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The Lazurai Returns (Short Fiction Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy)

by C. C. Brower on 2018-10-21

She was different - and could be mankind's savior, or it's worst enemy.

The third generation born after a freak accident, her kind were shunned by humanity. Because they meant walking death. Until one human showed her compassion. Then her gifts came to view.

Her parents and their parents only knew death, could only give death. But they only wanted to be understood.

Rochelle was searching.

For the one thing that could save all of mankind from itself.

To find it, she would have to live among them as one of them, in disguise.

As she still could wipe out an entire city through her touch. If she wanted to. But she didn't know what she was supposed to want.

So she came here, to surround herself with strangers. Some her natural enemies, but maybe some friends. It was up to them, for she didn't really care whether they lived or died. But she knew she needed to find out "something" and only in these massive crowds was where she could her answer.

And what she looked for might even be her own cure...


I had just one day.

Her trail went to ‘Cagga and she’s probably here already.

One day to find her and - do what, exactly? I didn’t know. Couldn’t be killed. Only long stretches in isolation seemed to have any effect. One day of isolation, even if I had her in my hands now - that’s just a joke.

More like the plan had to be getting a positive ID on her and then re-group with some more resources. But by then she could have moved on.

Sticking my hands in my pockets, I found my meds bottle. It rattled with the few doses I had left. A mental note to see if their free clinics would help a visiting law enforcement type. Maybe, maybe not.

Next to the wanted posters were some floor-to-ceiling bulletproof glass, tinted with reflection on the outside.

I was watching the two-bit hustlers operating right in front of what passed for police in this town.

One redhead caught my eye. Kinda strawberry blond in a faded jeans jacket - too large with rolled up sleeves. The three-card hustlers I could figure out. But she looked like she was handing out money to the little kids. Dimes and quarters.

They’d come up as a rag-tagged bunch, and bring her rocks. She’d put close her hand over their rock and then make a pass - the rock would be gone from her open hand. But then would close her palm and make another pass - and then hand them a coin. All depended on how big a rock they gave her. But I didn’t see any half-dollars go anywhere.

Probably smart. The littlest kids would get rolled for it, and the big kids didn’t deserve it.

Funny how only the smallest could approach her. Adults and teens kept a distance from her, making funny faces if they got too close. I could see how the coins for rocks gimmick could be slight-of-hand, but the perimeter trick was something that simply didn’t make sense. Still, it kept her safe. Giving out money was something only politicians could do with any safety - and then never from the street, never in person.

At last, the mob of kids got their quarters or dimes and moved along. As well as the people who couldn’t get into her perimeter.

Now she stood alone on the sidewalk, a light rain falling. Alone in a crowd of people,

But then she turned toward my glass. From her side she couldn’t see me, but the way she was looking, she seemed to know I was standing there looking at her, looking at me.

That's her, I thought.

As I moved toward the door, some sidewalk people moved in between us. And by the time I was through their security and outside, she had vanished...

- - - -

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C. C. Brower Short Story Collection 01 (Short Story Fiction Anthology Book 5)

by C. C. Brower on 2018-07-08

A first collection of short stories from C. C. Brower

In addition to later longer novellas and novels, Brower started out with short stories.

Contemporary, Fantasy, Science Fiction - 13 wonderful worlds from a different view of life. New ways to look at the world you live in, and ask yourself "what if" things were different...

This anthology contains:

- The Caretaker
- When The Wild Calls
- Mind Timing
- Becoming Michelle
- When the Cities Died, I Danced
- Snow Gift
- Mr. Ben's Rail Road
- The War Bringeth
- Peace: Forever War
- Snow Cave
- Vacation Amok
- The Emperor's Scribe
- A Long Wait for Santa

Note: Mind Timing and Becoming Michelle were co-authored with R. L. Saunders

Excerpt from Mind TIming:

When the last of the long-languishing news media died, it was with barely a whimper. No bang. Not even a sullen pop. And eyes were dry all around. No one mourned, few even noticed.

Two glasses clinked at the Club in celebration. And that was all the wake they deserved.

I and my visitor-turned-conspirator were the only witnesses.

To the end of a global war that now never happened.

- - - -

He had entered uninvited and unwelcomed that first day, long ago. It’s not that women couldn’t have male visitors at the Club. As long as they were properly chaperoned or in the very public areas. But in those days, and by that time, no one expected that a white male presented any challenge or hazard.

Women ran politics, they ran business, they ran the world. Women scientists explored the known universe and profited from their discoveries.

"Mari, a man is here to see you." The female maitre d' at my elbow quietly announced.

This interrupted my news scanning, but was cautiously done. Alarmed Club members could get a bit defensive. And in these days, that could be dangerous to other Club patrons.

I sensed this as something unique, something out of the usual, the humdrum. It was actually a change I had been praying for.

So when that lone white male called at the all-female Club and asked for me by name, I accepted. He was shown to the middle of the main lounge, where two overstuffed chairs sat separated by a small side table. A distance surrounding them for room to move in case anything untoward developed.

While such a visit took time away from my scheduled daily poker game. I was tired of the usual bitching banter that accompanied each hand as we all knew the other’s tells and bluffs.

It was time for new blood. Or a new game...