News from the Cloak, May '17

      Hello all and welcome to the May 2017 Edition of our newsletter. We hope that you will enjoy what we have to offer this month and share with your friends. Please send us any feedback on what you would like to see more of, less of, or just what you liked/disliked about this edition. This can be sent to AMF@cloakedpress.com .

Last Month for "Fall Into Fantasy 2017" Submissions
      That's right everyone. This month we will close submissions for our first anthology of short stories, "Fall Into Fantasy". We are hard at work here at Cloaked Press, designing a cover and sorting submissions so that in the coming months we can make announcements about the authors involved, and get a few sneak previews out to you folks.


      Before we get to this month's story, let's get our winner for our Amazon gift card out of the way. This month's winner of the $5.00 Amazon gift card is, Teresa McLaughlin. Teresa, if you don't see the email from Amazon sometime today, please email AMF@cloakedpress.com to let us know.

      One last thing before we get to the story of the month. If you like what you read and would like to support our efforts here at Cloaked Press to bring you great stories, you can join us on Patreon . For the cost of a cheap latte, you can help us pay our authors more, as well as get unique prizes for yourself, such as: increased entries into our monthly giveaway, advance copies of our books, and special giveaways from our authors.



Andrew Sweetapple's "Nights on the Edge" will feature journal entries and short flash fiction accounts from the residents of Red Rock, a lawless, Old West style town on the planet Ignis. Ignis is a mostly desert planet on the fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy. Join us as we meet the residents and get to know what life is like on the Edge.

Nights on the Edge 02
 
                The synth-sitar is a weird instrument in a galaxy of strange music. It’s a nineteen elastisteel string instrument that’s constructed from a special form of plastic that resonates sound. Set in the body is a small comp that applies effects to the music being played like the sounds of nature or people chanting. Playing a synth-sitar is part musician and part engineer to make it sound and work right. No two synth-sitars are alike since the user will usually have their own modifications to the body, different strings and comp settings which always makes listening to one an interesting experience. Seeing one being played live in front of a rowdy, drunken crowd is something else altogether. Luther Mobius was a legend when it came to playing bars and we were going to see him tonight.
                We had left the research station a little bit before dark in the all-terrain rover. Doctor Myerson was being his usual fussy self to make sure we knew the rules about our excursion and blah blah blah. He had made us sit through the safety presentation again like every other time we make an excursion out to Red Rock. The man desperately needs to relax and hopefully, after tonight, he’ll be a bit unwound. The trip from the station was unremarkable. We flew through the valley to the west of our station and through the hills north towards the town. There was just lots of red dirt, some stringy plants that have learned to sustain themselves with minimal water and more red dirt. It had been about two weeks since we had left the station and I think the two of us were going a little stir crazy.
                Parked right outside of Red Rock, we climbed out of the air-conditioned rover and into the oppressive heat of the late afternoon. It was like walking into a brick wall and took us all a moment to adjust ourselves. The sun finally set behind the far western hills and cast the town into long shadows. Neonic crystal lights began to glow in the dark, lighting up the building and the main street that ran right through the center of the town. They threw a myriad of bright colors against one another, looking like a rainbow exploded in the center of town. There weren’t too many people out at the moment walking around, just a few miners heading home after their shift and some street vendors. That would change as the night began to go on.
                 The moment Myerson was distracted with a comment from Mr. Vonder, a few of us slipped away from the group and made our way into the town through a side street. We laughed, knowing that Myerson was going to lose his mind the moment he found us but that only added to the fun. He was just too easy to tease sometimes. Our splinter group headed down a few of the narrow side streets, past a few of the closed businesses and older houses towards the first destination of the night. Garble’s Greasetrap was a hole-in-the-wall restaurant tucked away between two boarding houses. You could smell the place before you saw it. Charissa had mentioned she could probably find it by smell alone. Our mouths were watering as we joined the short line outside of the door, discussing what we were going to order. Big Garble, the owner and operator of this little place didn’t have much on the menu. Fried ronion sticks, blager burgers, rancher pies and cans of Fizzy in three different flavors. Not the healthiest stuff on the planet but it was so good that we didn’t care. We got our food and wandered our way back towards the main street where Myerson was probably frantically searching for us. No matter what, he never left the main street towards the Balehouse.
                Directly across from the town hall on the main street was Collins Balehouse where Luther Mobius was playing tonight. According to some of the locals we talked to before, the Balehouse used to be a two-story hotel that housed visiting planetary government workers and corporation folks. When those kinds of people stopped visiting as frequently and other, cheaper places opened up for travelers, it quickly shut down. It got bought up quickly by Collin Bale, a local entrepreneur. He got right to work, tearing out most of the walls and floor on the second floor. The hotel was turned into a massive bar with a balcony that looped around above the main level. It quickly became the favorite spot of everyone that lived in Red Rock or was just passing through. Tonight, the place was going to be packed wall-to-wall with people seeking out some decent entertainment.
                We linked back up with Myerson and the rest of the group, bearing through his angry ranting as we made our way into the Balehouse, paying a credit cover fee to one of the big, angry looking bouncers by the main entrance. It was already a party, most of the tables filled as well as the balcony, everyone jockeying for a good spot to see the stage near the bar. There was a heavy cloud of mixed smoke filling the air of both legal and illegal substances, dancing around the glasslloy chandelier that hung from the ceiling. The group made our way through the bumping crowd towards the bar for our first round. Unlike Garble’s, there were probably a hundred different liquors available on offer from five different bartenders working up a storm behind the bar. Most of us got our poisons of choice from previous trips, even Myerson indulged in a watered-down drink. They were expensive but so was every other bar in the galaxy.
                As we made our way back towards the tables for a spot to sit, that’s when the first few las-shots cut through the air not ten feet away from us.


                -From the journal of Doctor Ophelia Murkwood, Researcher at Station BI-0 on Ignis