Fantasy Drabble #292 “Infernal”

“Tell me something,” he began, as he sipped his coffee. The demon didn’t respond, only glared and rattled the chains. “Shouldn’t you be trying to make some sort of deal by now? Some favor for your freedom?”

The demon snorted and then hissed, “There will be no deal, mortal. The moment I am free I shall cut you to ribbons.”

“‘Shall’? Who talks like that? It’s a new world, pal: those chains are steel. Your ass isn’t going anywhere.”

The demon snorted again, strained at his bonds, and gave up. “Fine. What are your terms.”

“Let’s talk money. And power.”

SF Drabble #366 “Dinner With Mede”

There was a porchlight burning, and he walked resolutely up the driveway to the porch. The doorbell was just within reach.

The woman who answered the door didn’t seem surprised to see him standing there, three feet of fur and bug-eyes and claws. “We were wondering if you’d show up; not that many houses ‘round here. You were on the news, you know: ‘Alien Tourist’.”

“Fascinating. What did they say?”

“That you might ring somebody’s doorbell and offer to work off dinner. You hungry?”


“We don’t need any work done, though…”

“I tell a good story—”

“Come on in.”

In The Dressing Room

Caged bare light bulbs wash her face in a brilliant white glow as she puts on someone else’s face; a face she has come to know so very well. When the face is complete she will become her, become that girl, she will subsume herself, submerge herself in preparation for the even brighter lights of the stage.

By then her only worry will be whether he is there, sitting in the dark, watching, waiting, hoping that when the lights go out she will take that other woman’s face off, tissue by tissue, slowly becoming herself again, and return to him.

SF Drabble #365 “One”

One is alone between the stars. One’s vessel, all the ship one could afford, has ceased to function as designed. One is unexpectedly stranded.

One therefore requires assistance from any able and friendly nearby party. One can offer substantial reward.

One breathes a methane/ammonia mixture; one has approximately six jolon of atmosphere remaining before one loses consciousness. One requires rescue before that time.

One’s ship will self-destruct after one’s death. Salvage will not be possible. One wishes to swim in the seas of home again. Please respond on this wavelength with haste. Please send assistance or one will perish. Repeat.

Fantasy Drabble #291 “Attic”

They are dusty, brittle clothes in a dusty, creaky trunk, discovered only because the children were both curious and disobedient. They are gathered up and regarded, critiqued, assessed and graded, and the favored among them are slipped over heads and pulled onto legs, the children disappearing into their archaic embrace.

This is all the opportunity the ghosts need: they slip into the bodies of the children wearing their clothes, delighting in the feeling of youth, reveling in the solidity, listening to the blood rushing merrily past their borrowed eardrums before, inevitably, the children return them to their dusty oblivion.

SF Drabble #364 “Steed”

She held on for dear life; Mick raced joyfully down the hill towards the flats. She screamed, “Slow Down!” but Mick didn’t seem to hear.

They’d be close enough to radio in, tell the Vill they were coming, but she didn’t dare let go of Mick’s blue-green mane to reach for her Talkie. If she fell now, that would be the end of her.

She yelled again, “Mick! Slow down!”

The immense creature relaxed its gait. “Sorry, Bay! Down hill, fun!” Mickajahrish enjoyed his job, but sometimes forgot he had a rider, and had to be reminded: Earthers were fragile.

SF Drabble #363 “By Default”

Sick of waiting. Gonna try jumping to the next locus, do a scan. If they’re not there... I dunno.

Fourteen days. I don’t mind a long game, if there’s action, but I’ve been sitting and waiting for most of it. It’s a game, but games should be fun.

They should have come through here, should be actively searching for me. Granted, we’re pretty far out towards the rim: there’s a lot of unexplored volume out here. Maybe they had mechanical failure. Maybe they ran into something new, something dangerous.

They'd better have run into something, wasting my time like this.

Fantasy Drabble #290 “Lechuguilla”

The God that lived in the mountain is gone, dead or fled to some other realm. His cavern is empty, a throne room of delicate crystal spikes that sparkle in torchlight; I am one of a very few lucky and brave enough to have seen it.

What spelled his doom? Did the Water-God murder him? There are pools in the cavern, pristine-looking but poisonous, at least to men. If the Mountain-God was foolish enough to drink from it, would it have killed him? What is toxic to a God?

The Priests have no answers… hardly surprising. We may never know.