Sample from, The Pool

Sample from, The Pool

Ernie Howard

“Oh, that’s alright. The boy speaks what’s on his mind. Betcha he gets that from his daddy.” Bonnie the hostess looked up from Alex and winked at Shawn. Her once sparkling blue eyes were replaced with the filmy cataracts of a long dead corpse. Puss and blood as black as coal oozed from a bullet hole that was dead center in the woman’s forehead.

Shawn couldn’t hold back the horror this time. He jumped back from the woman in revulsion and fear.

The dank stench of the grave assaulted his nostrils. The smell hung in the air like the stench of a thousand landfills. He managed to suppress the scream that wanted to come out of his throat. He gulped it down with a quick intake of putrid air that made his mouth go dry and his tongue stick to the side of his cheek.

“Honey? Are you okay?” Audrey…

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Sample from my title, Walter

Sample from my title, Walter

Ernie Howard

Read the full story HERE

Walter hadn’t always trusted The Man. The first time he had popped onto the TV screen a week ago, knowing Walters name, and everything about his life, he thought he was going crazy. He’d had come home from school with black eye dished out by one of Brian Carmichael’s minions. The boy had said something about Walters mom, which had for once wiped the smile off of Walters face. Walter launched himself at the boy only to be pummeled while Brian and his friends cheered. Walter walked home that day angry and bruised, and for the first time he was glad his mom wasn’t home.
He walked straight to the freezer and got out a bag of frozen peas that had been in there since Walter could remember. With tears streaming down his cheeks he wondered why the other kids were so mean to him…

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Flash Fiction Story, Worms

Flash Fiction Story, Worms.

Ernie Howard

The worms pushed underneath bare feet, looking for purchase into a world they had never seen. Much like this little one that would be pulled through with a skip of a rock, and a view of mortality.

He woke up that day with the sun on his face. It peeked through cheap vertical blinds that were bent and stained with the food that boys of that age eat, things sticky and full of fun.

Mom and Dad were still in bed, and his sisters snored peacefully in the next room. He quietly put on his clothes, subtracting the shoes, and walked out the front door. He was walking out to find an adventure, and dark adventure is what he would find.

The funny thing about adventure is people think it is always something fun and fanciful. But most adventures are filled with peril and the loss of innocence. They…

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2019 – The Indie Athenaeum Looks Back

2019 – The Indie Athenaeum Looks Back. Good stuff inside!

The Indie Athenaeum

Happy new year, everyone – welcome to the year 2020!

2019 was a busy year for The Indie Athenaeum. After six-plus years of reviewing books, I decided to open this book blog on April 17, 2019! Since then, I’ve published one-hundred and twelve posts over the course of the year. Let’s break that down into some more specific numbers, shall we?

Brand new, never before seen book reviews: 46

Older book reviews added to the Reading Room: 43

Short Story Corners: 11 (with two short stories new-years-eve-1953253_640reviewed in each post)

Blog posts: 7

Audiobook reviews: 3

Magazine reviews: 1

Movie reviews: 1

Some special features were also done, including an audiobook giveaway and an exclusive interview with two co-authors, which can be found here.

We also did one magazine article – “The Top 10 Sci-Fi Books You Need to Read in 2019”, which was published in issue #1 of…

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Flash Fiction Story, Shed

Flash Fiction Story, Shed

Ernie Howard

Shed, a flash fiction story

The machines do their thing and I mine. As best I can. They beep and I wheeze with old lungs not ready to peter out. Sunlight comes through the only window as I lay still, watching it change the tone of colors onto the generic wallpaper that threatens a headache when gazed upon. I lay here and think. Guess that is all you can do at the end of your life. People leave and leave you to your thoughts. As the song goes… Regrets, I got a few. The biggest is one I have had to live with for sixty years.

I was twenty the day I took my last full breath on this Earth. The inhalations after that were for show. I stopped breathing the day I missed my ride, a road to happiness bathed in the warm summer sun. My feet planted…

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Sample of Cosmic Jury Duty, a short story

Sample from Cosmic Jury Duty, a short story

Ernie Howard

This title was originally published in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned #14

“She’s not dead. Just frozen for a bit.”
Stasha spun around and saw Marteen standing above her. The man had a playful smirk on his face, as if he knew an inside joke, and he wasn’t about to share it with Stasha.
“What the hell is going on? Who the hell are you?” Stasha said
“I told you. We need to do our duty. It’s time to go back to the park. You need to come with me, you are chosen.” Marteen’s smirk changed to a beaming smile.
Stasha rubbed her head. One minute the world makes sense to you the next you’re trying to find a pulse on a woman whose skin has the consistency of a sidewalk. She got up and followed Marteen who was almost to the double doors. He stopped and looked…

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Book Review: Melody 8 – Book Three: A Sound for the Deaf by Ernie Howard

Review of Melody 8 book two

The Indie Athenaeum

Book Title: Melody 8 – Book Three: A Sound for the Deaf

AuthorErnie Howard

Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Available On: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Picking up after the startling events of “Book Two: The Witch of the South”, Melody continues her quest to gather allies as directed by her grandfather. She then meets up with nineteen-year-old Iggy and his thirteen-year-old sister Adelaide for the first time.

Living alone on the beach, with no one else around them, Iggy somehow can make his way through this post-apocalyptic landscape even though he is deaf. But he has a special ability as well, which is one of the many reasons Melody is seeking him out.

But Carlton Feast has other plans. Planning m82the next evolution of his insidious plan to dominate the populace, he needs Melody…

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Sample of Gramps, A Short Story

Sample from Gramps, A Short Story

Ernie Howard

“I’m not asleep, boy. Just resting my eyes,” Gramps said.

Gramps had said this since Tate was little. It was like his grandpa thought taking naps were a sign of weakness.

“I didn’t think you were, Gramps, just had a catch in my throat,” Tate said. He was trying to hide the mischievous smile that was threatening to show itself.

“Ya, sure. And I’m a springy young boy, prancing through a meadow of flowers,” Gramps said.

Same old Gramps. The man was on death’s door and still, the sarcasm flowed out of his mouth like honey on a warm summer day. “How are you feeling, Gramps?”

“You know, that’s the problem with your generation. Always wanting to know how everyone feels. Well, Tate my boy.” Gramps paused and smiled a mischievous smile that looked very similar to Tate’s a moment ago. “I feel like shit. I happen to be dying.”…

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Sample from The Life of Ants, The Hybrid

Sample from The Life of Ants, The Hybrid

Ernie Howard

**DISCLAIMER** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I do earn a small commission from them.

“It is time to go Dear One. The future of this planet depends on you and some others just like you. It is time to learn new things, but things you need to learn cannot happen on this planet.” The Orb’s voice inside Emma’s head sounded excited and almost happy. “You must go where we took your father.” A picture of an old train car popped into Emma’s head. She knew instantly how to get to it. “You have to leave tonight. There is no time to waste. You must find your protector. You must help save this planet.” The Orb winked out and was gone like it had never been there in the first place.

Emma got up from her bed and went to her desk. She would have…

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Sample from The Life of Ants

Sample from The Life of Ants

Ernie Howard

“I need to getaway. Get the fuck away… Can’t. Can’t take it,” Gram thought to himself, watching the streetlights blur by the windshield.

Streetlights… Streaming. Headlights… Beaming into the abyss; the nothingness that is our lives. His mind drifted until he heard someone shout from a passing car.

“We are ants!”

“Did you hear that?” Gram asked.

“I didn’t hear shit,” Wallace said. “I think you should probably lay off that shit that is in your pocket.” Gram looked across the car at Wallace. “What? You don’t think I know what you’re doing when you wipe your nose with your hand? You’ve been doing that shit since I picked you up from the nuthouse.”

“It’s not a nuthouse. It’s a detox.” Gram said. He didn’t believe his own words as soon as they left his mouth. Wallace erupted in a loud laugh that shook the car. A laugh that only…

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