Excerpt for Improvising at Branson Six by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Improvising at Branson Six

A short story

Copyright 2017 by Sean Monaghan

All rights reserved

Cover Art: © Abidal| Dreamstime

Published by Triple V Publishing

Author web page

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Smashwords Edition.

Improvising at Branson Six” placed third in the 2013 Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, which the author won in 2014 with his story “Low Arc”.


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

About the author

Other Books by Sean Monaghan



The sun spun along the north sea horizon as Tony Mirenne sat on the shingle beach. Despite appreciating the beauty of the long Norwegian summer sunsets, streaking the sky better than any paintbox, he didn’t like being this far north, or so remote. If he could have gone home, he would have.

After the Roman Sage had gone down, he’d taken exile. Administration had told him that it wasn’t his fault and he could come back anytime after the standard three week stand-down. He wished he had the courage. He couldn’t face them yet.

He tossed a few stones into the frigid water, hearing them slap. It was cool, but he still found it hard to believe that in six months time the place would be covered in snow. There were already icebergs in the bay. He hoped he wouldn’t still be here when the sun set for weeks on end.

In the distance he could hear one of the Norwegian Coast Guard choppers. They flew over regularly, training and sometimes pulling trawler crews of foundering vessels.

Mirenne walked away from the shore, up towards the cabin. Wood smoke from the fire drifted over him. The cabin owner had supplied them with a stack of wood that he promised would last until next June, but they’d burned through so much already, he wondered if there would be any left for the winter at all. The owner didn’t feel the cold at all. He walked about in shorts and shirtsleeves, as if he was in Hawaii.

Kate stood in the doorway as Mirenne came up the stone path.

Fish tonight?” she said.

Because there’s an alternative?”

She smiled and stepped down to meet him. “You were out a while today.”

Mirenne nodded. He put his arms around her and she responded. He appreciated her patience with him. It wasn’t easy to get over killing a hundred and eighty-six people.

Looks like we’ve got company,” she said at his shoulder.

Mirenne released and turned. The helicopter was in sight now, coming in fast and low. It was dark, not the regular red and white of the Norwegian search and rescue people. In moments the aircraft came in behind the cabin and began settling. Its blades whipped the hardy little plants and grass into a frenzy.

That’s an EESA helicopter, isn’t it?” Kate said as they walked around the cabin.

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