Monday, 9 December 2019

Poetry Mondays: 'Kindling' A Poem by Stewart Storrar - Lore Publication

'Kindling' A Poem

by Stewart Storrar




Image Credit: RedHeadsRule via Pixabay


Not a thousand words,
Nor a thousand actions,


Not the fire of my soul,
Nor the quiver of my heart,


Not the spark of my mind,
Nor the clarity of my voice,


Can describe what you mean,
To this wayward soul.


And that, to me, is love.






This poem was written by Stewart Storrar. Writing what he feels and how he perceives the world around him is important to him. For him, poetry is an expression of what it is to be human as much as it is about the world around us; to him, even poetry can fall short.

This post was brought to you by Lore Publication's weekly series 'Poetry Monday' where we publish poems from talented writers across the world, giving them a platform to share their work. Acting as a community, Lore's founder believes that words and art are what separate us from the animals. He wants to honour that by sharing the best poetry, an art form of the word, with the world.

Every Monday, Lore will publish a free poem to read. Poems will be published on a range of topics from love poetry, dark poetry, gothic poetry, inspirational poems, motivational poems and more. Be sure to check back next Monday for a new poem.

If you are interested in having your poem featured here on Lore, visit the 'Submit' section or email us at: lorepublications@gmail.com

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Slight Of Mind: A Psychological Thriller (Part Two) - Lore Publication

Written by M. Sigurd Hall



Part Two


“Are you OK?” I say. 
“I’m fine. Are you on your way home?” Mom says. 
“You mean to your apartment?” 
“Mine? Don’t you mean our apartment?” What’s she talking about? I haven’t lived with her in years. Is something wrong with her? Did I get a concussion in the accident? I should go see her to make sure she’s okay. 
“Yeah… Sure… I’ll come over. I’ll be there soon.” 
“Good. I’m making dinner. You hungry?” I’m not, but does that matter? Maybe I was wrong. I could see her again. 
“Yeah. I can eat.” 
“Good.” 
“Great. See you soon. Love you.” I say those last words by accident. They seem natural but aren’t anymore. 
“Love you too.” She ends the call, and I’m left standing in the lot, still wondering where my car is.  I make it to the back row and see the only car that could be mine: The Firebird that I saved every dollar of my freshman and sophomore years in high school to buy. Even though it was more than ten-years-old, I loved every minute I drove it. If this is my car, then something is wrong. Dexter Hawkins must be doing this. I doubt any other mystiker would care about me enough to target me and if they did, that’s bad. I’m immune. They cannot affect me. Emma proved that years ago. But I stand in this parking lot with the wrong keys and the wrong car. Why else would I be here if not for one of them? I walk to the Pontiac and put the key in the lock and try to twist it. Nothing happens. Something is wrong. 

Maybe I’m just delirious. Could this be mystiker manipulating me? I know why Dexter Hawkins would want to manipulate me. Anyone else, I just, can’t wrap my mind around that, not today. So, I just have to keep my head. I don’t want to lose the sanity I still have.  Don’t I need to jiggle my key for it to work? Lift, then drop, then twist, and everything works. The door opens after I lift the handle. How can this happen? It doesn’t drive, so there’s no way that it can sit in a lot, waiting for me. Maybe it’s my Subaru, and I just think it’s my other car. But as I sit in its leather seat, it feels so real that I don’t care, if only for that moment. 

The drive to the apartment runs a chill up my spine. The city is familiar and yet foreign. It’s been so long since I came back here. I see landmarks that shouldn’t be where they are, but all the roads are the same; convenience stores I remember that closed years ago and the video store and the record stores I shopped are where I remember them. It hurts to see them but I can’t help the smile twisting my lips. This is bad. I’m at my favourite hangout. I drove here by accident. I was still in my twenties when they closed. It’s tempting to stop and grab something. I can’t help my nostalgia, but if I am as broke as when I was younger, I probably can’t afford anything. There’s no reason to check my wallet. Everything is perfect. There’s no reason I would still have my credit cards or cash. If I’m stuck in the past or some mirror of the past, then I need to learn how to survive. I must find Dexter Hawkins and finish him the same way I’ve dealt with so many mystiker. 

I park and climb the stairs to Mom’s old apartment. First came fame, then came money. I moved us out of this shithole. She hated that I paid her way, insisted I take her money. I don’t even know if she realized I deposited it back in her account without a word. I owe her that. After my father left, she took care of me, treated me better than I deserved. The musty hallway reminds me how much I hated this place. We were both sick for years after living here. I’m sure Dexter Hawkins did.  I’m still alive. That means that I will see through this illusion soon. I’ll end this. He will fear me.  

My fingers grip the bannister tight enough that I force myself to let go. He will pay for doing this to me. It doesn’t feel right to just open this door. This is not my home. I don’t live here anymore. What if Mom isn’t here? I put my knuckles to the wood and knock three times. Footsteps approach, then stop. The door opens. 
“Why did you knock on the door, Tony?” Mom says. I have nothing to say. “You live here.” She’s concerned. I can see it. 
“I… I don’t know…” I say. 
“Just get your ass in the door.” 
“Okay.” 
“Where’s your backpack?” Backpack? 
“In my car, I think.” 
“Did you do your homework already?” she says. This is getting weird. 
“Sure.” I say. 
“Sure, or yes?” I don’t look her in the eyes. It’s hard to look at my Mom at all. She doesn’t look much more than forty, and even though age hasn’t caught up to her, she still looks worn down. 
“I’ll be fine, Mami,” I say. 
“Don’t talk like that,” she says. 

My father left us when I was in high school. How old am I now? If he isn’t here then I’m at least sixteen. We stopped using Spanish the day he left. My father hates English. Doubt I know anymore than the average student. I don’t need it. Life would be better if I forgot everything my father taught me. I hate him. Antonio was his name too. Tony doesn’t sound like some asshole who throws his weight around. Tony helps people. I told Mom to call me if he comes back. He isn’t so big anymore. That pendejo would regret everything he did. I’m not just some little boy anymore. 

“Sit down,” Mom says. I do as I’m told, and she drops a plate in front of me at the kitchen table. I never loved the wooden chairs with no cushions we sat on but realize how much I miss nights like these with her. 
“What’s for dinner?” I say. 
“Burritos.” 
“They aren’t even Mexican, just something made up so Americans would be able to pretend like they were eating their food. You could have made something from home. You know?” 
“You were born in America, you little jackass. You’re lucky you didn’t get a hamburger.” She gives me a smile before she walks back to the stove, bringing back the meat. The fresh vegetables end up on the table with three kinds of beans and all the different salsas she makes from scratch. I’m overwhelmed just looking at all the food. 
“You going to take a picture or eat something?” she says. 
“Eat.” I say. 
“Then do it.” 
“Okay.” I do as I’m told, putting the food into the flour tortilla and smothering it with salsa before starting in on my food. Mom doesn’t eat anything. That isn’t a good sign. She acts like she has something to say but isn’t quite ready to say it. She’s waiting to attack me, but I don’t know when that will be. Of course, it’s when I’m mid-bite. 
“How was therapy?” 
“Fine.” I have a mouth full of food. 
“Chew and swallow, Antonio.” She slaps my arm. Beans fall half between my plate and the table. 
“Do you feel like it’s helping?” 
“I don’t know,” I say. 
“It costs a lot of money. I want to know if it’s helping. Are you still seeing things?” she says. 
“You mean like when the man jumped through that wall?” I didn’t know it then, but it was the first mystiker I encountered. He stole money from a service station and jumped directly through the brick and mortar wall like it didn’t exist. I was too shocked to know what to do. He ran into me and knocked me down so that when the owner of the store ran out, all I could do was point in the direction he ran. I wasn’t heroic that day.  After that, I will never let anyone make a fool out of me like that again. I hate how horrible it felt to be so helpless, lying there as the man stood over me, staring into my eyes. 

The thing is, I think even then, I knew I could have done something about it. The fear he showed me wasn’t because of the shotgun the owner brandished as he ran away. He feared something inside me. That first mystiker knew there was something different about me.
“Yes,” she says. 
“No, I’m not,” I say. 
“Well, that’s good.” 
“I guess so. I only saw it that once anyways.” 
“It’s anyway. Use proper English.” After the grilling ends, she fills her plate and begins eating. I enjoy myself. Sure, it’s the two of us together, and I’d love to have Paige here with us, but for whatever reason she isn’t. I even try to flip through my contacts to try to find her in them. She isn’t. So, it isn’t like I can call her. I was never good with numbers. Only ones I have memorized are Mom’s and mine. She hasn’t changed hers, and I won’t change mine if I can help it. Is Paige OK? I know Mom seems fine after the accident. So maybe she is too. Then again, all of this might not even be real. It may just be the altered state I’ve been put in by mystiker. Whoever it is, Dexter Hawkins, or someone else, they are still be close. 

But if both Mom and Paige are fine, is fighting worth it? Isn’t that why I’ve fought? To help and save people? I’d love to be sure that they are fine, but how can I be sure? That’s part of the problem with these men and women. They alter perception so well that even when you’re sure that what you see is real, how can you be? I’ve been here before. It’s tempting to give in to the illusion. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in this world? It’s one where things may feel right with just enough wrong that I don’t want to fight it, but the problems aren’t even real, and that is what grounds me to my reality. 
“Let me help you clean up,” I say once we finish our food. 
“You want to help me clean up without twisting your arm?” Mom says. 
“Yeah.” 
“That’s a change.” 
“You do so much for me. you deserve it.” Whether it’s my mom or a ghost of her, I don’t know, but either way, she deserves it. Things were hard enough when I was a kid. She worked to put food on the table as a teacher, and I’m not sure I thanked her enough for all the work she did for me. 

Maybe this is part of my penance or a way that I can make up for all the nights that I left her to clean up on her own, probably holding back tears because the man who I share half my DNA with decided we weren’t worthy to spend his life with. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse that Mom never cried in front of me after he left. Sure, I caught her a few times as a kid when he was out, but never after he was gone. 
“What are you planning on studying after you graduate?” Mom asks me. 
“I don’t know,” I say. 
“Better figure that out. It’s coming up fast. Remember that.” 
“I know," I paused, "but I don’t know. Isn’t college when I’m supposed to figure all that out?” 
“Maybe when I was a kid. The world is harder now. It’s like you have to have everything planned out now when you’re eight. You just have a few months left before you’re out of here. Then what?”
“I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.” I don’t remember having this conversation with her. Did we, and I’m just misremembering it because a decade has passed? 
“Yeah, you know? I think you will.” She gives me a smile and splashes me with some of the soaking water from the sink, hitting me in the face. 
“Looks like we’re almost done except for a couple pans, eh?” 
“I think so.” 
“I’ll finish up. You go get your backpack and double-check your homework, OK?” 
“Sure.” 

I’m not going to do it, but I might as well pretend I will. My steps look like I’m going to head to the front door, but I go to my room. Things look even stranger than I remember. My youth must have been even more stunted than I remember. Action figures, comic books, and brightly-colored posters litter my walls. I feel far more exhausted than I should be at nine, so I change out of my clothes and lie down on my bed, shutting my eyes. Before long, I fall asleep. It has been a long day. 

 “Wake up, Antonio. You’re going to be late for school.” I feel a soft hand holding my shoulder and rocking me softly. What time is it, and why do I need to go to school? I’m an adult. Everything I experienced was either an illusion or a dream. There’s no way that I am that young and need to get up for school. But the fingers are long and grip my shoulder tightly enough that I open my eyes, seeing my mom staring back at me. Has she ever looked this young or beautiful? I can’t remember.  
“What? Where am I?” this feels so weird. I can’t help but ask her the questions. Why does my voice sound familiar yet so high?
“You’re in your room. It’s morning. You need to get ready for school.” With bleary eyes, I try to focus on her and don’t do a very good job. 
“Don’t worry, your dad isn’t home. Breakfast is ready when you are. I’ll heat it up for you, and you can eat it in the car, OK?” 
“Okay.” What’s going on? Why is everything so strange? It’s even worse than it was yesterday. When I get out of bed, I realize how small I am compared to the apartment. I want to scream in fear but don’t. I don’t want Mom getting upset by me, so I go to the bathroom to shower. When I go to the drawer to get out the shaving cream and razor, I stop and stare at myself.  

No. This can’t be. I’ve changed again and am far too young. 

What happened to me? Someone did this to me. I just don’t know how or why. I try not to dwell on it much and just go with it. There’s no way mystiker will be able to follow me into the school. Things will rectify themselves somewhere, and when that happens, I will be able to go back to figuring out what is happening to me and why. 

The car ride to school feels weird. Mom turns the radio to my favorite station, and we listen to music. She doesn’t complain once, even singing along to a song or two as we make the trek across town before she drops me off. 
“See you after school,” she says, handing me my backpack through the open door. 
“OK,” I say, immediately wanting to pull out my smartphone and call an Uber. Of course, when I looked for my flip phone, it was gone, and it wasn’t like that would even have an app to do that anyway. 
“Antonio!” a voice behind me says. I turn around and see Danny. My stomach flips. I want to run to the boys’ room. Throwing up sounds amazing right now. 
“Hey, Danny.” I can’t help but roil with rage when I see him. Mystiker doing this must be trying to destroy my mind. Danny has been dead since I was thirteen, hit by a car while crossing the street. 

It’s all I can do not to run away. The sound of the lawnmower that refused to stop during his memorial still haunts me. Fresh-cut grass always reminds me of Danny, even though it was only that one day. A couple hours of my life made every spring harder for me. I wish I could blame mystiker on his death, but that wasn’t what happened. Danny’s death was random. Maybe that’s why it hurts so much. The school day is hard. How could it not be? My childhood best friend is back from the grave. He acts the same way he always did, and it hurts to look at him. I can tell that he knows there is a problem, but he doesn’t seem to know what my problem is. I do my best to avoid him through the day, but he grabs me while we are waiting for our rides. 
“What’s wrong with you?” Danny says. 
“What are you talking about?” 
“Quit avoiding me.” 
“I have to.” 
“No, you don’t.” 
“Yes, I do.” 
“Why?” 
“I can’t tell you.” 
“Tell me.” 
“No.” 
“Do it.” 
“No.” He grabs me by the shirt and looks me in the face. I can’t look away. 
“Tell me.” What do I have to lose? This isn’t real. 
“You’re going to die soon.” 
“No, I’m not.” 
“Yes, you are.” Why does this hurt to say so much? 
“No, I’m not!” But in his eyes, I see that he knows I’m not lying. He might think I’m crazy, but he knows I believe what I’m saying. And I’m saved, saved by his dad pulling in and opening the door to their car. Danny turns back and looks at me one last time. His heart is broken as he looks at me, the car pulling away. This may not be him, but I know it hurts me more than him to watch him go. It’s almost like watching his small casket being lowered into the ground again. Only now, I can save him. His eyes beg me to reach out and take hold of him and this reality. Hug me. You don’t know how much I want to, Danny. It would be so easy, my pocket buzzes. 

How could it buzz? What is in it? I reach in and feel a flip phone that is a little better than the one I had in high school. I pull it out and answer it. 
“You have an appointment today,” Reiko’s voice says over the phone. 
“I do?” I say. “I…” 
“You do.” 
“It must have slipped my mind.” 
“Are you coming?” 
“I guess so.” 
“It’s going to have to be short. You’re late.” 
“OK. I’ll be there as fast as I can.” 
“Good. See you soon.” I hang up the phone and walk down the street, unsure where I’m going but sure that Mom isn’t going to pick me up from here. I am no longer a child.   







Hello and welcome to Lore Publication; thank you for reading! We want to take a moment to appreciate you for supporting Lore and the writers on our site. Without you at home reading, Lore wouldn't be possible. 

This story was Part Two of the Lore Original Series 'Slight of Mind' penned by the wonderful American writer M. Sigurd Hall, check out his socials!

LinkedIn: /msigurdhall
Facebook: /HallofSigurdBooks
Twitter: /hall_sig



Author Biography: M. Sigurd Hall


M Sigurd Hall was born on July 27th, 1983 to Alan, a first generation Norwegian, and Connie, a Tar Heel reading teacher and grew up on his great grandfather's farm. Sig's first memory is reading the Wizard of Oz before he understood the similarities between writing and Oz, the great and powerful, a person behind the words.

He starting writing as soon as he could spell. Sig drew editorial cartoons at his university's newspaper until he wrote a scathing review for X-Men: the Last Stand and added editorials to his resume. His first two screenplays were optioned but not produced by independent producers, and Sig started his own New York based production company in 2010.

Multiple hospital stays brought Sig back to Seattle in 2015. He won an award for his short story, Faceless, in 2016 and it was published in an anthology in February 2017.

Sig focuses on character driven stories in the thriller/crime and science fiction/fantasy genres. His favourite authors include Elmore Leonard, James Sallis, Sergei Lukyanenko, Dasheill Hammett, Ian Fleming, Mario Puzo, Michael Crichton, and Alexandre Dumas.

He currently lives in Seattle with his wife Kristine.





Monday, 2 December 2019

Poetry Mondays: 'Alchemy' A Poem by Sukanya Rajan - Lore Publication

'Alchemy' A Poem

by Sukanya Rajan



Image credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay


Alchemy



I'm everything at once,
And nothing at all.

I'm the sky,
I'm the stars,

I'm the petals in the spring,
And the crimson leaves in the fall.


I'm the azure waters of a town,
Quaint and afar,

I'm the cacophony of a city street,
Buzzing with cars.


I'm happiness,
I'm sorrow,
I'm yesterday,
I'm tomorrow.


I'm the dark that envelopes the light,
I'm the wrong stemming from rights.


I'm everything and I am nothing.

All at once, or none at all.






This poem was written by Sukanya Rajan. The first of many poems from this wonderful writer, Sukanya draws her inspiration from life events as well as the world around her. She believes in living life to its fullest while remaining true to what makes us human.

This post was brought to you by Lore Publication's weekly series 'Poetry Monday' where we publish poems from talented writers across the world, giving them a platform to share their work. Acting as a community, Lore's founder believes that words and art are what separate us from the animals. He wants to honour that by sharing the best poetry, an art form of the word, with the world.

Every Monday, Lore will publish a free poem to read. Poems will be published on a range of topics from love poetry, dark poetry, gothic poetry, inspirational poems, motivational poems and more. Be sure to check back next Monday for a new poem.

If you are interested in having your poem featured here on Lore, visit the 'Submit' section or email us at: lorepublications@gmail.com










Monday, 25 November 2019

Poetry Mondays: 'Radiance' A Micropoetry Collection by Stewart Storrar - Lore Publication

'Radiance' A Micropoetry Collection

by Stewart Storrar




Image credit: vuxoan via Pixabay


Illuminate


It was as if the glow of a thousand candles,
twinkled in the night sky,
The shroud of darkness curling round,
all that the eye may see.
However, all that the eye may see,
is not the twinkle of a thousand candles,
in the heavens above,
Nor the shroud of darkness.

It was the twinkle in the eyes of my love,
And the glow of her skin to match.





.although.


The fibre of my being,
Did not know,
The pain of separation,
As life's woe.

.although.

With the pain of separation,
Comes my value of you,
The only living soul,
To which I am true.




Hearts' Meeting


I can see that look in your eye,
Upon the eve of our meeting,
Our love sparks,
Our hearts' fleeting.

What is your pain,
That hidden sorrow?
Today marks,
Our new tomorrow.

So don't give into that fear,
See that tomorrow,
Live your life,
Forget that sorrow.




Blaze


Love her wild,
Or let her go.
There are no half measures.









This collection was written by Stewart Storrar, the founder of Lore Publication. With a love for poetry that dates back years into his high school days, Stewart has always been a keen poet as well as a keen creative writer. This week for Poetry Monday, Lore decided to put out another collection of some of Stewart's micro poetry into one post. The poetry above was written from one soul to another, for a person he loves dearly. Enjoy.



If you are looking to get poetry featured here on Lore, be sure to contact Lore via our email address or social media to talk more about it!


Saturday, 23 November 2019

Slight of Mind: A Psychological Thriller (Part One) - Lore Publication

Written by M. Sigurd Hall



Part One




She isn’t late. Stop being impatient. There’s nothing wrong with me. She just needs to know that. Then I’ll leave. It’s going to be fine. I’ll just say what I must then leave. 

I stare at the clock. Each second’s tick feels like forever. I don’t want to be here. But this isn’t my choice. I take a few, deep breaths and look around the room. The three people attempt to hide their stares. They must know who I am. But after what happened, I’m not surprised no one wants my autograph. That’s fine though. I don’t want to be here. It’s mandated. I tan, but not good enough to make faded orange work. The judge ordered this, and I guess it’s better than the alternative. Does anyone like confined spaces? 

Footsteps click against the wooden floor five minutes after the hour. At least this is better than a doctor’s office, unless these footsteps belong to someone else. Maybe they aren’t here for me. 

A woman appears from around the corner. She looks upset and passes us for the exit, her cheeks spotted a strawberry red. The door slams behind her. 

More footsteps force me to turn my head. I almost dig for my phone; I’m sure that this time, it’s someone else who had an appointment. The next woman who comes out looks studious with thick glasses magnifying her eyes and her hair pulled back into a ponytail. She reminds me of those cartoons when they try to make bugs look human and attractive. It doesn’t work. She might as well be Jeff Goldblum in that old movie.

“Antonio Ramos?” she says, more at the other man then me. She doesn’t know who I am? Seriously? I was on three different news stations last week alone. Then there are my specials and the two books I’ve written. Even though I’m not thirty yet, I’m accomplished. My Mom is proud. So, the fact that I’m sitting here is surprising. But I am. He isn’t even Hispanic. This gotta be a joke. 

“Yeah?” I say, gripping my chair’s armrests. 

“Are you ready?” 

“Sure.” I stand. 

“Follow me.” We walk down the hall into an office this woman designed to make people feel more comfortable. The walls are wooden, and my eyes search for what to do next. She gestures the thick, leather chairs that look older than mi abuela. There’s even a couch. You want me to lie there? This is a joke, but who’s playing it on me. I’m not supposed to be here. “Sit wherever you like,” she says. I take a seat in the closest chair and don’t say anything. Not like I’m gonna be here that long. She sits across from me on the couch, kicking off her shoes and tucking her legs under her. “I’m Kim. It’s good to meet you.” My silence continues. What do I say here? I’m not here because I want to be. “Do you want to start with why you’re here?” Don’t play games with me. 

“You know why I’m here. And call me Tony. I fucking hate when people call me Antonio.” 

“Well, at least you’re willing to talk to me. And I’m happy to call you Tony. But why are you here?” 

“You don’t know about the accident?” 

“I do.” 

“Then why are you asking?” It’s all I can do to stay here. I wanna leave. That tiny voice in my head tells me to stay. It sounds like Carla. If she wants me here, I stay. I’ll do anything for her. 

“I want to hear it in your words. Please. Tell me why you’re here.” 

“I got in a car accident.” 

“That’s what you’d call it?” 

“That’s what happened.” 

“So, you wouldn’t say you endangered anyone?” My face is hot. Choose your words. Don’t just start yelling. Don’t be like that asshole. 

“Not intentionally.” 

“But people were injured.” I shake my head and let my fingers rub my forehead hard. 

“Sure. Whatever you say, doc.” 

“I’m not a doctor.” When I look back at her, Kim’s hair is different, and her glasses are gone. That’s weird. I try to look for where her glasses are. I know I shut my eyes when I shook my head. Yeah, I was that disgusted, but did she have that long?

“Whatever,” I say. 

“What caused the accident?” 

“I was following someone too fast in my car. Why do you think it happened?” She ignores my question. 

“How fast were you driving?” she says. 

“I don’t know, maybe eighty?” 

“Downtown.” 

“Yeah. I had somewhere to be,” I needed to be in his grill. He begged me for it. 

“Where?” 

“I needed to catch up to someone before it was too late.” 

“Why?” 

“He-” I don’t know how to say it without making myself sound like an asshole or I’m crazy. 

“What?” 

“He’s destroying people’s lives.” 

“How?” 

“His business was built on the pain and suffering of people who didn’t deserve it.” 

“Would you give me details?” I don’t care if she’s feigning interest. It’s not like people want to hear what I gotta say. I tried that before. That’s why I’m here. Memories of Ricky Andrews smiling in front of his bank make me sneer. I’m not violent. But his face needs to feel the wood of a baseball bat against it. 

“It’s hard.” 

“Why?” 

“If you knew what I did-” 

“Tell me,” she says. Fine. She wants to know. I’ll tell her every little thing. I been living a lie too long anyway. Someone’s gotta know. Maybe she is special too. 

“He’s mystiker,” I say, revealing his secret to a stranger. That was stupid. But not like I can go back or nothing now. 

“So, he’s contemplative? You called him a mystic, right? It was just in another language.” I shake my head and say, 

“No. Mystiker are insidious.” 

“How?” 

“They can control you.” 

“What do you mean?” she’s concerned. Good. You should be, bug lady. These people are animals. Kill you without a second thought. Usually it’s worse though. Death is nice compared to what they do. 

“You know about mind control, right?” I say, not waiting for her to answer. 

“These people can put thoughts in your head, make you do things you don’t wanna. Some people would call it magic. It isn’t. There’s no fairies or pixie dust here. Just dickheads who want to have what isn’t theirs.” 

“And you know about it?” she doesn’t believe me.

“How? If people could do this, wouldn’t everyone know? What makes you so special?” 

“I am fucking special. I’m famous. Isn’t that the definition of the word?” 

“How are you famous, Tony?” 

“Don’t you have a TV?” I say. “I’ve had my own show and so many specials I don’t even know how many anymore.” I know she’s confused. I can see it in her eyes. “Almost ten years ago, I got famous for making some guy look stupid. Now, I do that for a living, making people look stupid.” 

“You are famous for making people look stupid?” she says, using my words like she thinks they’re a weapon. 

“I got famous being able to debunk magicians and other mysteries?”  

“You’re not famous, Antonio.” 

“Tony,” I say, a little pissed that she refuses to call me what I want to be called. I hate my full name.

“Call me Tony.” 

“Tony.” Her smile looks as fake as ever, but it looks strange. The way her face contorts makes her look like a different person than the woman who brought me into the office from the waiting room. 

“So, what do you call famous?” 

“Have you been on TV?” 

“You know I have. I just said I got my own show.”

“When?” 

“Three days ago, was the last time, I think? Sometime last week. Another interview is coming up. I don’t keep track anymore. You think I’m egotistical?” she shakes her head. “I gotta stay out of view right now. That’s what Melinda tells me. Wait for people to forget about the accident, you know?” 

“Who is Melinda?” she says. 

“My publicist.”  

“You’re eighteen, Antonio. You don’t have a publicist. What accident?” 

“What are you talking about? I’m not eighteen.” She’s nuts, not me. 

“How old do you think you are?” she says.

“Twenty-eight. I don’t think I am. I know I am twenty-eight.” 

“We can talk about that during our next session, but I’m not sure that is something that would be constructive to discuss today. We are almost out of time anyway.” 

“I just got here.” 

“You just got here almost an hour ago.” I shake my head again and refuse to shut my eyes in case something happens. Her office feels different. Yes, it’s older than when I entered, but even then, its design feels more updated. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. What is wrong with me? And the pictures of a family on her desk, they weren’t there when I entered. She doesn’t seem the type who would have them, those cute ones with kittens falling from a branch and sayings like ‘Hang in there.’ What’s going on with my head?

“Then, I guess I’ll see you soon,” I say. Ten more of these stupid things. That’s what I gotta do before everything gets cleared up with the lawyers. 

“Yes,” she says, standing. “Good seeing you again, Tony.” Again? What’s she talking about.

“You too, Kim.” It’s hard to stop the sarcasm in my voice. I just met her. What’s this ‘again’ she’s talking about? 

“Kim?” she says. 

“That’s your name. I’m good with names.” She shakes her head and says, 

“My name is Reiko. You know that.” 
“Oh, right-” I stare at her. What the hell is wrong with me? 

“You just said you were good with names. We haven’t had this problem before. Make sure to contact me if anything else happens, okay?” Raiko says.  

“Fine. Whatever.” 

“Promise me? I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.” 

“Like what?” I say. 

“You aren’t going to harm yourself, right?” 

“I’m fine.” 

“And you’ll contact me if things get worse?” she says. 

“Fine,” I say, done with this conversation. 

“Good. Thank you.” I leave through the door that doesn’t look the same when I entered and see a long hallway that’s different too. But, something feels familiar. Why do I know where I am yet, somehow, I know I wasn’t here today? This is weird. 

The parking lot is no different. Where am I, and what’s going on? Everything is strange. I walk through it, trying to find my sporty sedan that I bought earlier this year. It does exactly what I want, and I’ve poured more money into it so that the four-cylinder engine will do two hundred if I push it hard. It wouldn’t surprise me if my COBB’d WRX is one-of-a-kind. Did someone steal it? 

I pull my keys from my pocket. There’s no FOB or even a Subaru key attached. What is going on? Something is so wrong. These are the keys to the Pontiac that has been sitting without a transmission or engine, just waiting for me to give it some TLC when I can. 

My cell phone rings in my pocket. It shouldn’t ring. My phone’s always on vibrate. That way, I don’t get glares when we’re taping. Why is it so obnoxious? I haven’t used this ring tone since I was a kid. I pull my phone from my pocket and flip it to answer it. Something is so wrong here. This isn’t my phone, not really. 
“Hello?” I say. 

“Tony,” I hear the voice on the other end say.

“Yeah?” 

“Where are you?” 

“I just got out of my appointment. Who is this?” I say. 

“Who do you think it is? Didn’t you look at your caller ID?” 

“No.” 

“This is your mother. You don’t recognize my voice?” It’s not her. There’s no way. We haven’t spoken in weeks. The sound of her voice makes my knees weak. That accident wasn’t supposed to hurt anyone, especially not the woman who raised me for years without any support. 

“Yes-” I say. There’s no way someone would pretend to be her. Why would they? 

“We haven’t spoken in so long. I just didn’t expect a call from you.” 

“What are you talking about?” she asks. Right now, I’m not too sure...





Hello and welcome to Lore Publication; thank you for reading! We want to take a moment to appreciate you for supporting Lore and the writers on our site. Without you at home reading, Lore wouldn't be possible. 


This story was Part One of the Lore Original Series 'Slight of Mind' penned by the wonderful American writer M. Sigurd Hall, check out his socials! Part Two will be out next Saturday (30th November 2019).

LinkedIn: /msigurdhall
Facebook: /HallofSigurdBooks
Twitter: /hall_sig



Author Biography: M. Sigurd Hall


M Sigurd Hall was born on July 27th, 1983 to Alan, a first generation Norwegian, and Connie, a Tar Heel reading teacher and grew up on his great grandfather's farm. Sig's first memory is reading the Wizard of Oz before he understood the similarities between writing and Oz, the great and powerful, a person behind the words.

He starting writing as soon as he could spell. Sig drew editorial cartoons at his university's newspaper until he wrote a scathing review for X-Men: the Last Stand and added editorials to his resume. His first two screenplays were optioned but not produced by independent producers, and Sig started his own New York based production company in 2010.

Multiple hospital stays brought Sig back to Seattle in 2015. He won an award for his short story, Faceless, in 2016 and it was published in an anthology in February 2017.

Sig focuses on character driven stories in the thriller/crime and science fiction/fantasy genres. His favourite authors include Elmore Leonard, James Sallis, Sergei Lukyanenko, Dasheill Hammett, Ian Fleming, Mario Puzo, Michael Crichton, and Alexandre Dumas.

He currently lives in Seattle with his wife Kristine.





Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Fat of the Land: A Free Flash Fiction (Science Fiction)

Fat of the Land: A Free Flash Fiction (Science Fiction)


Welcome to Lore Publication; a place where you can find insightful media for insightful minds. If you are new here, Lore is a publication that publishes free short stories and free flash fiction for all the avid book lovers out there! We focus on publishing mainly horror, science fiction, fantasy, thriller and mystery themed stories and invite you to join us and support our writers. Part of what we do at Lore is that we realize not everybody can afford new ebooks and free ebooks on the market are a way of combating this problem. Our free stories are no different! 

For today's post we are introducing another science fiction story from English writer Mark Huntley-James in which a new, dangerous pathogen has swept across the United States 💀👀
Enjoy!



Image credit: WikiImages via Pixabay



I blame the tourists — that’s what they always say. Personally, I blame the postal service, but Mary Reynolds blames her cousin. Forget the damned tourists. They’re vaccinated for everything. The real killers now are industrial spills and incurable human stupidity — Mary’s cousin has that in full measure.

Are they going to be OK? Mary asks that a lot, and currently she is my only source of information. Her husband, his brother, and their son are all comatose — patients zero, one and two, victims of our nastiest outbreak of obesity-related lipofungus.

I know everyone gets a dose now and then, no worse than dandruff from hell, unless it get under your skin. At least their family doctor spotted it and got the whole family into isolation. Then I had my first conversation with Mary.

It starts like this: have you been abroad recently?

“No, no, we’re going to Corfu next month…” Thin as a rake, so not a candidate for the lipofungus, and knotting her fingers together as an alternative to crying. “Put the deposit down.”
I didn’t tell her that plan was changed, and the deposit probably forfeit. The important thing was that none of them had been abroad. Nor did any of them work in or around any business using industrial lipofungus. I worked through the questionnaire, expanded the cast of characters to include friends and more distant relatives…

“Well, there’s my cousin over in Florida. Moved last year, but she ain’t been back.”

I would have skipped to the next question, but Florida? Really? The biggest outbreak of lipofungus in the world, all over the news…

“Has your cousin sent you anything lately?”

“Oh, yeah. Really silly. Sent us a snow-globe from Florida. Daft, ain’t it. Silly card as well. Saw this and thought of you.”

What sort of idiot drives from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville to post a parcel overseas, just because the Governor suspended postal services out of the area due to their lipofungus outbreak?

Equally, why didn’t the US Postal Service ask a few more questions, like where did this come from? And why didn’t Royal Mail ask should we be worried about parcels from Florida?

“Show me this snow-globe.”

The Reynolds lived in an old, terraced house, part of a row faced with a patchwork of external insulation, and similarly padded within. That’s the worst possible combination — a shiny new exterior over a maze of older material where pathogens and their transport can hide. As soon as Mary opened the front door it hit me — the certainty that this would be a long day, and the over-powering scent of dog. A soppy border collie snuffled at me, clearly too old and tired to jump, bark and check the stranger for snacks.

“Don’t mind Doris…” Mary patted the dog. “She’s just a bit low like the rest of us.”

I examined the snow-globe by eye and dropped it in a bag for more detailed inspection later. Mary pulled the packaging out of the recycling bags — a cardboard box, bubble-wrap, an outer layer of brown paper with all the postal service stamps and franking. I bagged everything.

“So, you opened the parcel Tuesday…?” I waited for a nod — we’d been over this, but it’s important to keep asking the same annoying questions in the hope of a sudden… no, wait, I almost forgot… “All the family together? And your husband got sick first on Saturday…?” Another nod, but then this was the easy, well-established detail. “And you called the doctor straight away that evening…?”

“Oh, yes. Straight away. As soon as the match was done.”

The match. Of course. Who cares what the sport was?

“So, straight away, after the match… so when did your husband actually get sick?”

“About lunchtime, I suppose. Feeling a bit hot, he said, but the match was starting…” I could see it in her eyes, the moment it clicked… if only she’d called the doctor sooner. “And then he got bit.” She waved at Doris — great, brown, soulful eyes… is it walkies time? “She’s overdue for her flea treatment, y’see? And he was scratching at the bite, and it went all weird and weepy, so I called the doctor and said it was an emergency, y’see?”

All weird and weepy — just the sort of secondary effects you get when those damned industrial fat-digesters get a grip on a human body. Those extra hours meant nothing. The lipofungus usually takes ten days plus to show symptoms, even in obese patients with a totally shot immune system. This took four.

I gathered up the evidence bags, patted Doris, and yes, she does need her flea-treatment. I scratched at a bite on my ankle and then stared at it– perfectly normal for a flea bite, but…

I patted the dog again and looked into those warm, canine eyes. I had missed the scattering of petechiae the first time.

“How old is Doris?”

“Two. Nearly three. Had her since she were a pup…”

A young dog, who ought to be full of life. I scratched that flea bite on my ankle again. So… Mister Reynolds got sick, got bitten, the flea then bit Doris… Lipofungus does not propagate like that. Just like it doesn’t colonise dogs, or humans with a robust immune system.

“Mary…fetch her lead.” I was in a hurry to get back. Figuring out how the lipofungus got transmitted could wait until I was dosed to the eyeballs with every anti-fungal known to medicine. This damn fungus was breaking all the rules.

“Doris, Doris… good girl… just put this on… good girl… damn fleas…”

Mary scratched a new bite, and then an old one on her arm. All weird and weepy. I noticed, but then I’m trained for this.

“Uh… Mary?” I had to ask the question. “How long have you had that?” I didn’t really hear the answer and had to ask again. Flea-bites — who would have thought it? The smart money in the office sweepstake was on mosquitoes as the next big carrier.

Mary, as skinny as a rake, and so obviously in the early stages of obesity-related lipofungus.
There was so much to do — quarantine the house, the whole Reynolds family, anyone who might have passed Doris in the park… and get myself treated, really, really fast. And time to rename this bug, because it clearly wasn’t obesity-related any more.

I’m too thin to die. I hope.



Writer Information - Before You Go!




This wonderful flash fcition Fat of the Land was written by Mark Huntley-James from England and was first experience at a live reading event organized by Virtual Futures before being published with Lore. Mark also has two books out on Amazon. If you loved his style, be sure to pop over and check out his novels; Hell of a Deal and Road To Hell to futher support his writing! You can check out Mark's Twitter page here for updates on his new releases!

Be sure to follow Lore over on Twitter too for our latest updates and follow us here on Blogger; never miss a new publication. Have a good day!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Poetry Mondays: 'The Song of Your Stars' A Poem by Stewart Storrar - Lore Publication

The Song of Your Stars

by Stewart Storrar




Image credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay



I am the voice of star struck poets,


The call of the enchanted singer,


The vision of the inspired filmmaker,


And the rhythm of bards alike.




What be I, I hear you ask?


I am everything and nothing,


The fate of a million dreams failed,


The destiny of a million more realized.

I am the wind to the sails of time,


The current to the waters of reality.




I am what you fear,
But also what you love.




I am life as you lead it.




I am the song of your stars.








This poem was written by Stewart Storrar, the founder of Lore Publication. With a love for poetry that dates back years into his high school days, Stewart has always been a keen poet as well as a keen creative writer. This poem was originally published by P.S. I Love You, an online medium publication that Stewart has also worked with in the past. Be sure to check them out too and enjoy! 



Want your Poems featured on Lore? Send us your submission now via email at: lorepublications.com