Recent Posts

The Science of Retail Politics - a short story by Owen E Richason IV
Posted in Drama Suspense

The Science of Retail Politics

A well-seasoned incumbent is leading his upstart challenger by a big margin, but late in the campaign, the polls, enthusiasm, and momentum drastically change, baffling the career politician…

Some people say politics is all about perception. Others argue it’s persuasion. Then, there are those who postulate it’s really populism. 

They’re all wrong. 

It’s about positioning, picking and choosing what’s right for the particular audience – pandering the cynics call it. At least, that’s what I used to think. That is, before this last campaign began. A run that should have resulted in a win. But, went down to humiliating defeat.… Continue reading...

Occurrence by Chance a slice of life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Family Slice of Life

Occurrence by Chance (Slice of Life)

Overdrawn. Again. 

The third time in as many consecutive months. And, payday was still far too long off to bring any semblance of financial relief – no fewer than eleven days until the next direct deposit hit. Making matters worse, an overtime moratorium at work – which meant no way to supplement the next check – not to mention a super slow side gig that hadn’t brought in much lately. 

Running the short-term budget numbers only served to bring on more anxiety and frustration, blunting out any possible cockeyed optimism. Although there was generally a clear way to look on … Continue reading...

How to Build a Navy without Warship a short historical fiction story by Owen E Richason IV
Posted in Action Drama Historical Fiction Suspense

How to Build a Navy without Warships

A handsome eighteenth-century sea warfare captain, a very prolific and experienced, but argumentative and quick-tempered individual, sails into history by fighting and winning seemingly insurmountable naval battles without a warship…

11 p.m. Heavily salted air served to break up a biting, persistent frost that threatened to cling to every exposed surface. The bitter chill and moisture foretold of a coming notorious English summer – the likes of which had not been experienced for years – a soggy, insufferable season only about a month away. 

As midnight neared, two small boats lowered from a larger ship, a 308-foot, 313-long ton, sloop-of-war, … Continue reading...

Dream Small a slice of life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Family Slice of Life

Dream Small (Slice of Life)

“Good afternoon. Please, come in,” a soft, welcoming voice said from behind an oversized, ornate swinging door as it slowly opened, revealing a large entryway leading to a grand, winding staircase in the center, set just past an impressive foyer hosting four large paintings, the works of two famous artists.

As the door closed, it sent a startling thud that echoed well past the tall hall and throughout the big city townhouse while simultaneously silencing the hectic street noise roaring outside. “Sorry about that. I tend to forget just how loud that is. You’d think it would be top of … Continue reading...

Green Pill Red Pill - a short story by Owen E. Richason IV
Posted in Drama Family Suspense

Green Pill, Red Pill

An alcoholic, desperate to quit, takes part in an experimental test that promises to remove any urge to drink, but the cure comes at a considerable cost…

The sting of intense, white light penetrated through tightly closed eyelids – the skin no longer able to repel the bright waves emanating from blazing ceiling fixtures. The piercing onslaught of the artificial beams doubled by the natural illumination of the sun’s rays flooding into the room through an unobstructed window.

Every single surface glared and practically no corner or crevice stayed dark – except a shadow cast against a white wall – … Continue reading...

Sisters Crossing a slice of life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Family Slice of Life

Sisters Crossing (Slice of Life)

Linnea sat quietly sobbing in her tiny studio apartment as she read over all the details on her baby boy’s birth certificate. It was all she had left to remember him by and she had not so much as looked at the document in the last twenty-some-odd years. 

In fact, the creases were tucked so tightly together for so long, the paper would fold on its own if she didn’t hold it with both hands – one at the top and one on the bottom. But, this was a nearly impossible task, given the tears rolling down her face required … Continue reading...

Born Again Boston - a short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Action Drama Historical Fiction

Born Again Boston

You probably know the name of the man who shot Lincoln. You may even know the gunman was a famous actor in his day, a southern sympathizer, and an ardent partisan. But, do you know the truly outlandish story behind the man who shot and killed the 16th President’s assassin?

Thick plumes of smoke billowed high into the air, escaping the heavy fog settled on the ground, fueled by a combustible mixture of kerosene, dry-rotted wood, and huge stocks of tobacco leaves, previously hung high above the floor from old frayed hemp rope. 

The structure engulfed by the raging fire … Continue reading...

That Intersection - Slice of Life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

That Intersection (Slice of Life)

I saw a pedestrian cross a busy intersection the other day. 

On my way to pick my son up from school, I stopped at a red light at a busy intersection. On the southeast corner, to my right stood a man, no more than about 5 ft 7 in tall, dressed in a muted orange shirt and long black khaki pants, about his mid-fifties, judging from the characteristics of his face. 

He held a reusable shopping bag and lottery tickets in his right hand, using his left to push the crosswalk button. (I only noticed this detail because he would … Continue reading...

A Very Simple Explanation - a short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Family Sci-Fi

A Very Simple Explanation

A troubled, deeply unfulfilled yet very successful middle-aged corporate executive, who was brought up in a wealthy but highly dysfunctional household, is given a remarkable chance to change his life; and after accepting the exceptionally rare offer, experiences an outcome that is utterly unimaginable…

Theodore begrudgingly woke to an intense ray of sunlight, piercing through a slim gap in the otherwise tightly closed window blinds of his corner office suite. Weirdly contorted on a couch meant for clients, vendors, and visitors, he could barely draw focus on the coffee table – littered with empty liquor bottles – merely an arm’s … Continue reading...

Just another Day at the Office Slice of Life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Slice of Life

Just another Day at the Office (Slice of Life)

A dead battery meant being late for work this morning, and now, a flat tire in the parking lot at lunch, with an in-person client meeting in less than 30 minutes. Needless to say, the day wasn’t going well, and to make it worse, there wasn’t a spare either. Time to catch a ride share to try and make it on time or, run out of time waiting for a tow truck and wasting a lot of time at the nearest auto repair shop. So, only one real option.

Making it to the meeting with just minutes to spare, sheer … Continue reading...

Please don't Let Me Fall - a historical fiction short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Crime Drama Historical Fiction

Please, Don’t Let Me Fall

The assassination of the 16th United States President was a first for the country in more than one regard, and one of those accused of being in on the plot would become the subject of controversy – not only contemporarily – but far into the future…

“Sic semper tyrannis!” was not just the ranting of a deranged, racist, secessionist – it rekindled a rallying cry for those seeking justice in the brutal and cowardly assassination of one of the most beloved figures in history. In fact, the Latin phrase was even then, and remains, the state motto of Virginia – … Continue reading...

How One Particular End Began - Slice of Life - by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Romance Slice of Life

How One Particular End Began (Slice of Life)

The end had already begun.

By this time, the young couple’s parting was inevitable; and to prove it, it had been more than a week since he and she had seen each other in person – something unthinkable just months earlier. 

Still, it was only hours since they had last spoken on the phone – a strange new dynamic that had become quite common during the past few weeks. But also, very different from before their relationship changed subtly yet undeniably. Prior to this unforeseen change, they spent every day together. Now, maybe once or twice a month at the … Continue reading...

A Most Desperate Pact - a short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Action Drama Suspense

A Most Desperate Pact

Just as the war against man ended, the war with nature began. 

Stranded in a remote area, far away from any semblance of civilization or basic infrastructure, a new struggle to survive is now a constant and desperate reality. Just three days ago, another member of our dwindling group finally succumbed to his injuries, his mortal end quickened by the unforgiving, unrelenting elements of this place.

Miraculously, now perhaps, unfortunately, I made it through numerous enemy encounters with just minor wounds which have largely healed, only to be left in the direst of circumstances. I somehow share this inexplicable “luck” … Continue reading...

Why did God Create so Many Animals a slice of life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Family Slice of Life

Why did God Create So Many Animals? (Slice of Life)

It was a bright, sunny afternoon, with a few happy, puffy clouds dotting the sky. When the dismissal bell rang, Melony eagerly awaited her 8-year-old Billy, who just finished his first week of 3rd grade.

He playfully skipped out of the school, and onto the playground, the teacher following behind her class. After checking her boy out with the teacher, Melony let him play for a half hour before getting him in the car.

“So, how was school today?”

“Pretty good.”

“What did you learn?”

“Oh, a little math and some other stuff.”

“Hmmm…what other stuff, Billy?”

“Well, we have … Continue reading...

The Soul-Crushing Clutch of Undeserved Obscurity by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Historical Fiction Suspense

The Soul-Crushing Clutch of Undeserved Obscurity

Modern-day information and entertainment would not be the same without the contribution of one unlikely inventor, who changed society so profoundly but was unjustly denied the fame and fortune he rightly earned after many years of hard work and sacrifice…

Sharp pains interrupted his tortured, shallow breathing as sweat beaded and dripped from his forehead. His skin pale, clammy, cold, and riddled with goosebumps as a chill persisted throughout his entire body. His eyes sunken, bloodshot, crying out for help in the inevitable, unwinnable struggle with death. 

This was the end. The final conscious moments of a brilliant mind, now … Continue reading...

coin and coincidence slice of life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Crime Drama Slice of Life

Coin and Coincidence (Slice of Life)

Ever eager to make a quick buck, Burris suddenly had a devious idea. The scheme came to him in a moment of disappointment, disproportionately motivated by desperation. Being nearly five grand in the hole, it would take at least that amount, plus another $60k to get him through the year. So, $120,000 would undoubtedly be much sweeter.

Even better, such a score would nicely set him up for the next big thing – the one to put him so far into the black side of the ledger, he could give up the game for good. All he had to do … Continue reading...

A Dark Harvest Yields Light by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Family

A Dark Harvest Yields Light

Abandoned by his mother only a few months after his birth, Taft had to rely solely on his dysfunctional dad. A man who always kept his word but could be very cruel at times. By the age of fourteen, the teenage boy knew what he wanted to do in life. So, he carefully laid out a plan: graduate at the top of his class, earn a degree in finance, and join a prestigious firm. But, one obstacle would be extremely difficult to overcome – the continued presence of his ne’er-do-well, alcoholic father. Thankfully, his dad’s many years of harvesting in Continue reading...

From Kindness to Incredulity - a slice of life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Family Slice of Life

From Kindness to Incredulity (Slice of Life)

Under sunny blue skies with a pleasant breeze sweeping across the little league field, Ryan and Sienna shared a mutual excitement – it was his first year as a coach and her’s as a team mom. Their ten-year-old, Tyler, rushed into the dugout, hastily throwing his equipment bag onto the bench before running onto the diamond and taking the pitcher’s mound, winding up, miming a knuckleball delivery, then a fastball.

“Hey Tyler, that’s some great form, there, buddy! Now, come back over here and help Mom carry the snacks.”

“All right, Dad!”

It was a half hour before the team’s … Continue reading...

Line Jackson a historical fiction short story by Owen E Richason IV
Posted in Action Historical Fiction

Remember the Raisin!

The Battle of New Orleans is considered one of the most important American victories in the War of 1812, and one man helped to turn the fight against the British from a lost cause to a triumph that would seal the end of the Second War of Independence…

Hungry, sleep deprived, exhausted, and inadequately dressed for harsh winter conditions, one thousand Kentucky militia, poorly provisioned, with very little ammunition – most with as little as ten rounds, and sparse military training or experience – marched nearly 400 miles from their home state, up through the horrid black Ohio swamplands into … Continue reading...

Forever Moments slice of life by Owen Richason
Posted in Family Slice of Life

Forever Moments (Slice of Life)

Laura looked over at the smart display on the end table next to her husband. It was noticeably, undoubtedly late for a school night – about an hour past their tween boy’s usual bedtime. But, she and her husband had already given their word – a new time for Patrick to tuck in. After all, he wasn’t a baby or a toddler anymore. He wasn’t even in elementary school any longer. A precocious seventh grader with an excellent academic record and a very specific plan for his future adult profession, he successfully negotiated a new time for lights out on … Continue reading...

Pretty Penelope's Pernicious Perfidy a short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Crime Drama

Pretty Penelope’s Pernicious Perfidy

Pretty young Penelope and her husband have everything they could ever want and more, courtesy of his shrewd business sense that offers them a life of luxury. Unfortunately, he desires a simpler lifestyle, one free of all excess material trappings. But, she’s got a trick up her sleeve to keep things just the way they are, even if it means having to sacrifice their marriage…

Penelope grew up poor, pitifully poor. Pretty, playful, yet quite polite and presentable, she was also very impractical, particularly when it came to popularly-accepted social positions. That’s where her pragmatism underperformed profoundly, practically every time. … Continue reading...

Between the Lines a Slice of Life Short Story by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Family Slice of Life

Between the Lines (Slice of Life)

2:17 am. Still, silent, unsettling, and four long, anxious hours until the morning alarm chimed. Leanna had grown so tired of tossing and turning she defiantly laid motionless on her back staring up into the discomforting darkness that offered absolutely no consolation.

By quarter after three, she had only slept an hour, and morning wouldn’t come for another three. Now, it had been five agonizing hours since her parents took her phone away. Over three hundred minutes, more than ample time for the worst to happen. She knew full well the consequences of breaking the rules but didn’t have much … Continue reading...

Of Vikings and Indians - a historic fiction short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Action Historical Fiction

Of Vikings and Indians

Around 1000 AD, a group of explorers sailed over 2,200 nautical miles from Grœnland to North America in search of exotic treasure. But, what they found instead caused the intrepid Norsemen to hastily abandon their only settlement and quickly retreat back to Scandinavia – nearly 500 years before Columbus ever set foot on the New World…

Pelting rain relentlessly soaked every tunic and cloak. Leather shoes sloshed about the exposed wooden deck of the Viking longship, its planks so swollen, water began to pool higher and higher, slowing all rowing to a long, drawn-out, slippery grind. The sails tightly folded … Continue reading...

To Whom We All Owe a Great Debt - a slice of life short story by Owen Richason IV
Posted in Drama Family Slice of Life

To Whom We All Owe a Great Debt (Slice of Life)

Twenty-seven – that was all. After numerous deployments and two enlistments, Dakota’s body trauma finally overcame his ability and will to live at just twenty-seven years old.

The victim of a massive myocardial infarction, brought on by his lingering wounds, his body now lay lifeless in an old VA building, surrounded by total and complete strangers.

It was the inevitable end to a hard-fought battle the young man had no real hope of winning. The injuries he suffered during his last military operation were simply too great. So egregious, his doctors were stunned he survived at all. The physicians’ agreed … Continue reading...

Devil'sBliss short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Action Crime Sci-Fi

Devil’s Bliss

A small western town is harboring an awful secret. It’s supposed to be a short stop along the way for former outlaw Brody Ray Byrne, who is determined to start anew. But fate has different plans for the wayward Irish immigrant…

“Devil’s Bliss,” was the disturbing name etched into the wooden sign Brody Ray Byrne passed riding into the isolated town. Conspicuous by its absence was the customary “Welcome” greeting. Even more curious, no population count. Such oddities actually managed to give the former outlaw a foreboding, eerie feeling – like he was willingly entering a haunted place that no … Continue reading...

Fumbledierk short story slice of life by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Fumbledierk (Slice of Life)

Fumbledierk. That’s what all his teammates called him. Even the coaches (who previously discouraged and disciplined all the name-calling offenders), called him now, especially after costing the team a much-needed win late in the fourth quarter, nearly knocking the bunch out of the championship game contention.

Dierk was big for his age. He was also taller than most of his peers. But, very fast for his size and more surprisingly, agile. He could easily take on any cornerback with a signature juke and eye-popping evasive moves. Strong, tall, fast, and quite athletic, he posed a very real threat to any … Continue reading...

The Plot against Black Tom
Posted in Historical Fiction Suspense

The Plot against Black Tom

In the summer of 1916, the first world war raged in Europe and although the United States stayed officially neutral, a powerful blast equaling a 5.5 magnitude earthquake erupted in New York Harbor in the dead of night, shaking nearly every civilian in a 90-mile radius awake, some of whom were violently thrown from their beds, while the Brooklyn Bridge shuddered wildly from the enormous shockwave…

Thick, calcine smoke consumed the post-midnight air, further obfuscating any light not already engulfed by the pitch darkness, be it street lamps or the moon. Under a veil of widespread confusion and chaos, spreading … Continue reading...

Fifty for One - a short story slice of life by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Fifty for One (Slice of Life)

The fast food restaurant was all abuzz with people ordering, eating, chatting, and laughing. Employees were busy taking orders, serving freshly-made meals, refilling condiments, and cleaning tables when a familiar middle-aged blind man walked into the store. He’d been in the establishment plenty of times before and had the routine down pat.

He patiently stood in a rather long line, waited for his turn, and quietly whistled a cheerful tune. Once he stepped up to the counter, he ordered his usual meal, “Hello, there, how are you doing today?”

“Very well, sir! How about you?”

“Just fine, thanks. I’ll have … Continue reading...

The Florida Middle Grounds short story by Owen Richason IV
Posted in Action Family

The Middle Grounds

A young boy experiences his very first deep-sea fishing adventure with his father on their brand-new center console boat. But his giddy excitement turns to sheer panic when dangerous elements intrude on their lively, memory-making excursion…

Laddie could barely sleep that night. His mind was full of visions of the open ocean under a bright sunny sky. He could hear his parents talking softly in the next room and just knew that they were discussing tomorrow’s schedule. A game plan he knew very well by now. It would be the first day he put all of his preparation into practice. … Continue reading...

Talent Alone a short story slice of life by Owen Richason IV
Posted in Slice of Life

Talent Alone (Slice of Life)

Sonic chaos. It coursed through and consumed the entire musical instrument store. Drums thundered from a back room, while guitars and basses pelted out disparate, dueling melodies, with keyboards filling any semblance of empty space left with tunes of their own.

None of it was in time nor even the same key. A rag-tag medley of disconnected genres: rock, jazz, classical, and contemporary. Anyone who entered the retail shop could be easily overwhelmed by the disorderliness of it all. Then, as quickly as all the noisy, uncoordinated impromptu performances erupted, one by one, they fell silent.

The quiet remained uninterrupted … Continue reading...

Salem Poor's Plucky Patriot Performance
Posted in Action Historical Fiction

Salem Poor’s Plucky Patriot Performance

In the first year of the American Revolutionary War during the colonies’ campaign for independence, one former slave fights so valiantly that more than a dozen continental officers recommend he be officially recognized for his bravery and loyalty to their cause…

A biting chill permeated the moist morning air, unceasingly cutting through thick clothing, wet from the damp of the dew, worn by the nearly thousand patriots who shivered uncontrollably, gripped with interminable fear, as they watched from their concealed positions the Royal Army march confidently along the mud-riddled, winding road.

Very few of them had any military experience at … Continue reading...

Envelope Envy a Slice of Life short story by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Envelope Envy (Slice of Life)

“You’re fired!”

“No, No, please, please! Give me another chance!”

“I’m sorry, you’ve had your chance. Actually, you’ve had three chances. And that’s this resort’s policy – three strikes and you’re out!”

Lina stood nervously nearby, listening with great trepidation to the tension-filled exchange. It wasn’t the first time she heard it. The hotel facilities manager had already let two other girls go for violating the rules. Worse still, she was just one incident away from the same fate. Only forty-three days into her probationary hiring period, she was late for work twice. Once, due to a tardy bus that … Continue reading...

Nine is Not Enough
Posted in Action Family

Nine is Not Enough

After a man rescues a frail lone mountain lion cub, he and his family nurse it back to health, and while raising the cougar, experience many exciting and dangerous adventures over the years…

Derry found the tiny, starving cub when it was only one, maybe two months old, along a precarious hiking trail, not often traveled. Its fur noticeably patchy, as if it had been attacked by a larger, more aggressive predator at least once. The little cougar’s ribs were clearly visible and it panted heavily, laboriously, trying to catch its breath while visibly craving water. It cried out for … Continue reading...

It's All Downhill Now
Posted in Slice of Life

It’s All Downhill Now (Slice of Life)

The lengthy scenic walk took Jody’s mind off an increasing height, just over four hundred feet in the air. Realistic surroundings featured faux rock, clear-blue waterfalls, and naturalistic sounds wowed every guest making their way up the winding stairs, cleverly disguised as a genuine, rugged, but well-traveled mountain pathway.

Now, nearly at the top, the young boy began to take stock of his elevated position. The high point became ever more foreboding as it came closer and closer, with the crowd moving him along in unison. The narrow tract suddenly opened wide, revealing ten intense lanes, separated by narrow, inverted … Continue reading...

The Peculiar Past of Posted Children
Posted in Family Historical Fiction

The Peculiar Past of Posted Children

A year after introducing its parcel service in 1913, the US Post Office struggled to define what could and could not be sent, as people tested the boundaries by mailing coffins, construction bricks, puppies, freshly-laid eggs, snakes and other reptiles, small farm animals, and even their own children, from one location to another…

Abigail watched with curious excitement as her mother carefully packed all of her clothes into a little suitcase, topping it off with her favorite doll, sweet Annabelle, before closing and latching the bag shut.

“I’m so excited to go stay with Grandpa for a little while, but … Continue reading...

Short yet Still Circuitous
Posted in Slice of Life

Short yet Still Circuitous (Slice of Life)

The poor little, unaccompanied pooch wandered through the empty street aimlessly, shivering, confused, and visibly afraid when a concerned stranger first approached. The tiny terrier mix was apprehensive, not wanting to go to the human, who was not calling the furry creature by name, nor had a familiar, comforting scent. Though the young man keenly sensed its anxiety and uneasiness about trusting an unknown person, he could not simply walk away.

After all, the stranger effortlessly surmised it was a lost pet, despite the fact the pup wasn’t wearing a collar and its fur was wet – the damp coat … Continue reading...

The Unbelievably Bizarre Burmese Belligerents of World War II
Posted in Action Historical Fiction

The Unbelievably Bizarre Burmese Belligerents of World War II

In 1945, during World War II, British and Indian Allies pushed Imperial Axis Japanese troops back at a crucial battle in Burma, forcing them to die resisting or to retreat into a forested swamp, where the enemy would find themselves surrounded by a fierce, primordial foe who took hundreds of their lives in the most horrific ways…

Hunkered down in strategic positions, one-thousand nervous Japanese soldiers prepared to repel an Allied assault by British and Indian forces, who sought to recapture Ramree Island, taken by the imperial Asian nation just three years ago in 1942. Thousands more Jieitai and Kaigun … Continue reading...

Little Change for Big Charity
Posted in Slice of Life

Little Change for Big Charity (Slice of Life)

Alex wasn’t much different than any well-adjusted young, working-class man. A sensible 23-year-old, he had graduated from high school five years ago, spending the next two studying a trade, and the last three practicing it at least five days a week – sometimes six, even seven.

He’d wake up regularly at 6:30 a.m. each morning, as his mother routinely did, who molded him into an early riser. And, partly because of his father, who always turned in at just the right time, never staying up too late, a prudent practice he adopted as a boy. Apparently, he inherited those two … Continue reading...

The Flying Flapper (or The East River's Forgotten Far-Fetched Flight)
Posted in Action Historical Fiction

The Flying Flapper (or The East River’s Forgotten Far-Fetched Flight)

A little-remembered, early twentieth-century female pilot strives for the privilege of being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean but was ultimately edged out by a much more famous name that’s made its way into practically every classroom history book, despite her competition’s better aerial maneuvering skills and experience…

Clear blue skies. Crisp air. A gentle, pleasant breeze. Perfect conditions for any experienced aviator. It was a gorgeous autumn day in New York City, the colorful leaves already changing in late October of 1928, the 21st day to be exact. Hundreds of people had eagerly gathered, and not … Continue reading...

Rays a Slice of Life by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Rays (Slice of Life)

Expansive bright blue skies extended westward far past the sight of his young eyes, over calm, aquamarine almost emerald-colored water. Curling up his tiny toes, he could feel the white powder sand under his bare feet as he looked in the same direction, where the horizon seamlessly met the sea in the distance.

It was beautiful. An incredible scene and nothing short of what his parents promised many months ago when they surprised him with the news of his first big spring break vacation.

Back home, although relatively late in the year, the snow continued to fall, adding to the … Continue reading...

Vindication on Broad Street
Posted in Drama Historical Fiction

Vindication on Broad Street

A late-nineteenth-century physician, formally trained as an obstetrician who dabbled in many other areas of science, puts his experience and keen sense of detection to work, solving one of the biggest mystery killer’s origins of his time, eventually convincing his skeptical colleagues of the deadly disease’s true source…

Baby Lewis was just five months old when she became ill with diarrhea on August 29th, 1854. The little girl named Frances was barely out of her mother’s womb and less than halfway through infancy when her condition acutely worsened. She died on September 2nd, five days later.

Just six days after, … Continue reading...

The Dark Side of Artificial Light (or 10,000 Failures and the Desperate Invention of Vaporware)
Posted in Drama Historical Fiction

The Dark Side of Artificial Light (or 10,000 Failures and the Desperate Invention of Vaporware)

A high-profile and very popular figure, dubbed by the press as a contemporary wizard, conducts gruesome experiments to discredit his chief rival – a troubled genius who ultimately wins a heated public battle for a nation’s and civilization’s rise to modernity…

Her name was Topsy. Exotic by almost every measure, the unique twenty-eight-year-old circus performer hailed from Asia and mesmerized countless crowds for nearly half a decade. Now, deemed unsavable by her trainer, a mean, drunken individual who routinely beat her, despite her unwavering obedience and desire to please, a death condemnation awaited after killing a man named James Fielding … Continue reading...

The Two Greatest Words Ever Uttered by a Human
Posted in Slice of Life

The Two Greatest Words Ever Uttered by a Human (Slice of Life)

It had already been over 200 days in the shelter, shuffling between the soothing shade of the indoor pen and the blistering heat radiating off the cement pad outdoors, the only respite being a makeshift cot of mesh fabric suspended inches above an unforgiving concrete floor stained with potent urine.

But, his fortunes would soon hopefully change, as happy hounds and chipper puppy barks and squeals echoed through the entire chamber. Volunteers whispered their usual voices of ostensible support and gave tentative caresses, as strangers aloofly walked up and down the kennel, not giving the old dog so much as … Continue reading...

The First American's Final Battle
Posted in Drama Historical Fiction

The First American’s Final Battle

After eight bloody years of unconventional warfare, a controversial and transformative figure must fight one of the most important battles of his military career and this confrontation will pit him, not against his sworn enemy, but against his very own ranks…

Seventeen long, tense, and bloody days had passed since the two belligerent forces first met one another on a nearly frozen, previously soaked battlefield. Only hours later, almost 1,500 casualties lay dead in the stained snow, shattered ice, and oozing muck at Saratoga. The stench in the air choked the breath out of every surviving combatant. Putrid remains littered … Continue reading...

Two Tunics by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Two Tunics (Slice of Life)

The bell on the children’s resale shop door rang suddenly, rapidly, as the ball repeatedly struck the bell, announcing the young mother’s presence too loudly, startling her as she struggled to nonchalantly enter the store without being noticed by anyone already inside. She pulled a shiny, bright red wagon behind her, filled way over the brim with new toys, her toddler in tow, pushing it from the rear.

The little boy had a big, proud smile on his face, reflecting the joy he felt from helping his mom. It was a sharp contrast to her dour look, brought on by … Continue reading...

Weare White Pines Grow Free
Posted in Action Historical Fiction

Weare White Pines Grow Free!

In 1772, American colonists struggle to build a new life, fighting desperately against nature and tyranny, as King George III continues to issue destructive orders from thousands of miles away, one man leads a small opposition group in a historical confrontation that helps pave the way toward an independent nation…

Beads of sweat covered a wrinkled, warm-to-the-touch brow, as hands shook and shivered, crossed over his chest, wheezing for breath. Cracked, coarse palms, abused from years upon years of hard manual labor, gave little comfort, as a chill ran rampantly through his entire body. Gasping for air had become uncomfortable … Continue reading...

At Bat by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

At Bat (Slice of Life)

Aaron walked slowly, nervously from the dugout to the plate, sliding his favorite bat back and forth between his hands. Stepping into the batter’s box, he pulled his gloves tight, cinching the velcro, feeling his heart beat, beat, beat, as if it were about to burst right out of his chest.

He took a huge, deep breath, attempting to shrug off the anxiety and excitement of the moment. The pitcher stared right at him, as he menacingly caressed the ball in his glove, calmly chewing a fresh stick of gum in pure intimidation.

Aaron looked up at the scoreboard – … Continue reading...

The Death of Legend Ludd at Huddersfield
Posted in Action Drama Historical Fiction

The Death of Legend Ludd at Huddersfield

Roger Johns is deeply committed to his cause, waging a war pitting laborers against manufacturers and merchants but the grass-roots movement will not adequately stop the revolution of industry and innovation will prove too great a force to overcome as the world moves forthright into modernity, leaving its antiquated past behind…

Spring flowers stood tall and bloomed bright under the sunlight in a meadow near Huddersfield, sadly stained and spattered red with blood, oozing from five poor protestors, gunned down by soldiers under direct orders from King George III to capture or kill, whatever necessary. His Royal Majesty and the … Continue reading...

A Wayward Physician’s Guide to Curing Consumption
Posted in Action Drama Historical Fiction

A Wayward Physician’s Guide to Curing Consumption

A late 19th-century physician seeks a cure for tuberculosis at a time when the disease is killing nearly 14 percent of the population in the United States and Europe. He must rely on the rudimentary tools and knowledge of his time to fight back against a growing pandemic that continues to indiscriminately infect and claim victim after victim…

Sitting alone, staring almost blankly at his journal, perplexed by loosely threaded thoughts and a creeping sense of despair, Doctor Iain O’Rourke nurses his third stiff drink, chomping on the end of a drawn-down cigar, agonizing over the loss of yet another … Continue reading...

101 Miles to Padborg
Posted in Action Drama Historical Fiction

101 Miles to Padborg

American soldier Buford “Doc” Fry is stranded deep in Nazi Germany in early May of 1945. As the only remaining survivor of his platoon, he must sneak to safety from Hamburg to just beyond the border of Denmark where he can find the Danish Resistance, slightly over 101 miles away. During his escape, he happens upon a very unlikely ally, a young German, Rolf Shultz. As a team, they encounter many obstacles and dangers along their journey to Padborg…

Buford struggled to breathe, even more so to maintain some semblance of composure. Alone, covered in grime and dried blood, he … Continue reading...

Grave Escape by Owen Richason
Posted in Crime Drama Suspense

Grave Escape

For Naill Donnely, this would prove the toughest case he ever had to crack – very few clues, and worse yet, no viable suspect whatsoever. Unfortunately, the crime itself was all too familiar. The latest victim, a young girl, her life choked out of her by some psychopath. But, it was the circumstances that left him perplexed – practically nothing about it made sense. What’s more, he had an eerie feeling this case would end with him losing the only semblance of humanity he had left…

Soiled, matted hair purposely pushed away from blank, bloodshot eyes, skin tinged a lifeless … Continue reading...

The Simple Pleasure of Pecan Pie by Owen Richason
Posted in Drama Romance

The Simple Pleasure of Pecan Pie

A young immigrant woman flees her over-domineering family and a pre-arranged marriage in hopes of living a life of independence. But the cultural divide shock and making it on her own proves more than challenging — until she unexpectedly meets a man who could be the right one…

Jasmine had just enough time and money to run away. This would be the opportunity to escape her pending arranged marriage and break free from the unceasing demands of her overbearing father and his fundamentalist ways. No longer would she have to submit to traditions she didn’t believe in or adhere to … Continue reading...

The Wristband
Posted in Family Romance

The Wristband

A pre-teen boy experiences many uneasy and awkward moments as new feelings for a special girl begin to arise, but they’re at odds with his embarrassing predisposition to avoid revealing his secret…

Four hours and a useless wristband. That’s all Conor had. Along with a bit of cash saved up from the weekly commissions his parents paid him for doing household chores, he still had just four short hours and a stupid wristband. It was all he could fit into his schedule. This regardless of how quickly new feelings grew deep inside. Conor hid the change from everyone he didn’t … Continue reading...

New Perspective
Posted in Slice of Life

New Perspective (Slice of Life)

Putrid, sticky, icky puddle water stained Bridget’s best pumps. The stench easily carried from her feet up to her nostrils. There’s just no way she could go to her big-time job interview like this. Still, time ticked, ticked, ticked quickly away, as if the seconds sped up somehow. Now, she had to get back to her apartment, wash her feet and pick out another professional outfit. After all, it wasn’t worth risking if the bottom of her dress also stunk to high heaven.

With as much haste as Bridget could muster, she ran back block after block, knowing any wasted … Continue reading...

The Light on the Other Side of the Graveyard
Posted in Action Sci-Fi Suspense

The Light on the Other Side of the Graveyard

In a remote, small town, residents are fearful and suspicious of an eerie light that dimly shines from the edge of the cemetery every night. Legend has it the light comes from a ghost of a former resident, long ago killed in a tragic accident, who patrols the gravesites. When a young man passes through, he befriends the village’s only orphan, a boy who lives on the margins of the community’s society. With the help of his new friend, the young man unravels the mystery behind the light…

Thomas was the only surviving member of his small family of four. … Continue reading...

The Great Birdbath Debate
Posted in Comedy Family

The Great Birdbath Debate

A grandfather recounts his freshman high school debate club experience that pitted him against the smartest girl in the class. He tells his granddaughter about the face-off and how it changed his entire life. She learns a valuable lesson, which neatly applies to a set of circumstances she’s currently going through, and resolves a very pressing personal issue…

Zoe knocked on her grandfather’s front door before unlocking it herself. Swinging the entry open, she carefully returned the key to its hiding place and walked into the living room, calling out, “Grandpa!” Then, stopped to listen for an answer but no … Continue reading...

The Biggest Difference between 'Want' and 'Need' is Often Contentment
Posted in Drama Family

The Biggest Difference between ‘Want’ and ‘Need’ is Often Contentment

An elementary school boy learns a valuable lesson about the difference between asking for something he wants and getting what he needs…

Danny sat down at the kitchen table to eat his breakfast before scampering off to school. Mom, humming happily, hung a new calendar on the pantry door.

“1954 is going to be a great year!” She exclaimed as she did every year before, jubilantly drawing a big “X” through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the first three days of that year their family just enjoyed over the weekend.

It was over the very same weekend Danny came across the … Continue reading...

A Boy's Delicate Heart
Posted in Family Romance

A Boy’s Delicate Heart

Sarah is the single mother of Tiernan, a very rambunctious teenage boy. Tiernan is exceptionally smart, funny, and caring — but also, inexplicably socially awkward. Though very close through his formative years, their strong mother and son bond is tested when he dates his first serious girlfriend and experiences one of life’s greatest difficulties – heartbreak…

Three-hundred seventeen dollars. Money never felt so worthless in Sarah’s hands. It was enough to pay the month’s electric bill and almost a full semester of school lunches for Tiernan, her only child, and high school senior. In fact, it was more cash than … Continue reading...

Lucky Compass Run
Posted in Action Drama

Lucky Compass Run

Couple Danny and Shannon embark on an ill-fated hike, getting lost in the woods. The two come upon a dog, who appears to be stray at first. But, when they realize it’s someone’s beloved pet, and are desperate to find their way out, they decide to follow the pooch’s canine instinct (magnetoreception or compass run) for finding its way back home…

Three cans of soup. One half-dozen sticks of beef jerky. A few bags of trail mix, and a couple of small blocks of cheese. That’s all Danny and Shannon had between them. It would be just enough to last … Continue reading...

Life is What Happens while Making Plans by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Life is What Happens while Making Plans (Slice of Life)

A burgundy wall to the left. A purple wall to the right. Separating the two – a glass pony wall. Nothing in the space spoke opportunity and only became more perplexing after seeing an extraordinarily outdated kitchen with bright green walls – and super dark brown countertops, of course.

It was the opposite of inspiration; more like desperation – a desperation to finally move on and start anew. Looming trepidation lingered heavily. Almost too much to possibly overcome. But, something still felt reassuring, an uncanny sense of an exciting journey ahead. It was completely different, yet somehow the same as … Continue reading...

little slices of life moments by Owen Richason
Posted in Slice of Life

Moments (Little Slices of Life)

Sitting alone at a table in a popular, crowded restaurant, the agreed and somewhat dreaded, yet much anticipated, meeting time grew nigh but had not passed.
Sitting alone at a table in a popular, crowded restaurant, the agreed and somewhat dreaded, yet much anticipated, meeting time grew nigh but had not passed.
The harsh weather crept in unobstructed, without pause, because it did not contain care or concern.
The harsh weather crept in unobstructed, without pause, because it did not contain care or concern.
The shower knob, now fully turned off, did not stop the water from dripping. Each new drop formed ever so slowly, and dangled in a fluid dance, before splashing down below. It was going to be one of those days.
The shower knob, now fully turned off, did not stop the water from dripping. Each new drop formed ever so slowly, and dangled in a fluid dance, before splashing down below. It was going to be one of those days.
All up and down the block, recently emptied trash bins with their lids flipped open, lined the street. Watching her children play in the front yard, her stomach grumbling, she had just one wish - to put a full trash can out on the curb, just like all the other families.
All up and down the block, recently emptied trash bins with their lids flipped open, lined the street.
Continue reading...