This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway is delayed–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone, and hears something behind him.

Previous snippet:


Harry’s voice responded, and then an almost-silence followed. The soft scratch of claws on the floors, a quiet rubbing sound, an exhaled breath.Seth’s mind latched onto each noise, imagination churning out scenarios for each one.

“Okay, you can stand up now,” Harry said.

He didn’t move, petrified to the spot, a statue curiosity for his landlord.

Hands dug under his arms, lifted, pinched in when he didn’t cooperate. The pain brought him back to himself, mostly, and he stood, eyes still closed.

“You can open your eyes,” she added, moving around, a metallic rattling noise following her footsteps. Curiosity pried open his lids, finally, to see Harry creating a circle around the sound system boxes—screws, computer chips,and twists of wire raining from her hands.

She stepped back to study her efforts, grabbed another handful of pieces from her pockets, and filled in gaps with an intense focus, then nodded.

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“Ceremony is important. You don’t just… toss an apology on the ground. It needs to look proper,” Harry explained, “Stand right there.”

She pointed to a space to her right side, slightly behind her.

Dazed, Seth complied, “How do you know all this?”

“Did it never occur to you how often I.T. people might run into gremlins?” she asked. “The ones that last have the rules passed down to them, from a mentor. My dad was in the field, my grandpa, too. Now, hush.”

Seth shut his mouth, and watched silently as Harry added some sparkling powder in a looping circle around the boxes.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.



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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

20 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Whaddya know? Here I thought IT pros knew something about computer hardware, no mythical creatures. But then, clearly I’m no IT pro.

  2. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Well, that definitely explains how she knows so much about them. Hopefully she’ll pass more knowledge down to Seth so he knows for next time.

  3. I like the explanation of how she knows so much and I find it very sensible that there must be a certain amount of ceremony to the apology! Great snippet…

  4. Botanist says:

    Interesting ceremony. Why do I get the sneaking feeling the expensive sound system is about to be sacrificed?

  5. nancygideon says:

    An interesting family tradition. I like where this is going!

  6. Diane Burton says:

    Besides ease with technology running in her family, dealing with gremlins does, too. I sure hope she imparts much of that knowledge to Seth.

  7. You know, I completely believe gremlins and I.T. go hand in hand sometimes.

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    It’s not such a stretch to believe IT people have had many run-ins with gremlins!

  9. Alexis Duran says:

    This explains so much! I’m really enjoying this story.

  10. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Poor Seth. He must be so confused, but hopefully Harry will help him.

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