Short Stories by Debra Jess

Blood & Armor

Jumanji meets World of Warcraft with a splash of City of Heroes.

Sarah’s vision of a perfect life is inside the online role-playing game, Battle Guards of the Northern Kingdoms. Battle Guards, however, is about to be shut down by the company that owns it. With less than two hours of game time left, a mysterious gamer tells Sarah there is a way to save the game. Sarah knows all about stranger danger, but her heart belongs in the Northern Kingdoms. As she continues to play, the gamer draws Sarah into another world and Sarah’s bond to the gamer grows more powerful every moment. As the clock ticks, Sarah must decide which is more important: her heart or her reality?

Shaped by You

When Miriam sculpted The Perfect Man, she intended for him to stay put.

Now he’s missing, putting her future as an independent artist in jeopardy. Figures that she couldn’t even get her Perfect Man to stay with her, never mind her ex-boyfriend. Now she has to figure out what to do with the naked stranger who’s suddenly appeared in her loft, claiming he can help her find her Perfect Man.

Tomorrow Will Be Brighter

Borscht Belt meets the Kuiper Belt when former matchmaker and recent widow, Captain Levine, sets out across the galaxy to deliver cargo to her new fiancé, Doctor Katzen (who doesn’t know he’s her fiancé yet because she’s made up his mind for him. Won’t he be surprised?). Along the way, she not quite accidentally runs blockade and finds herself a prisoner of Jahuul Empire. The Prince in charge decides to make Levine one of his dancing girls, of which he has a collection. Never let it be said Levine can’t talk her way out of any situation. She strikes a deal with the Prince: If she finds him his one true match in three days he’ll let her go. If she fails, he’ll can keep Levine as one of his dancing girls forever. Does the Prince really think he stands a chance?

If you’re a fan of Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs other screwball comedies and musicals, you’ll love the short story Tomorrow Will Be Brighter.