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Van Fleming’s 1880’s St. Patrick’s Day Story


Van Fleming is an author from Texas who is in the middle of a fascinating novel based on his short stories, Knights Loss and Mercenary’s Loss, published in our StarkLight Anthology series. His first novel is set for release in 2017; in the meantime, Van has taken some time out to write for Shamrocks, Saints and Standing Stones.

Van’s prompts were 1880s, old west saloon and lollipop :-0 He wrote a truly original tale based on these very evocative prompts!


Here’s an excerpt from Van’s story, Time Clover:

He dug into the meal with gusto having not eaten in 15 hours. He hated such quick mission turnarounds. They never gave him time to fully recover so that he was fit and ready to take on the next. As he devoured the food, he looked up to see the curtain on stage opening and a young woman wearing a tight green corset tinged in darker green and differing shades of green skirts flowing from her thin waist swayed onto stage. Her skin looked slightly tan and long black hair fell down her back. All eyes followed her slender yet shapely form as she moved across the stage to the center. On the belly of her corset, a four leaf clover had been sewn into the cloth, yet is merged into a pattern so that it wasn’t very noticeable to most. Darien only saw it because the pattern software picked it out and highlighted it as something that was not common to this era. Her legs were lightly tanned and showed off to great effect by the green playing around and behind them as her skirts swayed. From her calves down, her legs and feet were hugged by a pair of boots so dark a green they appeared black until hit by the light in the right way.

Van took some time to answer our interview questions:

  1. What’s your most prominent memory of St. Patrick’s Day? 

    I really have never cared much for St Patties day except to ensure I wore green. No pinching here.
    2. Name the part of Irish culture you are most happy to lay claim to and why- is it Guinness? Irish music? The Book of Kells? The Fighting Irish? 

    My mother always claimed there was no greater temper than that of an Irishman bred indian woman. And believe me, that temper breeds true!
    3. What are your thoughts on working with this sort of writing exercise, fueled by prompts? How did seeing the prompts of your fellow authors and chatting online together with them about the work affect your process?

    We actually had quite a lengthy conversation on line with the prompt I was given. It turned quite hilarious and I almost went with it. But as I sat to my keyboard and words poured out, the story you see before you developed and the rest faded to a very memorable and somewhat hilarious conversation.

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