We’re still in the preorder campaign for my latest collection (Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies), so it only seems appropriate to use another of the stories from the collection on this Fractured Fragment Friday. Here’s the blurb from “Out of Place”:
So many things out of place. Wildlife. Tribesmen. Husbands…
Wildlife seems to be overrunning Sue’s neighborhood. At first Sue thinks that’s all it is, just local fauna run amuck, but her world is changing; an uncomfortable situation for someone who expects everything to stay where it belongs. Who knows where it will all end up?
And here’s the excerpt:
The mountain lion would be comical if it wasn’t so big – or so close.
I’m out jogging first thing in the morning, because Tom likes me to stay in shape. I’m wearing a pair of pink short-shorts and a tank top just like Nancy wears. He hasn’t seen me in it yet, and I’m running along, thinking about how he’ll react, when I turn the corner, and there’s this big mountain lion standing in the middle of the street, just staring at me. At least I think it’s a mountain lion – I’d be surer if it wasn’t this cartoon-orange, like Tony the Tiger without the stripes. I’m ready to freak out, and between that and being short of breath, my vision blurs so it looks like it’s staring back with four eyes.I’m out jogging first thing in the morning, because Tom
It’s not like I haven’t seen wildlife before when I’m out running, but it’s the kind of thing you expect to see around North Dallas – rabbits, squirrels, skunks, dogs, feral cats, maybe even an occasional coyote. They’ve gotten a couple of the smaller neighborhood pets – I was glad we only had Timmy’s turtle to worry about, and that stayed in his room.
I expect the big orange cat to come after me, so I start running backwards, just so I can keep an eye on it, but it doesn’t move – just stares at me. When I think I’m far enough from it, I turn around and don’t stop running until I reach our house. I jog up to our back door and let myself in. I’m sweated from my run, so I grab a water bottle from the fridge and pace around the kitchen trying to slow down the pounding in my chest. I don’t know how long Tom’s been ogling me; he’s leaning against the door jamb with his suit jacket over his shoulder when I finally notice him
“Looking good!” he grins.
That’s why I bought it, and it’s nice to hear him say it, even if I don’t fill things out as nicely as Nancy does. He puts his jacket on the counter, then stands in front of me and kisses me, his hands cupped under my not so perfect butt. He’s wearing a cologne that I don’t recognize.
“You smell good – where did that come from?” I ask.
“Oh, I don’t remember. Free sample, I think,” he says.
He gives me a last squeeze, and then gets himself some coffee.
“How was your run?” he asks.
“I saw a mountain lion,” I say.
“A mountain lion? You sure it wasn’t a bobcat just trying to look big?” Tom says.
“No, it was weird looking, but really big,” I say. “I thought it was going to attack, but it just kept staring at me.”
“Who wouldn’t?” Tom asks, and he winks at me.
“Mommy! Daddy! Big cat!” Timmy calls from the living room.
We hear his little hands jiggling the doorknob. Both of us run to the front room, and I scoop Timmy up before he can get the door open, but Tom stands looking out the living room window.
“I’m not sure that’s a mountain lion, but that’s definitely no bobcat,” he says. “I wonder how it got here.”
Whatever it is, the big cat saunters away across the Nancy’s lawn. We watch it until it disappears around the corner of her house.
“I don’t think I’m taking Timmy to the park today,” I say. “I’ll call Animal Control.”
“I have to get going – let me know how it works out,” Tom says.
“You’re not going out there?” I ask.
“Don’t worry – I’ll get in the car before I open the garage,” he says.
I wait by the front window with Timmy and watch while Tom drives past in his Corvette. Timmy waves at him until he turns the corner by Nancy’s and disappears behind her house.
Hmmm… that big orange cat may not be the only thing that’s “Out of Place.” This short, speculative fiction is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
It’s also included in the collection Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies listed below.
So many things may be out of place in your life, but especially not this story, so give it a read! Just saying…
Next up for release on November 30th – a new collection! Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies contains ten short speculative fictions, including a previously unpublished flash fiction. The stories include:
“There’s No Present Like the Time”, “Cellfishness”, “Out of Place”, “All the News That’s Fit for You”, “Interview with the Blue Neon God”, “Goddesses”, “Victimless”, “Stalking Rebecca”, “Sleep with the Snowmen”, and the “The Voices.”
Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies is currently available for preorder FOR A REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at various online retailers, including, but not limited to:
William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Breathing is Overrated” (I may have mentioned that this was one of my three Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest) – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri