ROF publishes “The Grand Mal Reaper” Online (Free Reading)

Scott William Carter   April 21, 2010  

If you want a taste of the sort of thing I write, here’s a great example.  As a promotional effort for my just-published story collection, Realms of Fantasy magazine has just posted my story, “The Grand Mal Reaper,” on their website.  It should be up for about a month, and you can read it for free here.  It originally appeared in the August 2006 issue.

This story actually has a very interesting history.  I’d submitted it back in 2005 and the assistant editor at the time passed it up to Shawna McCarthy, the magazine’s editor.  But then this assistant editor left and a new one took over — Douglas Cohen.  Shawna had Doug review all the stories the previous assistant editor had recently passed up, and mine was the only one he decided to pass up to her a second time.  Which she then purchased and published in the magazine in August 2006.

And of course it’s also included in my collection, The Dinosaur Diaries And Other Tales Across Space and Time.

Check it out if you have a few minutes.  Here’s the opening to whet your appetite:

The Grand Mal Reaper
by Scott William Carter

She stood across from me, hands tucked into the armpits of her jean jacket, the tear in her nylon stocking looking garish in the pale yellow light.  When she glanced at me through the fogging breaths and cigarette smoke, my heart did the skids.

Five of us huddled on the snow-covered sidewalk outside the restaurant, Lenny the manager, a couple of waitresses in addition to Rita, and me, a thirty-year old busboy who’d only been in Oregon a month.  The conversation had turned to our plans for the holiday, and while Lenny and the other waitresses chatted animatedly about turkey dinners with annoying relatives and last-minute shopping for hard-to-find toys, Rita and I hadn’t said a word.

We’d been exchanging glances a lot the last couple of weeks, the kind of glances that often lead to buying condoms and beer from the mini-mart in the middle of the night, but I hadn’t thought about pursuing her until that moment.   I was sure my own eyes had the same look, a what the hell am I doing here sort of a look.  I didn’t know squat about Rita, nothing except that she was about my age and that she lived on the south side of Rexton out by the golf course, but after that glance I wanted to know everything about her.  I wanted to know where she grew up and what movies she liked and why she never smiled.  The conversation was winding down, everybody doing the slow sidestep toward their cars, and I was thinking don’t let her go, ask her stupid, do it now, but then came the death-tugging.  Like an invisible cord pulling at my chest.

[Read the rest here.]