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:

“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.


Once she was finished, she crouched down to make small adjustments to the circle of computer parts, nudging a twist of wire to the left, and a computer chip toward the center of the circle. Then she stood, dusted off her hands, and stood behind him, her hand coming to rest on his arm.

Her grip was firm, just shy of painful, a tangible reminder that she’d told him to keep his mouth shut. She said some more of those liquid syllables, and then she unceremoniously shoved him out of his apartment.

Seth dug his heels in. That was it–a weird circle and a few words and his problems were over?

As he’d noticed before, Harry was strong for someone her size, and determined. He ended up outside his door anyway.

“What is wrong with you?” Harry demanded. “Now is not the time to discover a death wish.”

*    *    *

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.

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.

24 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Death wish? You just upped the stakes big time.

  2. Misa says:

    I love how technology is the magic here!

  3. nancygideon says:

    I love Harry’s mysterious character. Is she on his side or her own? Obliviously a take charge individual who is exactly what he needs – if he’s smart enough to let her do that hoodoo that she do so well!

  4. He needs to really appreciate Harry! He’d be toast without her, obviously…loving this story and another terrific snippet today!

  5. Botanist says:

    Love her determination. Seems he needs to understand there’s more going on than he can possibly cope with!

  6. Alexis Duran says:

    He hasn’t completely excepted his new reality, one where gremlins exist who can rip your head off. Hope Harry doesn’t abandon him to his fate!

  7. Jenna Jaxon says:

    I think Seth needs to take a big leap of faith and accept the reality of gremlins–before it’s too late!

  8. I was hoping he’d learned a little patience, but maybe not. Harry might have to knock it into him.

  9. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Seth is lucky to have someone to help him.

  10. Nice! I haven’t read this story in a while, and it’s great to see that he’s found someone who can help him! He was in such a predicament!

    Happy 2019! I hope your writing dreams come true! 🙂

  11. Diane Burton says:

    I love how you’re revealing Harry bit by bit. I hope this fixes Seth’s problems. Probably not, though. Good snippet. Happy New Year.

  12. Love Harry’s abilities the handle the gremlins with both magic and technology.

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