In One Picture: Ava Cuvay’s “SNAFU—Situation Normal, All F***ed Up” (Contest)

In One Picture: Ava Cuvay’s “SNAFU—Situation Normal, All F***ed Up” (Contest)

UPDATE: The winner is…Jennifer Beyer!

SNAFU—Situation Normal, All F***ed Up by Ava Cuvay

A sidelined Army cyborg’s only joy is the dimpled smile of a curvy Pentagon admin until she offers him a proposition he should refuse.

My Inspiration: Firstly, thank you to Delilah for organizing these anthologies! This is the third one I’ve been involved in, and I’m honored to be among such a wide variety of amazing authors.

For this anthology, the idea of a story involving older, well-seasoned (“salt-n-pepper”) soldiers hit at a perfect time. When I submitted my story, I was in the middle of writing book two of my Silver Cyborgs series—a series of middle-aged, early-generation cyborgs in a slightly-futuristic earthbound setting—and contemplating book three, my series finale. In keeping with the “Tin [something]” theme of my titles, I already knew book three would be Tin Soldier, about a soldier who lost his leg and gained a weaponized cybernetic one in its place. So submit to an anthology about hawt older soldiers?? Yes, please!

All I had to do was think through the minor details like names, setting, love interest, etc… work I would have had to do anyway. And the end result of the anthology short story sets the stage for the actual book and gives the reader a sexy preview into my two old-enough-to-know-better-but-lonely-enough-not-to-care characters.

Snippet from SNAFU—Situation Normal, All F***ed…

Staff Sergeant Gage Austin marched proudly away from the daily humiliation of his pat-down and full body scan as Audra Muir watched, just like she did every day, from a safe distance. Safe from the heart-pounding, knee-quivering effect he had on her as a woman. And safe from the eruption of her self-righteous anger on his behalf, caused by his treatment. All these years working here and no one allowed him the common courtesy of bypassing any of the security checkpoints They knew full well he would trigger the alarms, the morning mass of incoming employees would panic, and several minutes of chaos would ensue. Still, they made him go through it.

Every. Damn. Day.

Her own boss had a heart monitor, yet the alarms never blared and the mech-guns never flinched for him, because PFPA always waved him around for a less conspicuous wand scan. Same for the General with the metal plate in his head. The intern with the pins in his arm from a recent car accident. Even the food service veteran who’d had a knee replacement. They all breezed past security without even a blink of concern from anybody.

But not Gage.

Because he was a cyborg.

She shouldn’t know that fact. No one else at the Pentagon did, not even Gage’s supervisor. If anyone knew she knew, she’d lose her job. If anyone knew how she’d learned that tidbit, she’d be dead.

However, even knowing what she shouldn’t know, she didn’t worry about the consequences and didn’t fear or hate cyborgs like the rest of society. She didn’t worry he might lose control of his cybernetic parts and go rogue. Not Gage. He’d suffered through too much to be what he was, and watching what he silently endured each day and guessing how lonely his life must be as a result… yeah, she couldn’t muster any fear or mistrust of him. Instead, she admired him. His strength and fortitude. His quiet confidence. His dutiful respect for the system that had made him the man—and man-machine—he was. Admired and desired.

Because, honestly, he was hot as fuck.

Order your Ebook here: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books | Google Play
Order the print version here: Amazon

About the Author

Ava Cuvay is an award-winning bestselling author of out-of-this-world sci-fi and paranormal romance, featuring sassy heroines, gutsy heroes, passion, and adventure…often set in a galaxy far, far away. She believes life is too short to bother with negative people, everything is better with Champagne, and Han Solo shot first.


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20 thoughts on “In One Picture: Ava Cuvay’s “SNAFU—Situation Normal, All F***ed Up” (Contest)

  1. I set off alarms at a hotel in Germany. The hotel had the small over bed wall sconces. My mom wanted to read but it was not bright enough so she turn the sconce down facing the bed. When we were going to bed, I turned it back up as it was supposed to be, About 1/2 hour later the alarms went off in the hotel and they made all of us evacuate. Turned out that when I turned the sconce back up, I crossed the wires resulting in a short which caused the alarms to sound. They did not blame us though I told them what happened but they did say they were going to change the types of lights out so it could not happen again.

    1. Oh, my!! Hopefully the evacuation wasn’t in the middle of winter or anything. And thankfully no one was hurt 🙂

  2. We had a connection issue with the sensor on our front door and every time the dog would mess with the door it would set off the alarms. I ended up getting a notice from the alarm company that they would drop up if we didn’t fix it. It turned out that our system was broken so they fixed it. The best part is that the system was installed because we had a dog and we wanted quick emergency response if we weren’t home. The universe has a sense of humor sometimes.

    1. Lol! I’ll share one of mine: my family goes to Disney a lot, and I end up being the pack mule. I would always get stopped at security and have to get my bag checked. I then learned it was either my sunglass case or my big phone recharger, so I would take those out and hold them in front of me as I walked through… problem solved! 😉

  3. My ex owned an alarm company, so he liked to experiment with the alarms at home to see what would happen in different circumstances, response time, if one alarm sound was better than another, etc…
    Well…he changed the sound one day from just an alarm sound to an alarm sound followed by a voice saying “Help! Call the police. Help! There is an intruder.” Then more alarms. The voice scared me more than the alarm, and all the neighbors came running outside to see what was happening. I was embarrassed and he was like, “Huh. I think that alarm is pretty effective”. LOL

  4. Library books set off all the supermarket alarms here in town. It’s more annoying then embarrassing.

    1. Definitely annoying 😉 Many years ago, a boyfriend and I purchase an adult toy from a store, which placed it oh-so-subtly in a black bag. Then we went to the CVS to get batteries… and tripped the alarm as we exited. We froze, terrified we’d have to show what was in our bags!

  5. Thankfully nothing awful–just the usual occasional flag where I would be waved to the side to get wanded or patted down again… Although I did laugh the most recent airport trip we had… the attendant waved me to the side, asking the female security officer to recheck my collar? She glanced at me in my t-shirt and then stared at him, at which point he shrugged and they sent me on my merry way…

  6. I’ve not triggered any alarms, but having had a total hip replacement and 2 total knee replacements, I’m always pulled to the side & patted down. Even though I tell everyone before I go through any scanners that I have these “replacement parts” in my body. Even having a card from the doctor stating this doesn’t matter anymore….you still go through the scanner…though it is a separate one from regular passengers.

    1. Beverly, that’s exactly what happens to my hero in my story… are you sure you’re not a cyborg? Lol! 🙂

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