a branch. I curse loudly while I tug on the fabric. The branch snaps free, and as I tumble down into the grass, it impales itself in my gut, sharp as a dagger. Blood gushes and I howl in pain.

Injuries drove us out of the school, but it was my fault for suggesting it. Michael needed his insulin and Sammy had a broken arm. With both the cafeteria and nurse's office obliterated, I suggested we search for a hospital, not knowing if any still existed. No one argued.

The town greeted us with eerie silence. No people and no hospital. The metallic disks weren't visible, but my skin itched, telling me they were there, lurking behind the clouds.

We split up to scavenge what we could from the few remaining buildings, then meet back up at the school. Michael, Sammy, and I headed towards the grocery store, while Brooke and the others went to the Walmart. I never found out what happened to Brooke's group, but I do know what happened in the Winn Dixie parking lot.

The attack came from the left, a dozen little creatures appearing from beneath the abandoned cars, their faces held high in the air, nose slits opening and closing. Sniffing.

“Run!” Michael shouted.

The nose slits on one of the creatures opened into wide circles. It started shrieking, and the others joined in.

As we ran, lightening strikes dropped around us in rapid fire. Michael was ahead of me, and when he tripped, I veered toward him to help him back to his feet. As I reached out my head, the blast knocked me onto my back. My head flopped to the side just in time to watch his body explode into a thousand pieces.

Sammy had fallen behind us. The shrill alien's voice sounded right above me. The hair on my arms stood on end, and I knew the next strike was coming for me.

“Not today,” I promised myself. I flipped onto my hands and knees and took off at a dead run.

I lost Sammy somewhere in the maze of debris, but the aliens were still trailing me when I reached the river. With resignation in my bones, I dove in, clothes and all. They'd taken everyone else, my friends, my family. I'd be damned before I let them get me too. I wrapped my arms around my legs, blew out my breath, and sunk to the bottom.

And they didn't get me. They sniffed and searched, and when they were unable to find my scent, they gave up.

I set up camp near the river, not understanding how the whole water thing worked, and not caring. Maybe I should have cared more. Maybe I should have stayed closer to the river when searching for food.

I yank the branch out of my stomach and roll over onto my hands and knees. Yellow splotches pop in front of my eyes. In between them, I can see the community pool. It's less than ten feet away. I start to crawl.

Eight feet... Six feet... Three...

I hear him scrabble over the tree just as I drop into the pool. My stomach flares with pain. I let out too much air, but I stay submerged, looking up through the water. He's there, sniffing. Always sniffing.

A thick trail of blood floats to the surface.

He moves his nose to the pool's edge where my blood is smeared. His finger reaches out, groping until he touches the slick red stain.

I clutch my hand to my stomach, but it's stopped hurting, and I know that's very bad.

He sniffs his finger, then the cloudy red water.

My body shakes. My vision narrows.

He tilts his head to the sky. His nostrils flare open. The shrieking starts.

I want to pulverize the little bugger and silence him permanently, but what does it matter? More will come. It's too late anyway. I can sense the clouds parting above me, the ships preparing to fire. I am never getting out of this pool alive.

But neither is he.

Summoning my last bit of strength, I thrust my arm out of the water and yank his tiny body in with me.

And wait for the strike to come.

Photo by: Bradley Mason

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our Story Picture For August!

Our newest Femme Fatale, Jenn Baker, chose this very cool picture to inspire our August stories! If it inspires you, by all means, write us a story that's 1,000 words or less (if it's a little more than that, we won't freak out, but no more than 200 words) and send it our way using our submission guidelines. In the next few days we will be posting details on how we'll pick the stories that we'll post, so stay tuned!