Woman in Black is an eclectic collection of short fiction, and one small play. The title story is science fiction.
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Woman in Black is an eclectic collection of short fiction, and one small play, that I have written over the course of several years. When I write, the story always comes first while the genre is almost accidental. If a story is best told as a hard edged science fiction tale, such as the signature story of this book, then that is how it is told. This being the case, you will find a variety of writing styles in this collection from Young Adult Fiction in Jennifer Rising and Peter the Paper Clip to Romantic Fiction in The Treasure of Arroyo Seco and Crash and Burn, and then find Science Fiction in the Woman in Black and Saving Abraham. I have purposely left the collection unsorted by genre as well so readers will be surprised by what is coming next. You might be chasing down Jack the Ripper with Debra (our Woman in Black) on one page and then be experiencing what true love really means on the next. No matter which way the words take you, I know that you will have a great time!
From the story, "Woman In Black":
Debra brushed her hair furiously, threatening to take it out at its roots. Though she knew she had successfully cleaned out all of the sludge that had been in it, she still brushed in case there was even a trace of that giant Tarantula Nebula bacillus entrails left in her shoulder length ash blonde hair. Why did those things stink so badly when they exploded?
Finally satisfied that she could do no more, Debra stepped back to give herself the once over as she did every time she stood in front of a full-length mirror.
Pulling up the strap on her black silk bra, she was happy that her breasts were still firm and round after 35 years of hard living. Her waist was the same size it was in high school—maybe college—while her hips were still sexy and trim enough to attract the stares of men from all ages and planets.
Turning sideways, she did think her rear end was a tad on the large size, but then her black lace silk panties, which she always wore, tended to make it look that way. Fully clothed no one would notice and those who actually saw her scantily clad as she was now never seemed to care. She passed inspection.
Before she began to try on her assignment outfits, she wriggled into a black, knee length silk slip. Her Director had told her it would be cold where she was going and suggested a different undergarment arrangement, but she just could not wear anything else. Unlike him, and all the other men in her profession, she had to constantly change into different styles and colors of outer garments. She could not accommodate wearing just their basic black outfits, so she wore her black "badge" under everything else. She was proud to be a member of the Women In Black.
Not just any WIB though, she thought smugly, as she looked over the contents of the assignment package that had been delivered the day before. She was a WIB Weapons Master, the highest rank available to her, a Certified Eradicator, and a WIB squad leader; she usually pulled the toughest assignments, including the most precarious ones involving time and spatial travel. Those were the types she enjoyed the most since the Society's scientists could transport her not only through time, but through space as well.
Decades earlier, the Society In Black discovered that Earth had been visited many times in the past by creatures from different worlds. While most of these visits were not harmful to the human race, there were some that were real nuisances and had to be dealt with, as long as doing so would not change the present in any way.
Her last assignment had been fairly routine since it took her no farther away than to present day Iquique, Chile where the unauthorized landing of those giant Tarantula Nebula bacilli threatened to scare off the region's robust tourist trade. After eradicating the threat, it was let out that a new form of giant cockroach had emerged from the rain forest; since reports of new life forms from this region were not unusual. So, after the initial terror subsided, the tourist trade went back to normal. It may have even increased as the curious came down to catch a glimpse of these new fiends. Thanks to Debra and her squad, none would ever be seen again.
When she returned home, she was looking forward to the two weeks off that was mandatory for all SIB fighters after an assignment. That is why it was such a surprise when, two days after her arrival home, the Director called her with this new mission. Though he tried to hide it, he could not cover up the agitation in his voice. Debra was sure this was because he was being pressured by someone higher up to put her back into action right away. She knew the Director had feelings for her and she enjoyed his company as well, which is why he was so familiar with her undergarment choices, but they did not let their personal relationship interfere with their work. Still, she felt as though he watched out for her. That meant that whatever business he was being forced to send her on now must be a real "monster" of a project. She giggled at her own joke.