Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

      Jeremy Bursey
Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Two short tales of adventure and fantasy about would-be heroes who face life-threatening elements, brave against their own eroding courage, and learn to trust the unfamiliar guides who lead them to the prizes they have once been promised. These are stories of hope and faith in a world that wants to destroy both and crush the heroes who fight for their redemption.In “Waterfall Junction,” Dalowin the Rabbit (not really a rabbit), head of his loyal army of knights, is commissioned to raid the city at the bottom of the hill and destroy the evil forces that lurk inside. Trouble is, he’s afraid to lead the charge, and he’s even more afraid to send his men into battle when the opposition is so fierce. Therefore, he abandons his army and runs for safety, that he might spare both him and his men. But thanks to a personal journey that leads him to a place where faith and resolve are tested, Dalowin the Rabbit may just get his courage back, as long as the test doesn’t kill him first.In “The Narrow Bridge,” Kirk is an adventurer who’s just trying to find his way to the Land of God, but he faces many insurmountable obstacles along the way, including temptations to wander off course and disasters that impede his forward progress. But his truest test comes when he faces the great chasm between the two lands and the hordes of travelers who think they know how best to reach the other side, and he must decide which of them really knows the truth, for certain death finds those who get it wrong.

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    Cards in the Cloak

      Jeremy Bursey
Cards in the Cloak

What’s more important? Achieving personal goals within our own tiny worldview to keep work and family moving forward? Or forsaking those things to achieve a higher calling that might benefit a globe full of complete strangers? Norman Jensen embarks on a tumultuous journey that attempts to juggle both of these conflicting odds, facing adventure, regret, and death along the way.How hard should we strive to fulfill the mission of a dead stranger? Somewhat hard? With minimal effort? Not at all? What if that mission is to provide a cure for a deadly epidemic? Somewhat hard? With maximum effort? Until it basically kills us?Norman Jensen is sent to fight at the front lines of World War I during the waning days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, when a fellow soldier, Maxie McWalter, shows him the discovery of the ages, a cure for influenza. Maxie doesn’t offer him a pill or a vial of medicine to try for himself, but a cluster of strangely organic objects wrapped in a leaf. Norman is reluctant to try it at first, but he’s standing in an environment where he’s got nothing else to lose, so he takes the combination. His headache immediately goes away, and he’s convinced that Maxie has made an awesome discovery. Maxie’s plan when he gets out of the Army is to sell his “cure” to a pharmaceutical company and stop the flu epidemic in his tracks. Then he dies, right before Norman’s eyes.Norman has no idea what to do with these ingredients, or even what they are, but because he’s tried the cure, he knows that it works, so he’s dead set on getting the formula out to the public on Maxie’s behalf. But when he finally gets out of the Army and returns to France to collect the package he left safely behind, he realizes that the ingredients are decaying, and if he doesn’t identify them soon, the rest of the world may lose out on the most important medicinal discovery of the 20th century.He immediately goes to work retracing Maxie’s tracks, doing all that he can to identify the mysterious ingredients used in combination to cure the flu (not just treat or prevent it). But work and family must still go on, and he soon discovers that some priorities can greatly jeopardize those other priorities made of equal and opposite force. And it all becomes more challenging, if not impossible, when Norman realizes that the clock on his own life is always ticking, and the cloaked phantom responsible for taking him out of this life must keep to a strict schedule, no matter how much he does or does not accomplish.

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    Lightstorm

      Jeremy Bursey
Lightstorm

Two rival photographers searching for mutual harmony while tempting the raw powers of nature and action will engage in a game of photographic mayhem on the ice fields of Greenland to resolve a bet that one can produce a better calendar than the other. Will Jake the action junkie win? Or will Kate's eye for tranquility claim her victory? Can their mutual respect even survive such harsh conditions?In 1992, photographers Jake and Kate are sent to Greenland to shoot a calendar highlighting the ice country in its fiercest majesty. Both believe their styles are better than the other’s, so much in fact that they split the assignment into two separate calendars, “Icy Wonders” and “Greenland’s Fury,” and make a bet that one can outsell the other by the end of the year in an all-out commercial war. Their rivalry is heated in spite of the frigid cold they walk, eat, and sleep in, but at the end of the day, only one can win. Is it the spirited Jake, who will bait a herd of muskoxen into a fight just to make his calendar month amazing, or the zen-like Kate, who has an eye for the risky tranquility of sleeping wolves, that will win the calendar battle of the year?Their adventure takes them through several harrowing turns as each photo shoot puts them closer to that line between victory or defeat. But nothing prepares them for the moment when their respective styles come back to bite them and they are forced to reconcile their differences. Will their understanding of each other bring them closer together, or will their stubborn ideas enhance their rivalry? And what long-term effects will their exciting yet frightening adventure leave with them once the calendars are released and the bet is settled? Can they handle the fame that follows them into the twenty-first century?In “Lightstorm,” these opposing forces of nature will find out just how wild their ambitions can get and how drastically one week in Greenland can change their lives forever.

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    Amusement

      Jeremy Bursey
Amusement

Sammy is a sound businessman who believes professionalism makes the world a happier place. But when his investment firm partners with a famous theme park built on loose values and questionable ethics, Sammy becomes locked in psychological battle with the park's mascot, Nippy the Cat, and risks losing his strict sense of professionalism, and his mind, in the process."Amusement" is the story of one man's battle to make the world a better place through a dedicated sense of professionalism, despite the psychedelic hell it puts him through. It's the story of a man who wants revenge against anyone who ever said, "Whatever gets the job done is good enough," before what's good enough leads to tragedy. It's the story of a soul who wants to right those wrongs caused by professional inadequacy while hopefully reclaiming his long-lost happiness in the process."It should always be done perfectly the first time, or it shouldn’t be done at all"--that's Sammy’s motto. Perfectionism is his calling card, and he thinks that showing anything less is a sure sign of professional immaturity, and immaturity is what makes the world a terrible place. He's obsessive about it. And, the last thing he would ever do is to cut corners or disobey orders from his bosses at Dinners and Waters just to save time or face. So, when he finds out his Monday meeting is being held offsite at a theme park called Happy Fun Land, he acquiesces to the change in routine (a routine that keeps him professionally-minded) because his boss expects him to attend the conference and learn how he can help make the partnership with the theme park's parent company successful. But there's a hitch: Sammy hates the company that Dinners and Waters wants to invest in. Hates everything it stands for. And he hates everything Happy Fun Land stands for. So, when his initial confrontation with Happy Fun Land's parking staff turns violent (unprofessional) and makes him almost an hour late to the meeting (highly unprofessional), he realizes he is about to embark on a personal hell through a "professional" experience that could very well destroy his mind and his sense of reason.He continues on anyway because that's what a professional would do. However, his standards for quality performance are constantly challenged as he stumbles through a world filled with madness, manipulation, and candy, leading him ultimately to stand face to face with the most unprofessional creature he has ever met, the theme park's mascot, Nippy the Cat, in a confrontation that could either change the atmosphere of the theme park or cost him his professionalism and his sanity.Sammy is not amused.

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    The Celebration of Johnny's Yellow Rubber Ducky

      Jeremy Bursey
The Celebration of Johnny's Yellow Rubber Ducky

As much as Johnny tries to run from it, fate always manages to catch up to him, and this time, one day after his graduation from Oxford, fate throws a yellow rubber ducky into his life in a strange attempt to help him refocus his decisions and reroute his future. Will Johnny attempt to trust fate and accept its guiding hand, or will he drudge up the past and try running from it again?At the end of his coursework at Oxford, Johnny reaches a point in his life where he does not know what more to do or where else to go. Sure, he has plenty of options, but with those options comes an endless chain of questions and decisions to make, and his mind locks up when he has to participate in too much of either. Even as he takes the Tube to anywhere, he wonders if he's in control of his future, or if fate is pulling his strings. There have been plenty of moments in his life when he thought fate had smiled on him, especially the night he'd met Claire, but those moments just showed him that it was all one big tease and the future's real plan was to pull the rug out from under his feet.The day after graduation, Johnny figures he should start pulling his own strings, so he considers speaking to a life coach to help him plan out his destiny. As he rides the train back to London, however, he discovers one new trick up fate's sleeve, and it comes in the form of a yellow rubber ducky he finds on the floor under his seat. On this duck is a flash drive full of stories from people who have no connection to each other save for the one factor that they had carried the duck around during a brief season of adventure. The drive also contains an instruction: “To anyone who finds this, please take this rubber ducky wherever you go. At any point you should experience something great, I beg of you, write it down and attach it to the duck. Then, leave it for the next body to find. When the seventh individual writes his experience, keep the duck and publish the letters for all to see.” Johnny can already see the hand of fate trying to pull him back under its spell. But he takes the bait. He takes the duck with him.Six people have already written their stories. Johnny is the seventh and final person to take the duck on a new adventure and share it with the world. But how does one live through a story worthy of closing out the duck's epic journey? How much of Johnny's path does fate still influence? And why does the rubber duck seem so familiar to him?

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    Eleven Miles from Home

      Jeremy Bursey
Eleven Miles from Home

Richard and Rachel stopped getting along months ago, but they continue to spend time together to satisfy the one interest they have in common. When misfortune steals that link away, however, and leaves them stranded on the side of the road eleven miles from home, they must not only figure out what went wrong in their relationship but individually decide whether it's even worth saving."Eleven Miles from Home" is an unflinching story about perception, realization, and the truth behind those relationships we once thought were so great. It's the story of two people who are forced to confront the harsh reality that they've missed the mark, who bare their souls over what they discover about each other and themselves, who question whether their choices are sound or should be avoided.After discovering she had been dating a married man for months and spending the next two years rebounding in a series of bad relational investments, Rachel grabs her Jet Ski and goes to the lake to clear her head, hoping to erase her troubled mind through the whitewash of aquatic adrenaline. Richard, who discovers this woman and her sexy water machine, and who, thanks to his limited exposure to out-of-town trends, has never before seen a Jet Ski in action, insists on invading her world to find out more about this most interesting watercraft of hers, and somehow finds himself not only her new jet skiing pal, but next in line for her damaged heart. And Rachel is fine with the invasion initially, but like her relationships past, the one she forms with Richard exists on fragile ground, and their mutual respect for each other eventually dies.But their passion for jet skiing together endures, so they continue to visit the lake as a couple, in spite of their growing off-water dislike for each other: whatever they have to, to keep their one common interest intact. And they find ways to make it work, until the day that misfortune robs them of their shared love and leaves them stranded eleven miles from home with nothing left in common but a lack of transportation and bad memories. Now, if they are to make it through the night together, they must figure out what went wrong between them and decide individually whether their relationship is even worth saving.

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    When Cellphones Go Crazy

      Jeremy Bursey
When Cellphones Go Crazy

Which bridges would you burn to meet the girl of your dreams? In a cellphone obsessed world, Avery Ward is about to find out the answer to that question for himself.Avery Ward has had limited success with relationships in his twenty-something years on earth, and they all had ended in disaster, including his most recent engagement to the straying Allison. As a student in psychology and a counselor-in-training, he feels it's important to analyze the mistakes of his past before embarking on those same mistakes in the future; it's the reason he's careful about the chances he takes. So, when he sees Melissa, the girl of his dreams, at a fraternity party one night, he calculates the risk in talking to her, deciding if she may or may not be crazy. But his limited exposure to examples of such high-class beauty overrides any sensibility he might have about holding back, so he goes in for the conversation. And, for a solid sixty seconds, he is enraptured by her words, her voice, and her stunning physical form. Bonus: She doesn't seem the least bit out of her mind. But, like the best things he finds in life, his moment of bliss is cut short when her cellphone rings and she disappears into the night to tend to her call. He attempts to find her again before the party ends to finish their conversation, but he has no luck. His dream girl has gotten away.Fortunately for his aching heart, serendipity has either a sense of humor or a need for answers, so many months later, fate brings Avery and Melissa back together in a new place. But will she remember him if he tries to get her attention? And will he even have the guts to talk to her again after having such ill luck with others in the past? And can they reconnect in spite of the incessant cellphone alerts causing an interruption to Avery's quest?Thanks to a friend's advice, Avery decides to pursue his dream girl no matter the risk. But thanks to the mistakes of that same friend, Avery Ward is about to embark on a journey that could cause him to lose more than just a chance at meeting his dream girl. Once again he has to assess the risk and decide if this one's worth gambling with fate and if fate will even allow him to fulfill that second attempt at initiating love.

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    The Fallen Footwear

      Jeremy Bursey
The Fallen Footwear

Love is many things. But when it's caught in a vicious dating cycle, it can become both exciting and painful. Eventually it finds its stride, and the couple who experiences it will develop a lasting harmony. But until that's found, love ends up in a washing machine, tossing and turning until it either cleanses or fades. This is the story of Gary's wash cycle with Nikki, the girl of his dreams.Gary Hartland isn’t looking for love. After a difficult breakup with Victoria, he has basically written off the idea of loving again. But thanks to a freak bus accident that he narrowly escapes, he is given the serendipitous opportunity to meet Nikki Rose, the girl of his dreams. At first, he is reluctant to talk to her: Never mind the pain he still feels over Victoria; finding love at the site of a bus wreck just doesn’t happen. But there are few whom he would consider more his type, and to let her fade into the drawer filed under “lost opportunities” just isn’t something he can allow.So, Gary gives love another try, starting with that awkward first step toward her. Meeting her isn’t exactly easy, though, and gaining her interest is even tougher. Like Gary, Nikki isn’t looking for another heartbreak, so like Gary, she isn’t looking for a new “friend.” But he takes that chance anyway, puts his heart on the line, and once again he finds himself experiencing the thrill of discovery and the pain of heartbreak that love so notoriously heaps on those who just want to get it right.“The Fallen Footwear” is a story about the distances we may travel to make a relationship work. But, it’s at its heart a story about healing and forgiveness, about letting go and moving on. It is the story about imperfect people looking for perfect companions and making the most of the results. It is about building hope when hope is at its most elusive.

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    The Fountain of Truth

      Jeremy Bursey
The Fountain of Truth

Christmas is a joyous time of year, full of festivities and storytelling, and what better time is there to tell a good fable than Christmas? That’s right, none! So find your favorite chair, gather the kiddies on the floor, and download “The Fountain of Truth” today. It has three stories in one! These fables cover themes about truth, wisdom, and purpose. In a fun way, not a “fun” way.In celebration of Christmas, the following three short stories are here to not only entertain private readers and reading groups alike, but to provide a moral for those who are paying attention. But not in a lame way. In a fun way.“The Fountain of Truth”: On Christmas Eve, at the Kingdom Affair restaurant, something miraculous has happened. Families who are normally secretive with each other are spilling their guts out at the dinner table, to everyone’s surprise, and these diners are waking up to a shocking truth that their lives aren’t perfect. What are they sharing? How are they reacting? And who’s responsible for this mess?“Christmas Log”: A radio station sponsors a million-dollar contest on Christmas Day and chooses four distinctly different individuals to participate. No details are given until the day of the contest, but each contestant must abide by the same rules, and each contestant must commit to the contest until they are able to complete the task they are given. Even though they are blind to the specifics, they go in willingly, as a million dollars are on the line. Then, once they are in place, they are given the shocking truth of what they must do to win their prize, and they must figure out the best way to handle their new reality without going insane.“St. Nick’s Gym”: The “true” origin story of Santa Claus, and how he became the figure we all know and love today. You may never look at Santa the same way again…unless this is exactly the story you’ve always believed in. But it’s probably not, so time for an education!

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    Shell Out

      Jeremy Bursey
Shell Out

Greg would love to enjoy a prosperous life, filling his apartment with luxuries, going out with friends, and meeting the girl of his dreams. But there's a problem: He's poor. Even when he makes a valiant effort to work hard for the money, someone or something finds a way to snag his earnings from him. Is it just how life works? Or is it possible for him to give his desires a chance?What is the price of making dreams come true? Can they simply be bought with money, or do they require something different? Greg wants to see his dreams come true -- to furnish his apartment with nice things, to find the perfect girl to share it with, and to ultimately become a bigger success than his father had been -- but life keeps finding ways to alter his plans. Can Greg adapt to life's little wrenches and overcome impoverishing events to bring his dreams to reality? Or will he succumb to the hardships of being twentysomething and accept the life of economic misfortune that hounds him?"Shell Out" is the humorous story of a college student's battle with those pesky opposing forces of nature that plague us all: life and desire, ambition and contentment, dreams and reality. It is the story of any of us who has ever had to fend for ourselves in the real world but weren't sure if we'd ever make it. Greg's farcical journey to tame his wallet and fulfill his dreams takes him through the common struggles of young adulthood, including figuring out how to survive a Friday night on a ten-dollar bill, acquiescing to paying bills in spite of not having a job, taking jobs that only a desperate loon would take, working toward a better life in order to win the heart of a girl, and other crazy situations. The question is, are his efforts worth it, or is he just chasing yesterday's American Dream?For those thirty and older who wish to remember their own crazy experiences as a twentysomething, Greg's strange odyssey of economic survival is a comedy. For those currently living the twentysomething life, or those about to approach it, Greg's journey is a horror story. It's a lot like life: a scary comedy that forces us to question our choices."Shell Out" also comes with previews for some of my upcoming books.

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