Five and a half years in the making, my very first story has just been published in the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice, Volume VI anthology by Bards and Sages Publishing. Originally a novel, Gho was trimmed down to a very tight, action packed novella about a young inventor who is killed by a demon she inadvertently summons. Available on Kindle, and soon as a paperback.
Hildi Schreiber is just a normal sixteen-year-old trying to survive high school in Colorado while adding to her patent portfolio. One patent too many, as it turns out. Decapitated by a minor demon, she returns as a ghost to stop al-Qaeda from using the demon–or vice versa–to destroy the world. The first decision she makes as a ghost is to give herself a wicked new nickname. Some would find this strange. Those who know her do not.
The making and remaking of Gho:
Gho was my first. The very first piece of creative writing I embarked on, at least since high school (and you don’t want to know who was president then). Originally novel length,I leaned it down to a novella through brutal editing and a lot of rewrites. For more on the making and remaking of Gho, see my new Gho page.
The leaning of Gho from novel to novella also had some terrific side effects. The valkyrie led to my whole string of mythica pieces, from “Preschool War Games” (published in Cicada) to my novel in progress, Ragnarök Willie. The original denouement was beautiful but superfluous, so it became a short story, “Believe,” that made my editor cry. And Granny, Nishi and Ice all found their own stories in “The Confederate Cavalryman’s Saber,” “Walking with Great Uncle,” and “Along Sand Creek” respectively.
Chapter 1: Puppy
The note arrived during AP Physics. “Hildi,” the teacher said with a smirk, “your father is here to pick you up. In his limousine.” He stretched out the final syllables, payback no doubt for that fire in the lab last term.
Hildi Schreiber, whose father drove a ten-year-old Saab, took her time in shutting down her laptop. She had been trying to hack JPL’s website, which had proven to be tougher than Colorado State’s. “Hope it’s the stretch. What’s the emergency?”
“Apparently your puppy is sick.” Another smirk.
Laptop under one arm, backpack under the other, jacket in her teeth, Hildi sprinted out the door. She cut hard around the corner like the tailback she wasn’t, careened into the endless row of lockers, and took the steps three at a time up to the main floor.
A text arrived on her smartphone, which she fished out of her jeans with two fingers. Meet me at NextTehc. Puppy gone wild. N
Hildi ran faster.
A large man in a dark suit and striped tie stood in the doorway beside a black Hummer limo. “Hiya Daddy-O,” she said, panting, as she tossed her gear inside. “Nice ride.”
“I’m not your father,” the man said as he climbed into the driver’s seat.
“Duh. Either you’re some bigwig with NextTehc Industries or I made one helluva mistake getting into your car.”
Way to gho, Hildi.