A blog where Stephanie M. Belser test-drives her fictional stories.
Expect the occasional
"stall, spin, crash & burn".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



Katie woke up when she heard that sound. She knew, without leaving her bedroom, what it was. Someone had forced open the sliding glass door to her balcony.

Her apartment was on the fifth floor. The balcony was not connected to any others. She wasn't wealthy, she could make ends meet is all. Her television was a twelve-year old tube model. The furniture came from discount places that sold overstocks and end-of-run clearance stuff. There was nothing in her apartment worth the effort to climb up four stories of the exterior of a building faced with rain-slicked smooth concrete.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Ain't No Disco

Another flash fiction challenge. For this one, a word generator coughed up five random words, which had to be incorporated into the story.

My cell phone buzzed with a text from one of the spotters: “TG N ANDR-53 E-S SOLO”.    Pretty simple: Our target was heading north on Anderson Avenue, at 53rd Street.  Target was on the east side and alone.

The sun had set ten minutes ago.  It was still fairly light, but dusk would soon be here.  The target never came out before sundown and she was back in her apartment before sunrise.

She had to be, she was a vampire.  She worked at night.  So did we.  I sang softly: “Heard of a van, loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go.”  My spotter looked at me askance.  Oh, well, back to work.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm not a writer. Oh, I've written stuff, mostly for my own amusement. Wrote a mystery novel, once. I even had an agent for that one, but no dice, chum. So awhile back, I just threw it up on Amazon Kindle's list just for shits and grins.

I'm horrible at selling myself. It just doesn't feel right to me. I can go argue a client's position and I'm pretty good at that. But when it comes to bragging on myself, I suck. Not like "Dirt Devil" suck, or even "Dyson" suck, but in "open up the air lock on Galactica" suck. During job interviews, when I'm asked "why should I hire you", I have to really restrain myself from shrugging and saying "you could do worse."

Did I tell you that I suck at selling myself?

So anyway, I was doing my bank statement when I saw that Amazon sent me just a skosh over ten bucks. Royalty payments. For that book. Which works out to a wage of, what, two cents an hour for writing it? (300 years ago, that'd be good money, I bet.)

But still, I'm a little bit tickled about it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


A flash fiction challenge, based on the name of a cocktail.

Sarah broke down her favorite rifle and began cleaning it.  It was a 5.45mm with a built-in suppressor. The bullets had steel penetrators inside.

She didn’t know what started the Zombie Apocalypse four months ago.  It didn’t matter.  What she did know was that the legends were right, the only way to stop those fuckers was to bust open the braincase.  The penetrators worked.  She also knew that the zombies came to the sound of guns.  If you didn’t want to fight a horde, you kept it quiet.  Zombies made a sound that was not a scream, not a moan, but if one made it, the others came.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blood On the Snow, Chapter 4

The sun had gone down by the time Lena touched down at Petersburg Field.  She was hungry, a little bit tired and it was getting cold, too cold and too late to be mucking around at the self-service fuel pumps.  She put the Cessna back into the hangar and went home.  There was some hot chocolate mix at home calling her name.  That would go nice with a bit of vodka.

The next morning was spent writing up her notes and observations from the day before.  she used Acme Mapper to determine the distance from where Jasper had been shot to the tree line of the next set of hills.  It was 1,200 yards.  Hell of a shot from a bench rest, let alone in the field.  

She noted the name of the pathologist who had done the autopsy. Lena’s law school had offered a course to acquaint lawyers in the reality of autopsies and scientific protocols.  She had taken the course, it had been taught by the same medical examiner who did Jasper’s autopsy.  So Lena called the doc, who remembered Lena and who was also free for a late lunch, say two-ish.  Lena said that was fine.