Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #35 (9.4)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

In an effort to keep Dustin away from Jordan, Roy has invited him to stay with him. He's just being a good lawman, right? Find out more in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they're up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #35 (9.4)

What impulse had made him say a few days? This would all be over after tomorrow night, surely. Roy waited in his truck, drumming his fingers against the steering wheel while he waited for Dustin to grab a few things. Better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes shit happened, and you had to be ready for it.

Dustin emerged from the apartment building a few minutes later, clutching a black duffel bag. He slung it behind the seat and climbed in. 

“I really appreciate this, Roy,” he said. “You going to all this trouble.”

“That’s what friends are for,” Roy said.  His admission took him by surprise, but he didn’t take them words back. He considered Dustin to be a friend, and he would protect him no matter what. He was startled to feel Dustin’s hand come to rest on top of his. He froze, trying not to focus on the unexpected warmth of the younger man’s skin.  A second later, Dustin withdrew his hand, Roy threw the truck into gear and drove off.

So why was he so disappointed to lose that brief connection?

The drive back to Burnham was a quiet one. Roy turned on the radio, to cover any awkwardness, filling the silence with country music. By the time they reached the small town, he’d managed to convince himself he was making a mountain out of a mole hill.

“I’m going to do a quick drive around, see what’s up,” he told Dustin. “Then, if everything’s quiet, which I’m sure it is, we can go over to the diner and get some lunch. How does that sound?”

“You mean you’re going to let me go on patrol with you?” Dustin’s voice was filled with excitement and a little disbelief. 

“Well, since you’re already here, it seems the most logical plan.”  Roy chuckled, unable to keep a straight face. He turned toward Dustin and winked, to let him know he was just kidding. Dustin gave him a wide smile in return.

All was peaceful in Burnham, much as Roy had figured it would be. That’s the way he liked it. He had no regrets that he’d followed Lee here, once they’d found Marshall. He’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Speak of the devil. As he was pulling into the diner’s parking lot, he saw Lee’s pickup already there. Both men were just getting out. He glanced quickly at Dustin. Apparently he’d seen them too.
“Would you rather not…” Roy said, trying to be delicate.

“No, that’s cool,” Dustin said. “I mean, if they want to. That’s up to them.”

Roy nodded. “And what do we tell them if we ask why we’re here together?”

Dustin’s answer surprised him. “The truth. I don’t mind them knowing. I know you trust them, and I trust you.”

Roy felt a warmth steal through him at Dustin’s apparent confidence in him. He cleared his throat, trying to rid himself of the unexpected lump that had just lodged there. Dustin’s response was even more surprising since he hadn’t wanted his own cousin to know.

He pulled up beside Lee’s truck. Lee and Marshall had obviously seen them and were waiting for them. Roy and Dustin got out of the truck and quickly covered the distance between them.

“Hey Roy,” Lee said. “Dustin. Didn’t expect to see you two here.”

“Just thought we’d get a bite to eat,” Roy said.

“That’s why we’re here too. Why don’t you guys join us?”

“Sounds good to me. Okay with you, Dustin?”

Dustin nodded. “Sounds real good. I like the food here a lot. And pleasant company is always welcome.”

Lee arched a brow. Roy knew he had some explaining to do. 

“Good to see you, Dustin,” Marshall said.

“You too,” Dustin responded.

The four men headed toward the door. Lee fell into step beside Roy, while Dustin and Marshall brought up the rear. 

“Everything okay?” Lee had dropped his voice, glancing past Roy at the two young men.

“Yes and no,” Roy said. “I’ll give you the scoop over lunch.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Lee said.

to be continued

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #34 (9.3)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Dustin manages to piss off Jordan and he storms out of the computer store. Unfortunately not out of Dustin's life. Roy steps in and gives Dustin a lift. So what now? Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #34 (9.3)

“So what did he say? When does he intend to do this thing?” Roy asked as they drove away from the computer store. “Or has he changed his mind?”

“I wish.” Dustin slumped in the seat. He kept a careful watch on what traffic there was around them. He didn’t want to have Jordan see them together, although he didn’t think that was really likely.  “He said it’s gonna happen tomorrow tonight. After midnight, when I get off. He said he’d be there then.”

“Is he bringing anyone else?”

“I dunno, he didn’t say. It wouldn’t surprise me, though. I think it makes him feel like a big man, having those two idiots who’d do anything he tells them to. Like they were his gang of something.” And didn’t that hit a little too close to home?

Roy fell silent for a moment. “Did he say anything about seeing you in the meantime? Before tomorrow night, I mean?”

Dustin was surprised by the question. He glanced up at Roy, but the lawman’s expression was impossible to read. Handsome but stoic. “Naw, he’s too pissed at me right now, I think. I’m just afraid he’ll change his mind and come looking for me, for a little…” He left the thought unfinished. He didn’t want to admit to Roy what Jordan might be looking for. He didn’t even want to think about having sex with Jordan —not now, not ever.

“Well, then, maybe you should be somewhere he can’t find you,” Roy suggested.

“Easier said than done,” Dustin blurted out without thinking. Not like he had friends he could turn to, not the way his cousin had. He knew if Denver asked, he could count on any one of them—Rye, Slim, Marshall, Lee, even Roy…

Dustin was jerked from his self-pity party when Roy suddenly pulled his truck into a nearby parking lot, turned around, then pulled back on the road, headed in the direction they’d just come from. It didn’t take long for Dustin to figure out where they were going. Damn. Roy was sick of him, he was gonna dump him at home. He didn’t think he could feel any lower than he did at that moment.

He wasn’t about to argue with him, though. And he wasn’t going to try to push his company on him. Those days were over, the times when he tried to force Marshall to be with him. No, he’d learned his lesson on that one. He sat in silence until they reached the apartment building. He was going to ask if Roy was still planning on being there the next night, in case he’d completely changed his mind, and maybe he was on his own, when Roy spoke first.

“Go grab some clothes, enough for a few days, just to be safe.”

What? Why?

“He won’t think to look for you in Burnham,” Roy explained. He threw the truck into park and turned toward Dustin, leaning on the steering wheel as he looked at him. “Hell, I’m willing to bet he doesn’t even know where Burnham is. You can just lie low there until tomorrow.”

Dustin was dumfounded. Why was Roy being so nice to him? Oh yeah, the case he was working on. He’d said he thought Jordan was involved in the other robberies. That would probably look good for him and Sheriff Sinclair both. He needed to not read anything into it.

“You sure?” He was offering Roy the chance to back out. He would understand if he did, no hard feelings. He just had to be sure this was what Roy wanted, for his own sake.

“I said it, I mean it,” Roy affirmed. “By the way, you’re still getting the couch.”

Dustin couldn’t help but smile at that. Despite the somewhat gruff exterior, he knew there was a good heart underneath. One he was learning to appreciate more and more. What a damn shame he was straight. Oh well, couldn’t be helped. He’d just have to take what he could get for now. And right now what he wanted was to stick with Roy as much as possible, even if he knew it would end badly.
Fuck it all, why was life so damn complicated?

to be continued

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Guest Blogger: Cheryl Headford

Please welcome my dear friend and fellow author, Cheryl Headford, who is here to tell us about her new release, Shade's Champion!

Author Name: Cheryl Headford

Book Length 214 Pages

Book Name: Shade’s Champion

Release Date: 15th September 2017


Sixteen-year-old Shade has spent years imprisoned in a dark cellar after being snatched off the street as a young child. Events since his release have left him traumatised and desperate to die.

Dory is a lively and engaging seventeen-year-old with mental health issues that make him a slave to his dangerously uncontrollable emotions.

When Shade comes to the secure children's home, Eastbrook, because no one else wants him, the manager appoints Dory as his champion, an appointment Dory takes very seriously indeed.

As friendship turns into something else, something new and exciting, they struggle to find their feet, but every step leads to more complication.

When a spiteful act separates them, it seems their love is doomed before it ever had a chance, but when Dory falls ill, it's up to Shade to pick up the standard and become his champion, although it might already be too late.

Meet The Author 



Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and menagerie of three cats, a dog and a dragon. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close.

Immersed, as always, in the world of fantasy, she maintains a burning desire to share the stories and these days it’s in the form of books which all contain her spark and unique view on life, the universe and everything.

While Richard was talking to Stacey, Emily had sidled up to Shade. She patted his arm, and he looked down at her, a puzzled expression on his face. As Richard glanced up, Shade smiled. It was a different kind of smile than he’d given to Richard. It was sweet and innocent. It took Richard completely by surprise and threw him off balance.

“You’re pretty. Will you kiss me?” Emily said.

Before Richard could open his mouth, Shade shook his head. “You’re a baby. Don’t ask.” Shade’s voice was something of a shock. Firstly, because for some reason Richard hadn’t imagined for a moment he’d speak, and secondly, because it was just like the rest of him—soft, sweet, and blurred.

“I am not a baby. How dare you! Did you hear what he called me, Stace? A baby!”

“You wanna watch what you say, pretty boy,” Stacey said, oozing attitude. “You’re not going to make many friends around here if you go around saying things like that.”

“Stacey, I said that’s enough. Scoot.”


“Scoot. Remember, Shade’s new here. He doesn’t know anyone, and he doesn’t know the rules. I’m trusting you, all of you, to make him feel welcome.”

“Oh, I’m sure the boys will make him feel very...welcome.”

With a glare at Shade, the two girls turned and raced away. Shade seemed utterly confused.

“Don’t worry about them. They can be a nightmare, but they’re basically good kids. Just be careful. They’re... They can be a bit too friendly at times.”

Shade frowned, looking even more confused, if that were possible.


Sales Links

 Where to Find The Author 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #33 (9.2)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Roy seems to be feeling rather protective of Dustin. Why else would he come into the computer store when he was supposed to be watching from outside? Will his actions cause a problem? Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #33 (9.2)

“What was that all about?” Jordan whispered angrily in Dustin’s ear. He’d looped an arm about Dustin’s waist and gripped him tightly, as if he thought Dustin might try to wriggle away.

Which he certainly would, if he could.

Still pumped over seeing Roy so unexpectedly, Dustin pushed off from Jordan and took a step back, putting a slight distance between them, but keeping out of Denver’s sight. He didn’t want to his cousin to come any closer to Jordan than he could help. Bad enough he was in Jordan’s sights, but Dustin was working on fixing that. “What do you mean? What was what all about?”

Jordan narrowed his eyes at Dustin. “Don’t try to fuck with me, boy. That would be a major mistake on your part.”

The desire to smash his fist into Jordan’s face was growing, but he held himself back, for Denver’s sake. “I’m not fucking with you. You’re just paranoid, dude.”

Jordan looked fit to be tied. He ran one hand through his hair, breathing heavily, a far cry from his usual calm self, before he managed to pull himself together. “You know what? Fuck you. Find your own way home. I’m  going.”

“Suit yourself.” Dustin shrugged. Could he be that lucky? Did Jordan just cut him loose?

Jordan’s next words brought him crashing back to reality.

“You get off tomorrow at midnight, right?”

Dustin nodded apprehensively.

“I’ll be here. We’re going to do this thing, and you’re going to do what I tell you, or else….” Jordan glanced in the direction of the front counter. Dustin knew what he meant, and he hated him for it.

“Yeah, I remember.” Dustin kept his voice as calm as possible. No need to alarm his cousin. With any luck, he’d get out of this without Denver having to know a thing.

Once Jordan stormed his way out of the store, Dustin started to pace up and down the aisle, not seeing the merchandise around him, thinking furiously. He had no doubt Jordan would bring the idiot twins along with him tomorrow, so that would be, what… three against two? Or did Roy intend to bring back-up of his own? Probably wouldn’t need it, though. He thought Lenny and Rusty were too cowardly to put up a fight once they were caught. And Jordan was all bluster and hot air. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious. Maybe he should ask Roy?

“Hey, what happened to your boyfriend?”

Dustin stopped pacing and glanced up. Denver stood  at the end of the aisle, and he was giving him a funny look. When Dustin glanced around, there was no sign of his customer. She must have gone.

“At least I assume that’s the guy you been seeing. I mean, you seemed pretty cozy, but I didn’t catch his name.”

“Jordan,” Dustin said automatically. “His name’s Jordan. And he’s not my boyfriend.”

“My bad.” Denver laughed. “Guess I just assumed, the way he was holding on to you there. So he’s not the guy?”

“Yeah, he is. Was. It’s complicated.” Dustin sighed.

Denver threw him a shrewd look. “You’re not in any trouble, right?

If you only knew.

“You know you can tell me, don’t you? I just want to help, honestly.”

“Yeah I know.” Dustin mustered the best smile he could under the circumstances. “And I do appreciate that, trust me. But I have everything under control, and I promise I’m not causing any trouble.”

“I didn’t mean that,” Denver began but Dustin cut him off.

“No, it’s okay, I do know what you mean, and you’re right, I’ve been an ass, but I’m turning things around, I swear.”

“I believe you. I’m in your corner, and so are Lee and Marshall. And Roy. Don’t be afraid to come to any of us at any time…”

“I promise.” Dustin relaxed at his cousin’s words. They’d had their moments, but on the whole, Denver was the best relative he had. Which was why he was going to fight to keep him safe.
The front door buzzed as another customer walked in.

“Hey, I’m gonna get out of your hair. I’ll catch you later.”

“Sure. Later, Dustin.” Denver turned to the newcomer as Dustin made his way past him and  out the door. He stood there for a moment, thinking over his options. Maybe he could hitch a ride back to the apartment? If push came to shove, he could always walk.

Just then, Roy’s truck pulled up in front of him. Dustin stared at Roy uncertainly. What was he doing?
“Get in,” Roy said. “It’s safe.”

Well, that settled that. Dustin climbed into the cab of the truck, and Roy quickly pulled away from the store.

to be continued

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #32 (9.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, Jordan is forcing Dustin to help him case the computer store where he works, so he can rob it. Little does he know that Roy is keeping them under surveillance from outside. So why is he inside? Find out in this week's episode of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #32 (9.1)

“Hey Denver, how’s it going?” Roy strolled casually into the computer store, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t know what had prompted him to throw caution to the winds and leave his truck when he was supposed to be keeping an eye on Dustin from the outside. Nothing other than a gut feeling that he needed to make himself visible, despite not being in uniform. Was he really that concerned about Dustin? And if so, why?

“Pretty good,” Denver replied. “Must be my lucky day, both you and Dustin showing up out of the blue.”

“Huh. Small world,” Roy commented before glancing toward Dustin. “Hey Dustin,” he said with a nod. His glance skimmed over Jordan, as if he didn’t matter. “Denver, I need you to show me something, if you would.”

“Sure thing, Roy, what are you looking for? Something for you, or for the job?”

“Me,” Roy said. “Well, both actually. I was just wanting to price a new computer. Step into the twenty-first century.” He realized as soon as he said it that was a dumb thing to say. He just had to hope Denver wouldn’t come out and ask him why the hell he’d come in to Tucker Falls for that when he had Lee and Marshall right there in Burnham, who would put him together a better system than anything most stores sold if he asked them to.

“C’mon then, let’s take a look. We have some nice models down here.” He waved Roy down the nearest aisle.  “Dustin, hang tight, willya? You’re not in a hurry are you?”

Roy turned toward the two men. He couldn’t help but notice the possessive arm Jordan kept about Dustin, and the obvious distaste which Dustin could barely conceal.

“No, I’m good,” Dustin mumbled.

At that moment, the buzzer sounded, admitting another customer, a young woman carrying a laptop case. She walked directly to the front counter, not bothering to glance around. Obviously she knew why she was there.

Denver glanced uncertainly at Roy. “Go on, take care of the young lady. I’ll be fine.”

“Well, if you’re sure. Thanks, Roy.”

“Sure I’m sure. Dustin can help me, if I have any questions. Right, Dustin?”

“Yeah, sure thing, Roy. “

Roy watched Dustin remove Jordan’s arm, as if it were something distasteful to him. He made a beeline for the aisle Denver had indicated, Roy close behind.

“I’ll just look around then,” Jordan volunteered, although no one had asked him, and he sounded a little testy, to Roy.

“What size hard drive were you looking for,” Dustin asked, pitching his voice to be heard all over the store before dropping it and asking, “What the hell are you doing?”

Fair question, but not one Roy could really answer. Not honestly, that is.

“Big enough,” he grunted noncommittally, then dropped his own. “Everything okay?” Which was a question in itself, and not an answer, but it’s what he had.

“Do I look okay?” Dustin fairly hissed. “Now he wants me to go poking around in the backroom, like I’m supposed to take inventory or something.”

Without thinking, Roy laid a calming hand on Dustin’s arm. They stood in a frozen tableau, staring at one another without saying anything. Roy stepped away first, clearing his throat uncomfortably, just as he got an idea. “Do you have anything else?” he asked. “Maybe something you just got in? I want to get the best I can, so I won’t have to do this again for a long time.”

“I can check the inventory,” Denver said. He threw Roy a grateful look, and Roy winked.

“If you don’t mind, thanks. I’ll just wander around while you do. See what else I might need.” Which was nothing, but he wasn’t about to admit to that.

“Yeah, sure, no problem. Shouldn’t take long.” He nodded to Roy before heading toward the back of the store. Moving quickly, Roy took up a vantage point from where he could see Jordan. He couldn’t help but notice Jordan was focused intently on Dustin. Denver was deep in conversation with the customer. Roy thought she was pretty, and Denver seemed interested in everything she had to say.

Jordan turned his head, and their eyes met. Roy thought there was a very cold, calculating look in the other man’s gaze. A shiver drew down his spine. This guy might be more dangerous than he’d figured. All the more reason to get Dustin away from him, and see him safely behind bars.

They stared at one another without speaking. You don’t frighten me, little man.

The moment was broken when Dustin returned from the store room and headed toward Roy without a second look at Jordan. Roy couldn’t but give Jordan a small smile of triumph before he turned his attention completely toward Dustin.

“Nothing new,” Dustin said. “Sorry.”

“That’s okay. I wasn’t exactly wedded to the idea of getting it right this minute anyway. I’ll look around some more. Thanks anyway, Dustin.” He gave a tip of his hat to Roy, gave Jordan a quick glance, as if he was sizing him up and then dismissing him. Heading toward the door, he called out, “Catch you at Partners, Denver.”

“You got it, Roy,” Denver looked up long enough to say. “Go and catch them bad guys.”

Roy exited the store without further comment.

to be continued

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