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J.A. Taylor

A categorical index of my writing on Medium


Another three-point challenge

Trust is a loaded word. It can mean belief, hope in an idea, being responsible for someone, or an arrangement where a person or organization (a trustee) holds property as its nominal owner for one or more beneficiaries.

This week, your challenge has three musts: 1) Write a story about trust, 2) using the word, “trust,” 3) with a picture from the Birmingham Museums Trust.

Not too hard, right? We’ve already handled the inspiration part by giving you some great picture options to boot. There're some gems in there. Like this ole chap:

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

And this semi-frightened lady:


I hope you enjoy this epic sci-fantasy adventure

Image courtesy of author

Impassable barriers divide the world, and technology is a forgotten art. Growing up at the corner of the world in the township of Stonewick’s Barrier, Nahu has few aspirations other than escaping his chores. When a bizarre earthquake splits the ground and engulfs his father, Nahu’s life is incessantly altered. With his cousin Rodeph, he is thrust onto an inescapable journey linking him to an ancient civilization and a struggle that will soon reunite the world or forever tear it apart.

I’m a fan of serial fiction, so I’m hopeful Kindle Vella will be a success. It is certainly an…


Fantasy Shorts now allows all types of fantasy

Image public domain, modified from original.

What do the words urban, paranormal, and superhero have in common? They are all subgenres of fantasy. Until now, Fantasy Shorts has only been a place for medieval fantasy, swords and sorcery set in a middle-aged world. But today, all that is changing. Fantasy Shorts is now becoming a home for all types of fantasy!

Want to create a World War II wizard who uses an incantation to guide his bullets? Shoot it our way. Want to craft a story about a roaring twenties flapper girl who serves wanton men time-shifting cocktails? We can’t wait to drink it in. Got…


We now accept stories up to 1,000 words

Image public domain, modified from original.

Every so often, there is an advancement in technology that instantly propels the world forward—a moment where the world seems to take a leap. In these moments, you can look around you and immediately recognize objects that are no longer useful.

This happened with a technology called “laserdiscs.” A laserdisc was essentially a giant CD. Even though laserdiscs were invented before CD’s (Compact Discs used laserdisc tech), they were nearly as large as vinyl records because they had to store more data. Don’t believe me? Read up on it. Laserdiscs didn’t last long because DVD technology killed them.

Another entertainment…


Write a microfiction story about the last text message you received

Photo by Alex Ware on Unsplash

How well do you know your Latin? Unless you have unwittingly traveled through time, probably not as well as you know technology.

Apart from the biblical and theological connotations, in Latin, “Textus Receptus” simply means, “Received Text.”

And that is about all we need for our prompt this week at CenPen. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a microfiction story about the last text message you received.

For those who are truly bold, add a screenshot for extra claps. …


There was always a price

Image public domain, modified from original.

Sasha’s eyes scanned the dirty floor, never lifting to acknowledge the presence of others. With each step, her toes scraped the ground, like burdened servants trudging under the invisible weight that pressed her shoulders into her chest.

No one dared touch her or hinder her path toward the chair. If they had, they would have become the sole focus of her forthcoming exuberance — far too much for any one person to bear.

Sasha paused before she sat.

One man chastised her. “Don’t give yourself to it.” His words fell like a splintered chime into her ringing ears. …


Write a story containing these five words: Magic, slash, spell, blade, bleed

Image by Parker West from Pixabay

Ah, the five-word challenge is back. This week, we are tumbling into a fantasy realm to conjure up an incantation of otherworldly blades and divination.

Your challenge is to write a microfiction story (250 words or less) containing the following five words: Magic, slash, spell, blade, and bleed.

Though these words have a strong connection to an ancient land of knights and wizards, your story doesn’t have to. As long as those five words make it in to your skillful piece, we’re excited to consider publishing it.

Remember to tag your story with one of the following tags:

6wordstory (impossible…

J.A. Taylor

Creator of SciFiShorts.pub & FantasyShorts.pub, and coiner of Centinas and Pentinas. Newsletter at jataylorwrites.com. Write with him at sfswriters.com.

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