Fantasy Drabble #190 “Potion of Fire Resistance”

The old crone added one more spoonful of powder — what it was he could not begin to guess — and began to stir the evil-smelling concoction delicately, taking care not to spill or splash.

“I grow impatient, woman.”

She answered the adventurer, without looking away from the cauldron, “great care must be taken. This cannot be rushed if the desired effect you seek. The mix must be perfect.”

“My glorious victory is within my grasp, yet I sit here watching you stir, crone.”

She inhaled the brew’s noxious odor. Not quite right, yet. “Not to worry, Alaeron: the dragon will wait.”

Fantasy Drabble #189 “Technicality”

The troll eyed him with a mixture of disgust and boredom as he approached the footbridge. “My bridge. You pay toll.”

“Let me ask you a question, troll. If—”

“No questions. Toll. Then pass.”

“Question, then toll, then pass. Your bridge, understood. If someone builds another bridge, just over there, do you collect tolls on both?”

The troll answered impatiently, “No both: one troll, one bridge, one toll. Pay now.”

“I think no,” he said. The townspeople were already approaching with their ox-drawn carts, laden with wood and stone. The troll managed to look even more disgusted, and increasingly forlorn.

Fantasy Drabble #188 “Joyride”

Midz-Aset dropped his scaly nose, drew in his wings, and dove; she held on for dear life. “Too fast! Too fast!”

His laugh boomed in her ears along with the wind. “This is the fun part!”

“It won’t be fun if I fall off and die!” Her fear was naked in her voice, and he leveled off, slowed down.

“Silly girl, you wouldn’t die; I would catch you.”

Though calmer, she was still holding on tightly. “Catch me? How?”

Again his laughter boomed. “In my teeth! Don’t worry, I’m very good at it. I probably wouldn’t hurt you at all.”

Fantasy Drabble #187 “Also Ran”

He was due to arrive at any time: her rescuer, her bulging-thewed swordsman, her hulking hero. Cleave one measly goblin in twain and you’re suddenly the best thing since mead.

No doubt he would be half-dressed to accentuate his musculature, and reeking of sweat and confidence. She would throw herself at his feet and declare her love, which he would take with casual impunity and keep only as long as it entertained him.

If only I had been the one to come upon her in distress on the road that day. But, it’s just so dusty, and with my allergies…

Fantasy Drabble #186 “Invisible Fence”

The white wolf stood like a statue, all but invisible, watching her trudge through the deep snow towards the cabin, going carefully, taking her time. He could move silently, especially in snow, and move silently he did, stopping just outside a break in the low stone wall itself already half-buried by powder.

He did not notice the runes painted onto the wall, and he would not have known how to read them if he had; but suddenly he had no desire to go further, starving though he was. The emptiness in his gut mocked him as she disappeared from view.

Fantasy Drabble #185 “Pink Slip”

They gave me a cardboard box — one of those thick ones that held printer paper — and Rick from security walked me back to my office. I had known it was coming so I didn’t give him a hard time, which I think he appreciated because he gave me extra time to get my stuff together. While we were riding the elevator down to the lobby we made small talk about the Patriots. Nice guy.

So I’m leaving him out of the curse. His blood won’t boil and his skin won’t blacken to ash. But just him: fuck those other assholes.

SF Drabble #258 “Canned Food”

It’s been circling me for ten minutes now, moving in, backing off, testing to see what this alien contraption with meat in it is, and how it will behave.

If it decides not to attack, I’ll live: the sun will come up and the  batteries will recharge, and I’ll simply drive back to the LZ. But If it’s brave or simply hungry enough, I’m dead. The rollaround’s transparent cockpit is thin plastic, and those claws look razor-sharp. The best I can hope for is that I’ll be poison to it, and it’ll die retching with me still in its gut.