Short fiction

Short stories are compact little experiences that take us on journeys in just a few brief pages. If these excerpts interest you feel free to contact me and arrange to enjoy the complete work.

HOG WILD

Relentless hunger will make a person do some pretty desperate things

 

EXCERPT:

Emily steadied herself with a slow breath as she drew back her bow and took careful aim. The loosed arrow silently sailed across the glen and glanced off the shoulder blade of the unsuspecting deer, affording it ample opportunity to startle and prance off into the impassable thickets beyond. She lowered her head, then trudged after, hoping to retrieve the shaft at least. The ad hoc head was not likely to have survived clattering through the trees. Reluctantly following the path to its inevitable destination she discovered her errant missile, point intact, bisecting a glorious woodland mushroom. Plucking them, the arrow made the quiver, the mushroom her satchel.

© 2018 Cody Porter

 

FLOAT

When the season fades, the river calls out for adventure

EXCERPT:

It was a crisp whisper of frigid insistence that gave her the first inkling summer was about to give up the ghost. With that icy nudge she snatched the last batch of raspberries from her trepidatious bushes and spelunked into the recesses of her garden shed for a rummage. Somewhere near the back, past the racquets and mallets, and vast packed sacks of knickknacks she have access to her well flattened raft and attached paddles. She lugged out the bundle and trundled to the hatchback, plunking it in the trusty bucket seat, then retreated inside her homestead to provision her mission. She'd have a jug of sangria, a healthy knob of spicy salami and most of a wheel of brie to fill the needs of her vittles. Having packed that, she grabbed her life jacket, whacked her gizmos in a waterproof sack and made tracks for the banks of the North Sask.

© 2018 Cody Porter

Sirens

Rookie Field Agent Mason is on his first mission in Havana. It should be routine surveillance, but things take a sinister turn.

 

EXCERPT:

     It was more quiet than he had ever seen it. On most days this was a thriving lively streetscape bristling with humanity. Now the only sound his harried shoes on the lonely cobblestones. The only inhabitants were small bands of gatos, the cat rascals. He felt the cold sweat gathering in his collar, trying desperately not to run. He clipped down Obispo and stopped in front of the El Floridita. Usually crammed with tour buses, at this hour there wasn't a cab or even a car to hire. He ducked down an alleyway and headed toward the Capitol. There was a family sorting their day’s collection of cans and bottles. Further down a couple of Guards were lingering under a street light and he thought better of the thoroughfare. It would have to be the Malecon. He made his way, and hired a car there to take him quickly to the Nacional.

     

     He sent his laundry to be cleaned in the morning, hoping the service would be discreet enough not to mention the tiny telltale droplets on the cuffs of his linen jacket. He felt confident the agency wouldn't house him here if it wasn't relatively secure. That didn’t put him much at ease. He washed his face in the basin and stared into the mirror. Trying not to look at himself in the eye, after what happened last night. He lathered the brush and covered his heavy beard as best he could with his hands shaking so. When he picked up the razor there was a glint in the burgeoning light that struck his eye. Reminding him. Once shaven he was a different man entirely.

© 2017 Cody Porter

bug out

She needs to escape the city. To get back to the woods. This is not a pleasure trip. Her master plan requires solitude. She will get some.

EXCERPT:

     She threw the phone into the fire and watched as it caught. A feeling of peace washed over her as it sputtered and sizzled helpless in the flames. When it had reduced down to a plastic puddle she stood and poured out a bucket on it. She checked her pack and rifle, inspected the cart wheels, covered the car with uprooted bushes, put on her hat and turned toward the head of the derelict trail.

   

     The quiet of the woods always made her uneasy at first. She had grown accustomed to endless weeks in the feverish pace of the city, the office, her lab. Now as she guided the cart along the rough path she felt the absence of that chaos being filled by an immense primeval tranquility. Nothing but the labyrinth of trees spreading out in every direction, the birdsong, the rustle of the branches in the breeze. Here the world wasn’t aware of her. She felt the significance of her insignificance.

 

© 2017 Cody Porter