The Short Stories
The short stories of Judah Lamey,
as well as the Stories of Quillville.
as well as the Stories of Quillville.
Welcome to Quillville, an entire city created by writers, for writers.
If you are new to the City of Quillville, you can swing over and check out the introductory post HERE
If you want more stories, you can check out the Opening Day of the Science Museum by @AspienBlue
Our amazing cover art is by @Bernade99148377
Author Anonymous (For Now)
From up here, the City of Quillville looked like any other. I wouldn't say the streets were mean, just a little shabby round the edges. The City Planner; some dame called Carlson, had strange ideas about road layout – she wasn't from around here originally – but there again who was?
Music drifted up from Helmkamp's Whiskey Bar. It was a pleasant evening and many of the clientèle had drifted onto the street to mingle. I spotted two figures seemingly in close conversation. Looks like Valencia Stokes; judging by the fedora, and who's she with? Ah yes, our Deputy Mayor. The fine, upstanding Mister Glint. I'll give him and Mayor Lombard one thing, they run a tight ship. But there's something amiss in our bright, shiny town. A little secret they're trying to hush up and Stokes, I think, is onto it. Well after tonight, everybody will know.
A scrape on the slates behind me. I can smell rankness, wet fur. Hear the click of nails tap-tapping along. The lycanthropes are out tonight; I assume the others will be on the move too; some weird Goth kids. Earlier today there was a fire in the north end of town. Lombard believes they did it - has her eye on the gangs, got them doing community service, if you can believe that! I keep low and still. One of the teachers at the local high school, Bines, made me up this scent camouflage – if Lombard or Glint find out the guy could lose his job – Marcus Bines is up for Education Minister. The werewolf passes, doesn't
smell me, thanks teach!
An engine roar getting louder draws my eyes. A little red corvette squeals up to the bar; wheels spinning, dust flying, people coughing. I see a petite brunette step out. Despite the lack of sun, she's wearing huge sunglasses. Little Lacie Waldon, Quillville's Head of Light Entertainment, or something, saunters across the pavement, greeted by handshakes, kisses and hugs – oh they love their hugs in Quillville! The BBQ Whiskey Bar is throwing some kind of celebration, because the town's Hostess du supreme organized a charabanc for the whole place. Had to get the mad scientists involved to enable us all to fit into a handful of cars – at least I got to drive. Just along the way, Daniels and Zaychta of the Bad Decision Coffee Bar
and Tempest Tea Rooms, respectively, are closing up, coming to join the celebrations. Fire Chief Hawke has allowed for a firework display later on – lots of noise, lots of distraction!
So while they're all busy at Helmkamp's, I can get on with my business. I run lightly (for my age) across the roof of the Quillville National Enquirer. Maggie Cannon's probably working late, so I've got my soft soles on. Someone has placed a ladder across the alley gap. I pull up short. Hunker beside the advertising board and check around. There's been a red-clad figure about town recently, Red Quill or Red Claw she calls herself – Bowman is an authorised vigilante. Can you believe that shit?
There's no-one around, that I can see. But Bowman's smart. Small, light-footed and quick. I'll bet she put this ladder here for her own use – or as a trap! I decide to skirt around the obvious route, clamber down the drainpipe and dash across to the Post Office building. All locked up for the day, Amara Coulson; Post Mistress, will be at the celebrations too, I assume. The bag on my back seems to be getting heavier, but I'll make my destination before the wriggling gets too awkward.
Half an hour later, and I stand before a large pair of gates. Across the top are the words, City of Quillville Hobby Farm. The wall is easy to climb, Struve, the founder-owner, created it to keep her oddities in, not people out. In the shadow of a tree, I unfasten my bag and set the cargo free. Aspien Blue is going to be famous – possibly, maybe. Blue, the Director of Quillville Science Centre conducted a genome splicing experiment, went all Frankenstein and had an accident with electrostatic energy discharge; lucky to be alive, silly sod. But the knock-on effect was interesting! The lab mice, rats and mosquitoes were all affected, couldn't do anything with them, but they seemed to have, unbelievably, absorbed the essence of
the writing community. They went through physical changes that no-one could have predicted. On my tour at the grand opening, I had snuck in to the 'staff only' area and discovered their little secret. Transient Metamorphic Cranium Shifting – at least that's what I call it. Ever seen a mouse or a fly with another's face'? Here we go then. Most of the accidents were terminated, but enough were left to have some fun with. My Metamorphic critters ran amok amongst the animals – taking a nip here, or being consumed, either way, the TMCS virus was transmitted.
A week later, and the effects became apparent. A group of visitors were touring our fine city; prospective business folks and writers. A posse of school kids on a day trip wandered around the Hobby Farm, and writers who should have been hard at work on their manuscripts sat around on the grass sipping lattes and some god-awful green tea from see-through cups – jeez, don't these people know it's a trendy marketing hype to squeeze dosh from their, already, threadbare pockets?! And then it happened,
"Ew!" One child pointed at the two-headed goat. "Miss, miss! It's got a face!"
Others started to laugh, a couple screamed as the giant tortoise raised it's head. Showing it's new 'face'.
"Miss! This one looks like Brian!"
...You get the picture. I watched from atop the library as, first the Fire Department, then the Head of PTA, security and finally the Mayor and her Deputy arrived. It was all I could do to hang onto my perch as I chuckled away at the mayhem.
"Who has done this?" Lombard demanded.
The Director of the Science Centre was called.
"Explain this." Glint said.
But of course, Blue couldn't.
Visitors, staff and authorities stood around admiring my handiwork. And my handiwork looked back. All the animals now sported faces of members of the community. Of course mine was in there too. I thought I looked good as a zebra!
The effects will wear off, eventually. The best bit about the Transient Metamorphosis, is the way the faces shift. So the tortoise might look like Maggie Cannon, the Editor of the National Enquirer one moment, and her rival journalist, Valencia Stokes the next! The two-headed goat was best though. It wore the faces of our Mayor and deputy, each shifting and alternating between one and the other. Now, I need to go and move books from the Self Help section to Fantasy. Till next time, be seeing you.
Here you will find a growing collection of my Short Stories. From pieces I wrote for competitions, to some of my world building stories. Some of the longer ones, will be broken down and released as Chapters.