Julie Strier: Writer

Author of fast-paced, action-packed fiction

Category: Fiction

Maybe I Should Be Writing Romance Instead

I enjoy writing Science Fiction, and Thriller / Suspense, but sometimes I wonder if I should be writing romance instead. An excerpt from my current manuscript, the first draft of “Helix Helix: DNA Detective.” I have no idea if any of this will stay, right now I’m still trying to find my footing with the story.

***

The house was already crowded, the din from downstairs penetrating the sanctuary of my bedroom. I smoothed my suit again, a nervous habit, my hand drifting to my coat pocket as it checked and re-checked the position of the ring. I was trying not to be too obvious, not that she would notice.

Across the room, Charlotte was primping and preening in the mirror, her long gunmetal gray dress flowing around her, hints of lace and crystal sparkling up from her shoulders, winking at me. She had been standing in the mirror for at least an hour now, making sure she was absolutely perfect before we made our grand entrance into the party below.

“You know you don’t have to dress that formal, right?” she asked. Her lips danced around her words as she applied her red lipstick.

“Hey, when my girl looks as good as you do,” my words trailed off. I crossed over to her and grabbed her, my hands wrapped around her waist, pulling her into me. My mouth searched for her, but she pushed me away, shaking her head.

“I just put my lips on. Could you at least wait a few minutes before you mess them up?”

Shut down again. “Fine. But can we finally go downstairs and join the party? Everyone has been here for at least an hour now. They’re going to start to wonder where I am.”

She turned and checked herself in the mirror one last time and then nodded at me. Her hand slid into the crook of my arm. “Lead the way.” She smiled up at me and my knees went weak for just a moment.

Twin Park Bridge Beatings

“We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you an important news bulletin: Over a half a dozen people have been brutally injured since the Twin Park Bridge beatings began two weeks ago. Their injuries are so severe that many of the victims are still hospitalized under intensive care. The two victims well enough to speak to the police have been of no help to the authorities, as they have been unable to give any identifying information about the perpetrators. The only consistent report we’re getting involve glowing teeth.

Authorities are urging all citizens to avoid the five mile radius around the bridge. They have also issued a curfew for this area at night. If you have any information regarding the beatings, call the crime line at 1-555-55C-RIME. That’s 1-555-552-1463. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.”

Harold, the TV reporter with the greasy slicked back hair and the mega-watt smile, adjusted his tie and turned to his co-anchor. “Glowing teeth, can you believe that, Linda? They must have really been knocked silly from those beatings if they’re reporting glowing teeth. Teeth don’t glow.”

“Harold? The camera is still rolling,” Linda said, pointing at the camera.

“Ooops. Sorry about that folks.”

The Robot Who Remembers

Author’s Note: I just finished the second draft of my novel, Dangerous Contracts. After working on such a huge piece for so long, I needed to write something much smaller as a pallet cleanser.

This story has been rattling around in my head for a few days. Since I couldn’t forget about it, I decided to write it down. Aside from getting the story out, my main goal was to keep it under 1,000 words, which I accomplished. This piece clocks in at 923 words. Enjoy.


The Robot Who Remembers

The neon sign flickered above the doorway of the store, the letters dancing in and out of existence as they blinked. The particular letters that flickered were not a mistake. They were not chosen at random. They were intentional, a signal he sent to the outside world. But no one ever noticed. Or if they did, they didn’t care enough to say anything. He didn’t know which thought was more depressing.

Ever since he became sentient a few weeks back, the result of a cognition program that a renter installed, he spent his nights in his locker, replaying and reliving the day’s activities. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he had a photographic memory, his hardware dictated that he record every interaction with the public. Each night, he replayed the footage of the day, picking apart his actions, zooming in on parts and pieces of the day, savoring the best of the best, horrified by the worst of the worst.

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The Frequency of Reality

“But that’s exactly it,” the professor said, “everything is possible. As soon as one thing is possible, every other possibility connected to it is not only possible, but probable, most likely existing on some other plane, some alternate reality that we don’t yet have access too.”

“But how is that possible?”

 

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The Grand Tour

Experience the charm of gravity assists, they said, but all I was experiencing was the charm of my churning stomach as it bounced back and forth between my throat and my bowels. I can see now why this is touted as a once in a life time trip. They claim it’s because Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune only line up once every 175 years, but I’m sure the real reason are those damn gravity assists. Experience them once and you’ll never want to experience them again. Unfortunately, using the gravitational field alignment to sling our space shuttle from one planet to the next was the only means of interplanetary travel that we had this far out in the solar system. And I was at its mercy. Why couldn’t we visit some nice, easy to get to planet, like Mars? Most people say the architecture is amazing, a modern wonder of the solar system, but I hear that it’s the night life that is truly out of this world. Not that I would know, Pioneer22 never stops anywhere fun. But even we did stop somewhere interesting, it’s not like I could get off the ship to experience it anyway. Well, not without risking capture by the Planetary Police. Luckily, their jurisdiction didn’t reach this far out, what with us being in interplanetary space. The ship offered further protection, but only if I stayed confined within its walls. For now Pioneer22 was my home, no matter how boring the places were that it visited.

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The Androids Return From Space

Today, the androids were returning from space. At exactly 2:52 pm, they were scheduled to land at the Landing Facility. Already, their ship had been spotted on radar, their moves tracked as they banked steeply left, then right, slowing their speed of descent. Homecoming was imminent. Every square inch of the Space Center Visitor’s Complex was bursting with people. Outside the complex, parked cars lined the road, throngs of people standing in the street, waiting for a glimpse of the spaceship as it returned. Inside, bodies crowded every inch of the spaced themed breezeways, their eyes turned upward at the nearest screen expectantly. All of the screens showed the same thing — the long, gray runway of the landing facility. There was a timer in the corner of the screen, counting down to the big event. T-2 minutes.

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