Fantasy Drabble #179 “Chug-a-lug and Shout”

The rotten hand pushed up through the loamy soil to grasp only cool, damp air. Richmond’s progress up out of his grave was slow but relentless.

“Welcome, old Richmond, welcome back,” she cried, before returning to her incantations: too long a pause and the spell would break apart, scattering to the wind with the smoke from her torch. When they were done, he stood motionless before her in his fetid Sunday best. “Old Richmond, you know the way to your brother’s house, as it used to be yours. You know the way to your brother’s throat as well. Go then!”

Fantasy Drabble #178 “The Weather Outside Is Frightful”

She has stayed up by virtue of adrenaline and sheer force of will. Her parents have warned her, but she is heedless. The house is dark and foreboding, but she is fearless.

Flashlight in pudgy hand, she steals from corner to corner, padding on stocking feet through the house and down the stairs. The sofa will provide cover, and it is behind it she settles in to wait in secret.

Will it be Santa coming down the chimney to leave presents and devour the milk and cookies, or some nameless horror, intent on devouring her? She will not be caught unawares.

Fantasy Drabble #177 “Command Performance”

The lights have gone down and the seats are filled. The curtain opens and there she stands: serene, comfortable, at home on the stage. She has won over the audience simply by showing up on the appointed day and time. They are hers to do with as she pleases.

It is entertainment they expect — and entertainment they will receive — but in exchange It is their life she takes. Not all of it from any one, but only a little from each, only just enough, while they are entranced. So little in fact that they will never notice it is gone.

Fantasy Drabble #176 “Into The Woods”

The smiling face on the television had been talking about the weather or the news or how effective they’d made the new and improved toothpaste; but now it wasn’t, it was speaking directly to her.

Go, it said. Go outside, into the darkness. She did no such thing, of course — because she was afraid, or simply because she was sensible — but It kept chiding her, challenging her, persuading her.

Eventually she stood and went to the window. The trees swayed and shivered in the wind, only dimly lit by the porch light. “Not tonight,” she said. “Maybe tomorrow. Maybe then.”

Fantasy Drabble #175 “Delve"

The sword glowed brighter as he inched forward through the darkness, but still he could not see very far: only the stale air and the echoes of water droplets falling into stagnant pools reminded him he was deep within the cave.

The creatures were here, he could feel their eyes bore into him. They had not struck out at him yet, but they would when he crept near enough. Even now only their fear of his weapon held them from howling and leaping onto him. When they did, they would find his blade as impressively sharp as it was bright.