Fantasy Drabble #364 "Last Option"

I wonder how many have walked into this forested darkness before me, weapon in hand, in the hopes of winning the bounty? It has to be dozens during the reign of King Mor alone. How many walked in under his father, his grandfather? Under the Wittlemites? Under the Rogol yoke or the ancient Borgingdians?

Have any ever walked out? The edge of the path is littered with broken bone.

I have nothing to lose: with no war, there is no pay, and the stomach does not pause for peacetime. Either I will prevail and eat, or I will be eaten.



"It's been six months." Frank pulled the sheets up to his chest; the girl was entirely hidden.

"What does that matter?" Alice was still in the bedroom doorway, still in her coat, still holding canvas grocery bags in either hand. "Who is that under there, Cassie? That girl from the Starbucks? Tell me it's not your secretary."

"Do you actually care?"

She didn't answer. She sighed, and went into the living room. She put the bags down. She lit a cigarette. Eventually Frank came out wearing only jeans, and she answered. "I suppose I don't."

He sat down, took a cigarette from her pack, but didn't light it. "Go to the bathroom, would you?"


"So she can leave."

"Seriously, who is it? I'm just curious."

"Not my secretary. Bill Warrick's secretary." He put the cigarette in his mouth, took it back out almost immediately, twirled it absent-mindedly between two fingers. "It's only… maybe three times over the past couple months. It's new."


"Seriously. It isn't one of those things where—"

"It doesn't matter."

He shrugged. "Okay. Bathroom?"

"I'm going to Ashley's overnight." Alice got up, stubbed her cigarette out in the ashtray. "It'll give you time to pack."

Best Week Ever

He is awakened by the noise of drawers opening and silverware rattling and coffee percolating. He rolls over, reaches out, finds only an absence beside him. He sits up, wraps the sheet around him, goes out into the living-room.

She is dancing and arranging breakfast on the floor with one hand; she is wearing only socks and earbuds and holding her phone in the other hand. She sees him and smiles, pauses her music. "Hungry?"

"What time is it?"

She steps close, looks up at him. "Time to eat. Then more sex. Then maybe after, you tell me your name?"