In the next week I’m planning to release the short story “Donuts,” a distant prequel to the Veronica Gray series set in the Aquarius Ascendant universe. I’m planning to release it to Smashwords and Amazon, and sales links will go up when it goes live. I’m excited, and I hope that you will be too.
Here’s a preview – the first page (more or less) of “Donuts.”
There were donuts on the chow line the morning before the disaster. I think I might have made a chirping noise when I saw them, because my buddies laughed in front of me.
On the plus side, Commander, that meant donuts for breakfast. I grabbed three before moving on, knowing that if I left them there, they wouldn’t be there when I came back later. The guy behind me in the line poked his tray none too subtly into my ribs. I chose not to poke him back. I went and sat down with three other women in identical coveralls – we were due on the flight line in twenty minutes. On the minus side, it meant we were going into combat today, and some of us weren’t coming back.
“Weather sucks today,” said Lt. Jane Lessem, on my left. We all laughed hollowly at the old joke. There was no other kind of weather in outer space; the kind that sucked all the air out of your body and left you nothing to breathe. I stood and stretched up, brushing my very fingertips on the wires and conduits overhead. I’d always been a bit on the tall side, ever since I was a little kid my mama said I was going to be a fighter pilot when I grew up because you had to be tall and strong. Well, I was and I did, but at this moment, I’m not sure if all that was worthwhile. I’ll keep fighting, though. I have to, for the ones I’ve left behind.
Jane had been a friend of mine since we boarded SV Midway two years earlier. We’d gotten through half a dozen missions together. Bad jokes were one of the ways we survived together. I don’t want to think about what happened to her that day, not too much. Jane was pretty and popular, with a boyfriend and a black lab back home and a sympathetic ear for anyone with a problem. Jane never had to buy beer on shore leave.
“Donuts” is a 3,500 word short story that will go on sale on 3/26/2014.