Saturday, November 30, 2013

100 Words a Day 469

He dropped the mash and ran. Barney’s sirens were getting closer. They would destroy the still, but it was more important that he got away. As he ran, Patrick wondered what had tipped them off. Was it Daniel? That damned waxy! He had always had it out for Patrick.

Patrick sprinted down the hill, losing himself in the dark woods. Thorns and branches scratched his face and grabbed at his loose clothing. When he finally emerged into the clearing he was bleeding and covered with sweat.

He stopped short when he saw his getaway car. Several Barneys had it surrounded.

Friday, November 29, 2013

100 Words a Day 468

He hung his head in the back of the squad car. The cold and uncaring handcuffs cut into his wrists, slowly bringing a tingle to his fingertips. He watched the cops speaking to the line of patrons, interviewing them for details about the fight. Shifting in the leather seat, he was able to see the other man lying down on a stretcher with a paramedic holding ice over the black eye the man had received. A police officer supervised the process. He did not regret what happened; the man was harassing several people at the bar. He had it coming.

100 Words a Day 467

The hospital was a frightening place. The sterile, white walls were unwelcoming, not like the warm tones used in his doctor’s office or his classroom. The waiting room was full of strangers. A few of them looked normal, but others had strange bandages, wounds that made him shake, or were making noises that he had only heard before in the depth of nightmare.

He felt his eyes grow big and his heart pound as he imagined what horrible things they would do to him. Looking at his mother only confirmed his fears; she was fidgeting and clearly worried about something.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

100 Words a Day 466

“Damn it,” he said, his lips scrunching with mild irritation.

He put his boot on the corpse, steadying himself so he did not slip on the fluids, and yanked on his sword. It came out a few inches, but remained lodged in Garak’s final opponent. The small man had been the last of dozens and his skill was not particularly good. Consequently, Garak had not swung with full commitment and failed to split the man from shoulder to hip as he had with done his other opponents.

“Guess I’m getting old and lazy,” he said to no one in particular.

100 Words a Day 465

The red brick was faded. Years of staring into the sun had left its exposed face bleached. The cement holding it in place was crumbling, leaving part of the unfaded top visible. The porous skin was weather-beaten and water-damaged, evidence of a long life spent outdoors. The brick stood stoic no more. What was once solid and unbreakable had become stiff and fragile, slowly crumbling under the heavy tread of the onward march of time. No one ever saw the brick change; they would simply take the time to look at it one day and notice how it was different.

100 Words a Day 464

It was several days before he noticed anything wrong and several weeks before he was able to perceive the problems in the organization, obscured as his vision was by a heady haze of idealism.

He had grown up on stories of the greatness of the company; how they were the best in the business, heralds of innovation. He was coming to realize the truth was quite different. They may have been innovative, but now they were indolent. Their hires were screened most stringently, but even the most qualified candidates were assigned entry-level tasks where their genius quickly turned to boredom.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

100 Words a Day 463

The chest groaned as he forced it open with the crowbar. One of the rusty hinges actually broke off, having long ago fused in place. As he pushed the lid back, an eerie azure glow lit the chamber. He lifted the luminous thing out of the chest, leaving it empty, and held it close to his face so he could inspect it. It was a white skull with glowing blue eyes, just like the old man had said it would be. He was mesmerized by those glowing eyes for a moment, then remembered what else the old man had said.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

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100 Words a Day 462

She arrived at work with tired feet that left a heavy tread, so reluctant was her step. She did the gallows-walk to her cubicle and sat down at her neutral-colored desk and stared at her neutral-colored walls. Not even the pictures of her family or her signed Blind Guardian poster could brighten her day. She turned to the one thing, resting in the far corner of the cubicle, that could bring some color into her neutral world. It was her bunny. She was every color her workplace was not, a riot of vibrant colors, the whole spectrum of the rainbow.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

100 Words a Day 461

The worst part of the hospital was being unable to move, forced to watch whatever telenovela was showing on the two channels that actually came in. People complain about the food, but the day he was able to feed himself that wretched slop was one of the happiest of his life. Now, he looked forward to every meal, stuffing his gob with foul-smelling, tasteless slop, masticating until he had a good bolus before swallowing. Each day he felt stronger, but the novelas were starting to make just a bit too much sense. He really needed to get out of there.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

100 Words a Day 460

He stumbled out of the bar and staggered down the street. Meandering down the road, he attracted the attention of some of the more unsavory elements in the neighborhood. Two of them peeled off the dingy wall of the corner liquor store and began following the teeter tottering man. He led them down several side streets, each more empty than the last.

They gave each other matching shark-smiles and closed in. As they were preparing to brain the drunkard, he spun around. Neither of them had time to react as he stabbed them each several times with a short knife.

Monday, November 18, 2013

100 Words a Day 459

The intruders tromped down the tunnel, their heavy footfalls echoing through the underground. She watched them track their surface world dirt across the floor of the sacred catacombs, leaving a trail of blasphemous filth in their wake. The light of their torch made her squint in her hiding place.

Anger boiled in her as she watched the thieves approach the altar, their greed evident even in the way they walked. Thoroughly distracted, their covetous fingers caressing the sacred gemstones, they were oblivious as she crept closer, flitting from shadow to shadow as a dark smudge in the flickering torch light.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

100 Words a Day 458

His back ached from sitting in the same position for so long . His eyes hurt from staring at the candle. And his mind hurt from imagining the flame going out. He continued to do all three of those things though, Camaroth told him he had to.

He wanted what Camaroth had, power. Those villagers hated him for his appearance, but they feared what the man could do so they’d let him be.

Shifting slightly, the boy refocused his mind on the candle, willing the flame to go out. He didn’t understand why it was important, but he wanted power.

100 Words a Day 457

“I hate you!” he screamed, storming out and leaving a “You’re ruining my life,” in his wake.

She heard his door slam some moments later and flinched, as much from the pain of hearing those familiar words as from the sudden noise. It hurt that their relationship was deteriorating and she was beginning to understand how her mother must have felt.

She comforted herself with the knowledge that her decision was in his best interests, hopefully one day he would understand, and that she and her mother had reconciled eventually.

She let him be, knowing it was what he needed.

Friday, November 15, 2013

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100 Words a Day 456

Zel Moria watched the rickety craft descend at an alarming rate. It wasn’t unusual to see them crash; the technology was unreliable. The ship struck the earth and crumpled, sending wood and metal flying.

He shrugged his lopsided shoulders and ambled towards the wreck, maybe there would be some parts he could use. Digging through the remains of the ship, Zel Moria found broken bits of machine, splinted boards, frayed rope, and body parts. Most of them were too smashed to be of any use, even the smaller organs. He was about to give up when he heard a moan.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

100 Words a Day 455

A chorus of demonic howls shattered the silence, sending echoes of terror through the village, like shards of broken glass hitting the cold ground. In their fragile huts, the inhabitants held each other close and pictured the beasts’ advance. The muscular, purple-fleshed monsters ran on all fours, their three-toed feet rending chunks out of the frozen earth. Another round of shrieks rent the air, let loose from the toothy maws, dripping with spittle, that occupied much of the space on the fiends’ face below their large, looming eyes. They closed on the village, eager to feast on the souls within.

100 Words a Day 454

He sat in the waiting room. His twitching foot created a regular rattle as his laces banged against his old, black shoes. The only other indication of his nervousness was how hard he gripped the armrest. Even that was subtle and anyone looking at him would have thought him bored. His breath was related and his heart rate was low, but he could feel it pound with worry. She had been in with the doctor for a while. There was nothing he could do, and he accepted that, but it did not stop him from wishing fervently that he could.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

100 Words a Day 453

“Praise the Sun!” the lizardman priest said, raising his arms to welcome the dawn.

The adventurers looked down from their cage, wondering if the monstrous humanoids would eat them raw or cook them first.

Adulations complete, the priest turned and addressed the guards. “Bring the humans down.”

The guards ascended, their scaly feet making the structure shake with every heavy step. They opened the door and gestured. The adventurers filed out, their trepidation evident on their faces.

When they reached the bottom, the priest turned to the assembled congregation of lizardmen. They stood as one and stalked towards the adventurers.

Monday, November 11, 2013

100 Words a Day 452

Clicker placed his pack on the ground and rubbed his hands together.

“Let’s see here,” he said, running his sensitive hands over the ancient door. He did this for several moments while his companions watched in silence. They were used to this scene, Clicker lost in examination of some ancient mechanical device and oblivious to the world around him.

After several moments, Clicker returned to his pack and removed several small cases of tools. Carefully opening them, he removed several strange apparatuses from each and returned to the door. He prodded points, seemingly at random, on the heavy, stone barrier.

100 Words a Day 451

The snow was coming down hard. Last night’s blizzard had slackened somewhat, but the flakes were coming down fast and furious.

Chip had his nose glued to the window. His breathe left the cold glass foggy. Finally, he tore his gaze away from the white blanket forming on the ground and rushed back to his room. He pulled on his snow gear and grabbed his sled from the front closet.

Once outside, he ran towards The Hill as fast as his short legs would carry him. When he got there, he saw Ross was already careening down the steep slope.

100 Words a Day 450

“I just don’t get it. Why is she mad? I sent her a text explaining everything.”

Brad showed Jeff his phone.

Jeff read the message, his brow furrowing as he slogged through the poorly worded text.

“Dude,” Jeff said. “I don’t get how you don’t get why she’s mad. Look at this!”

Jeff and Brad went back and forth for several minutes while Jeff tried to figure out what Brad was trying to say. Eventually everything was made clear.

“See dude, it makes perfect sense.”

“No way man, if it only makes sense to you, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Sunday, November 10, 2013

100 Words a Day 449

His leather jacket fit snug and wearing it was like walking with an old friend. He received several compliments as he traversed the unfamiliar landscape of the posh neighborhood. It grated on him that those same types of people would have said he looked like a thug a few years ago. A woman with a black, leather bag decorated with studs asked him if he had gotten the jacket at Sam Gutoski.

“No, I didn’t get this fucking jacket at some chain boutique bullshit. I got it at a motherfucking garage sale and put the motherfucking spikes on it myself.”

100 Words a Day 448

They had finished packing their camp and were preparing to make the blood sacrifice. The dogmen gathered round the small alter, kneeling in a semicircle, and the shaman was preparing to speaking.

Suddenly, the shaft of an arrow protruded from his chest. The pack turned as one, seeing the human warband, their metal armor shinning in the sun, descending upon them. The children fled away from the marauders, screaming. The older members of the tribe followed while the warriors formed up and prepared to face the raiders. There were a few steel weapons among them, the rest readied crude spears.

100 Words a Day 447

She practically stumbled out of the building, exhausted from a long day of classes. She wanted nothing more than to rush home and have some wine. Then she saw him walking down the street in the opposite direction.

He wore black jeans and a black t-shirt bearing an image she didn’t recognize, but it looked pretty nerdy, and she liked that. She could tell by his strong gait that he worked out, probably a lot, and she definitely wanted to see what he looked like. But the thing that made her want to talk to him the most, his Mohawk.

100 Words a Day 446

He strolled down the alley, chest puffed up and sure of his safety. He was quite surprised when he found himself on the floor, leg throbbing in agony. It was several moments before he was able to collect himself enough to raise his arms to ward off the blows raining down on him.

The beating stopped and he cringed on the ground, moaning softly.

“Frank, can you hear me?”

Frank didn’t respond at first. After a few more whacks from the bat, he nodded weakly.

“I don’t want to ever hear about you bullying Amanda at school again, got it?”

100 Words a Day 445

He had pointed ears and angular features typical of elves, with brown hair that he wore swept back. He strode down the one road running through the town, head held high and turning back and forth. His robe swayed aggressively as he walked. It was black with red trim and was decorated with strange symbols picked out in gold thread. He entered the inn, shoving the door open so that it banged against the wall and scanned the interior of the main room, a hint of a sneer on his face.

A man in the back started walking towards him.

Monday, November 4, 2013

100 Words a Day 444

My heart was pounding. I sat up. I looked around. I was back in my room, the familiar shapes outlined by the soft nightlight. Sighing, I lay back in my bed and pulled the covers up to my chin. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I felt a slight movement at the foot of the bed. My eyes shot open, but it was just Fireball, my cat.

“Hey Fireball,” I said. He sauntered over to me.

He looked me square in the eye, with an unnatural intelligence and said, “do you think this is a motherfucking game?”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

100 Words a Day 443

I emerged from the dark tunnel, the lands of the Soot-men far behind me, and found myself on the under-surface. It was rocky and barren. I saw neither plants nor animals. Accustomed as I was to the over-surface, the lack of other visible life was disconcerting. It was not nearly as disconcerting though, as looking “up” and seeing the bottoms of the other floating continents.

I continued to crane my neck, fascinated by this new perspective. I recognized a few of the under-surfaces of other continents, but not all of them. I was also able to see the iron world-core.

100 Words a Day 442

In contrast to his master’s library, which occupied a small, cluttered corner of his hut, the Eastwind Mage’s library was massive, well-organized, and occupied an entire building on the small estate of the powerful wizard. Calidos wandered among the ordered shelves. There were a few other apprentices there, on ladders dusting shelves. They looked down at him with scorn. No doubt news of his arrival and origin had spread quickly through the small compound. He passed them without looking up, feeling their stares on his back as he slunk down the silent hall to the door. He eased it open.

100 Words a Day 441

“Johnson, we’re making layoffs and we need a way to soften the blow.”

“Well, we could feed them pizza.”

“What? But that costs money, and it would have to come out of my lunchtime hot stone massage budget.”

“Well, yes sir, but you can make that back up with the increased productivity from feeding them. They’ll be so happy with the pizza that they won’t care about the people we fire.”

He considered it a moment.

“That’s a great idea Johnson. I’ll have my secretary write up the email. That way all those drones will know who their benefactor is.”

100 Words a Day 440

“Man” John began. “Work was fucking horrible today.” The damn A/C went out so it was 82 degrees all day, and it’s thirty out!”

“That’s rough, dude” Jeremy said.

John took a swig of his beer, finishing it off. “Yeah, and the damn project mangers keep changing the damn project requirements.”

“That could be the clients.”

“Well fuck them then too!”

Jeremy cracked open another beer and handed it to John. John continued. “The damn chair is uncomfortable and is ruining my posture and my boss is an idiot. What a fucking tool.”

“Well, at least no one got stabbed.”

100 Words a Day 439

“Well, I think that’s about everything,” he said, standing up. I stood as well, smoothing my new suit unconsciously as I did so.

He gave me a fairly bland smile. “We’ll be in touch if we decide to move forward Mr. Skaggs. If you think of any other questions, shoot me an email.” He held out a card.

I reached out and accepted the proffered card. As I was putting it away, I noticed the edging. Smiling, I extended my hand, thumb and forefinger held far apart. He lit up and met my hand in kind.

“Can you start Monday?”

100 Words a Day 438

Night watch was lonely and boring. Seth liked it though. Nothing ever happened and the only sound was his own footfalls. They echoed through the large factory, like the memory of the noise the machines made during the day.

It was always a little colder in the building, which made him feel alive. When he inhaled, the chilly air made his nose tingle and sent sparks down into his lungs.

He let the feeling go when he realized his feet had taken him to his favorite part of the watch. He was in the gallery that encircled the shop floor.

100 Words a Day 437

Adam was surprised by the dark dwarf’s appearance. He was squat and wide with large eyes, as expected, but its skin was the palest he had ever seen. His outfit was made of heavy cloth, leaving only his face and hands bare. The dwarf watched the goblins unloading his wagon with disdain.

The wagon was hitched to beast that Adam didn’t recognize; no doubt it was native to the subterranean lands the dwarf called home. It had a knobby hide that reminded Adam of stone. Its large eyes were covered by a black, leather hood that matched its strange harness.