Dr. Princess and the Soldier (flash story)

This story appeared in The Iron Writer Challenge #186 – 2017 Spring Equinox Challenge #7 and came in first with the popular vote, and close second with an internal Iron Writer vote. But more importantly, it was fun to write. Hope you like it.

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TIWC #186 Elements: One hot summer day, A deserted island, Buried treasure, Chicken with its head cut off.


Dr. Princess and the Soldier
by E. Chris Garrison


Dr. Victoria Princess sunned herself, seeming unconcerned. Massive waves threatened to wash over the tiny beach island she lay on. Each time the surf struck, a little bit more of the island sloughed away with the tide as it rolled back out.

Victoria wondered whether the shadow of the island’s lone palm tree would move to cool her sooner than the island eroded to reach her toes.

Through her owlish, near-opaque, green plastic sunglasses, she watched as the bucket-like lifeboat sank into the water with a sucking sound. There went her only other clothing, as well as any hope of getting off the ever-shrinking island. Victoria’s face remained cool and impassive, the hint of her trademark smile unchanged.

The cloudless sky darkened. Something blocked the sun. The something grew larger; a whisper grew to a scream as it tore through the air, right toward her island.

Victoria peered at it through her shades, but remained perfectly still as a small airplane crashed into the ground nearby, scattering sand in all directions. Water soon filled in the crater it left.

A soldier clawed his way from the wreckage, with no time to spare, as the plane exploded. Bits of debris rained down all around, hot metal sizzling in the salt water. The blast knocked the palm tree to the ground, away from Victoria.

Victoria sprang to her feet. “Oh, are you hurt? I am a doctor, let me examine your wounds!”

The soldier raised his grizzled and craggy face and said, “A doctor? That’s okay, I’m fine, I’m too tough to need a doctor.”

“Don’t be silly, everyone needs doctors sometimes.”

“I don’t. I eat shrapnel for breakfast.”

“That can’t be good for your digestion. Here, would you like a cup of tea?” Victoria produced a small plastic tea set out of nowhere. She sat on the ground, next to his prone form, and prepared the teacups.

His face betrayed no emotion as he snorted. “No! I am here to seek buried treasure, not to drink tea, lady.”

Victoria made no visible reaction, but said, “Buried treasure? Is that why you crashed here?”

The soldier sat up suddenly. “Yes! I was shot down by enemy agents, they don’t want me to find the treasure.”

“I haven’t seen any treasure,” she said, looking past him at the new lagoon that had been dug by his plane’s impact and explosion.

“That’s ’cause it’s buried,” he said, refusing the teacup she offered.

Victoria sipped at her own tea. “Well, how will you dig for–”

A shrill shriek shattered the air, and a giant’s foot, wearing a flip-flop pushed them both deep into the sand.

“Moooom! Aiden just ruined my island party!” cried a voice far up in the sky. “He’s running around like a chicken with its head cut off again, make him stop!”

The surf lapped at the foot-shaped crater, and Dr. Princess and the soldier stared up through the water, the smiles on their plastic faces unchanged.

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Imaginarium and my Deadname


So that’s me, second from the left, bottom row. I’m going to be a guest at the third annual Imaginarium Convention tomorrow through Sunday (Oct 7-9, 2016).

Imaginarium has been an important part of my journey, not only as an author, but as a transgender woman. In 2014, I felt comfortable enough to be me, and in 2015, I did a dry run of living full time as myself the whole weekend. My friends among other women authors were supportive, protective, and accepting of me in a way that I can not begin to describe how important it was to me.

four-til-late3DLast night, as I packed books for this year’s Imaginarium, I held my first book in one hand and stared at it a long time. It has my old name on it, the one I was given at birth. My deadname as we trans folks call it. One that I’ve been trying to leave behind for the past few years. In late 2013, I started asking to publish as E. Chris Garrison instead, which is why Reality Check and the Road Ghosts Trilogy all  have that deadname on them as author credit, and the Tipsy Fairy Tales and Trans-Continental have the newer byline.

Meanwhile, I began transition late last year, and legally changed my name to Erica Christine Garrison in April of this year, and had the gender markers on my IDs changed from M to F.

The hard part, for a few years, has been standing behind a rack of books with that deadname on it. People started calling me that name again from about 2010 on as I socialized with other authors and began to attend cons as my author self. It was killing me inside, and it hurt more with every year that passed.

My buddy R.J. Sullivan pointed out that the famous directors, the Wachowski Sisters and electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos all have things out there in the public with their deadnames on them, and for awhile, I used that to soothe the stings of having that name still associated with me. But the more I thought about it, the more the thought of those books, which I love dearly, having that name on them upset me.

Restless Spirit Cover HQI am happy to say that when I approached my publishers at Seventh Star Press and Hydra Publications about my feelings on the matter, both immediately volunteered to have new editions made with my name updated. I don’t know when this will happen, but I have decided that once my current stock of books runs out, I will order no more to sell until the updates happen.

So, I’m bringing the books with my deadname on them to this convention, hoping to sell out of them. And if you don’t see them displayed, you may understand that it is because I wasn’t able to stand behind that name any more. If you want to help purge those books from my life, let me know, I will make you such a deal on them, just ask me.

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Tipsy Fairy Tales Blog Tour!



Join me September 21st through 28th as I tour various other corners of the blogosphere as a guest writer, along with reviews of my Tipsy Fairy Tale books, including my latest release, Restless Spirit! Details to come… I’ve got some fun stuff I am dying to share.


Tour Schedule and Activities

9/21 Novel-ties Review
9/21 RJ Sullivan Fiction Guest Post
9/21 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Top Ten’s List
9/22 Green Gates Entertainment Review
9/23 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! Top Ten’s List
9/24 Sheila’s Reviews Guest Post
9/25 Deal Sharing Aunt Author Interview
9/26 Jorie Loves A Story Review
9/26 Magic of books Review 9/26 Cabin Goddess Top Ten’s List
9/27 Jordan Hirsch Review
9/27 The Seventh Star Author Interview
9/28 Jorie Loves A Story Guest Post

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Gen Con is here!

Well, almost, anyway. Figured I’d do a little something for Whiteboard Wednesday in honor of my favorite convention!

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Happy Birthday, Heather!

Heather is like family to me, and was one of the people who first believed in me as a novelist. A fan of my Road Ghosts Trilogy, she may have been written into the story. She’s the Queen of the Reigniacs, and reminds me of her own hero, Wonder Woman. Her actual birthday is on Friday, but she celebrates all month long, so hopefully this being a Whiteboard Wednesday isn’t too out of place. 

All Heather asks anyone do for her birthday is to pay it forward, do random acts of kindness. I have done so in my own quiet way, but I’m still celebrating her birthday by remembering her, and immortalizing her on the whiteboard. 🙂

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Birthday greeting from “R.J.’s Angels”!


Happy birthday to my author buddy R.J. Sullivan! How convenient for his birthday to fall on a Wednesday this year, giving me an excuse to do a Whiteboard Wednesday featuring his characters. Shown here are Fiona “Blue” Shaefer, the ghost of Maxine Marie, and paranormal investigator Rebecca Burton, celebrating the day together.

If you want to really wish R.J. a happy birthday, go check out his books and blogs at his website:


If you’re familiar with his fiction already, why not go give him a review on Amazon?


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LAUNCHED TODAY! Restless Spirit, another Tipsy Fairy Tale!

It’s here! If you pre-ordered the ebook, you should have it on your Kindle or Nook right now! You may also buy the paperback starting today. I will also be debuting the book in person at InConJunction science fiction convention here in Indianapolis Friday-Sunday July 1-3. I am SO proud of this book. If you didn’t know, it is the sequel to Blue Spirit, and it’s set here in Indianapolis, at Big Con, an (totally fictional) enormous geek/game convention. Plus there’s trolls and zombies and Machiavellian fairy folk in the mix. Plus Gonzo and Frannie from my Road Ghosts. And don’t forget the Wonder Booze.

Here is the official announcement from Seventh Star Press:


Restless Spirit Cover HQWhen Skye McLeod is asked by her pal Phil Jenson if she wants to cosplay at his game company’s booth during Big Con Weekend—and get paid for it—she jumps at the chance. Besides, Skye’s hit a rocky patch with her girlfriend Annabelle, who wants her to stop drinking and act more responsibly.

Then Skye gets a call from paranormal detective Rebecca Burton for another job; something big is going on at the convention, and she needs Skye to be her eyes and ears there. So now Skye’s getting paid to have fun—twice!

Then The Night Duke, a creep from Skye’s live role playing days, shows up and uses some weird mojo, seemingly turning pretend zombies into real ones. After barely escaping an attack, Skye learns the fairies and trolls within the magical realm are getting restless, and her old friend, the Transit King, is in the middle of it.

Skye decides to once again enlist the aid of her fairy companion “Minnie.” For Skye to enter the magic realm, she needs to get tipsy. Then she’ll just have to control the powers within her and contain the outside forces that threaten to spin into chaos. How can she possibly screw this up?

Book Two of the Tipsy Fairy Tales Trilogy

Restless Spirit Paperback on Amazon

Kindle version of Restless Spirit

Restless Spirit on Smashwords

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