Fiction Fragment Friday

This has been an extremely busy week and Fiction Fragment Friday almost didn’t happen. I am very dedicated to these though and it takes a lot for me to miss one. It is too easy for bad habits to come back when you let things slip for a bit. As I work on quite a bit of audio editing this week including work for Fear the Boot as well as Bite Size Tales I am thinking about the projects I want to work on this year.

Fiction Fragment Friday is consistent, Bite Size Tales is rolling out using these stories as a back catalog in the next few weeks, and essentially I have my processes built out. Now it is time to decide if I start editing long form work I have already written or if I move forward with new long form work. I also want to provide regular updates including a count of fiction submissions I have done and any rejections I receive.

     Jeremy didn’t see the truck coming until it was too late.  One moment he was stepping out of the failing used bookstore he worked at and the next he was laying on the ground in pain.  He could tell that people were gathered all around him, but his vision was starting to fade.  Someone yelled to call 911, but they didn’t single anyone out so no one made the call.  By the time the ambulance arrived he was already dead.  Tiberial, his guardian angel, stood over the body holding a slushy in his right hand.  “I am going to be in so much trouble for this.”

     Tiberial sat at a desk opposite Jeremy typing away at his computer.  He was talking, but Jeremy couldn’t quite focus on his words.  The room had no walls, instead they seemed to be enclosed in white light.  The floor was made of clouds and the ceiling too bright to even glance at.  The intense stimulation was overwhelming to Jeremy’s mind.  He felt the pressure of the place ready to break him.

     “Oh my I’ve messed up again haven’t I?”  Tiberial clapped his hands and suddenly the world around them changed to an office.  “There that should be better.  Now as I was saying we have a bit of a complication.”

     “What kind of complication?”  Jeremy was starting to focus and could finally respond.  He still had no idea what was going on, but his thoughts were getting less foggy.

     “Well see you weren’t technically supposed to die today.”  He rushed through his explanation trying to cut Jeremy off before he could ask any questions.  “You did though and that can’t be changed, but you can’t move on yet either.  Don’t worry though I can fix this.  See there are countless other realities out there and I can just send reincarnate you into one of those.  One where you never existed at your current age and you can live out the rest of your natural life.  How does that sound?”

     “So I’m dead, but I shouldn’t be?  You’re going to take away everything I’ve ever known and dump me in some alternate reality with nothing?”

     “Uhm, well yes to the first part, but you won’t have nothing.  We can give you some advantages in your new world.  First off, I can improve some of your abilities and skills so you will be better than you were.  Also, you won’t be entirely alone.  You will have a mental connection directly to me for questions and information.  You just have to reach out and I will answer.”

     “I don’t have a choice in this do I?”

     “Not really.  Look on the bright side though.  Hardly anyone gets a second chance like this.”  He turned back to his computer.  “Now a few questions.  How do you feel about farming?”  Tiberial looked up at the expression on Jeremy’s face.  “That would be a no.  Ok, how about boats?”

     “I get seasick.”

     “Mining?  Soldier? Plumber?”  Jeremy shook his head at each of the suggestions.  “Oh, I know.  I have the perfect option.  Let me just bring up the details and…..  No, no I didn’t mean to click accept.  Oh dear I hope he would have found this one acceptable.”

     Jeremy woke up in a rather comfy bed.  The building was made of some sort of oak and there was no drywall over it.  The windows had shutters, but no glass in them and the walls were fairly bare.  He stood up looked around the room.  “Where am I?”

     “You are in your bedroom.”  The voice was inside his head instead of being audible.  Still, it felt familiar to him, but he just couldn’t place it.  It was like something out of a dream.  He gathered clothes from the dresser and quickly got changed.  He noticed that the pants and button up shirt didn’t have any sort of label in them. 

     “Status.”  The word came out naturally like something he had always known, but he had no idea what had made him say it.  Then a stream of information came into his head just like the voice had.

Name: Jeremy Bollinger
Class: Level 1 Shop Owner
          Strength 9
          Agility 8
          Intelligence 6
          Perception 4
          Charisma 5
          Organization 1
          Salesmanship 1
          Sweeping 1
          Cooking 1
          No special abilities
          Reincarnated - You are from another world.  50% chance for others to overlook your strange behavior.


“Uhm what the heck was that”

“Your status of course.”  The voice was once again in Jeremy’s head.  “I told you you would have a mental connection to me.  Well, that’s how it works.  You saw key words and I will respond.”

Jeremy went down the stairs to the first flood of the building.  It was a general store and he instinctively knew that it was his.  Mindlessly he grabbed a broom and started sweeping the floor.  After a few minutes he heard “Sweeping +1” in his head.  By the time he finished cleaning the shop and restocking the shelved he had earned 12 points in sweeping and 7 in organization.  Not quite sure what any of it meant he turned the shop sign from closed to open while unlocking the front door.

He sat down on a stool behind the counter.  Somehow all of this felt right, and he knew that he was where he truly belonged.  This was his shop, and he would be the best shop owner this town had ever seen.  This store would not fail like that bookstore he used to work at.  This time he was in charge and could make the changes that were needed to be successful.