Tag Archives: King of All He Surveyed

Certain Short Stories Going Off Sale Very Soon

Quick double post this week. First up, publishing stuff.

Well, it’s turned out that various changes got pushed through during the 4th of July weekend. Second editions of A Maze of Cubicles and Tales from the Threshold will begin appearing in e-bookstores later this week. We hope to get JPEGs of the updated covers to post here soon.

Also, various short stories that will not be converted over to the Lynn Kilmore name are starting to get pulled down by some vendors now. I’m told it’ll take a few weeks for them to go off sale everywhere, but it has begun this month so that they will be no longer available by September 1st.

We’re going to try to get things updated here on the website so that most of the dead links for those short stories get removed. My apologies for any dead links you encounter.

Next up, a post about KC. Stay tuned, Lynn

Soul Cages – Part One. Dreams in the Desert. 19.

This week is a double feature of posts: a chapter from Soul Cages and an excerpt from King of All He Surveyed.  The Goodreads giveaway of 9 signed copies is still going on, and will end at midnight on Nov. 18.

When we last left off in Soul Cages (PG-13), Marian had just fought with Matthew and her mom.

Soul Cages

 Lynn Kilmore

Second edition copyright © 2014 by Lynn Kilmore

Copyright © 2011 by L. M. May

Published by Osuna Publishing

This story is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogue, and locales are either drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.

Part One. Dreams in the Desert

19

I kept picking up my cell phone to hit Aunt Letty’s number, and putting it down again. Once I called my aunt, I’d be crossing a line I couldn’t return from. Mom and Dad had been enraged when I called Letty about the liquid diet the quack healer put Henry on. The result of the call had been Aunt Letty showing up in person, and a screaming argument which left Dad and Letty barely speaking to each other. Letty had won the fight and the quack’s treatment regimen was dropped, but the price had been high.

If I called Letty in to deal with Andervender, this time the break between Letty and my parents would likely be permanent.

To keep my hands busy I ripped open a moving box crammed with winter clothes.

Dad pounded on the door. “Open up, now.”

I unlocked my door. “It’s open.”

Dad came in first, followed by Mom. They sat down on my bed and watched me unpack sweaters into a dresser.

Mom said, “You were rude to Pastor Andervender, and rude to Matthew.”

“I’m not going to any more Youth Group meetings,” I said.

Mom shook her head. “You’ll continue going, or you’ll find yourself grounded.”

I dropped a blue wool sweater and stood up. “I don’t belong there. I’m miserable at First Beginnings.”

Mom said, “You need to go for your spiritual growth.”

“I’d rather go to a church like Grannie’s. I’m sure there’s a Methodist church nearby I could go to instead.”

Both Dad and Mom were taken aback.

Finally Dad got out, “Ma took you to her church?”

“Of course she did,” I said. “She invited me to go, she didn’t force me to do so.”

Dad was clearly dumbfounded by this. Mom, on the other hand, looked annoyed that Grannie had been sneaking me off to church for years.

Mom patted the bedspread, inviting me to sit next to her, but I ignored her. Mom said, “You have to understand. Pastor Andervender has special gifts, powers given to him because he does God’s will instead of what is politically correct.”

I said the next words slowly, feeling my way forward. “So you guys think it’s okay for Pastor Andervender and his followers to pound on Jewish people’s doors at Hanukkah to harass them? Does that mean Dad will be harassing the Jews at his new workplace when he starts tomorrow?”

Dad winced.

“Really, Marian,” Mom said, “don’t tell me you’ve been digging up lies. Who told you this?”

I thought of Ben, but said, “A neighbor told me. They’re not lies. The Jewish community really did file complaints against Pastor Andervender and First Beginnings last December for harassment.”

My words made Dad rub his bald spot.

Mom said, “There are a lot of people who are jealous of Pastor Andervender’s gifts, and they’ll say anything to ruin him. Gena told me about how miserable things got in Las Cruces before they abandoned the false church they were members of, and started their own independent church here in Albuquerque.”

I said, “I don’t care! I don’t want to be part of a tiny church full of Jew haters.”

Mom stormed out, while Dad blanched. He swallowed a couple of times and said, “Well, we’ve had a rough weekend. We’ll talk about this more later.”

He retreated out of my bedroom. I listened to his tread going down the hall, followed by the office door being firmly shut.

I stepped out into the hall to go listen at the office door, but Henry heard me. He ran out of his bedroom, waving a flashlight around like a trophy, and said, “Let’s hunt sewer roaches!”

Unfortunately, it was dark enough outside for the roaches to come out.

I shuddered at the thought of chasing huge roaches. I really ought to catch a few in a jar and dump them on John’s head for giving Henry this idea.

Henry and I went down the halls to the front door. I couldn’t make out the words being said from behind either office door. Too muffled.

As I was pulling open the front door, I realized that I had no way to lock it behind us. In fact, since the lock was a double-cylinder deadbolt, if our parents had locked it, Henry and I would have been stuck in the house.

None of the exits could be unlocked by hand to get outside—all needed keys. Not to mention the locked bars on the front and back doors.

We gotta get keys, or we’ll be pestering Mom and Dad every time we want to go outside. And what if there’s a fire? Need keys on a hook next to the front door just in case.

“Wait here,” I said to Henry. “I’ve got to get keys.”

I walked down the hall to the office door. Both Mom and Dad were in there, their voices muffled.

I rapped on the door. Dad opened it a crack.

I heard Mom say into her cell phone, “Wait a minute, Marian’s here.”

Let me guess. Mom called Gena.

Dad said to me, “What is it?”

“I need keys so I can take Henry out to look for roaches,” I said. “I promised.”

Dad dug into his pocket, and yanked out a ring of keys, holding them out to me through the crack. “Here. Don’t lose them.”

“Um, Dad.” I took the ring, warm from being in Dad’s pocket. “We need to plan on getting more keys made so Henry and I have our own copies, it—”

“Sure.” Dad nudged the door shut.

After a few seconds, I heard Mom talk softly into the cell phone.

************** End of Part One. 19. *****************

If you are reading this after November 11, 2013, you should be able to click here to go to the main information page of Soul Cages to find Part One. 20.

Links can change over time, so click here to go to the main page for Soul Cages if any links don’t work.

See you next week! L.M.

Soul Cages – Part One. Dreams in the Desert. 16 and 17.

The writing news of the week is that I have two new short stories coming out in e-bookstores in October. The first is a science fiction story for tweens, King of All He Surveyed. The second is a short story set in the Dorelai Chronicles universe, A Maze of CubiclesA Maze of Cubicles is literally being released into e-bookstores over the next 24-72 hours as I type this.  Both will also be in the short story collection that will be released in November.

Also, the giveaway of 9 signed copies of Soul Cages on Goodreads is running right now from Oct. 19 to Nov. 18. The giveaway is open to all countries, not just the United States.

Well, back to the story. Here’s Part One. 16 and 17. of Soul Cages (PG-13). Marian has returned from the church service to search for more clues about Sydney, and to meet with Ben.

Soul Cages

 Lynn Kilmore

Second edition copyright © 2014 by Lynn Kilmore

Copyright © 2011 by L. M. May

Published by Osuna Publishing

This story is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogue, and locales are either drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.

Part One. Dreams in the Desert

16

After changing out of the loathed dress back home, I reluctantly approached Henry’s bedroom. I’d avoided entering his room since finding out about Sydney on Friday, but I couldn’t postpone going in any longer. I needed to find the box with Henry’s therapy stuff so I could start doing exercises with him at the park; the sooner we got him back into his regular routine the better.

I tapped on his open bedroom door, but there was no answer. Inside, Henry lay curled up on his bed with his DVD player on, earplugs in, pillows piled on his body.

Henry had left the closet door open a crack so it wouldn’t get stuck again.

Maneuvering between the stacked moving boxes, I read the labels, but couldn’t find the therapy box. I’m going to have to look through the boxes put in the closet. Crap.

I pulled open the closet door, stirring up the scent of roses, to find no boxes inside. When I flicked on the closet light, I saw dead flies and moths trapped in the frosted glass covering the bulb.

Someone—Sydney?—had put down rose-decorated contact paper on the shelves, but the pink roses looked washed out under the dim light.

God, how depressing.

John’s grief-stricken words came back to me: I wish I’d been here … our church, and Sydney’s dad, didn’t approve … she said I was someone she could talk to.

She killed herself in here. Sympathy and anger stirred in me.

Impulsively I grabbed a box and shoved it into the closet. I stood on it to study the farthest recesses of the shelves. But there were no hidden notes or conveniently missed diary, and no carvings.

Then I pushed the moving box back out and inspected the lower shelves, running my hands along their rough sides. Nothing. Neither was there anything around the clothing rod that ran along the other side of the closet.

The empty silence of the closet got to me. I backed out, wiping my hands against my jeans to get rid of the dust on them.

Once Sydney had existed, and now she was gone, leaving behind only a few traces of her life. I wasn’t sure what upset me more—Sydney’s suicide, or First Beginning’s fervid attempts to pretend it hadn’t happened.

 17

Piñon Park was too hot for Henry and Sarah to swing for long. We ended up sitting together under the trees while Fermat ran back and forth. Ben and I talked about Juan Tabo teachers and classes until Henry interrupted to say how boring our discussion was.

Ben gave Henry and Sarah each a handful of dog biscuits to give to Fermat. My brother joyfully tossed one biscuit after another for the dog to catch. Then Henry proceeded to study Fermat from nose to tail, which the dog endured with lots of tail wagging.

While Henry and Sarah were preoccupied with Fermat, Ben said, “Jin was wondering if you and Henry have been up to Sandia Crest yet.”

“Nope,” I said. Sounds like Jin is Ben’s girlfriend.

“We were thinking next Saturday you and Henry could visit the crest with us. Sarah would come, as well as Miguel and Angela.”

“I’ll talk to my parents, but I’m not sure how willing they’ll be to have us going off so soon after moving.” Today Ben wore a T-shirt with Einstein sticking out his tongue. I added, “What’s the name of the head covering you were wearing yesterday?”

“Oh that. It’s a yarmulke.”

I made my voice stay even. “What is the large flat cracker called?”

“Oh, matzo?” He laughed. “I get so tired of eating that at Passover.”

So the man in my dream had given me a broken piece of matzo. Strange how vivid it still seemed; I could easily recall the worry wrinkle lines that had been around the man’s eyes.

With his sneaker, Ben nudged a chunk of grass that Fermat had kicked up. “So, what does your family think about First Beginnings?”

“Henry hates it. Mom and Dad are the ones that want to go.” It was on the tip of my tongue to mention the miracle healing hopes of my parents. “My grandparents are all dead. Mom was raised by her Uncle William—Henry almost got named after him—in Texas after her parents died. He passed away when I was twelve. Then Grannie died last year. There’s only Dad’s sister, Aunt Letty, left.”

“I’m sorry.”

Henry ran for the swings, Sarah following.

“Dad and Aunt Letty don’t get along.” I jerked my chin toward Henry. “They argue a lot about how to deal with Henry’s Asperger’s.”

“Your brother would make a great animal behaviorist.”

All the things Henry needed to learn to survive in the world made me feel overwhelmed. I had to convince Mom and Dad to find a speech therapist and occupational therapist for Henry.

“You okay?” Ben said.

“Sorry, just thinking about how busy this summer is going to be.”

Henry came running back, hot and sweaty. I squirted him down with one of the water bottles—Sarah ran over, expecting to be squirted too. Then Henry lay on his stomach in the shade to search for ants while Sarah played with Fermat.

Ben said, “Dad is afraid I won’t be able to get a job if I major in mathematics—he wants me to be a doctor like Mom. She’s a part-time pediatrician. He prints out pre-med requirements and leaves them lying around the house.” Ben flicked at a blade of grass. “My girlfriend Jin wants to be an electrical engineer.”

“Oh, that’s great.” Ah, I was right about Jin.

Jinkies, that ant is red,” Henry said.

Ben did a slight double take.

“Henry has seen every Scooby-Doo movie and show he can get his hands on,” I said. “I’m afraid I can recite several Scooby-Doo movies by heart.”

We chatted about Asperger’s versus Down’s Syndrome, and then my cell phone went off. I became aware of how much the sun had angled downward.

Mom said, “You’re going to be late for Youth Group.”

“All right. We’ll head back now.” I flipped the cell phone shut. “Time for us to go.”

No,” Henry said.

I kept my voice calm. “Mom says we have to go, Henry. She needs us back.”

“No!” Henry tore at the grass. “It smells!”

I racked my brains for a way to motivate Henry to go home. Ordering him to leave would only trigger a stress meltdown. Aha! I know what’ll get him moving. “If we get grounded, we won’t be able to hunt for sewer roaches tonight.”

Ben looked at me like I was out of my mind, but Henry scrambled up.

Roaches?” Ben asked.

“Yup,” I said, slinging my backpack onto my shoulder.

“Dad wouldn’t let me put the dead sewer roach in my bug box,” Henry said. He said to me, “Let’s bring a jar tonight to catch some.” Henry began humming.

Ben grinned. “Do you need a ride back to your house?”

“No thanks. Not until my parents meet you.” My parents would freak if Henry and I pulled up in Ben’s car. I’d have to introduce Ben to them slowly, and hope they left First Beginnings before they found out Ben was Jewish.

I said goodbye, and prodded Henry to do the same. About two-thirds of the way back, we encountered Dad coming up the trail.

Dad was out of breath and scowling when he reached us. He said, “You’re running late. Mom is worried.”

I said, “I’d rather skip Youth Group.”

“You’re going,” Dad said.

It was worth a try. I kicked a stone off the trail. “We met a student from Juan Tabo who just graduated. His name is Ben. He told me all about the high school.”

“What!” Dad said, stopping. “You talked to a stranger?”

“Give me a break, Dad. He’s going to major in mathematics at Stanford. I got to meet his sister, who has Down’s Syndrome and was willing to play with Henry. I’d say she was about nine.” I knew the mention of a prestigious university and a play buddy for Henry would mollify Dad.

Dad said to Henry, “Who did you meet at the park today?”

Henry was searching the Chamisa bushes near the trail for lizards. “Sarah. Can swing higher than her. Ben has a dog named Fermat. Fermat is a Beabull.”

Dad grunted. He said to me, “I want to meet this guy before you see him any more.”

Dad, he’s okay,” I said.

“I’ll be the judge of that.”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I’ll ask if he can stop by this week.”

“I start work tomorrow. It’ll have to be next weekend … might have to work on Saturday. Make it Sunday afternoon.”

Dad’s mention of working on Saturday made me uneasy. Mom’s going to get upset when she finds out.

************** End of Part One. 16 and 17. *****************

If you are reading this after October 28, 2013, you should be able to click here to go to the main information page of Soul Cages to find Part One. 18.

Links can change over time, so click here to go to the main page for Soul Cages if any links don’t work.

Have a good week! L.M.