Sunday, August 23, 2015

100 Words a Day 689

Mastication punctuated by an occasional gulp or clink were the only sound that could be heard in the dining room. They stared at their food, acknowledging neither each other nor the quality of what they were eating. Their food slowly disappeared, exposing the azure fish that adorned their dinnerware. As the first one finished, they placed their utensils on their plate and continued to stare at the table. When they both had finished, they didn’t stand up.

They continued in silence for minutes before one flicked a soggy pea at the other. They looked at each other and smiled shyly. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

100 Words a Day 688

Joseph Kane stepped under the crime scene tape, nodded to the officer standing guard and entered the house. He saw three doors when he entered the front room. He paused, trying to determine which door to take. After a moment, he noticed his heart thundering in his chest and he knew the door on the right led to the kitchen, where the bodies had been found. He donned gloves and opened the door.

“Sir,” one of the techs said. “There are two bodies here,”

“And one upstairs,” Joseph said.

“Uh, yes.” The tech furrowed his brow. “How did you know?”

Thursday, August 20, 2015

100 Words a Day 687

The diving bubble settled onto the ocean floor, sinking slightly into the sand and sending up an obscuring cloud of silt. I turned the spot lights on and pointed them into the black depths, straining to see through the dust storm my landing had stirred up. The disturbed sand gradually settled, leaving me alone in the still, silent depths. I panned the lights until I saw what I was looking for, strange shapes sticking up out of the sand. I turned the key and the engine sputtered to life, filling the compartment with machine noise and the smell of diesel.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

100 Words a Day 686

I found myself under the Obsidian Arch in the midst of the Plains of Bone. The flatness of the land was broken only by jagged, jutting rocks that resembled the ribs of some large, forgotten beast. The ground was bare except for the rare, brown scrub brush, rooted stubbornly in the sandy soil. The origins of the arch were unknown. The shiny black surface was covered with runes, worn from years of standing against the relentless wind of the empty plain. Some of them I could barely make out. The rest were unreadable, and for that I was eternally glad.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

100 Words a Day 685

My palms were sweaty. My feet were sweaty. I was salivating. I could feel my heart racing. Third period would be over in a few minutes. That space between third and fourth period had me terrified. I had to ask Samantha out in those few minutes between classes. It was seconds, moments, really, as we normally just passed each other going in opposite directions.

The bell rang and I swallowed. I wiped my face; I could tell my cheeks were flushed. Then I stepped into the hall. I swayed a little as I walked down the hall, looking for her.

Monday, August 17, 2015

100 Words a Day 684

A cannonball burst through the weakened hull, sending shards of wood spinning through the dim space below deck. Men who had been facing the point of impact wailed and clutched their faces, their eyes ruined by the barrage of splinters caused by the exploding wall. The other men struck by the blast had the fortune to die immediately or receive injuries that could be solved by amputation. Though in the mean time they bled all over the floor, their blood mixing with the remains of the hull and other contents of the ship that had been disturbed during the battle.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

100 Words a Day 683

The duergar provided him with special glasses that allowed him to see in the pitch black caverns. They had strange lenses allowing him to see enough to navigate the tunnels. Their own eyes were adapted to life underground. They were large, to take advantage of any minimal light, and were able to see heat emanating in the environment.  It was unnerving the first time he saw them. It was easy to get lost in those dark orbs surrounded by a sliver of white. The duergar often took advantage of this in trade negotiations, staring down the person across the table.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

100 Words a Day 682

“The one true sword of the one true king!” he shouted, thrusting the sword above his head, where is sparkled in the sunlight. The army behind him began chanting, “True sword, true king,” and banging their weapons on their shields.

Across the field, the other general gave a snort and nodded to his standard bearer who hoisted his lord’s banner with a grunt. It was a king and queen standing in front of a castle.

“I rule from my seat at the table of power!” the general shouted. “And today I will take that sword back from you, knavish pretender!”

Thursday, August 13, 2015

100 Words a Day 681

The body was seated facing the window. Its blouse was sliced up the middle, revealing a mutilated chest and abdomen. Someone, presumably the killer, had opened the body neck to hips. Then they broke and spread the ribs, exposing the bloody mess that was the remains of the internal organs. The lungs had multiple, jagged punctures where whatever had been used to break the ribs had been thrust into the body. The other organs had slipped out and were sitting in a gloppy pile, mixing with other essential fluids that hadn’t yet seeped into the floor. The whole thing stank.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

100 Words a Day 680

Where the other goblins he had seen loped, this one strode. It stood tall and proud while those around it were bent and fearful. She wore a brown robe woven with symbols strange and mystic, tattered by obviously well cared for, and seemed to glide across the stone road like a bug across water. The crowd in the street made way, the goblins out of reverence and the duergar out of fear.

Though the squat, large-eyed race held the goblins in servitude, it didn’t protect them from unfortunate accidents should the due respect not be given to the strange earth-priests.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

100 Words a Day 679

“Be wary of any deal you make with these ashen traders,” his guide warned. “They consider pledges of that nature, no matter how small, sacrosanct. Many a traveler has met his end at the hands of a poorly worded commitment to the duergar.”

He nodded.

They stopped in front of a squat building of but a single story in height. It looked too small to house any more than a few people, let alone all the duergar traders in the city. His guide had previously mentioned however, that the building extended several levels underground. To make the residents more comfortable.

Monday, August 10, 2015

100 Words a Day 678

The air was warm and the sun was shining. Perfect weather had filled the park. A gaggle of young children had started a game of soccer at the base of the hill I was sitting on. Beyond their game was a group of girls sunbathing; some boys hovered nearby, tossing a football around and looking for an excuse to talk to them. A brother and sister strolled along the meandering path leading through the park, their old dog hobbling behind. It was panting and in pain, but happy to be out. An older couple sat on a bench, holding hands.

Friday, August 7, 2015

100 Words a Day 677

I was dozing when I heard a worrying creak. I looked over at the window in time to see my window unit slip out of place. The predictable crash was heavy and final. I stuck my head into the oppressive heat and looked down at my air conditioner. Broken pieces were scattered about and the housing was bent. Basically, it was unsalvageable. Next to the air conditioner was my neighbor. Oops.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

He gave me a dirty look and the finger before continuing on his way. I swore, sure he was going to tell the super.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

100 Words a Day 676

He peeked around the door frame. They were still following him. The men had stopped at the hallway intersection and were listening, trying to determine which way he had gone. He pulled his head back and looked around the room, assuming he had at least a few minutes before they started moving his way. As he searched for anything that might be useful, he could hear footsteps echoing down the corridor. It sounded like they were getting farther away.

There was a window that looked like it could be forced. He didn’t have a crowbar, so searched for a substitute.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

100 Words a Day 675

She stepped over the groaning man without giving him another thought. He lay on the ground clutching his arm as she examined her reflection in the glass of a store window before resuming walking. She checked her watch and started walking faster, the sounds of pain growing muted behind her. She felt a bit bad about breaking his wrist and his elbow; they probably wouldn’t heal quite right. But that’s what you get for trying to rob someone dressed to the nines on their way to a hot date.

She was already sitting down to dinner when the ambulance arrived.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

100 Words a Day 674

I hit the snooze button. When it went off again, I actually checked the time. No way I was making it to work on time, or at all really. I untangled myself from my blankets and found my phone. After firing a shaky email to my boss, I crawled back into bed and wrapped myself in the covers.

A moment later I realized I had no water. Silently kicking myself, I began to muster up the gumption to walk to the kitchen for something to drink. As I did so, I made a list of things to do while up.

Monday, August 3, 2015

100 Words a Day 673

He was heedless of the cuts on his palms as he scrambled through the darkness, trying to get away from whatever had tackled him.

Why the hell did I think taking a glass lamp was a good idea? He thought.

He felt something clamp down on his foot and pain shot through his leg. Apparently whatever attacked him had a mouth.

He cried out and tried to turn over while reaching for a dagger he kept in a thigh sheathe.

The beast was shaking his leg, making it difficult to grab the knife and the pain was making hazy.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

100 Words a Day 672

The setting sun cast long shadows across the floor of the crumbling temple. And they seemed to flit about. Undeterred, M’dir knelt before the decrepit altar and waited. As the sun began to dip below the horizon, a chorus of whispers rang out through the one room structure.

“I can give you what you want,” a voice whispered in his ear.

“How do you know what I want?”

The voice hissed an answer: “You want power. Yes? I can give this to you. Just give me what I ask for.”

“What do you want?”

“Such a small price to pay.”

Saturday, August 1, 2015

100 Words a Day 671

The gate leading underground was flanked by two squat towers manned by numerous duergar in heavy, steel armor. There was a symbol Rahad didn’t recognize painted on the chest plate. While traveling, his guide had mentioned that the symbols could be seen in the pitch black of the tunnels below by those possessing darkvision.

The duergar eyed Rahad and his guide as they approached and one came forward to meet them. He was darker in color than his fellows and carried an ax made of a metal containing whorls that seemed to swirl around the blade.

“State your business, uplander.”