Tuesday, February 20, 2018

100 Words a Day 1126

“This coffee’s cold.”

“You should be happy we have coffee at all.”

“Aw, that’s the same sorta nonsense those people goin’ on about bein’ happy to have a job are makin’.”


“Nobody should be grateful to have a job. That’s just nonsense the bosses feed you to keep you from actin’ up.”

“Keep it down, man. Do you want somebody to hear?”

“What if they do? Are they going put me up against a wall? No, they’re gonna do nothing. Maybe fire me.”

“Fine, then shut up because I don’t want someone thinking I’m the one sprouting your bullshit.”

Monday, February 19, 2018

100 Words a Day 1125

“This rain is horrible.”

“Good thing we beat the army though. They’ll churn the roads till they’re impassible.”

“If we hadn’t beaten the army, we’d be strung up on hooks like a couple of stuck pigs.”

“You’re right there.”

“We’ll have to huff it through the night as is. And a damn cold one it’ll be.”

“It’s just a little rain.”

“Sure, sure. You’ve had ten times worse when you were a boy and I’m just some soft city folk.”

“Both of those are true, yes.”

“I’m not sure what’s worse: being on the run or being stuck with you.”

Sunday, February 18, 2018

100 Words a Day 1124

The unfamiliar, upon seeing the opposing armies, would wonder what noble’s son was being entrusted to lead such a large assemblage of men. His armor was black with gold whorls and edging. When he removed his helmet, the face revealed was angelic. His skin was pale and without blemish. His eyes were piercing blue. With one shake of his head, his pressed-down locks, golden in color, sprang back to their habitual curls. He smiled at the men around him. They puffed out their chests as his infectious confidence washed over them. He re-donned his helmet, raised his sword, and charged.

Friday, February 16, 2018

100 Words a Day 1123

They were late, again. I shivered outside, wondering when someone would arrive to open the door.

How did I end up here?

Reviewing the events of my life, I found no singular moment that had lead me to my current state. They say the way to improve something is through the elimination of small inefficiencies. My life seemed to have involved the accumulation of said inefficiencies.

Those readers who are more self-righteous are not doubt thinking something about working your way up a ladder of some kind. For that to work, the first rung has to still be within reach.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

100 Words a Day 1122

The first thing one notices upon entering The Resplendent Vision, the most well-known opium den in the city of Coramor is the dreamy smoke that hangs heavy in the air, exhaled by the multitude of reclining bodies. It surrounds the habitual user, the addict, like a blanket, warmed by fire and ready to banish the bone-chill of a cold evening. To the staff, it was like a tapestry, a feature of the room, but unnoticed unless someone drew attention to it. To everyone else, it was like the gases that sometimes escaped the mine near the city, noxious and vertigo-inducing.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

100 Words a Day 1121

The highlight of the children’s week was the box. When their father brought it inside, they crowded around him. He often tripped over the skinny, eager gaggle as they fought to be the first to see what the truck gave them that week.

Their father set the box on the table and used an old kitchen knife to cut the tape. The children fell silent.

The box popped open and the father bent the flaps back. The first thing he removed was a can of peaches. The children chittered to each other; they hadn’t had anything sweet in several weeks.

Monday, February 12, 2018

100 Words a Day 1120

I didn’t recognize the thing that emerged from the cave. It stood on muscular hind legs and was covered in hair ranging in color from slate gray to jet black. It had a barrel chest that thrust forward, like a soldier’s. Long arms extended from large shoulders and ended in meaty hands. It wore a leather breastplate and battle-skirt decorated with intricate whorls done in bright red stitching. The enormous nostrils on its face flared and it peered into the undergrowth surrounding the cave. My heart surged when its dark eyes, full of low cunning, roved over my hiding place.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

100 Words a Day 1119

“At best, man is an ill-prepared, unwelcome visitor to the ocean’s hidden depths.”

It wasn’t until he had descended deep enough such that his world was a solid blue color, impenetrable as the night, that he finally understood his teacher’s words. When he looked ahead, he worried about what was below. When he looked down, he wondered what lurked behind him.

The fish he encountered swam away in irritation. In their eyes, he was a strange beast, best to be avoided in hopes it would leave. Other, hidden things also marked his slow progress, tailing him lazily through the water.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

100 Words a Day 1118

The powdered design flared up, white hot for a moment, when Huragard slammed his hammer down on the shield with a holy shout. It cooled to a smoldering orange. The lines on the steel were straight and even in color.

“This will fetch a good price,” Huragard declared, barrel chest swelling with pride. Truly, the gods continued to smile on him. The high priest of Ashome had even installed one of his hammers in the temple to Fire to Steel.

Ulgar examined the shield with his merchant’s eye. “It might be hard to sell. I’ll have to find a nobleman.”

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

100 Words a Day 1117

“I’ve been told you sell souls.”

“That I do,” the old woman replied. “What kind do you want?”

She leaned forward and grinned at me, eager eyes wide. It made me uneasy.

“A boy like you probably wants the soul of a nice girl.”

She looked me up and down. “Or a naughty girl.”

I swallowed. “Uh, no. Just the cheapest one will be fine.”

Her smile fell to a frown.

“Get yourself in debt, did you?”

I blushed.

“Don’t worry, boy. Happens all the time.” She waved her hand dismissively and started puttering towards the back of her shop.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

100 Words a Day 1116

“You’ve still got that old cat?” Greg asked.

“Of course,” Steve replied, picking up the cat in question and cradling him in his arms. It rumbled when Steve picked him up, but deigned to be held.

The cat wasn’t quite a bag of bones, but it moving in that direction. Its fur was thinning in places. Frostbite and fights had taken bits of its ears over the years. After Steve put him down, the cat limped, its back leg was arthritic, over to its spot near the heater. He plopped down in his bed and started grooming his thin tail.

Monday, February 5, 2018

100 Words a Day 1115

Gaaz placed her hands on the cave floor, listening to the vibrations. She couldn’t summon the energies to meld with the stone. But she was confident the darkness, ever an ally to her people, would protect her. A heavy limp slowed her considerably and it wasn’t long before the echoes of pursuit reached her. She turned down a familiar side passage, carefully skirting a pit in the middle of path. On the other side, she drew a stone from her satchel. After whispering a few words to the pebble she threw it at the hole. Then she turned and fled.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

100 Words a Day 1114

“Do you think we should go look for them?”

“No, I think you should shut the damn door and stop letting the cold in. If they can’t travel further, they’ll make camp.”

Kaz shut the door reluctantly and returned to the fire.

“I’m worried about them,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time it was this cold and they’ve never been this late before.”

“I told you,” Leja snapped. “They’re fine. They probably just made camp for the night.”

Leja’s words failed to quell the worry bubbling in Kaz’s gut. He kept glancing at the door throughout the night.

Friday, February 2, 2018

100 Words a Day 1113

Kaikura held his hands over the corpse and whispered the prayer his father had taught him long ago. He had been attempting the ritual nightly for two weeks with no results. Zhoggal had either ignored his entreaties or his limited energies had been focused elsewhere. Kaikura had feared that tonight would be the same.

Then he felt a turgid energy begin to swirl through the small basement room. It stank. He smiled and kept praying. The corpse rose to its feet and waited. Kaikura finished his prayer and stood, elated. The animated body stared straight ahead, awaiting its first command.