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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blood on the Range- Chapter 2

Lena woke up the next morning to nineteen pounds of purring cat lying on her torso. When she opened her eyes, Bucko’s face was about two inches from her’s. “Off”, she said as she pushed him over.

Bucko jumped down to the floor and stalked out of the room as he said: “Owp. Owp. Owp.” Translated, that meant: “Feed me now.” Lena swung her legs over the edge of the bed, found her slippers and robe, and went downstairs. She started her one-cup coffee-maker brewing before she opened a can of food for the cat. Priorities. For herself, Lena had some nukeable oatmeal with a bit of maple syrup dribbled over it. She had a contact in Vermont who sent her a half-gallon each year, fresh from a sugar house. After she had first tasted it, she swore to thrash the next person who offered her that crappy “maple-flavored” syrup.

After scooping out the cat’s litter box and getting dressed, Lena drove directly to her office. It hadn’t snowed in a few days; the snow alongside the roads was beginning to take on a brownish-black tinge from both road sand and oil leaks. Other than the local airport, there was nothing out her road other than large plots of land with nondescript houses. Some of the properties were working farms, right up until she got almost to downtown Petersburg. Some of the properties were hobby ranches, most had at least one barn that might or might not hold a few horses. More did before the big recession hit.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blood on the Range

A draft of the first chapter of a work in progress:

Chapter 1

Lena Smirnova went out for lunch that day. She was jonesing for nice greasy burger, which meant a drive to Skipper’s Grill. The general opinion was that Skipper’s Grill was the equivalent of a vampire building. During the day, it was a terrific place for hamburgers, steaks and catfish. At night, it transformed itself into a notorious bucket-o’-blood. More than one sheriff had stationed a cruiser on the other side of the road to try and tamp things down, with little success.

The interior of Skipper’s was pretty dingy at night, or so Lena had been told. She wouldn’t have gone in there in the evening without being accompanied by a Marine reinforced rifle platoon. During the day, however, the interior was brightly lit and almost cheerful. The owners recognized the schizophrenic nature of their customer base, in that the daylight customers were different from the night-time customers. The changeover between the two was almost as well-defined as the shift change in a factory.