Fantasy Drabble #226 “Undersea Railroad”

As soon as the boat bottomed out, he was over the side and hip-deep in the surf, line in hand, to drag it the rest of the way up the beach. The mermaid shivered, watching him, still not entirely ready to trust his intentions.

The others were on their way down to the beach, having seen the boat enter the bay. The water-wagon, led by a team of four mundane horses, rolled into view.

He’d have to carry her from the boat to the wagon. She’d likely hate that. But soon she’d be in the pools, free of her King.

Fantasy Drabble #225 “Necromancy, One Hundred Counts”

The guard pushed the food tray through the cell-door slot. Gornay the Magnificent smiled and took it. “Thank you, guard. And how is your day?”

“…we’re not supposed to talk to prisoners.”

“Of course, of course. Forgive me.”

“I suppose it can’t do any harm. You’re not like that lot down there.” he gestured back towards the rest of the high-security wing, where horrors of all description smoldered in captivity. “I can’t imagine why you’re even in here—”

“Oh, I’m sure they’ll get around to explaining it eventually.” Gornay smiled again; something about it chilled the guard to the bone.

Fantasy Drabble #224 “Sprites”

The fire was magic — a spell Rohk knows from the army — so the wind and the rain couldn’t put it out. A good thing, too: without a good fire we would have frozen.

Sometimes, when I stare long enough into it, I imagine I see things moving around. Tiny figures, shapes, shadows in the flame. Rohk says the fire is actually a window onto some alternate plane, where all that exists burns continuously. I ask whether anything lives there, and he says certainly. I ask whether those things can come through the window, and he laughs, but does not answer.

Fantasy Drabble #223 “Clear Cut”

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a week. I lie there half-awake, and just when I’m about to drift off, the knowledge of what I’ve done smacks me in the face and I’m suddenly wide awake and panicky; I see the oak tree begin to fall and I hear the dryad scream in terror.

I didn’t think it would be this bad. I thought I’d be safe. But the guilt is eating at me, holding my heart and squeezing it. I can’t work. I can’t even look at my chainsaw. I’m going to have to quit the crew.

Fantasy Drabble #222 “Be Careful”

Raoul is his name. We’ve known each other since grade school, thick as thieves, shared everything. But after the lamp appeared on his doorstep — in a shoebox wrapped in brown paper — everything changed.

I don’t know what his wishes were exactly. Knowing Raoul he only used two and saved the third. He’s certainly richer, but I don’t know by how much. He looks different: better, but still Raoul. Maybe it’s just confidence. I won’t go into all the women falling all over him.

I’m going to kill him and take the lamp. I just hope his third wish wasn’t invulnerability.

Fantasy Drabble #221 “Interpretation”

They moved out into the road, bare feet on cold stones, and looked up. Smoke was pouring from the mountain, and ash was already beginning to fall all around them.

Someone said, “We’ve angered Rohol.”

The Sorcerer scoffed. “How do you know it was you who’ve angered him? And for that matter, how do you know this isn’t the work of any one of half a dozen other volcano gods people around here believe in?”

There was muttering, but he was mostly ignored. The town fathers would be knocking on his door soon, looking for magical protection. Time to work.

Fantasy Drabble #220 “University”

I moved into the dorms along with everyone else. Parents cried. Dad nearly had a heart attack carrying the mini-fridge in. He said, “This better not just be for beer.”

That was sixteen years ago. I didn’t notice anything was wrong for months. There were always people milling around at the edge of campus, but I’d never given it much thought. Finally there was a flyer for a film festival I wanted to see downtown. I tried to go, but I couldn’t step into the crosswalk. No one can. Something stops you.

No one visits either. Maybe they’re all dead.