Phil Slattery’s Novelette “Click” is Available on Amazon Kindle and in Print

“Tell me again why we have to kill this guy and take his island,” said T.J., looking across the saltwater to a flat island a little over a hundred yards long and less than a hundred wide. Bushes and a few palms sheltered a small cabin and pier from the wind in all directions, except on the north side, where the shore was barren sand.

T.J. licked his lips and tasted the salt from the spray the small powerboat had kicked up on its trip down the Laguna Madre.  He wanted to head back to Corpus Christi soon. He liked the taste of the salt, because it reminded him of the taste of a margarita, but that was all he liked about this day. He had no love for the Texas heat or for the oppressive humidity or for the roll of the boat in the slight chop or for the bright sunlight filtering through the haze. He hated these more than he hated killing, but he did what he had to to make a living.

So begins my novelette Click, the story of Frank Martinez and the two drugrunners that want the island where he is staying.

Frank Martinez, a policeman with the Corpus Christi Police Department, has unintentionally shot and killed an unarmed man when called to intercede in a domestic violence case. To recover from the guilt while the incident is under investigation by the CCPD, Frank’s fiancée arranges for him to stay on a secluded island owned by her father’s former law partner. While dozing one night on a lounge chair in the yard, he awakes to find two hitmen slipping onto the island and breaking into the cabin. Are they after him? Are they after the cabin’s owner? Most importantly, how is he going to reach his pistol in his luggage in the bedroom?

My action-adventure/crime novelette, Click, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For either version and to read a sample, go to my Amazon author’s page:

My concept of Frank Martinez as portrayed by a photo from the public domain.

Reader Charles Stacey gave “Click” five stars, calls it “A great suspenseful read and then a twist”, and comments: “Author has a wonderful ability to develop the characters using few words. Great foreshadowing to build suspense. And then a really outstanding twist at the end that left me smiling.”

An anonymous Amazon customer gave it five stars, called it “strong storytelling”, and commented, “This novelette is a quick and very entertaining read. It opened with a grabber (“Tell me again whey we have to kill this guy…”) and kept pulling me in from there. Frank Martinez is a cop trying to recover from a shooting incident in solitude on an island off the Texas gulf coast. T.J. and Benny are the bad guys. Their hunt and chase on the small island kept me in suspense. It ends with a surprise twist. Slattery proves here he is a good storyteller.”

While on my author’s page, check out my other works.

Cover of the original Kindle edition

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Update: Major Changes to the Website

After some deliberation, I have decided to make a couple of major changes to this website.

  1.  I will be taking submissions of literary fiction of all genres and announcements for publication on this website.  Please see my submissions and announcements page for more details and guidelines. There will be no pay in the foreseeable future. You will have, however, all the glory that comes with being published on this website. They will probably be published on Friday nights.
  2. I am changing the name of the website to Slattery’s Magazine, so that the publication credit will look good on the resume of anyone published here.
  3. I will be focusing less on horror on this website and will be leaning more toward mainstream and popular fiction.  That does not mean that I will not publish horror.  I love good horror. I will just be throwing other genres into the mix.
  4. I have removed the pages focused on horror and migrated them to The Chamber Magazine, which is also accepting submissions.  The guidelines are close to the same as these, but focused more on horror and on flash fiction.
  5. I am restarting the Saturday Night Special feature that I ran for 43 installments a few years ago.  It will run on Saturday nights, of course, at 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time (11:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time–i.e. in London, England).  In accordance with the website changes, I will incorporate more mainstream literature into it, though I will initially re-run a lot of the original horror stories until I can find some good mainstream stories. Originally, I ran stories from prior to 1923, the year of institution of copyright laws in the US, in order to avoid copyright problems. I will probably continue to do so. I will focus on what are generally considered to be classic short stories, e.g. by Poe, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and others.

Stand by for more updates as they occur.  Check back frequently.

Update: June 6, 2019, 4:08 a.m.

Occasionally, I have issues with sleeping.  Tonight is one of those nights.

I typed some notes I made recently into Shadows and Stars... earlier this evening, watched a little TV, and then tried to get to sleep around 2:00 with no success. So I played a video game until just now and I will try to sleep.

Shadows and Stars… is gradually taking shape. I had a couple of ideas for it while watching TV earlier. Some ideas about society and life as a whole seem to be taking shape as the novel progresses.  I suppose it’s because I am thinking along different lines, because Shadows and Stars… involves an alien world (not like the “grays” though; more like Earth people with a few differences) and I have to think about what an alien society would be like. I want to make it different enough to be intriguing, but yet similar enough that readers can easily see the comparisons and contrasts with our world.  The aliens also have to have an alien perspective on the universe and on life in general, so I am trying to develop some radical breaks with the way our society views things. I am starting to come to some realizations about our own world, things that we take for granted, but which might seem bizarre to an alien.  As part of this approach, I am developing characters with radically different thinking and viewpoints than we have or admit to having on Earth. As an example, one of the alien characters is a reclusive monk named Sato, who lives alone in the deep forest.  When two of the main characters come across his cabin in the forest, the main character, the protagonist, Daryn, notices several parchment scrolls of Sato’s meditations lying around. Sato allows Daryn to read part of one.  Following are Sato’s observations. I may add more later.  Note that Sato calls himself “mad”. He uses this sarcastically and ironically, because it is what the supposedly civilized people of his world call him, because he doesn’t fit in to their society.  In reality, he is very astute, but no one recognizes this.

I came up with these in a variety of ways. Some are my own observations and conclusions. Some are derivative of philosophical principles, quotes, or statements or other stuff (for lack of a better term).  I tried to make them mystical sounding and somewhat confusing, like something you would expect an alien recluse/philosopher to say when he is penning his thoughts in his primitive, remote cabin in the woods in the dark of night. Remember: I tried to write these from an alien perspective and these are only a few of his “musings”.

Let me know what you think.

The Musings of Sato the Mad

  • Lies are truths wrapped in shadows; truths are lies drenched in sunlight.
  • The beast that eats me is evil, but I am evil to the beast I eat.
  • A man believes not what he needs to believe, but what he desires to be true.
  • More gods dance in the night than roam in the daylight.
  • As with man, there are fewer gods on mountaintops than in valleys.
  • Just as corpses are nectar to maggots, so are lies to despots.
  • All hearts are red.
  • Does a lizard need to remember yesterday?
  • The gods I trust loiter beyond the trees pelting me with flies and hornets.
  • Perhaps there was a day when the sun did not rise, but I do not remember it.
  • Spirits of the dead and candleflames of the past loiter with the gods beyond the trees.
  • Mud gives us something from which to raise ourselves.
  • The spiritual man is a warrior, and, in the city, like a warrior, he is too engaged in battling his enemies to engage in thought.
  • Unlike man, insects do not kill those of their own species for pleasure.
  • Healthy animals kill only out of need.
  • To a dying man, diamonds are only pretty stones.
  • Some insects live twenty years underground as grubworms, before emerging into the daylight as flies only to live just long enough to spawn then die. Men think of this as the mature stage in the life of the fly, but to the fly is it not death? His life has been underground. Perhaps a man’s life is only the death stage of his existence and his actual life, much longer, sadly forgotten, was before birth. Many would like to believe this is the grub stage of our existence and we will be flies in the next.
  • If I am reborn into another life, will that life be in the future? Could it be in the past? Could I be my own ancestor? If I am reborn into the future, I could be my own descendant. Could I be reborn as someone in the present on the other side of this world whom I will never meet? Perhaps I have already been reborn as someone I met yesterday or whom I will meet tomorrow. Perhaps I will be reborn as a brother sperm who never made it to my mother’s egg.
  • Wicked, wicked Sato, whose thoughts flow like a raging river through the kingdoms of past, present, and future to swirl through the ocean’s depths to envelop the monsters of the soul!
  • To rule nations, ply the leaders’ minds with the wine of lies they desire.