Colored Chalk #10 – Ten Commandments

"Honor"

I hope you enjoy my story, Honor in this issue of CC, #10. I’m very happy to see Axel, Eddy, Colin and Simon in here too. Great work on the layout Mike. Thanks Jason for all of your hard work, special thanks to all of the other editors and designers, and all of the talented writers who contributed. You know who you are.

I’m proud to say that I am the only writer to be in every issue to date, editing and designing #6 and #9. We’ve really grown into quite a great little rag and I hope that 2010 is even better.

Peace,
Richard

Complete List of Online Stories

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This is a Table of Contents for all of my current, LIVE fiction that is available online for FREE. Below are each of the stories, a brief synopsis, and a link to the site that hosts them. They are in reverse chronological order.

What do all of these stories have in common? I tend to write about the darker aspects of life, and am fascinated by what happens when things fall apart, how we handle life when it throws us a curve ball, the dysfunction in everyday life, how we rebel against the rules of society, and what goes on in the middle of the night.

Last Updated: August 13, 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

“How Not to Come Undone”
THE WRITING DISORDER
SYNOPSIS: A pair of twins balance each other out, but that’s not always a good thing. In this dark magical realism we see how far family will go to save each other.
HOW NOT TO COME UNDONE

“Vision Quest”
NORWEGIAN AMERICAN
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST

“Rapture”
SOLARCIDE
SYNOPSIS: It’s not easy being a goddess these days. But there’s hope for Dia still.
RAPTURE

“From Within”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: In a slave state, how do you protect your son? What if he doesn’t need protecting? Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year.
FROM WITHIN

“Little Red Wagon”
THE WRITING DISORDER
SYNOPSIS: What would you do to keep the human race alive? And what does being human really mean?
LITTLE RED WAGON

“Moving Heavy Objects”
STORYSOUTH
SYNOPSIS: A son tries to forgive his father for being so distant.
MOVING HEAVY OBJECTS

“Asking for Forgiveness”
MENACING HEDGE
SYNOPSIS: When the land yields nothing but abomination, how does family change, how do we survive? Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year.
ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS

“Gandaberunda”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: What happens when evil finds a young boy, an ancient creature, the signs all ignored?
GANDABERUNDA

“Sugar and Spice”
WEEKENDER
SYNOPSIS: A father comes to terms with the fact that his innocent daughter is growing up, and isn’t quite so innocent any more.
SUGAR AND SPICE

“Tinkering With the Moon”
GOREYESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a little boy misses his father, he’d do anything to reunite with him.
TINKERING WITH THE MOON

“Bury Me Deep”
THE BIG ADIOS
SYNOPSIS: Out in the wild west, there lurk shadows and dark deeds, all done under the blazing sun for God and all to witness.
BURY ME DEEP

“Love Letters”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: The things we do for love are often very destructive.
LOVE LETTERS

“Flowers for Jessica”
MAYDAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: How far would you go to bring your loved one back from the dead?
FLOWERS FOR JESSICA

“The Fix-It Man”
BLACK HEART MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: When a man falls apart, disconnects from his wife and son, what gesture can he make as he disintegrates?
THE FIX-IT MAN

“Something’s Broken”
FLYWHEEL MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: You fix it if you can, whatever’s broken. Because once somebody else picks the pieces up, once somebody else fixes it—it’s no longer yours.
SOMETHING’S BROKEN

“Vision Quest”
SURREAL GROTESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST (ISSUU direct)

“Charlotte Sometimes”
ZOUCH
SYNOPSIS: Charlotte needs to escape sometimes.
CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES
[Sixth place winner of the Zouch Lit Bits Fiction contest]

“Jimmy Five Ways”
PUNCHNEL’S
SYNOPSIS: A wife, a son, a mistress, a partner and a man named Jimmy—five ways.
JIMMY FIVE WAYS
[One of the five winners of the Punchnel’s Hard-Boiled Down Noir Fiction contest]

“The Handyman”
CONJECTURAL FIGMENTS
SYNOPSIS: What makes us human and what makes us inhuman?
THE HANDYMAN (ISSUU direct)

“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave”
METAZEN (Defunct)
SYNOPSIS: When something tragic happens, do you stay or do you leave? Sometimes you stay for a long time, only to realize that leaving would be less cruel. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
TWENTY REASONS TO LEAVE AND ONE TO STAY

“Love Letters”
CANNOLI PIE
EXCERPT: “It started with the paper, tearing it apart into little pieces, pressing it into tiny balls and popping the crumpled words into her mouth.”
LOVE LETTERS (ISUU direct)

“Daybreak”
STEPAWAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes you walk away from it all. Or maybe you’re walking towards something. Either way, be complete in your transformation.
DAYBREAK

“After She Has Gone”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: When she takes it all, and you’re left with nothing but despair, what do you do? Suicide is an option—and as you wander the woods in search of a tomb, the darkness speaks to you the truth.
AFTER SHE HAS GONE

“Splintered”
PANK
SYNOPSIS: In real life, there are paths to take, sometimes you have a choice, some times you do not. In this adult “choose-your-own” ending adventure it’s up to you whether or not to be parnoid or to trust, to be innocent, or just a fool.
SPLINTERED

“Three Mistakes”
WORD RIOT
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes that’s all it takes, three mistakes to fall from grace, to lose it all, and maybe realize too late, that you had a pretty good life.
THREE MISTAKES

“Maker of Flight”
CHIZINE
WINNER of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest
SYNOPSIS: In this contest, we were given the challenge of adding to the vivid and futuristic world that Brent Hayward created. In 1000 words, you were to find a way to insert a short piece of fiction that could stand alone, and also add to the world of Filaria. In Brent’s words:“That was a really nice piece you wrote, and in my head now it’s somehow forever tangled up in Filaria.”
MAKER OF FLIGHT (no longer online)

(A number of other stores are no longer available as the websites and publications have since gone under. I have removed them from this list as they have disappeared. Gone are: Opium Magazine, Colored Chalk, Cause & Effect, Nefarious Muse, ChiZine’s Chiaroscuro, Cherry Bleeds, Troubadour 21, Carbon-Based Lifeform Blues, Leodegraunce, Metazen, Emprise Review, Conjectural Figments, Beat the Dust, Thickjam, Circa, The Dying Goose, Parable Press, Revolt Daily, Penumbra, etc. RIP. )

 

Colored Chalk #9 is LIVE – Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

I’m very excited to post this up. Such a great group of writers. Thanks Jason Heim for all of the web work, and to Mark Wilkinson for his beautiful cover (http://www.the-masque.com/)

I just wanted to take one moment to talk about the fantastic writers involved:

Zsa Zsa – she was a very misunderstood soul and will be sorely missed

Vincent Louis Carrella – such a great voice, and his novel Serpent Box has been getting some great reviews http://www.amazon.com/Serpent-Box-Vincent-Louis-Carrella/dp/0061126268

Beth Mathison – she’s a new voice to me, but her story really tugged at me emotionally

Craig Wallwork – I published a story in my last issue #6, and thought it was one of the best of that issue, and his story this time is equally powerful

Karen Brown – When I first read her story “Galatea” in the 2008 Best American Short Stories I was blown away. I thought it was one of the best in that collection. We are lucky to have her contribution for CC#9, a gripping tale

Shaindel Beers – I know her poetry, and have read with her, such a sweet woman, so I was a bit shocked by her micro fiction for this issue. It will surprise you. She has a collection of poetry out here http://www.saltpublishing.com/books/smp/9781844715053.htm

Christopher Dwyer – my brother from another mother, one of my kindred spirit dark writers, I am never disappointed by his work. He’s also the “writer-in-residence” at Dogmatika, with a column called Dark Matter. Here’s one called “Crackle” that I love http://dogmatika.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/crackle/

M. Kilbain Lazer – an elusive, reclusive twisted soul, his work is never predictable and always a blast to read

Paul Mallaghan – another new voice to me, his story was one that I HOPED to get on the heaven side (although that could be debated) but one that was visceral and vivid, a great read

Michael Paul Gonzalez – a short intense story his work runs the gamut and this story is a wild ride as well

Valerie Geary – I was glad to get a lot of female voices in this issue, and Valerie’s story just floored me, so heavy and yet human

Kara Kilgore – another wild ride that really spoke to me, so glad to get Kara’s work out here – done several intensives with her at the Cult and she is unique and very compelling with her writing

Gayle Towell – what a powerful up and coming writer – I’ve been reading her novel Optimism at the Cult workshop and if I had a press, I’d publish it myself – great writer

Gavin Pate – his was a slightly different interpretation of theme and that’s why I wanted it included – his book The Way to Get Here is available at Bootstroap Press http://www.bootstrapproductions.org/catalog/books/theway.html

Nik Korpon – another dark writer, his story went against his usual writing but still held on to the intensity of his words, heaven in many forms

THANKS again everyone,
Peace,
Richard

Colored Chalk #8 – Broken Clocks

Happy to say that my very short story “Paying Up” is now live at Colored Chalk. Not only does CC now allow you to download a printable PDF as usual, but also a copy in single pages just for reading, and a link to this great place called http://www.issuu.com, where you can flip the pages and read it like a book, even full screen, I think.

Colored Chalk #8 - Paying Up

Colored Chalk #8 - "Paying Up"

Other authors I know and am a fan of include Nik Korpon, Justin Holt, Dr. Stephen Graham Jones (my hero), Fenton Grant, Chris Deal, and a great guy I met at AWP Chicago, Tait McKenzie Johnson.

Hope you enjoy this issue, and my story.

Colored Chalk #7 – MacGuffins For Hire

Colored Chalk #7 - Twenty Dollar Bill

Colored Chalk #7 - "Twenty Dollar Bill"

Wow, quite a day, two stories live. Lots of great talent in this issue, that makes seven in a row with CC. My story “Twenty Dollar Bill” is in this.

Fellow authors in this issue that I always enjoy include Michael Paul Gonzalez, Nicholas Merlin Karpuk, Mark Kilbain Lazer (man all those middle names, has to be a serial killer in that bunch), Nik Korpon, Alex J. Martin, Axel Taiari and Devin Strauch.

CC#3 – After the Fire

Colored Chalk Fallible

Colored Chalk "Fallible"

Designed and edited by Caleb J. Ross, with work by Nik Korpon, Michael A. Kechula, Anthony David, Chris Deal, Charles King, Michael Paul Gonzalez, Joel Shoemaker, Sean P. Ferguson, Mark Grover and Keith Haworth.