MY STORIES...

 

Here is a taste of some of my published stories. You may want to check out my Amazon author page for more!

Crossbones and Crosses

A Heroic Anthology of Swashbuckling Adventure

Hoist your banners, unsheathe your blades, kiss your crosses, and search for booty across the seas and the sands! This is the strongest of swashbuckling historical adventures. Gritty, dangerous, and bloody tales of the past, realistic without being nihilistic. The rousing foreword is followed by rousing tales of pirates and crusaders. It's a massive tome of piratical and crusading adventure you'll be delighted to read!

Black Widow:​ Bartholomew and the crew of the Black Widow cross paths with a monstrous beast nested in the cargo hold of an abandoned trading vessel... short story featured in Rogue Blades Entertainment's "Crosses and Crossbones" anthology of Crusader and Pirate tales.

"They both had seen the movement, a black shadow silently sliding across the dark wall at the rear of the hold."

Agents and Spies Short Stories

Flame Tree Publishing Gothic Fantasy Collection

Daring tales of kidnap and rescue, assassination and revenge, the politics of death and espionage, these are the themes of this volatile concoction of classic and new writing. The days of empire and traditional war have been replaced by cyber warfare but the subtle, lethal methods of agents and spies remain the same, and so has the power of great writing, with stories here to chill and intrigue every reader.

Aftrit: The Executioner’s instructions lead to the heart of the frozen desert and a deadly encounter with the djinn, Afriti.


"Executioner, are you? I know of no man with such a name."

 

Again Kalat shrugged. "Perhaps I am nobody then." Kalat's eyes refused to retreat from the Djin's penetrating gaze. "Afriti, I ask you, does it really matter who I am?"

Under the Bed Magazine 

Vol. 04 No. 1

Under the Bed brings you outstanding horror fiction and art every month–12 months a year. Under the Bed also features horror lit and film reviews, interviews, news, opinion pieces, and whatever else we think you’ll dig. We explore classic themes and new concepts to bring you terrifying fiction, fresh voices, and disturbingly creepy art. We take horror seriously, but aren’t above lighthearted horror nerdery. We DARE you to look!

Maeve: Her allure is irresistible, her desire overwhelming, her demands undeniable. Maeve, a frightening little tale! 

"Kill him." Her voice was glossy and smooth; trembling with excitement and lust. Her narrow spine quivered in my hand. Blood dripped from her flawless face, splattered on her naked belly. "Kill him," she whispered in the darkness, "for me; for us."

New Realm Magazine

Vol. 04 No. 11

Romanus Invinci: Marcus and the Lost Legion counter the Dacians and their monster of war.

"Quiet, you bastards, quiet!" Tacturnis didn’t mince his words. He didn’t have to. There wasn’t a man in the half-frozen collection of legionaries clinging to the thin trail that could stand up to the grizzled veteran; nor one foolish enough to try. Tacturnis squinted with his one good eye, struggling to see through the swirling snow.

 

"They’re here," he growled.

New Realm Magazine

October 11,2015​

The Tower of Silence: A dreadful little story - perfect for a chilly October evening read!

Dastura reflected on the question, involuntarily placing a hand on the stirring at her belly. Her jaw clenched in determination, and her eyes glazed with hatred and revenge. Only she knew the silent truth behind the answer.

 "Then my father," Dastura whispered as the last rays of the dying sun drenched her hair in a crimson glow, "they shall all die."

New Realm Magazine

Vol. 04 No. 09

Legio Scythica: The Lost Legion faces the Scythians and their ancient horror; a Centimani, gatekeeper of Tartarus!. The first in my "Lost Legion" series of shorts.
 

"Hear me," Marcus ordered as his horse kicked and spun about in anticipation, "what we face is a beast, a monster from the pits of hell. Yet it can be defeated, the artillery has shown us that. It is a monster without doubt, but it is made of flesh and blood just as we are. There is nothing about this beast that Roman steel can't slice through. It has no iron stronger than our resolve." Marcus's mount settled into an excited pawing, his head lowered towards the sheltering gates. The horse's warm breath clouded the night air; his heavy mane bristled with anticipation.

New Realm Magazine

Vol. 05 No. 1

Useless: The story of an orphaned male child in the maiden-led society of the Amazons.

They say that I was born on a battlefield. Not, mind you, at the site of some long forgotten skirmish on a bright spring day with the flowers and grass covering the fields of former conflict, but on the field of actual battle, in the midst of the fight.

 

My mother, they say, was in the front ranks, Shield-Sovereign of the first line; a title earned and proven through countless battles and untold victories. She stood valiantly, shoulder to shoulder with her sister warriors presenting a bladed wall that repelled the swarming ranks of mounted Scythian warriors.

 

She was Lancera, a name meaning strength in the old language; and my mother’s strength was legend. She would not be denied permission to lead the defense despite my presence in her womb. She would fight with all that she had, or so it is that I was told.

New Realm Magazine

Vol. 03 No. 07

Black Widow: Bartholomew and the crew of the Black Widow cross paths with a monstrous beast nested in the cargo hold of an abandoned trading vessel.

Bartholomew motioned for the mates to exit the hold, and the men were quick to comply. Bartholomew scanned the darkness, slowly pulling a pistol from the belt slung across his chest. Mr. Swift shouldered through the retreating men and came to Bartholomew’s side. The concern in Bartholomew’s face was echoed in the black man’s wrinkled brow.

"Did you see it Captain," he whispered to Bartholomew, "by the bulkhead; the motion?"

"Indeed I did Mr. Swift." Bartholomew’s words were barely whispers as he stepped sideways around a pile of human cocoons. "She’s at the back; watching."

New Realm Magazine

Vol. 04 No. 10

Afriti: The executioner's instructions lead to the heart of the frozen desert and a deadly encounter with the djinn, Afriti.

Light from a sputtering campfire danced across the frozen desert, defying the night winds that hurried the cold breath of winter through the canyons. Beside the fire sat Kalat, though none in this frozen wasteland would know of his name. He sat close by the small fire and had the hood of his black cloak drawn up tight to fight the growing cold. The flame flickered weakly, doing little to ward against the biting winds.​

The Sword Review 

Issue #26

Tiama: A story of hope.

"All seeds are a mystery, for even the smallest carries with it all the information needed to form a great life. Even so, this," Tiama laid a hand on Leilah’s tender shoulder, "is a special seed. It is the seed of your people. It is the fruit of your faith and your determination. This young life carries with it the heritage of your ancestors, the future of your families, and the realization of their dreams."

The Sword Review

Issue #21

Samga: A Story of Compassion.

Samga’s smile slowly faded. She stroked Kalat’s strong hand, with fingers that grew increasingly shaky and unsure. When Samga opened her eyes to look at Kalat, a tear dropped from her ruddy blood-streaked eyes.

“Yours is a dark path” was all that she would say.

The Sword Review

Issue #19

A Song of the Aelves: A Story of Sacrifice

The stranger drew a powerfully resonant chord, lowered his head, and buried his face in his heavy cloak. A single shaft of light, lancing through the roiling storm, landed squarely on the minstrel’s bent shoulders, marooning the stranger in an island of brilliance amidst a sea of torrent.

The Sword Review

Issue #17

A Place That Never Was: A Story of Childhood

She wore a purple dress, trimmed in white lace and tied around her waist with a simple braided cord. Soft leather boots met her knees and warmed her feet against the afternoon’s damp soil. The girl brushed a fallen leaf from her hair, thrust her hands deeply into fleece-lined pockets, and hummed a simple tune as she hurried along the trail...

The Sword Review

Issue #14

Awakening: A story of courage

The day may come when this girl’s name would be known throughout the world. She may command armies, master the sciences, or rule nations. One day she may be a mother, protectively nursing her newborn or standing defiantly between her children and any who dared to cause harm. The day may come when all men would know of this girl, or perhaps only one man would be given the treasure to the depths of her thoughts. One day she would be a woman, and she alone would define all that that would mean.

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© 2020 by David R. Downing