Friday, July 31, 2015

100 Words a Day 670

The hamster cage sat on the dresser. The once clear plastic walls had developed a film, obscuring the view of the interior.

It was a fairly standard interior. There floor was covered with shavings, which were replaced every so often. And there was a wheel for the hamster to run in. No one really understood why hamsters like to run on wheels, but it seemed to be a pleasant enough experience.

There was also a nest of sorts, made of cotton, the hamster had built in what can only be described as a hamster sized building in one back corner.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

100 Words a Day 669

Jenna scanned the common room, which was crisscrossed with trails of ash. Several of the chairs and all of the tables were also covered by a dusting of the grey matter.

“I know when the duergar caravans have arrived, because they leave a trail of soot all through the common room. And it’s my job to clean it! I wish the filthy bastards would stay home.”

“Shh,” Glinda said, looking around. “You know we depend on their business during trade season. We can charge thrice what we charge during the off season.”

“I guess. I still despise them,” Jenna said.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

100 Words a Day 668

“Grampa is going hunting,” she told her son, who saw tears in his mother’s eyes, but didn’t understand their meaning.

Meanwhile, the old man finished donning his boots and picked up his bow. He saw the pain in his daughter’s eyes. He hesitated a moment, but looked at his too-skinny grandson and knew, one way or another, they needed enough food to make it through the winter.

“Give Grampa a hug.”

Not quite understanding the significance of the moment, but eager to please his mother, the boy threw his arms around his grandfather, who had knelt down for the embrace.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

100 Words a Day 667

The material of the ship’s construction was alien to Tanis. It was neither wood, metal, stone, nor one of the magical materials he had encountered. It rested in one of the high docks of the port while its cargo was lowered through the bottom by an unseen crane.

He asked a passerby what race of beings owned the craft. The woman shook her head, saying that no one had ever seen the crew or the merchants of the strange ships. They communicated with the city’s traders via buzzing homunculi bearing messages in a strange, spidery version of the common script.

Monday, July 27, 2015

100 Words a Day 666

Joe had neither appetite nor hunger. Despite that, he forced another spoonful of food into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed, resisting the mounting urge to vomit.

When the bowl was empty, he put it aside and grabbed his knife and fork. Joe then proceeded to consume the next dish in what seemed like an endless parade of cutlery and fine china that was placed before him.

Through it all, in addition to having no desire or urge to eat, he never felt full, just vaguely rebuffed by the idea of eating. It didn’t matter though, he had to keep going.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

100 Words a Day 665

When he awoke from the operation, the first thing he noticed was the strong beating of his new heart, a sensation long absent from his chest. He sat up. He was in the same room where they had anesthetized him before the operation, except now there was a tray with food in the corner.

When he looked at it, two things happened. First, he felt his mouth water. Second, and this is when he saw the steak knife, his heart began to beat strong and fast. It was a curious sensation, accompanied by the desire to pick up the knife.

Friday, July 24, 2015

100 Words a Day 664

I don’t remember the exact words of the argument, or even what prompted it, but what sticks in my mind to this day is the sound of the door slamming. It sticks in my mind because that was the moment I realized that not only had I said things I shouldn’t have said, but there was no way to unsay them.

Now I don’t worry constantly the way I did at first. I don’t kick myself for it either. I’m sad now when I think about it. Sad that now that each day another piece of my life goes missing.

100 Words a Day 663

I smiled to myself as “goddamnit” rang out from the living room, followed by a thud that I assumed was a controller hitting the floor.

“Still can’t beat him?” I called out, already knowing the answer.

“What the fuck do you think?”

“You could always look up a strategy online. I won’t tell anyone.”

“Screw you!”

I continued to put the dishes away, chuckling.

The sounds of video games resumed, unaccompanied by the previous sounds of anguish. I concluded Biff was pretty pissed off.

After careful consideration, I decided to join him in the living room and provide unsolicited advice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

100 Words a Day 662

My boss was showing me his house when I first saw it, prominently displayed in the living room. I could see my warped reflection in the gilded frame, which was studded with a variety of gems that sparkled under the light from the chandelier.

“Why would you buy a golden treadmill?” I asked him.

“To run on.”

“Isn’t it expensive to maintain? More than a regular treadmill?”

“Yes, but it’s gold. Isn’t that great?”

I didn’t really thinks so. Not wanting to argue, I nodded my assent. I imagined he could have retired on the money it was costing him.

Monday, July 20, 2015

100 Words a Day 661

Rebecca’s hand slid smoothly across her brow, saturated as it was by sweat.

I want a popsicle; she thought.

Followed by: Too hot for moving.

She was trying to move as little as possible when the sound of a familiar bell drifted through the apartment window, popsicle guy!

She bolted upright, leaving behind a damp shadow on her bed, and donned her sandals.

Protected from the hot pavement, she flew down the stairs and raced to the sidewalk.

The man pushing the cart was short with suntanned skin.

Rebecca hurried over to him, and realized she had forgotten her wallet.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

100 Words a Day 660

The bag may have been described as purple or lavender at one point. Now it was best described as faded. People had said he should get a new bag. It would look nicer; he could get one with pockets for sweaty clothes, and so forth.

But replacing a gym bag out of something other than necessity would have the same effect as the cutting of Samson’s hair. He would lose his power. More than that, he would lose his identity.

A new bag makes you the same as everybody else who has a new bag. And who wants that shit?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

100 Words a Day 659

It was hot. Hot enough that anyone with an air conditioner was turning it on, no matter how cheap. My cats, who only tolerated each other at the best of times, had taken up point together as close to the a/c as they could get without the fan keeping them awake.

They were stretched to the limit, limbs akimbo, eyes half-closed. Except for the steady rise and fall of their chests, they were still; not even their tails were moving. A small bird landed on the exterior portion of my window unit. Despite its bright chirps, it elicited no response.

Friday, July 17, 2015

100 Words a Day 658

“Thing is,” he grunted, “When you strangle someone to death, it doesn’t stop after they faint. They are still alive at that point. You have to keep on going, otherwise they will come to, and where’s the fun in that?”

He paused thoughtfully before musing, “I guess you could strangle them again at that point. But I’m usually ready for a shower by the time they go down, so I like to finish things up and get home.

“Actually, I prefer to do something like step on their neck at that point. That tends to help move them right along.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

100 Words a Day 657

She was having more trouble remembering who she was. Her skin had become the color of deep shadow. The treatment prescribed to her had helped slow the process, but no one had found a way to prevent or reverse it. Many of her people’s greatest minds had hunched over alchemical tables or great tomes in an effort to stop their inevitable transformation. She often found herself traveling the streets at night and had to be careful not to let her mind wander, lest she idly walk through shadows before realizing she was in an unfamiliar part of the sprawling city.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

100 Words a Day 656

When struck, the large, blackened bell sent out a long, low tone that resonated throughout the cavern city. The streets quickly filled with misshapen, diminutive beings moving between a hobble and a lope to their assigned job somewhere in the ashen city.

Shortly after, a cacophony of sound began to echo through the tunnels as forges were stoked, hammers struck steel, and the machines of industry creaked as they shook themselves awake.

Eventually there was a new flood of humanoids in the streets: the squat, grey masters of the goblins who had been previously summoned to work by the bell.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

100 Words a Day 655

“Did you see that article I posted about the knife attack?”

“The one where that guy died trying to protect the other guy from being stabbed?”

“Yeah. That guy was crazy to get involved.”

“No way, that’s like the bravest thing you can do, try and help another person like that.”

“Uh, more like most suicidal. Maybe if the guy hadn’t had a knife it would’ve been okay.

“Whatever, that’s so beta of you. That guy was brave, and a hero.”

“He was friggin crazy.”

“You guys can debate brave or foolish all you want. Either way, he’s still dead.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

100 Words a Day 654

It itched: The stitching that connected the purple arm, bulbous with muscle, to his shoulder, where his own arm had recently been. He couldn’t remember the accident, just waking upon the table and realizing that his arm had been replaced with the limb of some infernal beast. After checking that the old man wasn’t watching, he gave his arm a quick scratch. His nails were cool water down a parched throat; the relief was temporary. The knitting tissues continued to writhe and wiggle under his two-toned skin, a dark, bloody brown where his own flesh met that of the creature’s.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

100 Words a Day 653

Hints of the night came back to me, mostly flashes of glasses of diverse shape being brought towards my mouth. This sent my stomach churning and I rolled towards the bucket I, somehow, remembered was at my bedside. The half a turn it required sent my head spinning and the bucket briefly wavered before my watering eyes. My insides continued to gurgle, but nothing came up. I couldn’t decide if I was happy to be spared the agony of vomiting or disappointed to be denied the relief of having vomited. Either way, I resolved never to drink that much again.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

100 Words a Day 652

He emerged from the tangled, thorny woods into a small clearing, the only occupant of which was a dilapidated wooden house. It loomed defiant and evil against the encroaching woods, as though rebuking them through its own malignance. The trees, gnarled and seeming to be possessed of a dark sentience, leaned away from the clearing, as though straining to escape some vile thing within.

Unwilling to brave the dark woods again, he cautiously approached the ruined house. The ground was spongy, though it had not rained in days, and he had to fight the sucking mud for each tentative step.

100 Words a Day 651

There were body parts everywhere. The gaps in the windows had let the snow in; there were several piles scattered haphazardly about, hiding pieces of the gruesome scene. Where the limbs and trunks remained uncovered, it could be seen that the cold had left them remarkably well preserved, except for a blue tint and an accumulation of frost. Blood spatters abounded, staining the walls and frozen in streaks where it had started to run down the dirty glass panes. No heads were in evidence. Those would be discovered later, in one of the outbuildings, frozen solid and missing their eyes.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

100 Words a Day 650

The bottle was cylindrical, as bottles often are, made of clear plastic with a perforated tube in the middle for adding fruit to flavor the water. Upon discovery, there were several slices of lemon soaking away. The lid was on tight and gave with a slight sucking sound when it finally opened. The noise was followed by the aroma of fresh lemons and cool water, as that was what was in the bottle. After a few moments, there was something else, a smell reminiscent of an old shoe. Apparently, the bottle needed to be cleaned with a bit more thoroughness.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

100 Words a Day 649

In a high fantasy landscape populated by gritty copycats and Tolkienian homages, Void is a vigorous departure from the norm. After becoming gravely injured while fleeing his village, young Kain is nursed back to health by Melchior, a strange wizard residing in the wilderness. When Melchior’s hermitage is destroyed, Kain embarks on an epic, world-spanning journey taking him from deep into the bowels of the floating continents, where reside pacifist goblins and their dwarven overloads, to the cloak and dagger cities of the elves, who battle a strange curse slowly turning them to cunning, malicious shades bent on universal destruction.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

100 Words a Day 648

“Will there be alcohol?” John asked.

“Of course, and plenty of weed,” Kevin replied.

John clenched his fist and shook it slightly with equal parts approval and excitement.

“How’re you getting it past security?”

“Relax John. So many people are going in and out of there, they don’t have time to check everybody. People just put it in the trunk of their car under some blankets.”

“Really? I’d have thought they’d be more strict about it.”

“How can they? If they unpacked every car, the line would never move. As long as nothing gets out of control, they don’t care.”

Monday, July 6, 2015

100 Words a Day 647

The lights died with a silent sputter. The rain continued to pound on the roof and windows, but it was no longer accompanied by the sound of the radio or the hum of the refrigerator. I fumbled in the dark for a candle. When lit, it created a sphere of light beyond which indistinct shadows danced, out of time with the beating of the rain.

I drew a lukewarm glass from the kitchen faucet and grimaced as the tepid water ran across my tongue. It was barely thirst-quenching and left me unsatisfied. With a sigh I returned to my book.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

100 Words a Day 646

Office Sim! Is the latest Drudgery Series game. Help Jeff navigate the soul crushing world of office work. TPS reports need to be made, double checked, and submitted. After that, it’s off to the water cooler to engage in awkward small talk. Packing your own lunch helps reduce Jeff’s student debt, but lowers his morale. Watch out for Jeff at work functions with alcohol. Throwing them back can help earn networking points, but don’t let him get too sloshed, otherwise he might embarrass himself in front of his boss. If that happens too often, it’s off to the unemployment line.

Friday, July 3, 2015

100 Words a Day 645

The box was titled: After the Fall of Arthur. Intrigued, he flipped the box over and read the back:

“Mordred recuperates in his mother's castle. Sir Bedivere has fled with Excalibur. Lancelot and Guinevere lie openly together. The peace of Arthur’s reign has been shattered by his death and the land’s former heroes war over what remains.

In After the Fall of Arthur, you take on the role of a knight of the shattered Round Table, raising an army to reunite the now disparate lands. Will this usher in a new age of peace, or tyranny? Only you can decide!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

100 Words a Day 644

The silence was broken by a hollow rattle, an empty pop can hitting the floor. James imagined the heads of the unknown beings tracking the sound, just before he heard the thumping of their toeless feet on the tile floor.

Abandoning silence, he swore and fled the cafeteria, which opened into a many-doored corridor before terminating in reception, and briefly hoped his own footfalls would be masked by the nearing thuds of his pursuers.

He scrambled through the waiting area, careening off the front desk before finding himself before the front door, his way blocked by a freakish humanoid.