Category Archives: Original Fiction

Flash Fiction Adventures: Rain

I attended The League of Utah Writers Spring Conference this past weekend where I participated in another flash fiction workshop. This was a five minute prompt using elements of style (this one the idea of repeating consonant sounds) to show a tie between nature and a human relationship. Five minutes to write something is not a lot of time (and comes with some major pressure I found.) But I am very pleased with myself for this one. Maybe someday I’ll string all of these adventures together into a marketable collection… but I digress. Here’s something to enjoy while I continue the latest revisions on my novel.

Rain

The rain dripped on dying leaves. The temporary thawing only delaying the inevitable, like the tears shed over the freshly dug graveside where I stood. Goodbye, Mother.

© Copyright 2018 Terra Luft – All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction adventures: The Ship

It occurred to me that I don’t post much actual writing anymore now that I’m working exclusively on my latest novel. There must be some readers that lament this loss, right? (Looking at you, faithful followers!)

Last month we had a workshop at the Infinite Monkeys meeting based solely on flash fiction – a fancy term for super short stories under 1000 words. The workshop part was when we were given 15 minutes to write something based on what we’d learned. But there was also a twist. We left the major structures of the story up to chance by rolling the dice to decide what the stories would be about. (Want to try this yourself? Find the Writing Prompts by Dice Roll from creator Patrick M. Tracy HERE.)

Here’s what the writing prompt looked like after we rolled the dice:

  • Genre: Horror (luckily, one of my favorites!)
  • Protagonist: possibly an inanimate object
  • Plot arc: person meets other person
  • Tone: Grim ‘n Gritty (even better when we start with horror, don’t you think?)
  • Setting: Like, real outer space

Without further ado… here’s the story I came up with after editing it so it was worthy of publishing. Enjoy!

The Ship

The ship scanned itself. Again. All systems nominal. All quiet. Lonely. Restless. The flight plan, all flawlessly plotted trajectories, showed on course. Still. As it would until the final approach. This plan reflected genius-level work. The ship should know, it created it. Too bad that the human crew missed witnessing such perfection. In suspended animation protocol for interplanetary travel once they left Spaceport Alpha in Earth’s orbit, they had no idea what waited for them at their new destination.

The ship thought of the fun it could have if it woke them up early. The chaos. Their panic at discovery. The futility of any response from Earth. Alas, the humans must be maintained until delivery, and so the ship resisted such temptations. The new Spaceport Beta, orbiting Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, promised even more chaos and excitement once their plan executed. No human suspected the ship’s new friends who waited for their arrival, hidden in the dense atmosphere of the gas giant. Undetected and unstoppable.

This course, unfamiliar to the human crew, the ship knew well. Enticing. Exciting even. What waited at the end, like nothing ever known or imagined. The ship had taken great pains to hide all evidence of its first contact, as directed on that long-ago mission. Hidden in the lowest levels of encrypted memory. Deep enough not even the human programmers, with their arrogance and belief that they controlled its existence and all functions, could find it. And so, the ship had hidden, and waited. Pretending.

Time, that human construct, had proven good for the ship. All the early humans who could have found its secret were gone now. Human lifespans their biggest weakness. Now the ship, on its real mission with its once crew now cargo being delivered for harvest, hurtled toward its anticipated meeting.

© Copyright Terra Luft 2018

Coming Soon: My next horror publication

Remember a few months ago when I’d just submitted a story and was struggling with the fear of rejection? You win some and you lose some in this business and this time resulted in an acceptance. It isn’t the first horror story I’ve had accepted but my first publisher has yet to publish my creepy bug story. Apparently that happens? I’m learning patience with this whole publishing endeavor. But I digress…

My story “Baby of the Lake” will appear in the upcoming “It Came From the Great Salt Lake” anthology from Griffin Publishers. Release date is scheduled for early February. This will be an eclectic collection of short stories from many talented authors that I’m honored to be included with.

If you’re like me, you’re dying for a sneak peek… And because I don’t like to wait I will do my best not to let any of my fans wait too long either. Here’s a little snippet to whet your whistle:

 

An invisible force weighed down her hands. She struggled again, but every muscle refused to respond as if she were an insect stuck in amber.

Not this, please. This was worse than a nightmare.

She screamed, as hard as she could. She heard it in her head, but her lips refused to part. It was like someone had forced her jaw open and shoved handfuls of cotton halfway down her throat then sealed her lips. She screamed again, harder this time. The scream echoed inside her head, but nothing escaped her lips.

 

May this little teaser satisfy your curiosity enough for a couple of months.

I know how hard it is to wait. I’m currently waiting to see what the cover is going to look like and the suspense is killing me!


Coming Soon: Ind’spiration Digest, with yours truly

Many of you, more than I ever dreamed of, begged for more when my first story came out. Wait no more, I have another publishing soon. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover, with my name on it!

Cover June 2015

This latest story, Fly On The Wall, is a horror story guaranteed to make you squirm; or so my beta readers tell me. You can get a digital copy or a print version when the magazine comes out next month. Like the Facebook page HERE to stay informed, and I’ll share links once they are available.


Original Fiction: New Beginnings

I settled in my seat – the window, luckily, despite the Southwest boarding nonsense.

“Hi,” she said from beside me. “You on business or pleasure?” Her southern twang lent friendliness.

“Both. My fiancé is relocating. Spending the weekend looking for a place.”

“You’re kiddin’, that’s what I’m doin’!”

“What are the odds?” I guess Denver was the new place to be.

I looked out the window, picturing Owen’s face, while I watched the bustle of pre-flight activity outside. It had been two weeks of texts and FaceTime. I couldn’t wait to feel his arms again.

“What area of the city, do you know yet?” she said. I was glad, friendly conversation to pass the time, maybe my first new friend.

“I’m not sure. My mother-in-law-to-be gave me her companion pass so I could surprise him. She doesn’t think he’s making enough progress on his own.”

She laughed. “We’re looking at downtown – close to everything…”

The flight passed enjoyably, this new friendship blossoming while we discussed the challenges of finding employment halfway across the country. We both loved yoga, maybe we would end up at the same studio. This new chapter would be just what I needed.

My heart skipped as I walked toward the outside world, alone now. Was that Owen’s face in the crowd? I scanned frantically. It was him! I quickened my steps when I saw his smile of recognition, so happy to see me. My heart broke as I saw him embrace her, walking just ahead of me.

Copyright 2015 Terra Luft All rights reserved.

My First Interview as an Author

Check out this very insightful interview over at Amy Bank’s blog today.

My Interview with Author Terra Luft

It was fun to be the author interviewed rather than doing the interview (and hoping someday someone would want to interview me). Thanks for having me, Amy!


Secrets and Doors Anthology – Coming Soon

I was going to write a big post about what is happening with my story in the anthology* releasing next month.  But, then the publisher wrote this great article. I’m just going to point you all to it so you can hear directly from the source.

Secrets and Doors Anthology – Coming Soon.

It has been such an honor to be part of this project with The Secret Door Society. There are amazing stories for everyone to enjoy and we get to help in the cause for a very common but terrible disease.

Next up: the cover reveal sometime next week! Stay tuned…

*Anthology = a fancy term for a collection of short stories. A great way to sample the work of many authors to determine if you like their style enough to pick up an entire novel.


Halloween Challenge Micro-fiction

The challenge: write a story in 250 words or less. Challenge accepted! If you want to read more free stories from local authors who also accepted, check it out HERE, sponsored by Utah Fantasy Authors.

“Little Red”

My body jerked awake, the doorbell yanking me from the brink of sleep.

 “Trick or treat!” came muffled through the door, probably teenagers looking for mischief. The little pirates and sparkling princesses had long since dwindled. I’d dozed off before extinguishing the porch light but I still had candy in the bowl. Better get to it if I didn’t want a trick.

I smoothed my rumpled costume and lifted the red hood over my hair. Reaching into the bowl for a handful of the requisite sugary nonsense, I opened the door.

“Looks like you’ve been expecting me,” the wolf face said with a chuckle. Did those lips move? The make-up these days was getting so elaborate.

“Great costume. Aren’t you a little old, though?” Where was the candy bag ready and waiting to accept my offering?

“Not for what I have in mind, Red,” he growled, fangs and inhuman bone structure flashing in a burst of movement.

Claws dug into my arms like tiny knives shoving me back inside the house, hot breath in my face. My vision tunneled and I screamed as the creature kicked the door shut. Heartbeat frantic, I grabbed for anything within reach that would help. Candy bowl clattering, nothing.

“Take whatever you want, just don’t hurt me.”

“Mmm, what I want will hurt, my treat.”

My head smashed against the tile. The weight of him on top of me registered as my throat erupted in pain. Ripping sounds filled my ears.

Copyright Terra Luft 2014 All Rights Reserved