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Funerals are always harder for those left behind...


by Barend Nieuwstraten III

A light drizzle descended over the procession as the monks lowered the coffin onto ropes before the hole. The deceased's widow on one side, and his three former accomplices on the other. 
They attempted a reverent composure while argumentative whispers were exchanged between them. Shamelessly squabbling over the whereabouts of the shipment of gems from a robbery they had been cut out of.
The monks patiently waited for the priest to say his words, as holy men do on such occasions. Favourable words of a man above reproach. None of the things her late husband was, but that's always the way of funerals, no matter how much of a villain you were. Respectable, honourable, generous, and kind? Why not throw in 'handsome' and 'punctual' to complete the list of contradictions to his reputation. For the man had looked like a potato with a combover and had, even himself, always procla…

The Sun Will Not Rise Today

Another Furious Fiction submission. First and last word had to begin with J, the phrase "miss the boat" had to be included, and a game had to be in play. (Also it had to be under 500 words and written within 55 hours)


by Barend Nieuwstraten IIII

"Just how drunk are you?" Wendel scoffed, putting down his wooden tankard. He looked to his early-hour drinking companions; a small group of swaying, stinking, drunks, waiting out the dawn in a remote wooden shack. "That wager's bonkers," he informed the stranger, who recently joined them. "The sun will not rise today?"

"I think you misunderstand my-" the visitor attempted to explain.

"No," Wendel drunkenly slurred, "It's you that doesn't understand. That's not how this game works. Young Edrick, here," he said, pointing to the unconscious, burly teenager on the floor. "He bet he could drink four fresh pints, before we could count …

Update: Thieves Tithe

So, I've published another story on Storypony called Thieves Tithe. It was the second short story I wrote after Blacktooth, around mid-March last year. I'm quite fond of it, as it reveals a little more of my world and how things work there, sometimes.
I'd appreciate any up-votes there, if you're feeling charitable, or enjoyed it.

It's been a while since I've posted anything because I'm working on a few longer stories, redrafting novella, a short novel, and regular novel, and have my fingers crossed for a novelette in the short list for a magazine. (wish me luck)
(no, don't just raise your brow, say "good luck" damn it)
(yes, on the bus, I don't care)

While I typically publish here, the non-published entries from the AWC's Furious Fiction competition, directly after the winners are announced, I have not posted the last two 'Destination: Presentation' and 'Upon Reflection' because…

Update: The Last Song

My first published short story  'The Last Song' (2092 words) is now available in  Volume 1 (May Issue) of Solantis Magazine.

Available on Amazon Kindle

The magazine itself showcases a mixture of creative works including articles and interviews.

She Lived in the Mirror

As if insufficiently challenged by the confines of 500 word flash fiction, I tried my hand at 300. This forced me into first person perspective, a format I'm not terribly keen on with few exceptions. But here it is, hope you enjoy.

by Barend Nieuwstraten III