In the culinary arts, an amuse-bouche is a one bite sample of an entire meal, classically served in a spoon. In the literary arts, the relatively new format usually called flash fiction is a blog-length story of 1500 words or less. This page presents short outtakes from works in process that won't be included in the final published ebook, and random mini-fictions that have no other home.
from Works in Process
This scene is from a novel I've titled Love on Guard by BlackMoon Lillith. In the story, Loree -- a flower shop owner -- and David, a history and archeology professor, are the main characters. Glenn is David's teaching assistant, Gina is Glenn's fiancée. Sibylle is Glenn's sister. Dr. Miller is the department chair David works for. I've deleted this scene as too similar in purpose to another I liked better.
As the party was breaking up, Loree and Sibylle headed for the restroom, chatting about the success of the evening. The restaurant’s entry was eerily quiet, with servers and patrons alike standing stock still, eyes wide, hands up. It only took only a second to register on Sibylle that an armed robbery was in progress.
Three men in ski masks with weapons were collecting wallets, jewelry, and cash. She pushed Loree into a small alcove where the order computer was located and table set ups and water pitchers were stored, and reached for her pistol.
Gina was four steps behind and, seeing Sibylle’s move, whirled around to alert the rest of their party.
“Where’s Loree?” David demanded of Gina.
“And Sibylle?” Glenn asked.
“Sheltering but too close to the gunmen.”
David grabbed Dr. Miller’s arm, turning her around abruptly, and shoving her towards a private room. “Bad guys in the lobby. Stay in there until one of us says it’s safe to leave.”
“What do you mean?” she argued, resisting being moved against her will, offended at being treated so roughly.
“Three guys with guns,” Gina said as David continued pushing her where he thought she’d be out of the range of fire, should a firefight occur.
“Well, call the police,” she instructed.
“Yes, Ma’am, please do that from in here,” David said and stepped aside for Gina and two of his students and their guests who Glenn ushered in after Dr. Miller, forcing her to back up further into the room.
Glenn looked at the father of one of the students and instructed, “Keep the ladies safe until we come back for you.”
Gina unholstered her pistol and looked at the man. “Are you carrying?”
“No,” he answered, fear in his eyes.
“Are you trained with handguns?” She offered her Sig.
“Decades ago in the Army. You’re probably more up to date,” he said, waving the gun away, refusing the responsibility.
The man looked lost, unequal to the job of being a protector. Dr. Miller looked angry and out of her element. Gina nodded, reluctantly stepping into authority. “All right. I think we’ll be comfortable and safe in here. Let’s scatter around the room and stay away from being right in front of the door.” She was running on instinct, surprised that everyone complied.
A shot rang out, several women screamed, a lot of yelling ensued. The restaurant manager hid in the kitchen with the chefs, leaving a young cashier and seating hostess to try to calm everyone down. The cashier had already given over all the cash on hand, which wasn’t much since most meals since Covid were paid with plastic.
Most of the servers had emptied their pockets of cash tips, except for one young female who kept hers in her bra. One of the gunmen yelled at an older woman who struggled to get her diamond and sapphire rings off.