Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

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Inspired by Bad Writing: Boys Will Be Killers by Bryan Brown

I would include a spoiler warning, only there isn’t much to spoil here. Instead, a summary: “Boys will be killers” is the first story in actor Bryan Brown’s short story collection, entitled Sweet Jimmy. In this story, we are introduced to two brothers, Jimmy and Johnny, and their older cousin Phil, all three well-versed in shoplifting, breaking and entering, and various crimes of that nature. Phil is sent to jail for aggravated assault, but in jail he miraculously turns a new leaf, resumes a relationship with once-girlfriend Maureen, and convinces the prison superintendent to let him grow orchids. Jimmy and Johnny take up trades and use them as covers for burglary, despite Phil’s advice to go straight. Jimmy sleeps around. Johnny falls in love with Daisy, but this romance is cut short when Daisy’s mother decides he’s not good enough for her. When Phil gets out of jail and starts selling orchids, they join him and help out with deliveries. Oh, also, a couple of women get murdered. Terry the detective arrests Phil on the basis that both victims visited his store and gave him their address (and both had orchids at their houses), but turns out it was Johnny, enacting a revenge fantasy on people who reminded him of Daisy’s mother. He then murders Daisy’s mother. The end.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 12: Earth’s Magic

This is the final part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 11, you can read it here.

Part 12: Earth’s Magic

Janet sat up and waited for the world to stop spinning. 

“How did you get here?” Telar snarled. His white cloak was slightly smudged, and it had settled on his body, still for the first time. 

Janet blinked. The room was mostly empty, but there were still chairs and tables stacked in the corners. Tendrils of tarnished silver stretched from the walls, pulling other threads with them. Was he calling other magic to this room? She stood up. That was going to end.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 11: Traitor

This is the eleventh part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 10, you can read it here.

Part 11: Traitor

Janet got to her feet and looked around. She had never seen this room before. There was a desk to her right, and in the left corner, a bed. A dark suit was draped over a chair. This must be Hela’s room, Janet realised with an uncomfortable start.

Hela was between her and the door, angrier than Janet had ever seen her. “Explain.”

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 10: Portal

This is the tenth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 9, you can read it here.

Part 10: Portal

When Janet came in for her shift the next day, she was greeted by an unusual sight: an empty receptionist’s desk. 

“Where’s Felicia?” she asked Hela.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 9: Meetings

This is the ninth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 8, you can read it here.

Part 9: Meetings

Smith’s office was larger than Janet remembered it. It was the same room — there was the mahogany desk, with the scented candles and the dim lamps, and the carpet was the same shade of blood red. Instead of being a small close space, though, it was now large enough to fit everyone here. That included every staff member Janet had seen, bar Felicia, who had stayed at the receptionist desk fielding questions. Magic again. If she focused, she thought she could see the threads of magic that had changed the room’s dimensions. They gleamed silver-red. Was that what Paxton had meant when he said she’d be able to see the colours, or was it simply that they were reflecting the colour in the room?

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 8: Reaching Out

This is the eighth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 7, you can read it here.

Part 8: Reaching Out

In the days that followed, Janet did her best to concentrate on seeing the magic of Hotel Fulcrum, but it was difficult. There wasn’t really any time to focus. While she worked, Hela would take calls, or quiz her on various locations in the hotel. Taking the time to focus her mind at home didn’t help either. Requests for quiet resulted in laughter and half-hearted attempts to lower voices before things started up again. She told them she was trying to pick up meditation, a revelation which was mostly greeted with scorn.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 7: Threads

This is the seventh part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 6, you can read it here.

Part 7: Threads

It was over a week before Janet got the chance — and the courage — to visit the basement level on her own. 

Smith must have talked to Hela, because the next shift began with a long lecture on exactly what she was and was not allowed to do, and how those rules shouldn’t have been broken for the sake of a phone.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 6: Telar

This is the sixth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 5, you can read it here.

Part 6: Telar

Janet came in to her next shift half expecting Smith standing in the lobby, ready to confront her over her crimes the night before. However, there was nobody waiting for her. She made her way to the front desk, where the receptionist, Felicia, was arguing with a tall man cloaked in white.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 5 : Rebels

This is the fifth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 4, you can read it here.

Part 5: Rebels

This was a terrible idea. As Janet went down the stairs, she began listing in her mind the number of things that could go wrong. She could get lost, just by forgetting her way. She could get lost because the hotel’s architecture could change. She could fall through the floor. Someone could see her, question her, and then probably fire her. She could end up in another world full of unfriendly people.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 4: Basement

This is the fourth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 3, you can read it here.

Part 4: Basement

Family breakfast at the Ling household was an awkward affair. The kitchen wasn’t really made for seven adults, and everyone insisted on helping with the eggs. Janet decided to sidestep the entire affair by getting cereal. She was finished by the time the third egg hit the floor. After that chaos, it was almost a relief to get to the hotel. 

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