Day For Night

Day For Night

by Stacey E. Bryan


Publisher Strange Fictions Press

Published in Literature & Fiction/Humor, Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy, Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


Politically incorrect Rae is having a bad year. Kicked off her reality TV show and left floundering, her life heads downhill even faster after witnessing an alien abduction. And the arrival of vampires later on doesn't really help matters. Succumbing to a smooth-talking Nosferatu, Rae becomes a night walker in order to up her alien Ultimate Fighting skills. Which may not have been the best decision to make while dead drunk. Thank God for Jack Daniels and denial!

Sample Chapter

Day for Night

Part 1

There’s a beer in my hand that feels like an aspirin

There’s a beer in my hand that feels like a weapon

There’s a beer in my hand that feels like an aspirin

Lines from "Love Poem" by Jim Mason

Chap. 1

The world came to an end on a balmy Tuesday evening while I was doing laundry in my Glendale apartment building. Not on a Monday so I could start off the week fresh with the apocalypse, knowing just where I stood. Or a Friday so I could say, “Thank God it’s the weekend. I need to de-stress from the End of Days.” It was a Tuesday. Four weeks to the day that I had been voted off one of the most popular reality shows running: Muscle Beach Midlife: Sand in your Face. I guess it didn’t matter that Muscle Midlife had no voting. Details, schmetails. They did it anyway, and it made for good TV. If ratings were sharks, I was the bloody, mashed up chum.

I was multitasking. For me this involved doing laundry while I mused about regret. What better time to muse on the nature of regret than when the world was about to end? Of course, I had no idea such was the case as I made my way deeper into Single White Female territory—my building’s dank basement—gripping my basket tight and my rage tighter. I shouldn’t even be here. Forced out of escrow on my dream condo in Hermosa Beach, bad timing left me scrambling and I’d ended up here, surrounded by elderly Armenian gentlemen who seemed to disapprove of women wearing pants. Parents? They lived out of state. Sister Margarite? Not an option in this life or the next. You found out fast who your real friends were when you got kicked off a TV show. When anything went wrong in this town, Los Angeles, especially if even remotely connected to The Biz, you’d blink twice and find yourself in the middle of a boiling, empty desert with nothing but the cacti and a lizard doing pushups on a rock. Two handfuls of “friends” condensed overnight down to just Hama and Rex.

So back to regret, back to the end of the world. An overall discontent, kick-started by Sand in your Face, had Bogarded the borders, routed the castle walls. The castle being the state of denial I lived in, discontent being reality. It was funny that I was thinking of reality as I neared the laundry room, basket on my hip, because I was expecting a certain series of things ahead of me. I was expecting the machines to all be occupied, except for one, which wouldn’t be enough to accommodate my load. I was expecting the light bulb to be stuttering in its usual migraine-inducing pattern. Even before I arrived, I could hear them all busily humming. All the machines, all being used. The one poster on the wall would be there, Truffaut’s Day for Night, dusty, the plastic cover cracked in one corner. I even expected my right shoulder to jackknife with pain when I hitched the basket up on my hip. It had become injured almost a year ago after a failed pap smear attempt.

What I wasn’t expecting was to turn the corner and find my thirty-something neighbor Annie, eyes open, silent, encased by a cone of light and suspended in midair just inside the doorway. Nope. Wasn’t expecting that at all. Floating beside her was the small, big-headed creature I’d seen a million times on TV and in the movies, so hilariously clichéd that I laughed out loud. There were some young filmmakers in the building. It must be an experiment, a joke. But then the creature turned, and it just wasn’t funny anymore.

I stopped breathing. Because I forgot how to. If I had been older, I probably would have collapsed, dead before I hit the floor. The creature’s eyes moved, found me, and froze. It was a monster, but I had startled it. The laundry basket tumbled from my hands. Bras and socks and panties and jeans spilled out onto the floor, bleached of color under the buzzing lights. The being glanced at the laundry (was that disgust I saw? Or was I projecting?) and then something happened. My laundry basket was sailing through the air, aimed directly at the creature. Without thinking, I had retrieved it and launched it, Olympian-style. Mistake. Shoulder. Agony.

The basket bounced off the thing’s torso while a yellow bra pinwheeled through the air and fell onto its head. The being/creature/monster visibly jerked, and triumph spiked behind my terror. It was a familiar feeling from my surfing days. From being battered and strangled by the surf, then caressed and buoyed high moments after. The sea was like an abusive lover, harboring beauty and terror within, including sharp teeth that came up out of nowhere to claim parts of your body as if it was a free buffet.

A deep-seated scream corkscrewed upward from the center of my intestines. It poured out, brittle and clawing. “GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” It was like a thousand times louder than a rape whistle. And it must have worked because the next thing I knew the light was gone, the creature and my yellow bra were gone, and Annie was flopping down on top of me as I pitched backward to the floor. For such a tiny thing, she was really heavy. Or maybe it was just the impact from falling. I thought, “I wonder if Annie’s the one hogging all these machines.” And then I blacked out. Just a little.


Okay, not the end of the world in the traditional sense. But the end in every other sense. The end of my world. As I knew it. The end of my reality. Of everyone’s reality, I might add. I wasn’t alone in this. When I came to seconds later, I was thinking of the show again. Suddenly, getting kicked off Sand in your Face wasn’t the worst thing that had ever happened as it had been moments ago. Correction--voted off. Illegally voted off. No, having Annie blink her already-open eyes, roll off me, then sit up and ask blankly, “What happened?” was worse than getting voted off the TV show I’d been counting on to help me buy my future, my dreams.

“Holy shit, did I pass out again?” She was a petite brunette and it was always weird to hear her swearing. It was like listening to a filthy-mouthed ten-year-old. The name didn’t help either, as it conjured up images of Little Orphan Annie unloading a raunchy diatribe at Daddy Warbucks who stood, speechless, while his left arm slowly went numb.

I helped her to her feet. The stubs of my missing fingers ached horribly. I hadn’t been in this building that long, as I mentioned before. I only knew Annie’s name because her boyfriend was always bellowing it from somewhere in the building. Or, unfortunately, from the apartment next door to me where they lived.

“You don’t remember what happened?” I asked.

“What happened?” she said, now with some suspicion. She glanced around the room quickly, then back, as if Hannibal Lecter might step out from behind me.

“You…fainted,” I suggested. It wasn’t exactly a lie.

Annie sighed. “God.” She sounded genuinely weary and sagged a little. “I quit drinking four months ago. WTF?”

Note to self: do laundry somewhere else.


Excerpted from "Day For Night" by Stacey E. Bryan. Copyright © 2016 by Stacey E. Bryan. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Stacey E. Bryan

Stacey E. Bryan

Stacey was raised in the San Fernando Valley but born in San Francisco, where she left part of her heart. She received a BA in English from UCLA, studying under world-renowned Irish journalist and novelist Brian Moore. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines in New York and L.A., including Ginosko and The Rag. She is currently working on various short stories and the sequel to her novel Day for Night. She lives in “beautiful downtown Burbank,” as Johnny Carson used to say, with her husband who is also a writer.

View full Profile of Stacey E. Bryan

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