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Sunny DaysIt was a lovely warm morning, a rarity these past few months, and many people were taking advantage of it. The streets were bustling with people and merchants trying to sell frozen treats and fresh fruit.
Even Paul had deigned to have his breakfast in the garden. Having had the servants bring a table and chairs there, he was now sitting in the shade, enjoying a cup of coffee and the quiet morning. Until Darren came bursting into the garden, cursing and muttering profanities.
"That little wretch. Good for nothing... If I find him," Darren cursed, pacing back and forth in front of the table.
With a sigh Paul set down the cup and prepared for a rant, "Is something wrong?"
"I'll wring the bastard's neck when I find out who it was," Darren said, stopping behind one of the chairs and gripping it's back until his knuckles turned white. Paul sat quietly in his chair, waiting patiently for his friend to continue.
"You remember that theft I've been planning?" Darren asked after
A Wish"I wish I had some work," Darren said lazily.
"You can go and clean up the stables if you need something to do," Paul said without taking his eyes off a book he was reading. No doubt another dome packed full of history of philosophy.
"As am I. Look, if you need work then go out and find some instead of sitting here all day long and complaining."
"That's easier said than done," Darren laughed sourly. "You know very well that what I do is considered illegal by most people, the king among them."
"Then do something that isn't illegal."
"Well,"Paul began to say, finally taking his eyes off the book, when a servant entered.
"There is someone to see you Sir."
Darren, having been lounging in an armchair up until now, suddenly sat up straight.
"Front of back door?"
The servant frowned. "The front door," he said without even trying to hide his annoyance.
Darren frowned as well and sank back into the chair with a small grunt and a look of disappointment on his face.
Can you hear me?In which Darren faces the prospect of being shot and eaten.
"Can you Hear me?" Darren yelled at the innkeeper. The white haired old man standing on the other side of the bar didn't look at him and continued cleaning a beer glass.
"HELLO?" He tried again, this time waving his hand in front of the man.
"Stop yer shoutin'! I can hear ye just fine," the innkeeper snapped, finally noticing his customers, "Whadda ya want?"
Darren let out a sigh: "Just a glass of whiskey."
"Whiskey!" Darren growled, his patience worn thin.
"Oh. Why didn't ya say so. We're fresh out of the stuff up here. If ya want any you gotta go down them stairs into the basement," the innkeeper gestured behind him, "And bring a cask back up. My back isn't what it used to be."
"Really? You don't look that old and frail to me." Darren remarked. The innkeeper was as big as a bear and most likely had the strength of one as well.
He got angry at the remark, began to say something then b
FFM24: It's Raining MenShe's finally done it, Dani realized as lightning streaked across the sky, the damn writer had lost the last bit of grey matter keeping her from the cuckoo bin. The forecaster had predicted rain, but not this kind of rain. The first drop to hit the pavement was six feet tall of glistening, rippling sex beast. He should have died instantly, but since the writer was out of her vulcan mind, he landed gently beside the first and just as shirtless.
“Love me,” he said, holding out a hand.
Dani groaned, pretending not to look. This was so wrong.
All around the world, people stopped to watch this mysterious rain. Traffic stalled. Inside, the forecaster who had predicted a wonderful summer shower hid in his office, studying the readouts. It just wasn't possible. Men don't fall from the sky like rain.
“You've done it now,” Dani shouted, “Don't pretend you can't hear me. I know you're typing this right now. You have to stop this.”
Kaleen, the writer, ignored he
CursedWhen I was five I told my teacher that my mother magically appeared whenever I was doing something wrong.
Miss Jones laughed. “All mothers do that, Jill.”
So it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I realised that my mother was unusual in this respect. Picking my nose, yelling at a friend, trying to copy someone else’s homework—no matter how far apart we were, if I did something bad my mother would abruptly appear at my side glaring at me.
And she still does.
Mum doesn’t talk that much about my curse. I only know that it came from my father. Well, he was Mum’s husband—he wasn’t actually my father. Hence the curse, I suppose. I’ve never met him but he’s some kind of natural magician. Very rare.
The situation felt bearable as a child. I didn’t know any different and I was reassured by it, to be honest. But as a teenager going through a rebellious phase… Smoking, bit of graffiti, kissing boys. And more. My mot
The Winds of Lunar ChangeThe Winds of Lunar Change: A Future Tale on a Part of the Solar Neighborhood
Retired Col. Franklin Liebnitz coughed as he waited for the technicians to ready his pressurized car, loosening his necktie. And I’m pressed for time, the aging man groaned impatiently. It should be done by now! Officially, he was here as part of the American delegation for the lunar festivities surrounding the 100th Anniversary of Apollo 11's landing. But that was still a few days away.
“There is someone I am eager to meet,” he sighed at the chief technician at main hangar. “Is it finished yet?”
“Da,” the man nodded before sliding into a thickly accented English. “It is done. Is there anything else you need, sir?”
“Nothing. Just – finish what you need to do.”
Franklin bit back a cringe. The Moon’s was formally international territory and open to all mankind. But aside from a handful of scatte
FFM 2014: The Selkie He watched the waves and waited, every night, bringing only a blanket and the shuttered lantern with one side left open to light the way. And every night she came, stepping onto the shore and slipping out of her second skin, shivering and wet, her dark hair in dripping tangles about her shoulders. Still as lithe and moon-pale as the first day he’d seen her so many years before. Still as remote and unfathomable as the sea.
He never asked questions, never tried to speak at first, just handed her the blanket and wrapped one arm around her as they made their way up the shore to the Lighthouse. Still dripping she would visit the children’s room, and watch them sleeping as the first blush of dawn touched the horizon.
He’d make her breakfast; pancakes were the favourite, and by the time the kids were ready to get up she would be herself again, loud and smiling and present, and the wildness o
FFM21: Fairies in SpaceRoseblight tugged the cover off the control panel, grateful the last idiot hadn't tightened the screws. After a moment, it came free. The multicolored wires threaded through countless, complicated looking bits of plastic and metal. It was like a sad little garden, choking on weeds and garbage.
“Roseblight to Muddywaters, Roseblight to Muddywaters, I'm in, do you hear me?” she asked. She had cast a communication spell earlier, but that was while she was out in the green. By nature, magic was persnickety. It had a tendency to falter around iron. This “space ship” wasn't made of iron, but there were traces of it everywhere.
“Muddywaters to Roseblight, I do hear you, mi'lady.”
She didn't have time to relax. The humans would be back soon. They had to be quick. She scanned the mess of wires. The red and blue configuration wasn't entirely unexpected, but it was unfortunate. It was one of three designs Muddywaters had been unable to study.
“We have a p
FFM 23: Trophies“And this one, I got after I slayed the vampire of Gershon,” the Hunter announced, pointing at the two holes tattooed on his neck. “When I battled the Odd Ones in Goblith Forest, I got this one back here.” He turned to reveal chaotic black spirals twisting up his spine. “These ones--”
This had been going on too long.
Aloric stood from the bar, shrugging the furs off his shoulder. The tavern went silent as the audience’s gaze shifted. Ragged claw-marks tore down his chest, and his right bicep was encircled with a jagged ring that could only have been jaws. A cluster of arrow-sized dots marred his side, and a net a thin lines wound up one side of his face.
Leaning within inches of the hunter’s face, Aloric let out a low growl. “Anyone can buy tattoos. Scars are earned.”
like so many times beforeShe always spoke to me in a rose-coloured voice.
Too busy day dreaming, and telling me about the stories in her head to notice the air between us changing. It was always changing; from the crisp morning air to something more gentle, a mist that went on for miles between us. I wondered about the distance too, we hadn't stopped walking in over a year. I sometimes tried to figure out where we were, where 'here' really was. But...
It didn't matter.
Really. It didn't matter, because she always had something new, something small held in those tiny palms of hers, wrists too frail to stand too much force I would think, but I'd seen that proven wrong. Those hands had more strength in them than I did in my entire body.
It was always something different too. Today, it was a miniature model of a butterfly.
She smiled, looked at me, and had a melancholy expression as she said:
"They never come near me, so I thought I'd bring this along."
It was true. The butterflies around the path had been followi
After the WarI have left the war behind me, but the war has never left me.
It's not just the scar on my arm – usually hidden by long-sleeved shirts, but huge and ugly, a reminder of the moment when it all ended (I lay sprawled on my back, bleeding heavily, looking up at the enemy standing triumphant over me and knowing there was nothing I could do to save myself)...
It's not just the old war-habits that die hard: start and end every day with stretches, work out every day, practice agility and swordplay; always keep a wall to my back, or better yet a corner; always watch entrances; always watch for sudden movements, for anything that looks out of place; never sleep without a weapon at my bedside...
It's not just the fact that I treat every obstacle as a battle to be fought, that everything is strategy and sacrifices and optimization. It's not just that I step naturally into a leader's role, that I must sometimes remember that my friends are that – friends – that they are not
FaeriefireWe all hid when the faeries dueled.
You and I were in the closet, wishing to each other half-secretly among the motes that the duels could be rare as dragons, at least. Instead they were only rare as quarter-moons.
Ground liquifies, sometimes, during a duel. The stars brighten and fall faster, leaving holes in the ground and setting forests alight. The sun hides in a bird’s nest, they say.
We did not see when the damage was done. We were accustomed to avoiding to know even the names of those who fought. Our eyes were far from windows.
But duels always ended the day after they began, and we stepped out as if we were free.
Your eyes caught the light first, and when I followed them my air caught in my throat. Like going underwater without the protection of a mermaid.
That day our world was on fire. The glass of the town hall had melted to colorful puddles on the ground. Some houses were gone - some people too, I realized. Surviva
50 Word Mini Sagas"What are you doing?"
"What does it looks like I'm doing? I'm trying to... argh... see if I can... oww... get to the roof... bloody nail... from this window."
"But does it have to be the window that's facing the street?"
"Think of it as advertisement!"
"Look Bob, Darren's up to something again."
"I've been tellin' ya: if ya need somethin' done hire Darren. He'll get it done and for cheap! Unlike the rest of 'em cut-throats down at the docks."
"Didn't ya say the same 'bout Mad Mort yesterday?"
"My god, Martha, what is this city coming to? First people climbing out of windows and now beggars fighting in the middle of the street! Where's the watch when you need them?"
"I'm telling you, dear, it all because of the pollen."
"You're probably right, dear."
"All right, you proved that you can get to the roof. Can you come down now? People are starting to gather."
"Say... are these yours?"
"How did they...For god's sake give me those!"
"I didn't know you were into such
Bo.When Lindsay was born, Bo was there. Standing beside her mother, he was the first thing she ever saw. But he was not her father; her father stood on the other side.
Bo was there until the very moment she died.
The sun shone bright through the windows of her pink-laden room. She loved pink. And black.
“Because Bo is black,” she’d told her parents.
Her imaginary friend, they soon concluded.
“Bo is all black,” she described one night as her father tucked her in, “His skin and his hair and everything. He doesn’t talk a lot.”
Her father frowned.
“He sounds scary.”
“He’s not,” she insisted.
Bo sat on the bed and said nothing.
Her father kissed her good night and turned out the light.
“Why can’t Dad see you?” she asked.
“Are you real?”
“Are you real?” he replied.
“How do you know?”
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