Fantasy Drabble #370 "You'll Always Remember Your First Time"

Aulia ran between the trees, needled branches whipping her face and arms, fountains of powdery snow jumping at her feet. They were behind her somewhere, driving her forward with the barking of their dogs and the clattering of their weapons, but she was pulling ahead…

"Halt." He was ten feet in front of her, sword drawn. "Bitch."

She tried to stop, slipped, tumbled through the snow and came to rest at his feet. He slid his sword into its scabbard, grinned, and reached for his belt.

They locked eyes; something switched on inside her and he burst screaming into flame.

Prophecy Boy

Boris was one of her top muscle, trusted, but still a normal; Aulia's eyes burned at him as he explained the half-naked kid on her office floor. "He was just there, on the sidewalk out front, just like that. We didn't rough him up, I swear."

The kid had that look, and it wasn't just the dust in his hair and the flakes of dirt caked to his skin, or even the smell. She'd gotten very good at placing people a very long time ago. "He's 'earth'."

"So, maybe he just grew there, like—"

"That's a myth." Aulia knelt down, close to the boy's face; he didn't recoil. Her voice was suddenly soothing, quiet, without its usual authoritative bite. "Are you hurt? Do you have a name?"

The kid said nothing. "Get one of the girls to clean him up. Get Cherry; she'll like him." I always wanted a pet.

Fantasy Drabble #369 "Surveillance"


No such thing. Don't be—

Magic. All she has to do is close her eyes and think about you, about your face and your smell and the rasp in your voice, and she's there. I use the same magic, but she's stronger, so she sees.

Why can't she talk?

She could talk, but why would she? She watched you digging, she watched you pull the Shard out of the dirt, she watched you kill the guide and drop his corpse into the hole. The only thing she doesn't know about is me.

How do I get away?

You don't.