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A haunted train and the gods’ retirement home. A spirit of vengeance doesn’t know her purpose and a blackmailer has lost his memory. An ancient star’s gravity brings a starship to life and the laws of the dead are tricky.

Fireflies is a collection of short stories.


Her clients knew her only as Miss Price.

Miss Price crouched in the bushes, dressed down to match the deep green shadows. She flicked the latches on her rifle case and pulled it open on silent, well-oiled hinges. The long gun lounged in its gray foam like a sunning snake.

The target’s dossier was open at her elbow: Matt Harwood, age 7. Miss Price stared out through the overlapping leaves. The little boy chased a pair of giggling girls in crooked circles. Matt’s black curls were disheveled and his cheeks flushed with exertion.

Cute kid.

Miss Price took her rifle from the case and pulled down the slim titanium bipod. It was going to be a close hit; no need for the scope. The deed would be done and over in less than a minute.

She looked down at the folder again. Beneath the name and photo was a list of chemicals and dates. Miss Price ran her finger down the page and then pulled the matching box of ammunition from her case: tetanus booster.

Miss Price loaded the dart into her rifle, then slid the chamber closed with a click. The nurse looked down the barrel, aimed at the little boy, and fired.

Published 10.09.2012 by Loose Leaf Stories