The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!
The kick-off installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Rosalie Stanton. If you like what you read, be sure to check out Ms. Stanton’s work.
Holy Fudge Nuggets
The sky’s curtain of speckled navy had vanished in the span of a blink, ushered away by an explosion of electric whites and flaming oranges. There wasn’t time for thought, so Lauren didn’t waste any—she raised her camera to her eye and began clicking at everything that moved.
Which, at the moment, was the whole damn sky.
It took a moment, through the camera lens, to find the flow of movement through the sea of color that suddenly dominated New Mexico’s air space. Like all good fire shows, this one had to have a source. Through the break in smoky clouds came a—
Lauren frowned and lowered her camera. That couldn’t be right.
“No way.” She blinked a few times, but the scene didn’t change.
Swaying in a speedy blur across the night sky, blanketed with smoke and one hell of a light show, was an honest-to-crap flying saucer.
Or flying cylinder. It was hard to be sure.
Lauren allowed herself precisely one second to gawk before her inner journalist kicked into gear. The camera flew back where it belonged, a series of clicks providing a familiar cadence to unfamiliar chaos. The lens supplied what the naked eye could not, and years of training made following the—yep, that’s a UFO—flying saucer-or-cylinder’s progress much easier. Her journalist’s instinct did the work for her, guiding the camera’s nose as though it was sentient.
Which was how she captured the shot of a century—no, make that a millennia—when the alien ship collided with terra firma. The resulting quake threw her legs out from under her, but she fell with her finger still clicking. A storm of dirt and dust exploded into the air, and before she could close her eyes, every possible crevice in her small, vulnerable body was filled with flooded with flying grime. Tainted air stole down her throat, flooded her nose, and fell in blanketed layers across every inch of her skin. She immediately began hacking, which had the unfortunate effect of dragging more dust down her throat, but eventually the dirt thinned and sweet-tasting oxygen tickled her taste-buds.
“Are you all right?”
Okay. Now she was hearing things. Lauren coughed again, her chest burning with exertion. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, then blinked some more. A blurry collage of shapeless colors winked in front of her before beginning to harden. And then she was certain she was hallucinating.
Because standing before her against a fiery backdrop, was a man.
A handsome man.
A handsome naked man.
Lauren blinked again. “I’m dead, aren’t I?”
The naked man took a step forward, which had the lovely added benefit of jiggling his naked bits. Which were nice to look at, if not a little strange, given the context.
“Are you all right?” Mr. Birthday Suit asked again, kneeling so his eyes—which were a nice, warm brown—were level with hers.
Lauren shook her head, but that was the wrong decision. The world titled sideways and threatened to black out. She managed to stave off the dark, but only just. She knew she was seconds from losing her grip on consciousness, but the reporter in her wasn’t ready to go down without a fight.
She had some questions that damn well needed to be answered.
“You have a nice penis.”
And apparently, the part of her brain connected to her tongue had been blasted away in the spacecraft’s crash. That wasn’t what she’d meant to say, but her mouth couldn’t work itself around the right words.
The man tilted his head, studying her. He looked for all the world like his genitals were often the source of praise. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Also not what she meant to say. Lauren’s brow furrowed. “I usually don’t see a guy’s penis until date five or six. This is a new experience for me.”
“I am not wearing clothes,” the man said helpfully.
“Oh.” Lauren’s mind screamed something she couldn’t follow. It wasn’t that she was unaccustomed to people overstating the obvious—she worked with the media, so it was a regular part of everyday interactions—but the white noise in her head had grown louder, pushing all thoughts, penis-related or otherwise, out of reach.
She was about to pass out. In the dessert with a lost nudist.
Jesus Christ, could this day get any weirder?
Lauren shook her head—mistake—and looked again to her new friend, whose brow was furrowed, those nice brown eyes filled with concern. He was speaking slowly, but she couldn’t make out the words.
She placed a hand on his chest, concentrating. Ooh, sculpty. She needed to say something—anything, because passing out with a naked alien outside a wrecked flying saucer was not normal, and though she felt no fear at the moment, a part of her knew that was because she wasn’t aware enough. But if she passed out, she’d be at this guy’s mercy. And that would be a much scarier thought when she had control of her faculties.
Lauren managed to pluck words out of the back of her head. She could only hope they were the right ones. “Stop,” she said. “Hammer time.”
And with that, the world went black.
About the Author
Rosalie Stanton is an award-winning author of steamy paranormal and contemporary romance. A lifelong enthusiast of larger than life characters, Rosalie enjoys building worlds filled with strong heroes and heroines of all backgrounds.
Rosalie lives in Missouri with her husband and their dog, Luna. At an early age, she discovered a talent for creating worlds, which evolved into a love of words and storytelling. Rosalie graduated with a degree in English. As the granddaughter of an evangelical minister, Rosalie applied herself equally in school in the creative writing and religious studies departments, which had an interesting impact on her writing. When her attention is not engaged in writing or editing, she enjoys spending time with close friends and family.