Digging Up Bones
Short Stories

Digging Up Bones

DANGER

DO NOT ENTER

Normally, the stenciled warnings nailed to every other tree would have sent Nathan Shields walking away. Not tonight. Behind him, his Toyota stood guard on the shoulder of the road. Shouldn’t he hide it somewhere? He pulled his phone from his pocket and cursed. No time.

He was late, but that was hardly his fault.

“Hurry,” Kevin had said. “And bring a shovel.”

“Right now? It’s a four-hour drive.” After a long day of babysitting middle-school musicians, Nathan wanted to veg on his couch, maybe get lost in a little Bob Ross or “I Love Lucy.” No more true crime dramas, though. Those were starting to freak him out. He was convinced half the kids in his fifth-period ensemble were serial killers in a state of incubation. And not just the drummers and tuba players. That was the problem with serial killers, they were the ones you’d least expect.

“It’s more like four-and-a-half,” Kevin had said. “And take the back road. There’s a game tonight. Cops will be everywhere. Remember, you owe me.”

Read the full story at Mystery Weekly or pick up their November 2019 issue on Amazon.

Sermons

Understanding Present Heaven

July 28, 2019 | “Understanding Present Heaven” | 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 | The Church at Station Hill


“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope…encourage each other with these words.” Much of our confusion about heaven stems from our understanding about the present and future nature of heaven. While the intermediate or present heaven is a wonderful place, the present heaven is not where we will live forever: we are destined for eternal life as resurrected beings on a resurrected earth.

Watch the full series, Destination: Eternity.

(c) 2019 Brentwood Baptist Church. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Intelligent Life
Short Stories

Intelligent Life

Neil was coloring around the coffee stains on a worn manila folder when Harold shouted his name.

“Anderson. Get in here.”

Dropping the pen, Neil sighed and rose from his chair, not yet warm at 8:15 AM. He counted the floor tiles en route to the corner office. The number never changed, but the walk seemed longer each time he made it.

“Morning, Harold,” Neil said as he walked in.

“Where are we on P732?” a lanky man asked with a growl honed by years of cigarettes and chronic post-nasal drip. “Bill in Environmental just told me they finished their work on it two weeks ago.”

“I know,” Neil said. “I have their numbers.”

“So, what’s the problem?” Harold sneezed into a handkerchief, which he folded and drug across his nose once more before placing it back in his pocket. “I mean, it’s a simple assessment, Neil. I’m not asking you to cure syphilis.” He stood abruptly and began to pace.

The way Harold buried his hands in his pockets as he walked around the room, Neil wondered if his boss might actually need that cure. Eradicating an STD was probably easier than delivering that report. There was nothing simple about it.

Read the full story on Reesdy.

Workflowy Guest Blogger
Writing Tools

Workflowy Guest Blogger

Workflowy posted a screen cast I made showcasing how I use their tool to outline fiction. Check out the post below, as well as the original article I wrote on The Writing Cooperative.

Read the original article.

Here’s the original article on The Writing Cooperative.

Get the outlines

Also, you can grab all the outlines mentioned in this post directly from my Workflowy account.

And She Fell at His Feet
Devotions

And She Fell at His Feet

Mary of Bethany as a Model of Christian Discipleship

Mary’s brother was dead, and there was nothing she could do to change it. A few days earlier, she and her sister, Martha, had sent for their friend. He was a known healer, but he had yet to arrive. Now, the time for healing had come and gone. All that was left was to sit and to grieve. That’s what Mary was doing when her sister found her.

“He’s here,” Martha said. “And he’s asking for you.”

If He came to heal, He was four days late. Mary went out to meet him, to ask him why he took so long. She would tell Him if He had been here, none of this would have happened. But before she could say any of this, she fell at His feet and wept.

Read the full devotion at Koinonia.

Road Trip
Short Stories

Road Trip

“Rerouting,” Siri said for the third time.

“Honey, why don’t you just do what she says?”

Rick glared at his wife. “No. I’m not getting us lost because some nerd in Cupertino thinks he knows the backroads of Escambia County better than I do.”

“But we are lost,” Patti said.

“We are not lost.” Rick turned off the GPS. He had listened to the persistent droning of female voices since Nashville and was tired of it. At least he could put Siri in silent mode. “Once we drop Uncle Glenn in Brewton, it’s a straight shot to your sister’s house.” He pointed to the digital clock in the dash. “See? It’s not even midnight. We’re making great time. We just need to find some gas soon. That’s all.”

Read the full story on Lit Up.

Falling
Short Stories

Falling

The old man sat alone on the bench and watched the family from a distance. Four of them picnicked in the center of the park, beneath a massive oak near a playground and a pond. The father’s tie hung loosely around his neck. His leather loafers and dress socks sat discarded on a nearby quilt. A shirttail escaped the back of his slacks as he ran barefoot through the grass and tackled a boy holding a football. A toddler in a princess dress cheered them on, her red curls bouncing as she jumped up and down.

Clouds were coming. Maybe rain. The old man felt it in his hands and knees. Across the lawn, the father chased his children, unaware of the weather ahead. In the shadow of the oak, the mother looked on and laughed, at least on the outside. The old man imagined her hidden tears as she wondered how on earth she would tell them about the tumor and the treatment and the time she might have left . . .

Read the full story at Literally Literary.

How An Online Writing Community Changed My Perspective
Writing Tools

How An Online Writing Community Changed My Perspective

I once worked for a small record label. Believe me when I say you’ve never heard of it. My role had little to do with music, and my influence was minimal. But that didn’t stop my friends from pitching their material.

“Hey, man. I wrote this song,” they’d say. “Love to get your thoughts.”

There’s this thing called the “Nashville No.” Basically, it’s when someone says, “Okay. I’ll listen to it and get back to you.” Then they don’t. It’s pretty effective. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have a name.

That doesn’t work so well with friends. You see them too much, care for them too much. Assuming their work is (like most pitches) more passion than potential, you eventually have to find an honest but helpful way to give them — perspective.

Read the full article at The Writing Cooperative.

Catch a Falling Star
Short Stories

Catch a Falling Star

“How long did he lay there before they found him?”

Wynn surveyed the shelves on aisle three and listened to the excited chatter at the front of the store. He found the potted meat and scooped three cans into his basket.

“About a week,” one of them said.

“Guess it was the smell that gave him away?”

“I imagine so. That poor man started wasting away three years ago, though. Don’t have to be dead to decompose . . .”

Read the full story at Reedsy.