SFRB Showcase: “When Words Leave Off” Story Excerpt

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The monthly SFR Brigade Showcase is where authors post excerpts, snippets, covers and other updates from their published works and WIP.

Check out the other authors here and read more about their books!

This is an excerpt from the story, “When Words Leave Off” included in my short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales.  By the way, later this month it’ll be an audiobook too!

Check it out here:

In this excerpt, officers Tasha Grant and Benjamin Tragg have just presented a paper at an important conference. Both of them are officers on a deep space ship named, the Marlo. After working together on their presentation for a few months, they’ve grown closer, but have never acknowledged how they feel about each other. That’s about to change.

Tasha, would you stop by my quarters for a moment, please?”

“Sure, Benjamin.” Now that their work was over, she was going to miss spending time with him. It had been challenging working with him and fun too. In fact, now that it was almost over, she felt strangely empty.

She followed him into his quarters. A dark red glow emanated from the sleeping area, painting strange shadows throughout the rooms. Benjamin went over to his desk and opened his packet. He took out two sheaths of paper and set them on his desktop.

“Come take a look,” he said.

Tasha went over and examined the papers. On first glance she could see they were made of heavy parchment. Tellurian and Terran writing covered them with painstakingly neat lines.

“What is this?” she asked.

“A collection of Tellurian poems. Someone translated them many years ago. I think they should be set to music,” Benjamin replied. “I know you have an interest in languages. When you’ve read them, perhaps we can discuss the translations.”

“Oh, this is lovely, Benjamin.” She rubbed her fingers against the rough paper and read a line of the Terran words, then the graceful lettering of their Tellurian counterparts, side by side on the page.

“Ben, I didn’t know you liked poetry. Seems a bit non-scientific to me,” she teased.

“Not at all. Poetry is simply a composition written in verse. These words express thoughts that are not tied to either logic or emotion.”

“Words take on different meanings depending on how they’re interpreted.” She looked into his eyes. “Just like music.”

“Ah, but that would prove your theory that music is a language.” Benjamin pointed to a specific line. “The Tellurian words here refer to the sharing of minds. The Terran translation is not exact, and subtly alters the meaning of the text. Both passages stand on their own–“

“But they nonetheless compliment each other,” Tasha said, completing his thought.

This simple parchment had more value to her than any prize. She read over the lines of verse, the juxtaposition of the languages, the interplay of words and searched for a way to express her appreciation to a man who shunned emotional displays. Or rather, a man who had up until tonight.

“I’m honored by this gift, Benjamin, and by our friendship,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. “Thank you very much.”

He was staring at her, his lips half open. Was he really going to do it? Tasha felt her body shiver in anticipation. Fraternization wasn’t exactly encouraged on board, but still. She’d been waiting for his moment for a long time.

He leaned across the desk and planted a kiss on her lips. “You’re very welcome, Tasha,” he said. “I–I don’t know what just came over me. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not.” She touched the side of his face, and pulled him closer for another kiss. She felt herself melting as the kiss intensified.


About the book…

Electric Dream - High Resoluion

Seven short stories of the future…

-a robot is abandoned by his human buyer when she has second thoughts,

-a frustrated employee has a rude awakening when his computer starts managing his career,

-the caretaker of a lonely space station gets a shock when a couple of unexpected visitors show up, and more!

Available on


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  • Aurora Springer
    December 13, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Lovely lead up to the first kiss.

    • Deborah
      December 13, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Thanks, Aurora!

  • Corinne
    December 14, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Oh this is wonderful! Even with this short excerpt, I get a good solid grasp of the two characters and their relationship.

    • Deborah
      December 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      I’m glad that came across in the scene. Thanks, Corinne!

  • Melisse Aires
    December 14, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Sweet first kiss, and interesting scifi world. Want to read more.

    • Deborah
      December 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      After I finished the story, I wanted to write more about the ship and crew. Maybe I’ll get to that next year. 🙂 Thanks, Melisse!

  • pippajay
    December 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Aww, sweet!

    • Deborah
      December 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      🙂 Thanks, Pippa!