Ultra-short story

Reggae Rope Monster: A True (?) Story

I had an urgent noontime appointment to keep and only just enough time to get there from work without any delays when I noticed the car ahead of me, a red hatchback. The hatch stood wide open, revealing a bewildering jumble of items crammed into the back of the vehicle. All that restrained the mess was a length of yellow nylon rope tied so slack that its middle waved as much as its loose ends did. That is so useless, I thought.

The upper end bounced and bobbed, an untidy clump of rope-ends like dreadlocks around the heavy knot that anchored them. Longer ends, maybe three or four of them, danced around the middle, flying upward with every bump in the road. Their undulations looked so free, so carefree, that I felt mesmerized.

One piece of the jumble slid toward the open hatch. I stepped on the clutch, ready to slow down and avoid the debris, but it never came. I accelerated with caution, thinking the object was just delayed in falling, but when I got nearer, I could see that everything was in place as it had been. Peculiar, I thought.

The traffic signal ahead turned red. We slowed to a halt in tandem, the hatchback and I. The dancing nylon rope sank into fitful rest, but an occasional ripple ran through it when the wind gusted. I rolled down my window to catch some of the chilly autumn breeze. From the red hatchback ahead of me, I heard strains of reggae tossed here and there by the wind.

Then the traffic signal turned green. The hatchback rolled forward, dislodging two or three objects from the jumble. This time, I was near enough to see the waving rope-ends gently tap each item back into place, always maintaining the buoyant reggae rhythm. One rope end waved at me.

The driver behind me honked irritably at me, and I remembered to drive through the intersection. My appointment took me to the next right turn, which I almost missed because my attention still clung to the strange dancing rope creature that guarded the open hatchback. I have almost no recollection of the meeting I attended that day, but every time I hear a strain of reggae or see a red hatchback on the street, I remember that curious creature, the Reggae Rope Monster.

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Faerie Tales for Travelers now available for Apple users!

If you read your books on iPhone, iPad or Mac, just click here for the iBooks edition of Faerie Tales for Travelers! (Apple ID 1151215308)

Free iBook “Dominion” now available

The novellas and The Genesis of Max Variel are taking rather longer than anticipated to post to the iBooks platform, but the free novella ‘Dominion’ is now available for Apple users to download to iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Soul’s Gate – Print Version – Now Available!

The final proof has been approved! Soul’s Gate (print version) is now officially available in paperback. Purchase it from the CreateSpace store  now, or find it on Amazon presently.

Soul’s Gate blurb

A new generation of the Keeper royal line is coming to adulthood. Unrest is growing once again in the Second Kingdom, now under the governance of the new Senate. Dakhar leads the Senate as a seer with bornsight, but the only other members so far gathered are Bredin, a genius healer who denies his powerful healing gift, and Magnis, a bard with the gift of heartsight crippled by constant conflict with his beyah, Valeryn’s elder daughter Seliyah. One more man in possession of a great gift has been discovered: a strange young man with the rare gift of dreamwalking has appeared in Dakhar’s dreams. No one knows where he lives, only that he is a prisoner in lands farther east than any Keeper maps have yet documented. Now his beyah has arrived in the Second Kingdom, looking for help in her search for the dreamwalker, and she turns out to be Dakhar’s illegitimate daughter.

If that were insufficient reason to for his journey, Dakhar also receives word from Valeryn and Lucien that the Pamirsi patriarch Liam secretly asks his help. Liam’s heir Rasmus disappeared twenty years previously after the death of his young wife. Part of the kingdom’s unrest is caused by the fact that Liam’s only other heirs are Lucien’s twin sons Xander and Xavier. If Rasmus could be found alive and persuaded to return as heir, Liam reasons, the moderate factions in his clan could regain control over the extremists.

For the peace of the kingdom and the strength of the Senate, then, Dakhar must assemble a company that must leave all known lands and venture into the ancient east. With no route but that provided by his own and his daughter Haidee’s instincts, Dakhar must seek these two missing men. Along the way, he and his company will face Umbrya dragons and strange immortals, subterranean paths and long-lost kingdoms of forgotten history. Their greatest danger is not so much that they will lose their way as that they might just lose their very selves.

*****

Anticipated release date: August 2016

While we’re at it…

For five days in February, Faerie Tales for Travelers is FREE on Kindle! (Offer runs Monday, February 1 through Friday, February 5 on Amazon.com!)

Every Title is 99 Cents!

Yes, you saw correctly: every title by H. M. Snow is now available on Kindle for 99¢ (USD) permanently! That includes the Last Book of the Kings epic fantasy series, the Makkarios paranormal fantasy series, and all novellas!