Monday, April 30, 2018

100 Words a Day 1187

Even with the moisture mask and hydration suit, I was still parched.

I swallowed a thick glob of saliva and said, “I gotta have another sip.”

Ajax stopped and turned. He pulled his mask off.

“I could use a drink myself.”

The area around his eyes was sunburnt. My skin stung as I removed my own mask.

“You’re burned as shit,” Ajas said before taking a gulp of his water.

“You don’t look much better,” I said.

Thirst quenched, we re-donned our masks and resumed walking. It wasn’t long before we needed to drink again. I couldn’t believe the heat.

100 Words a Day 1186

The peacock walked out of the lurid dreamscape where I had found myself. It stood before me and spread its great tail feathers. Then it turned its head, to look at me with one of its black eyes. I examined the feathers. I was surprised to see that, as I moved my gaze from one side of its tail to the other, the “eyes” of the feathers followed me. I even saw one of them blink. I looked back at the peacock’s head. It was staring at me with its other eye. I tried to walk around it, but couldn’t

Thursday, April 26, 2018

100 Words a Day 1185

After hours of painful needling, the tattoo was complete. Ichita stayed on her stomach, despite the discomfort caused by the rough table. The tattoo artist put down her needles and picked up a small jar. She slathered on enough to cover Ichita’s back. She sighed as the cool unguent soothed the hot prickling left by the needles. She applied several other pastes to Ichita’s back and sent her home.

The next morning, Ichita returned to the old lady’s house where she removed the paste. The tattoo under the paste was vivid and bright. It looked like it was coming alive.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

100 Words a Day 1184

Sara alighted on the ground and resumed her human form.

“Did you see anything?” Hugora asked, staring into Sara’s green eyes with her own enormous brown ones.

“They’re gone.” Unlike most people, the giant eyes of the dvergr didn’t make her uncomfortable.

“So we can go in then?”

“Yes, and finally put an end to this.”

Hugora spit on the ground and picked up her two-handed axe. She turned to Arnold.

The gnome nodded and patted his small pack. The explosives were ready to go.

The trio looked around continuously as they approached the silent gate. It was slightly ajar.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

100 Words a Day 1183

“Sure would hate to have this happen on my honeymoon,” Bill said, binoculars trained on Greg Stone’s room.

“Really? You wouldn’t want to be murdered on your honeymoon?” Jeff replied, screwing the next piece of his rifle on.

“Yeah, I mean. You’re on your honeymoon and then, BLAMO! You’re dead.”

“Maybe they should’ve thought of that before running off with all those drugs.”

Bill lowered the binoculars. “I’m not saying I don’t get it. I’m just saying I’d hate to get shot on my honeymoon.”

Jeff shrugged.

“What about the wife? Might be awkward to explain to her new in-laws.”

Monday, April 23, 2018

100 Words a Day 1182

There was another officer heaving in the corner where the hallway turned. He ignored the man as he passed. Nobody wanted to be recognized in that state. The stench hung heavy in the air after he passed though the next set of double doors. He tried breathing through his mouth; it helped.

There was an officer outside the door where it all had happened. He nodded at Jason and open the door for him. The miasma that invaded Jason’s nostrils made him stumble. His eyes watered and his stomach started to turn over. He just made it to the bathroom.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

100 Words a Day 1181

“Ugh, what’s that smell?” John wrinkled his nose.

“The man who arrived last night. Keeps calling himself a paladin of Neros.” Gregory responded.

“Who the hell is Neros?”

Gregory shrugged. “Some god.”

“Tsk. What sort of god wants followers who smell like that?”

“I heard it’s some sort of god of the dead.”

“The gods don’t exist. And even if they had existed, they all died in The War That Split the Land.”

“How can you believe in that if you don’t believe in any gods?”

“I don’t. I’m just saying that if there had been any gods, they’re dead.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

100 Words a Day 1180

I reached over and fumbled for the sleep button. I didn’t want to get up. My limbs were heavy. Was I getting sick? I hoped not; it was only Tuesday.

When my alarm went off again, it made my face and chest ache. I groaned and pushed the covers away. I stumbled out of bed, groping for the light switch. The light stabbed my eyes.

I turned away and looked out the window. Snow had accumulated on the sill last night, and it was still coming down. The urge to return to bed redoubled. That’s why I was so tired.

Friday, April 20, 2018

100 Words a Day 1179

Morg awoke with a start. It was pitch black; his fire had gone out. His heart started pounding; he would freeze if he didn’t get it started again. The mountains air was frigid. He felt around; he could feel the warm ground where his fire had gone with his left hand, the demon hand. He reached for the spot with his right hand, drawing it back in pain when he touched the hot remnants of the fire. He stopped and blew on his hand. As he was shaking the stinging pain away he realized that he wasn’t cold at all.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

100 Words a Day 1178

“What’s on that island, Grandpa?” Asmund asked, pointing to a small piece of land they could barely see.

“The MacNivens live there.”

“Who’s that?”

“Hasn’t your mother told you about them?”

“No, Grandpa.”

The old man grumbled. “They come in the night for children.”

Asmund’s eyes widened. “How do they get here? There’s no rainbow bridge.”

“Their god helps them cross, little Asmund. In exchange for the hearts and livers of the little boys and girls they bring back with them. The rest of the body the MacNivens keep and eat.”

Asmund’s eyes got even wider. “Don’t they have cows?”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

100 Words a Day 1177

Sarah stepped out onto the terrace and looked down onto the tiers of fields. Her family had owned them for as long as anyone could remember. They said they were a gift from the gods. Sarah’s family was already at work. They marched mechanically in a row, cutting the tall grain with ancient scythes.

Sarah could pick out each of her relatively by their shape and gait. At the far end was her great, great, great grandfather Baram. His corpse was the cleanest. The bones had been picked clean long ago. Sarah smiled. She loved having her relatives so close.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

100 Words a Day 1176

“Nurse,” I said, gesturing weakly that she should come closer.

Her eyes twinkled. She sauntered towards me, smiling. When she was beside my bed, she looked at the machine I was attached to, adjusting a few knobs.

“What can I do for you Mr. Drayton?” she asked, leaning close to me.

“I, I need to confess something.”

“Oh?” her eyes lit up.

“Yes. I killed people when I was younger. And I never got caught.”

The nurses’ smile grew even wider.


Before I could react she stood up and turned a dial. My vision blurred and my heart raced.

Monday, April 16, 2018

100 Words a Day 1175

When Marcus awoke, he found himself in an unfamiliar forest. In place of his soft mattress was an enormous bed vegetation full of aromatic and multi-colored flowers. Weird tress stood in place of his bedroom walls. He was more confused than worried.

He stood and stretched, not remembering when he had last felt so refreshed. A single path led away from the clearing. Unsure what else to do, he started walking down the path.

Strange birdcalls followed him. He wasn’t walking long before he found another clearing. There was a giant tree in the middle, full of strange, strange birds.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

100 Words a Day 1174

The first thing to emerge from the spacecraft was either a robot or a being wearing some sort of suit. Soldiers dressed in their own heavy environmental gear clomped across the grass, laden with instruments ranging from Giger counters to thermometers. The thing waited patiently as the men inspected it. Once they had finished, sounds began to issue from what looked like a mouth.

“Greetings, Earthlings.”

Everyone watching looked at the person next to them. Did it really just say that?

After a brief conversation, the door to the spacecraft opened again. A pair of pseudopods emerged and looked about.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

100 Words a Day 1173

My hand shook as I picked up the coupe. A good sign. I couldn’t remember what number drink it was. Also a good sign. I closed my eyes and tipped my head back. The cold, sugary, boozy, magical liquid ran crackling over my tongue and cascaded down my throat. I felt it tingle all the way down before it settled in my stomach and another wave of warmth flowed out to the tips of my fingers and toes. My face relaxed and I smiled. I put the fragile glass back down on the marble bar.

“Ahhhh,” I sighed with satisfaction.

Friday, April 13, 2018

100 Words a Day 1172

“Why is all our stuff outside, Mommy?”

Mommy didn’t answer me; she just stood there and cried. There was a piece of paper on the door. Mommy stuck her key in the door, but it didn’t work.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” I didn’t understand.

Some of our neighbors poked their heads into the hall to see what was going on.

“Hey! That’s mine!” One of them was walking away with my favorite blanket.

Mommy continued sobbing, and she fell to her knees and leaned against the wall. A policeman appeared at the top of the stairs and started walked towards us.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

100 Words a Day 1171

Ibefa stumbled through the dark street. The many mugs of beer he’d consumed made it hard to find his way. He was squinting up at the dim buildings, trying to figure out where he was that he didn’t notice the three rough men emerging from the deep shadows. He found himself on the ground, the back of his head aching. At first he thought it was the next morning. Then he felt the plunge of the first knife. He managed one cry of pain before iron hands clamped over his mouth. A baker found Ibefa’s body early the next morning.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

100 Words a Day 1170

Every full moon the residents of Marsh Edge lock and barred their doors. They shuttered and braced their windows. Children huddled under their blankets while fathers stalked back and forth, holding knives, clubs, or whatever other weapons they had at hand.

Well before the moon reached its zenith the wailing would begin, far off in the soggy marsh. It would wend along the crude trails to the village. It would go up and down, calling to the terrified residents in their crude dwellings. Sometimes one would answer. And the next day, their home would be empty of all its inhabitants.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

100 Words a Day 1169

Those gods that had been able to overcome their celestial lethargy manifested in the Temple of the Pantheon. The great fire was down to embers and the stone of the building was cracked and dirty. The seats were less than half-filled. Those in attendance were wane and weak, sagging in their stone chairs. They would be unable to grant the wishes of their supplicants for some time. The largest chair was empty except for a shadow, all that was left of their father, though his influence was still felt throughout the world, especially among the elves who bear his curse.

Monday, April 9, 2018

100 Words a Day 1168

The screams were all Otto heard as he sprinted down the corridor. His hear was racing by the time he reached the lab door. The clear door revealed Francisco struggling with the alien lifeform. Another scientist was unmoving on the floor. Francisco aimed a small torch at the thing, but it dodged adroitly.  Then it was on his face. Unable to scream, he gurgled.

“We’ve got to help them!” Peter cried, trying the door.

“No!” Otto pulled him away.

Before Peter could stop him, Otto opened another panel and slammed a button, ejecting the lab into space, away from earth.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

100 Words a Day 1167

She huddled under the bed. They were stomping and growling. She hadn’t made it to the litterbox. She had tried, but she was sick and her legs hurt. She had tried to tell them, but they never understood. They’d gotten scarier and scarier, and she spent more and more time under the couch; she was too scared to stay under the bed usually. Once they had stopped growling, she cautiously emerged from her hiding place and tried to leap onto the bed. She managed to get her front paws on top of the mattress, but fell back to the floor.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

100 Words a Day 1166

Sandra stood on the balcony and sighed, watching the street below. Her father sat and watched the sunset, taking lazy pulls on a long cigar. Her mother sat beside him, fanning herself and watching Sandra.

The heat of the day lingered, slowly released from where it had accumulated in the stone and metal parts of the city. Sandra couldn’t see it from where she stood, but sweat bled through the ratty shirts worn by the laborers returning home after their day’s work. The only thing the bled through her finely-tailored dress was boredom.

“Sandra, let’s go inside,” her mother said.

Friday, April 6, 2018

100 Words a Day 1165

Okuro grimaced. Even with his cane bearing most of the weight meant for his leg, he felt a stab of pain each time he put his right foot down. Everyone walking the same direction passed him as he hobbled down the street. The few block walk took him many times what it would’ve taken him when he had lived on the street as a young man.

Despite the pain, Okuro continued. He slipped his free hand into his jacket, reassured by the presence of his old knife.  He looked over his shoulder at the pair of young men following him.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

100 Words a Day 1164

Eljena closed her eyes and pictured a whippoorwill. She imagined its small beak and large eyes. And the earthy colors of its feathers. The familiar sensation of transformation emanated out from her center and flowed down her limbs into the tips of her digits and the top of her head.

When she opened her eyes, her vision had changed. And she was much closer to the ground, standing among tall stands of green grass. She launched herself into the air and alighted on a branch.

The guards chasing her charged around the corner. Their anticipatory grins turned to open-mouthed confusion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

100 Words a Day 163

Glorian focused his will and sent lightning streaking from his fingertips. It struck two of the bandits in their chests, hurtling them backwards. They slammed into the hard ground while the sound of the thunder still roared through the air. The other brigands hesitated. They had never seen an elf before, and had thought a lone traveler an easy mark. The unmoving bodies of their companions caused them to reassess the situation.

Glorian sent a jet of flame towards another bandit. It enveloped the poor man, sending him screaming into the woods. That was too much for the remaining men.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

100 Words a Day 1162

Illian returned to his wagon and stripped off his costume. He dipped it in the small bucket and hung it up to dry. As he did so, he noticed the spot on his hand. The makeup had rubbed off. He covered the midnight blotch with his other hand and looked hurriedly around. He was alone in his wagon.

There was a knock on the door.

“Just a second!” He rushed over to his chest and threw the lid back. He snatched the small jar of paste and slathered it all over the spot. He grew frantic when the knock repeated.

Monday, April 2, 2018

100 Words a Day 1161

The heads of the merchant families met in the temple. It was also the largest facility for forging the steel goods they relied on for trade. They had to shout to be heard over the choir of hammer blows and the organ-bellows that stoked the divine fires. The dvergr skilled enough to have earned anvils in the great hall trailed dark ash wherever they went. The smithy tasks normally performed by goblins were handled by young dvergr, specially selected for their religious devotion and their potential as steel artisans. The greatest among them were selected to be the steel priests.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

100 Words a Day 1160

The priestess wore a robe that was covered in dirt and full of holes. It smelled of rot and had been passed from one priestess to the next for as long as anyone could remember. It was the robe of the priestess of Death.

The congregation was isolated and few survived to adulthood. They hoped that their prayers would appease Death and that he wouldn’t let the shadow of his hand fall across their young. Failing that, they hoped he would pass that same shadow over their deceased, that they might rise up again and help till the rocky fields.