Category Archives: short stories

Beauty

My short story, Beauty is being published in Iron Faerie Publishing‘s forthcoming anthology, Fable.

It’s a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, which was first recorded by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740.

I’ll share more as soon as I’m able.

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100 Words

Just last night my drabble, Winter was published to The Horror Tree‘s website as part of their Trembling With Fear online publications.

You can read it by clicking the link to my Online bookshelf page.

Morrighan is Available in Paperback

greg-staples-morrigan

Back in September, I published my short story, Morrighan and yesterday I published the paperback version. For those of you who are interested in purchasing a paperback copy it is available on the Amazon.com website and will be available to non US residents in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Morrighan is my twist on the story of King Arthur and Morgan le faye. A what if… kind of story inspired by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s tale and the Merlin miniseries featuring Sam Neil and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Now, for those of you who might want a sneak peak, here it is:

Camelot was burning.

Avalon was under attack… from dragons.

The very creatures that graced the banners which flew high and proud on the many flag poles that graced the castle’s turrets were going to bring about its end. The symbol of Pendragon no longer stood for power, peace and protection, but death and destruction. Their very existence in the skies above spelled ruin for all of Camelot; not just its King. It was just a matter of time.

Was this what the Morríghan spoke of when she foresaw Arthur’s death? Rather than what Morgan herself feared. That the death of Arthur would be at the hands of the son she carried within her womb? Could this be the downfall of Camelot that was prophesised so long ago when she herself was only a child, trapped in the crystal cave beneath the earth with nobody but her cat Merlin for company?

She laid a hand on her stomach. The child within grew restless, as if it too sensed the calamity surrounding the world outside the womb. She’d tried and failed to stop one travesty from coming to pass. In the end the child would be born, and born healthy, she knew for the herbs she taken early in the pregnancy had not touched her – they hadn’t even made her sick as they often did with other women. And if she couldn’t stop the child from being born, how then was she supposed to stop the Dragons from destroying the entire world? Dragons were much harder to expel than a child. Harder by far than even Uther’s death had been, and back then she’d had the aid and favour of the Morríghan.

She doubted very much that Morríghan would help her twice, and Arthur wouldn’t suffer her insolence for long, not that she cared much what Arthur thought of her. She’d sooner take up residence in a nunnery than carry his favour. She wondered why her mother allowed herself to suffer under his rule; she’d already suffered the rule of one King, why not a second? But Arthur was no greater than Uther, just as she was no greater than Igraine.

January

So, January has drawn to a close and while it’s been a productive one it’s also been a little bittersweet.

Not only did I start the month with a rejection but, I’m ending it with one as well.

It’s okay though because I do have plans for the two stories that were rejected. So keep your eyes on my blog for an announcement soon.

And, somewhat surprisingly I’ve managed to write a massive 10,556 words. All of those words have been accrued through penning various short stories.

It’s actually nice to complete something for once. As much as I love working on my various novels, there’s a lot more involved in completing a novel.

At this stage I’m not quite sure what February will bring story wise but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it.

What are you all looking forward to in February?

Story Submissions

I’ve been writing more and submitting a lot of stories this month and it seems to be paying off.

I received an acceptance email from Blood Song Books in my inbox for four of my drabbles to appear in their upcoming anthology, Curses and Cauldrons.

The stories are: Down the Rabbit Hole, The Keeper, The Witches Mark & Undersea.

Each is just 100 words but packs a punch in their own way I think.

I can’t wait to see this anthology in print. There’s nothing better than holding a copy of a book that has your work inside.

I Just Hit Publish!

I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!

So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.

The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.

morrighan cover 2.jpg

It is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 99c.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.

Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.

As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.

Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.

Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.

It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.

Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.

What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.

Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.

Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.

Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.

“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.

“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.