This interface is meant to be intuitive. In most cases pointing (or pointing and clicking) your mouse will do the trick. You can always get back here by pointing your mouse at the spinning Earth currently beneath this panel. Here's a sitemap so you won't get lost.
My fiction writing is supposed to take precedence, but I have a hobby. I like to play with dHTML. Since this site is non-commercial, I haven't tested for all possible browser and platform combinations. To date only Netscrape 4.71 and Internet Explorer 4+ on Win32 platforms have been tested. You may 'borrow' the code for non-commercial use provided that I am absolved of any and all liability, and that you remember me on your webpage and in your will. :-}
Turn the flying objects on and off by pointing (above) with your mouse. Point your mouse at 'HTML' as it flies by.
Short Stories by C.W.Smoke ©
To read the first few paragraphs of each story just click on the title. If you like what you see, click the word 'continue', and you'll be hooked up with the rest of the story.
I've rearranged my entrance to take advantage of the latest browser features. If I only had to worry about Internet Explorer, coding would be a 'piece of cake.' Trouble is, now the rest of my site looks clunky compared to this page. Oh well, slowly but surely I will modernize.
I've attempted to bring everything to this page as opposed to going elsewhere. Check it out! Enjoy!
I've found some really excellent dhtml sites which, in addition to being eye candy, are also informative. I have to say that Doc Ozone has one of the best. He's been bringing websites to life for a long time. His site got me started.
There are lots more, but these should get you started. Enjoy!
Keep this window! You can access the entire site and nearly all the links from this screen. IE5 Users: If you 'lose' this window, bounce your mouse pointer on the bottom of the screen and the Microsoft bar should appear. If not, leave fullscreen mode by pointing and clicking on the changing background. Relax! You're not lost.
Angie? -- 8800 words
Like most stories that find their way out into the real world, this tale begins in a magical place, far away as distance is measured, but a place as near as your modem and your imagination...
She was a pretty purple flower living alongside the only path that passed through the Enchanted Forest, and she was happy, or at the very least, content. The forest dwellers all loved Angelique because she was very good at what she did. Now, you might wonder who I am to make such a bold statement. Well, I am Fredo, King Albert's Official Chronicler, and all my observations are bound by fact -- plain, straightforward, unvarnished fact. And it is fact that she is very good at her craft because during the last tournament held in the Forty-fourth Year of Our Grace, King Albert and known far and wide as the Tourney of Seven, Angie won the highest honor in all the Seven Kingdoms. So, I hope that you will not quibble over every minuscule detail and that you will allow me to get on with this chronicle.
Sure Thing -- 3300 words
You know, I keep asking myself the same question -- over and over. What is important? Yeah, whathehell really is important now? And the answer that keeps comin' up in spades is nothin'. That's right. Nothin' is important -- not anymore.
Last week it would've been Gloria. She was my answer. She was always my answer. Yeah, that's right, just a dame, but I loved her. God how I loved her. But that was before I made the bet with Benny the Rooster.
I never would've done it if it wasn't a one hundred percent sure thing. I never gamble. Never. I always play the odds. Besides, I had the clicker. How could I lose?
Minor Diversion -- 3300 words
Aldrick One paused to cut off what was left of his arm. Then, in a bent-legged, half-crouch he scuttled after his clones who advanced cautiously about fifty meters ahead on the rock-strewn path that hugged the base of the black cliff.
Second-in-command Leo halted in the basalt cliff's narrow shadow to wait for his leader.
"Space these Jaylen amateurs!" spat Aldrick when he caught up with Leo. They advanced side-by-side in shadow. High above on their left the sheer vertical cliff blocked the hot midday sun.
Aldrick depressed a stud on his belt and two pain tablets popped out. He ate the pills quickly, swallowing with a loud, dry gulp. "Look at this wound, kid. See? Even their weapons are defective!" He half-turned so Leo could see his wound.
Truth Be Trolled -- 750 words
People think they know trolls. They think that trolls are big, slow and dumb and that they hang out under bridges waiting for unsuspecting victims to cross. Those bridge-lurkers give trolls a bad name. And they're imposters!
How do I know?
Because I am a troll. My name -- as close as your language can get -- is Chubbypack (Cha-bee-pak), and I'm fed up with those lame-brained deceivers who make everyone think we're all dumb and dumber. Living under bridges is damp, drafty and often cold. That should be your first clue....regarding intelligence. Then giving everyone three chances to lie or be smart just so they can escape. Talk about stupidity.
Well, this has gotten under my thick, black skin for so long that I itch. And I'm here to set the record straight. Even if it means revealing our secrets.
Vacation -- 500 words
Ed emptied his suitcase, absentmindedly cataloguing the items as he removed each one. A shoebrush. Old photographs inside a cardboard box. A lint brush with a broken handle. An intricately wrought metal spaniel he'd bought for a paperweight long ago that had disappeared. Until now.
Looking like an emaciated Buddha on speed, the six-inch tall jade statue stared back at him from the dresser top beside his bed. The figure looked smaller, more gaunt than when he'd bought it in that backwater shop. It had to be the lighting. Was Buddha grinning?
Trick or Treat -- 750 words
Lightning bit the night sky with jagged teeth as Jonathon Smallwood hurried quick and alone past the old cemetery. Thunder cracked the air, a giant whip at his heels urging haste. But he needed no prodding. Nothing short of a catastrophe would stop him now. The wind howled furiously, an aroused poltergeist protesting Jonathon's passage.
Using both hands, he clutched his baseball cap against the wind as he walked past the wrought iron entrance gate, held upright by its last remaining hinge. Jonathon stared straight ahead at the path, afraid to look to either side. His hands gripping the bill of his cap were his blinders, shielding his eyes from the cemetery and the crumbling stone wall on his left. He strode forward, placing one foot ahead of the other, his ears straining for the sound of other footsteps, other entities as he followed the narrow path. No matter what, he was not going to look back until he reached his goal.
Last Call -- 1700 words
It lumbers through the night, carrying the next and the last wrapped within its singular lament as it rocks back-and-forth on rusty, abandoned rails laid more than a hundred years before. Its name is furtively whispered in smoke-filled rooms and dark corners. Old-timers simply call it, 'The Express,' and the old and the infirm, who wait quietly, always know when it passes them by.
And on that dark, moonless March night the regulars in Jake's Saloon tilted their heads and nodded knowingly as the rainswept wind carried with it the faint sound of a far off steam whistle.
"Drink up!" declared Handsome Jack, his good eye squinting beside the black eyepatch that covered his other as he spun around on his barstool to face the house. "'Tis a night not fit for man nor beast, and 'tis on such a night that it comes."
The Messenger -- 1000 words
In a kingdom called Wran located in the Misty Mountains beyond the Plain of Broken Spears a knave known as Gorlock the Stout enlisted in the King's Army solely to avoid the aggravation of losing his head.
Gorlock had no intention of serving his sovereign. In truth, he only awaited his chance to quietly disappear. So, what happened in the snow on the first day of battle was as much a surprise to him as it was to King Eric the Fair.
After a fortnight in the King's Service, Gorlock became a Messenger because he discovered that if he remained in formation, he would have to fight. Besides, to flee with any hope of success, a man of his girth required a running start. Truth be told, his captain was glad to be shed of him since Gorlock could hardly grasp a pike let alone wield one. If Gorlock chanced to impale himself on an opposing lance while fulfilling his duties as Messenger, so be it. At least the King's Pikes would not be hampered with Gorlock in their midst.
Harbinger -- 750 words
For the four million and fifteenth time the robot known as Harbinger calibrated his sensors and completed his maintenance, being particularly careful this time not to upset the mother bird and her hatchlings that nested on his metal shoulder. He wiggled his metal toes. His lower half was slowly oxidizing, but he still remained functional. The flowers growing beneath his lower sensors felt good because Harbinger could still recall the time nearly ten million years past when every plant and animal on the surface of the Earth was dead. That was when the Harbinger Computer Program reactivated him, called him back from his underground shelter to begin his task.
Tight Security -- 500 words
"Halt! Plastic or paper?"
"Identity card please, sir."
Frank handed the bored-looking woman his plastic ID, and she slid the plastic through the scanner.
"Step through the metal detector and wait at the painted red line for your retinal scan, please, sir," she directed, handing back Frank's ID and gesturing to her right while stifling a yawn.
Frank stood at the red line and waited.
Windows -- 2700 words
The dreams began without warning. One night Junior fought furiously against impossible odds. The next he fled, full of fear and desperation, running through swamps, chased by an unseen menace, his feet bogged down in mud and slow motion. On another he worked frantically without rest in a factory, loading trucks by hand, trying to meet an impossible deadline. Later, in that first week, he rushed around at the last minute trying to pay his men with money he didn't have, so they wouldn't quit.
Dreams are windows into the soul, some say, but not into Mr. Paul D. Basslard Jr.'s -- at least not as far as he was concerned.
Fitting In -- 500 words
Alphonse Rattlefinger swore a silent oath and clenched his fat fists against his sides. He breathed shallowly, trying not to make a sound. Sweat droplets formed on his forehead and slid downslope, stopping at his bushy eyebrows.
The teenagers were back. The same male and female.
Alphonse flicked perspiration from his knitted brows with one finger. His palm squeegied sweat and non-existent hair backwards along the top of his balding head, pausing momentarily as he concentrated, adjusting the hidden listening devices to pick up the slightest sound. He focused the concealed cameras. The silent cyber-vidtaper began to roll. The air quality sensors commenced their precise recording....two parts per billion variation sensitivity for ANY organic compounds. THIS time there could be no denials, no ridicule. Alphonse re-checked his equipment. He'd show THEM all why he should be promoted from surveillance to The Elite Force....The Mental Police.
Let Justice Be Served -- 500 words
"I got Billy Bob this time, Judge. I got him. I just knew he was dirty when we caught him and thirteen-year-old Susie Sweethighs all alone together in that hay loft. A cryin' shame nobody would press charges. Well, ever since then I been keepin' my eye on ol' Billy Bob, and this time I got him dead to rights."
"Well, I hope you do, Rupert. I surely hope you do, but ol' Billy Bob is slipperier than a barrelful of Kingsnakes."
"Well, this time I did my homework, Judge. I got Alice Faye on the inside, and she says he's armed to the teeth with three fully automatic AK-47's, a hand-held missile launcher, two flame throwers and a bazooka."