Transitions and Awakenings: No Regrets

We're so excited to be publishing our first anthology, "Transitions and Awakenings: No Regrets" this month! Interested? Take a look at story excerpts and order now to get the ebook or paperback!


Story Excerpts


“Pitching Shemp” by James Beamon

We opened the curtains together, smooth as if we were on the honor guard, our well-honed process to swap a body taking all of two minutes.  Handling the gallon jugs made for a much smoother process than our older method of loading giant dirt bags. Besides, it was nice to re-purpose those empty milk cartons, go green and shit.  Only drawback was me and Mojo were going to have to up our intake of Honey Nut Cheerios if we wanted to be ready for the next corpse grab.

I gave a curt nod toward the pall bearers and stepped out of the way.  Six men stepped upon the stage with white gloves. Theirs was the noble task of bearing a casket of dirt jugs out of the funeral home and en route to its final resting place.

My tasks were less noble and involved selling a body and buying more milk.


“Trail of Stars” by Laura Hardgrave

As they ran, Hatch saw the glaring spotlight of the police drones from the corner of an eye. She stumbled on a broken propeller and caught herself.

"Don't look back," Ly said. "We got time. We could do cartwheels and still outrun 'em." They could barely make out the dim silhouette of Wildfire where she was hidden beneath a large dumpster. Wildfire looked like she belonged in the junkyard herself. She meant everything to Ly--almost as much as their freedom.

Hatch heard the sick, grating whir of a police drone. She risked another frantic glance and saw the drone gaining on them. It's too close.

Technically Magic” by  Jason Kimble

Finally able to notice something other than the nihilistic war of one section of his body against the other, Brody swore. Climate controls were mana-fried, and the nothing response he got trying to initiate liftoff meant both mag-lev and cyclones were offline. In fact, when he was done swearing, about the only sound left in the car was the howling blizzard.

"Fuck," he moaned.

Now he was done swearing.


Wendigo Problems” by K.B. Spangler

We set up a portable stand in a pair of black spruce, the leg dangling over a snare trap. Fagan tells me that no self-respecting predator would fall for such an obvious setup; I remind him that this is no bear.

“She’s been cursed,” I say, as I wipe my bloody hand on my jeans. “They’re compelled. Once they know there’s human flesh around, they can’t stop until they’ve eaten. The young ones are usually dumb about it, and relentless.”

That takes a moment to sink in. Once it does, Fagan glares at me.

I shrug. “We killed her mate. She was already after us.”


“A Day In The Life” by Robin Black

She looked pretty healthy, for someone who was dead. Her hair black was tied up in a messy bun. Her lips were still red from lipstick, and her green eyes were wide and clear. She would have almost looked like a true person if not for the slight fade to her skin, the way the light didn’t bend around her correctly, but passed through her, like dirty air. There was also the dark, dusty purple bruises blossoming around her neck, still forming perfect fingertips and thumbprints.

“I don’t like wasting time,” he said. “Like to get to business. Who do you want dead, and who are you going to trade for them?”


“Luz Is the Light of My Life” by Carlos Hernandez

Valentin crosses his arms like an angry djinn. "Respect? We're authorized by the United Nations to take you by force if we have to. Even kill you, if the situation merited it."  

And I, as good cop: "Obviously, we'd prefer handling the situation in a much more respectful manner."  

She smiles at me, leans back, drinks, drinks. "Why do I do this to myself?" she asks the night sky. "Why do I threaten to kill myself? I wonder if a gun my mind invented actually kill me. Or would I just awake, the way you do when you die in dreams? Would Manuel bring me cafecito in bed like he used to and pet my hair and say 'It was just a nightmare, mi vida'?"  

She dumps the rest of the wine into her mouth and says "¡Ah!" and then turns to me and says, "I'm too much of a coward to find out. I've disappeared your guns."


Sand’s Speaking Solemn” by Sierra July

She darts back from the crack and doubles over in relief. Desegators required light to catch their prey. Night tranquilized them, as did shade. She turns to carry on and sees more wide chasms about her, a maze of Desegator-dug landmines. Getting away from this many, with the sun now uncovered and no new patch for its cyclop’s eye in sight, would take a Razorwing’s snatching her up and lifting her off with its blink-and-miss speed; since they were extinct, that was pure hoping.

Stock-still she stays till she thinks her bones will steel, till her blood feels to have hardened with them and her legs have grown stiff, until she can’t stay steady any longer, and her foot shifts.


A Woman’s Work” by R. J. Joseph

I kissed the three of them and replaced kicked off covers. Jamarcus would be done wolfing down his food soon, so I hurried into our bedroom. I swept the massager and warm oil from the nightstand into the wastebasket against the foot of the bed. There would be no romantic massage that evening, and I felt stupid for having thought I could salvage anything in the marriage.

There hadn’t been a romantic moment between us for a very long time. I pulled off my clothes and put on the homeliest pajamas I owned, hoping to fend him off that night. He was most in the mood for the rough, quick sex that had become our staple coupling whenever he was in a foul mood like he was that night. I wasn’t feeling it, and I didn’t want to have to fight. I made my retreat to the hall bathroom, to wait him out.


“Freeman’s Truth” by David Rheinhart

Momma, bless her heart, never did understand my infatuation with Booker Freeman. Truth be told, at the time, I didn’t either. There was something magnetic about that wrinkled black man. Something honest in his calloused hands. Honesty is such a hard thing to come by these days that sometimes we don’t recognize it for what it is.

Music takes honesty, and there was no better a musician than Booker Freeman.


Nahuales” by Anton Rose

Elena walked around the garden, studying the different plants and flowers, marveling at how different the flora was compared with Oxford. She was interrupted by the sound of scratching, and she turned round just as a great dark-furred cat, like a jaguarondi or an ocelot, leapt down from roof of the house.

Elena flinched instinctively, but then she smiled, recognizing the markings on the beast’s fur. It landed gracefully, cushioned on the ground, and then in one fluid movement it moved through the air and changed, like water being poured from a spout, until Elena’s Abuela stood in front of her.

“It’s good to see you, Nieta,” she said, and then she sat down in one of the chairs. “Come, join me.”