Flash Fiction Friday 010 – Dabaumon

The forest was dark despite the the clear, mid-afternoon mid-skies. Torvin pulled his cloak tighter against himself to ward off a sudden chill. The old ones spoke of the Black Forest but only in hushed tones. It was an ancient place. A place still held under the sway of the old laws.

He did not like the mission that sent him deep beyond the borders of the forest. A young knight had escorted a woman into its depths several months ago and never returned. The villagers all assumed her and her escort dead. Unfortunately, the knight was from a prominent order who wanted proof of the death.

“Bloody knights and their bloody codes.” Torvin spat at the thought of Knights Protector. Easy enough for them to sit in their high towers and make demands. Poor fools like Torvin were the ones who had to carry them out.

The tracker let his mind continue to wander down it’s angry path as his feet followed the game trail. This was the most likely road they would have taken. In the distance, he heard a strange rustle. The forest had been acting stranger since the knight’s disappearance.

“Ta hell with this.” Torch spun around and turned back towards the edge of the forest. It would be dark soon and he wasn’t going to spend the night out here alone. As he turned, his eyes landed on a strange looking tree in his path. He blinked, sure that the tree hadn’t been there before. Tentatively, he stepped forward towards it.

The tree was gnarled and twisted by the wind. Jagged branches grew all over, clawing the sky in dark malice. It shifted and shuddered suddenly, uncoiling in a grotesquely humanoid shape. It’s trunk split open with a sickening creak, revealing rows of mishappen teeth and unending darkness. The eldrich horror lurched forward, the movements like that of a sickly predator. The stench of rot and decay wafted on the breeze, carrying the promise of death should one fall in it’s grasp.

With a terrified scream, Torvin clawed at his eyes, desperate to rid himself of the image lumbering towards him. His screams were cut short by the rising wind and darkness overtook him.

If you liked this, please drop me a comment or share with your friends. For more on the Black Forest and the knight Torvin was searching for, check out Salvation on Kindle Unlimited. Don’t forget to follow us here, or on Facebook or Twitter so you don’t miss the weekly fantasies I destroy my sanity to build for you. We also have our first newsletter coming out at the end of this month with an exclusive short story. Make sure you sign up and as a special thanks, you’ll receive another short story for free.

Advertisements

Flash Fiction Friday 009 – It’s Raining Tacos. Hallelujah!

When a magician goes to lunch, his intern is left alone in the workshop. The intern is hungry, however, and decides to use a little magic to help fix the situation. What could go wrong with that?

Jeff continued to sweep one corner of the workshop. It was a mindless task. Hell, it was a task that didn’t even really need to be done, but it made him look busy. That was important when the master was in one of his moods. Or any of his moods. Or awake. Jeff had learned that over his five years here. Look busy and don’t ask too many questions. That suited Jeff fine, and his lack of ambition often made the master feel better about his lot in life.

The mood today was good. The experiments were going well and the universe responding like it should. It was almost noon when the master cried out with joy. “I’ve done it!”

Jeff came running center dais. It was a large circle, raised by several steps. It held a small table, a stand for the master’s spell book, and a cauldron as well as the master himself, beaming in the glow of the boiling liquid. “Jeff, look! Distilled essence of will power. Just the thing to help all those college kids with their finals. Slap that in an energy drink can, toss on the FDA warning, and boom! We’ll be as big as Monster and more popular than Adderall.”

The master gave himself one final smile before placing a hand on his stomach. “But that is an issue for after lunch. See you in an hour.” With that, the master strode from the dais and disappeared into the noise of cars and humanity outside the shop.

Jeff stood there a moment staring into the cauldron. He carefully lifted the spoon that had been used to stir the mix, pausing with it just before his mouth. Surely a little taste wouldn’t hurt. After a few more seconds of hesitation, he tentatively licked the spoon…and felt nothing.

It was odd. The master was so confident, but Jeff didn’t notice any change to his mood or desires. He did notice a rumble in his stomach. The mention of lunch brought Jeff to the realization that he did not eat breakfast. He also did not feel like any of the fast food chains that were close by. What he wanted was a good taco. There were just no good tacos in the neighborhood.

The thought occurred to Jeff that there was a solution to his taco problem sitting on the table next to him. Picking up his master’s pointy hat, Jeff put it on his head as he thumbed through the spell book. It was the first time he had ever really read any of this book so it took him a few moments to get used to the format. Once he got the hang of it, it was a few more minutes of searching until he found the spells that he needed.

Jeff put a lid on the cauldron to act as a tray and lifted his hands into the air. He began to rattle off the spells that he had seen, his voice floating through the warehouse like the many particles of dust he swept. When he was done, he stared expectantly at the cauldron’s lid.

Nothing appeared on the lid. Jeff dropped his arms in disappointment and placed the hat on the table. Before he stepped down, however, a tortilla floated from the ceiling and landed on the cauldron. It was followed by some shredded beef, a sprinkle of cheese, and a glob of sour cream. Laughing, Jeff lifted the taco and blissfully began to eat.

His laughter faded after two bites. Another tortilla was falling from the sky. And another. And another. Each one was followed by shredded beef, cheese, and sour cream. Before long, the workshop was filled with the flurries of tortillas, the patterings of beef, the drizzles of cheese, and the plops of cream. He did not know what he had done, but he had created a tortilla storm.

Shock gave way to fear as the storm continued. What would the master say? There was only one thing to do. Jeff quickly picked up several tacos and ran for the door. He did not stop until he was two cities away and looking for a new job.

Meanwhile, the master returned after lunch to find his workshop caught in a downpour of tacos. At first, he was angry at what was going on. As he carefully picked his way through the showery fiesta, he saw the book and hat were not as he had left them. A few moments of investigation gave him all the hints that he needed. The potion apparently worked and his unmotivated assistant had apparently created the storm for lunch.

Placing the hat on his head, the master lifted his arms in the air and began to chant. He shrank the storm to a tiny cloud that he sealed in a jar. Another enchantment was placed on the jar to pause the storm whenever the jar was closed. In addition to a new motivating energy drink, the master also had the start for a food truck business now. All in all, today was a good day.

If you liked this, please drop me a comment or share with your friends. Don’t forget to follow us here, or on Facebook or Twitter so you don’t miss the weekly fantasies I destroy my sanity to build for you. We also have our first newsletter coming out at the end of this month with an exclusive short story. Make sure you sign up and as a special thanks, you’ll receive another short story for free.

Flash Fiction Friday 008 – Hugs, Not Wands

All ages face difficult questions. These questions always need a lot of thought and logic to figure out. Can a father help his daughter understand the challenge of answering these questions?

“Why do we hate protesters so much daddy?”

Torvin blinked, his mouth slightly agape as he turned to look at his daughter. “What do you mean sweetheart?”

“My news feed is full of people talking about how protesters belong in jail or that they are wasting their time. How it must be nice not to have real jobs.” Trina didn’t even loft her head from her crystal, one finger casually flicking up to show more of her feed. “No one seems to want to talk about the issue.”

Torvin cleared his throat while rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, baby…I suppose that’s because it’s easier to talk about protests than issues.”

“Why?” She turned her eyes up towards her father, her brown orbs bright and inquisitive in the way only a child could have.

“Because a lot of people see magic as a right and when you start talking about more education and limiting what people can do, they get angry.”

“But isn’t magic dangerous?”

“Of course it is sweetheart. So are a lot of other things, though. It gets complicated real fast.” Torvin’s brain was already hurting and he wasn’t that deep into the explanation.

“So people make fun of protesters to avoid trying to figure out answers to the problems.” Trina’s lips turned down slightly.

“Maybe. No. I don’t know.” Torvin grunted slightly. “It gets complicated. Some people don’t want to talk about the issues. Some people don’t like seeing these protests all the time. So people just want to be mad at others wanting to change things.

“And that’s why it’s so hard to do anything. You have to wade through the reasons why people are resisting and address their concerns. That’s why we have the Conclave.”

“Ok daddy.” Her voice was distracted, absent any interest or attention. Torvin loomed down to see her back on her crystal watching some video or another. That was the problem with young centaurs today. Not enough attention span to finish a simple conversation.

If you liked this, please drop me a comment or share with your friends. Don’t forget to follow us here, or on Facebook or Twitter so you don’t miss the weekly fantasies I destroy my sanity to build for you. We also have our first newsletter coming out at the end of this month with an exclusive short story. Make sure you sign up and as a special thanks, you’ll receive another short story for free.

As always, I mustache you all to stay fantastical.

Flash Fiction Friday 006 – Terrors of the Deep

The Viribus sails the cosmic seas. But there are dangers that lurk out in the dark expanses. Can the Viribus survive or is it doomed to be consumed by the universe?

Crow’s nest duties were always the worst. It was supposed to be done by convicts, but the trip had been long and there were no convicts left. A quarter of them were back in their cells below babbling incoherently. The rest had disappeared.

The crow’s nest needed to be manned, however. So it was that Marius was sitting in the small wooden circle atop the mast. He had shown a little too much disrespect to his section lead. Normally this was punishable by a little extra duty and a forfeiture of pay. Given the need for lookouts, though, he was ordered up to the top of the mast instead.

He shivered as he stared out into the darkness. There was no real day or night out on the cosmic seas, but it was the twenty-third hour. The decks below were as silent as the cosmos surrounding Marius as the majority of the crew slept. The solar winds provided no warmth and only heightened the feelings of isolation.

Out in the distance, a sole balaeic drifted through space, its massive body undulating and writhing on unseen currents. The Jues Nebulae glittered beyond the bow, a red and green beacon that signaled the final leg of their journey. With a little skill and a little luck, the Viribus would be back at a friendly dock within a week.

From the shadows below Jues, a glint of light caught Marius’ eye. He fetched his looking glass and lifted it in the direction of the flash. The image of another ship jumped into his vision. The vessel was thin and sleek, bearing a single mast, and its bow was carved into a strange shape. While it was still too far to make out the design of the bow clearly, the shape of the ship was unmistakable.

“Pictusings! Pictusings below the Jues!”

In response to Marius’ cries, the bell on the deck below began to ring out its alarm. A flurry of motion erupted below him as the crew was woken. They rushed to their battle stations as the Pictusings ship approached.

It wasn’t long before the Pictusings were upon them and the battle was made. The clash of swords and the thud of clubs exploded around the two ships. Screams of the wounded and dying pierced the air. Even though the Viribus was a larger ship with a skilled and hardened crew, the Pictusings were known for their fierceness, dragging the fight on longer than it should have. Longer than was prudent.

Out from the depths of the cosmic seas, a shadow moved. It was drawn to the sounds of pain and scent of blood. There was no form to the shadow as passed by the battling ships, only an indescribable sound. The sound bore into Marius’ ears like a screw digging into wood, removing shavings of sense and sanity. His screams were echoed by those below until a fog passed over his mind, blurring out reality.

* * *

The Viribus drifted into the port of Helenesopia. Once secured, the dockmaster strode up the gangplank, notebook in hand, ready to record the declarations from the ship’s logistician.

“A little more trouble than normal on this run Heraclon,” the logistician reported. “We lost all our convicts about eighty percent of the way through. Mindeaters and the like seem to be growing in the Adriomos region. Had a little run-in with the Pictusings near Jues as well. I recommend you put a notice out on those two spots.”

Heraclon nodded absently as he made the notes. “Of course. We will also start the paperwork to refill your stock of convicts. Any thing else to declare?”

The logistician tapped his chin a moment in thought. “No, not that I can think of. Cargo is all accounted for and our paperwork is in order. All in all, I would say it was a fairly successful trip.”

If you liked this, let us know and share with your friends. Remember to follow for more stories and musings on storytelling. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We also have our quarterly newsletter you can sign up for with the link on the sidebar. Sign up for exclusive short stories and news about our projects. And remember, I mustache you to stay fantastical.

Flash Fiction Friday 005 – The Golden Horde

As the day of battle was reached, the Golden Horde stood ready to meet their foe. #flashfictionfriday #fantasy #battle

The sound of a thousand breaths echoing in a thousand helmets filled the first few ranks. Behind, standards fluttered in the breeze, undulating with the same determined beat of the warriors. The sun rose behind them, casting the field in a glorious, golden light. It was a good omen.

The heavens were smiling on the Golden Horde. Though chaos still loomed ahead, order would soon be brought to bear as sure as the dawn was ending the night. It was a certainty, as sure as the dawn.

A horn sounded in the distance and a cloud of smoke rose on the horizon. The earth shook as the wild ones marched forth. Their army outnumbered the Golden Horde three to one, but that did not cause a stir among the ranks.

General Gradicus observed how the wild ones marched forward. Their steps were out of time with each other and their ranks bent like a reed in the wind. This was not a professional army, merely a mob meant to scare and intimidate.

Gradicus allowed himself a small smile as he wrote several orders on scraps of parchment. These orders were handed to nearby runners who sped off towards the designated officer. This army was not easily scared and would show this rabble what true military force can do.

If you liked this, let us know and share with your friends. Remember to follow for more stories and musings on storytelling. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We also have our quarterly newsletter you can sign up for with the link on the sidebar. Sign up for exclusive short stories and news about our projects. And remember, I mustache you to stay fantastical.

Flash Fiction Friday 004 – The Coming of Spring

Spring is a magical time, especially for fairies. But Fionia has a special challenge ahead of her. How will her work hold up against February? #fantasy #flashfiction #flashfictionfriday #fairy #spring

Spring was the best time in a fairy’s life. The ability to flit around in the early morning sun and spread the blossoming flowers. Fionia loved helping the flowers to blossom.

And so it was Fionia found herself fluttering about the open meadows on a late February morning. The sun was barely rising in the east, shooting golden beams of light down towards her and her work. A rainbow sparkle trailed along behind her, and where it fell, blooms of red and orange would spring up.

Fionia spent several hours flying back and forth through the meadow. At noon, she found the shade of a nearby tree to rest and admire her work. Nearly every inch of the meadow was covered in little flowers. The sight caused the fairy to smile to herself.

Fionia was so confident with her work that morning that she decided that a nap was in order. As she pay under the shade of the tree, she dreamt of a world of color. A soft music filled the air, causing the vibrant hues to explode forth. Soon, Fionia’s dreams were a neon saturated light show.

The sun was near the western horizon by the time Fionia woke. She rose on thin legs and stretched delicate arms high above her head with a yawn. The sky was a blaze with pinks and purples, contrasting nicely with her red and orange meadow. In the distance, a white haze began to creep along the edges of the meadow.

Fionia frowned at the haze. It crept further into her meadow, passing over her flowers and causing them shrivel. It was night frost that was settling over the coming night. Unfortunately, it was just not spring enough yet for the flowers to last.

With a huff and a kick at the dirt, Fionia took flight and gave the meadow once last glance. Her frustration eased as she flew home. Just as her mood was evaporating, this frost will disappear in the morning and she will be able to make the flowers bloom again.

Flash Fiction Friday 003 – Speed Demon

High above the desert, there lurks a demon. This demon preys on those who try to out run it.

High above the Mojave Desert, the test pilot was being chased by a demon. He and the other test pilots all knew that a demon lived up in that bright, blue sky. They all just assumed that they were chasing it, not the other way around. Who would have thought that the sound barrier was guarded by a malicious spirit?

The Bell X-1 was not very maneuverable. She was built for one purpose and that was to go fast. Going fast was all that the pilot could do now that he looked out the side of the cockpit and saw the black form racing alongside his plane. A smokey claw reached out towards the plane, grasping at its wing as the pilot willed her to fly faster.

Mach .8

The only hope he had was to try and outrun this demon. How was he going to do that though? How does a person outrun a speed demon?

Mach .85

The gauges continued to inch further ahead. The desert floor was a blur beneath him. God, he was really burning up the speedometer. It didn’t matter, though. The demon had managed to grab a hold of his wing and hold on to his bird, causing her to shimmy and shake wildly.

Mach .9

It was all the pilot could do to hold her steady. The poor plane continued to shimmy as the demon crawled its way from wing towards the canopy. Just a little further to go, and hopefully he would be able to shake this thing off.

Mach .95

Red eyes stared through the canopy at him. Despite the speed, the demon clung on and looked at the contender with malice and contempt.

Mach .97

A shadowy hand passed through the canopy and reached out towards the pilot. He felt the white-hot burn in his side as the claw gripped him, but he couldn’t tell if it was the demon or the cracked ribs he was flying with. If it was the ribs…well…he didn’t let those stop him from taking off, he’d be damned if he’d let them stop him from beating this demon.

Mach .99

A dry cackle erupted in the cockpit. A second clawed hand reached out towards the pilot’s face, easily engulfing his head. His breathing became short and his head began to swim. So close…he was so close.

An explosion rang out on the ground below, the force of it causing the bystanders to shiver with the implication. There was nothing but static on the portable radio that they had set up. Another pilot lost….

Just then, a crackle was heard from the radio. After a few seconds, it was followed by another crackle and a pop. At last, the voice of Chuck Yeager came across, reading a speed of Mach 1. Cries of joy flew from the lips of the bystanders.

High above them, Yeager thought of those last several minutes. He had just managed to punch his plane through the sound barrier. As the boom of breaking the sound barrier exploded below, the demon lost its grip on the Bell X-1 and slid off. Yeager could see it attempt to catch him again, but its monstrous size had already shrunk greatly. Never again would this particular demon pose a threat to him or his fellow pilots.

Of course, he knew better to include this in his final report. Instead, the sheer velocity caused him to black out from a lack of oxygen, but that was the official report. Anyone who had ever tested new equipment knew that more demons were lurking out there, waiting for their chance to strike until they get beaten just like the sound demon.

 

Remember to follow this blog for more stories and musings on storytelling. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We also have our quarterly newsletter you can sign up for with the link on the sidebar. Sign up for exclusive short stories and news about our projects. And remember, I mustache you to stay fantastical.