Ginger Mayerson was born long ago in Glendale California. Actually she was born the night John F. Kennedy accepted the nomination in Los Angeles, if that means anything to you history fans.
She is an Editor at The Wapshott Press and was honored to edit “Chase and Other Stories.” She included her story, “Chiaroscuro,” in that collection. There is an excerpt below.
Her webpage is at GingerMayerson.com, a list of her writing can be found here, which includes a link to the comic version of the first part of Chiaroscuro. This was a collaboration with Miktar Dragon. It’s a furry comic, Miktar’s a furry, so it’s a furry comic, but a good one.
There’s more about me, such as my writing and editing at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society, but if you can’t find it on the websites and links on the website, you’ll have to use this form get in touch with me.
Please enjoy “Chase and Other Stories.” It was a complete pleasure to work on and I am honored to have been part of it. I would like to thank all the contributors, including the fabulous Molly Kiely, who did the logo, proofread, and Steve illustration, and the divine Robin Austin for her swanky covers (which saved the publishing and reading public the homemade horrors that were mine [no, you can’t see them, they’ve been suppressed]). This book is a treat, a wonder and a joy forever because of these people. Me, I just directed traffic.
It was the package delivery guy at the door again.
“We’re seeing a lot of you this week, Mr. Arkin.” He always said that after he took off his envirosuit hood. He handed over the envirosealed grocery order and a small package. He held up the optical scanner up for ID verification and delivery confirmation.
“Yeah, I guess,” Arkin mumbled, leaning forward for the scan. The luminous green grid before his eye expanded, contracted, and then went dark.
“Ah, still you,” the delivery guy said with a smile. He said this every time and it suited Arkin fine; it meant he didn’t have to hold up his end of the conversation.
Arkin opened the package. It was the new game his employer wanted him to test and review. “Chiaroscuro” was emblazoned on the CD case. Arkin had to look it up to know it meant either the arrangement of light and dark parts in a work of art, such as a drawing or painting, whether in monochrome or in color, or the art or practice of so arranging the light and dark parts as to produce a harmonious effect.
He tossed it on his wreck of a computer desk, which was not at all arranged to produce a harmonious effect, and took the groceries into the kitchen. There was a can of tofu stew in the latest grocery delivery; it was something he was slightly less than indifferent to.
The groceries were a neat service: for a few weeks he’d entered what he wanted into their online request form and after that, the database had, based on his previous purchases, sent him a ration of whatever was consistent with those requests. Arkin didn’t use the word desires because, beyond food and shelter, he didn’t have any.
His job as a software tester provided for both, and made it possible for him to never have to leave his apartment. That was all right. Since the war, the global pollution levels made going out in protective gear essential.
He sat at his desk and put the CD in his computer. Usually his boss sent him a download link for such things, but he’d been told that this was a special project. Based on his previous stellar work, Arkin had received a small promotion, a raise in pay, and better products to review. This was the first assignment of the new era and the packaging was certainly deluxe. He hoped the game would live up to his expectations.
His boss’s email had also said the game was going out to several other reviewers at different companies and that there would eventually be contact with the others as the game progressed. This made Arkin a little wary of playing; he preferred to play the game, not other gamers. But if it was part of his new job, then he’d at least try. He hit the “play” button and was ushered into “Chiaroscuro”, where he was informed where were two players online. He wondered if this meant him and someone else, or him and two other players.
It was a very black and white environment he lumbered around in, trying to adjust to the non-human game form. Arkin began to feel bored, but then caught a flash of movement to his left. He lost it, got lost, thought he saw it again.
“Always to my left,” he thought, veering to his right and doubling back. He caught a glimpse of his quarry, but not a good one. It seemed to be a game creature similar to his, but somehow different. On the other hand, any other game creatures online at the moment would have a great view of him, standing on a windswept plateau, thinking things over. He scowled at his monitor and ended the game. It might be better to spend his evening reading the promotional BS that came with the CD.