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:

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.”


“I don’t have a death wish!” Seth protested.

“If you try to stay in your apartment when the gremlins come to claim your apology, you do. Seth, and I can’t stress this enough,” she fixed her dark eyes on him intently, “if you see another gremlin, they will definitely kill you. And make it quick.”

Seth gulped, feeling suddenly queasy.

Pulling out her phone, Harry checked the time, then shoved the phone back into her pocket. “They should leave you alone now, but don’t tempt fate, okay? No staring into shadows, no lurking around the servers. Just live like a normal person.”

“I’m not sure how to do that anymore,” Seth said weakly.

*    *    *

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.

30 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    That’s the best advice she can give? Act normal? When he’s stumbled on a things he’d assumed didn’t exist? It can be pretty hard to unstumble and forget . . . which of course can lead to slew of complications for him.

  2. After what Seth’s been through, I bet he has forgotten what “normal” is like. 🙂

  3. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Yes, once you’ve seen a gremlin, it would be hard to pretend they don’t exist. I wonder if he’ll survive after this.

  4. Charmaine Gordon says:

    always exciting and different

  5. nancygideon says:

    Great advice, but why am I sure he won’t be able to follow it . . .

  6. I’m with Seth – I’d feel like a doomed gremlin magnet now, after all that’s happened to him. He won’t be able to keep himself from looking for them, is my guess. Great snippet!

  7. Alexis Duran says:

    Just try to pretend those evil magical creatures who want to kill you aren’t there lurking in the shadows…Poor Seth!

  8. Botanist says:

    That’s a bit like that old game – try not to think of pink elephants, and what’s the one thing that keeps coming to mind? 🙂 Seth has a tough time ahead, but I want to know – how will they know when it’s safe to go back into his apartment?

  9. Jenna Jaxon says:

    Somehow I don’t think this is going to end well for him. And gremlins are not things you want to have pissed off at you. I hope he can take her advice. Great snippet!

  10. Those gremlins don’t mess around, do they?

  11. Diane Burton says:

    After all he’s been through with gremlins, how can he possibly act normal? She asks too much.

  12. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I think he just got some good advice.

  13. Harry is making a lot of sense, but I have a feeling this is going to be tough advice to follow.

  14. The gremlins are awful!

  15. Carrie-Anne says:

    I can imagine he no longer knows how to live normally! It probably won’t be long till he tempts Fate again.

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