Posts tagged with flash-fiction
“Honestly, Haspar, why do you bother? Most of these people you help aren’t going to thank you or remember you. And hauling all this junk around—” she gestured at the huge pile of junk in the wagon behind her “—is a pain in the ass. It’s a distraction. We’re agents of the Crown, not ministers of the Temple.” Haspar insisted they carry extra goods they don’t need just so he can feel good about helping people. Alumnet didn’t see the point, or the value.
“What is it about Harramantown?”
“It’s a haven for swindlers, liars, and thieves.”
“It’s a frontier town, so I expect that. We can’t fix it ourselves. Civilization, stability, law, and order will come in time. What I mean is, what is it about Alumnet and Harramantown?”
“PENDLETON ARBORGRANE! LOOK. AT. ME.” With a sigh, he did. When she got worked up, it was hard to talk to Alumnet. It made it worse that she was often—if not usually—right. Alumnet’s posture relaxed. She had his attention; now it was time to make her case.
Shrey was tired, but he wouldn’t let it show. He was pleased that Gerrod was the one digging, not he. He was too old for digging in the dirt. Instead he busied himself digging into the past, into his memory of this place, this secret place of his own design.
He steeled himself, ready for what fate would bring his way. In the last second he chose to fix his face into a visage of what he considered a look of resolute determination, a signal to whatever was chasing him that it had bitten off more than it was expecting. He didn’t really think it would make a difference, but Eggledorn felt better having done it.
The steps ended, but the corridor did not. It continued just ahead, after only a short gap. Short for most average-sized beings, that is. Eggledorn, alas, was a gnome, and he didn’t see how he could make the leap with any degree of success. Looking back, he decided he should attempt to figure out a course of action. Whatever was making those noises didn’t seem like it was going to let him back out the way he came in. Not in one piece, anyway.
I apologize—sincerely apologize—for my friend shattering your body with his hammer. No one should be accosted in such a manner in their own home, especially at so late an hour. It was extremely rude of us to come knocking on your door just as you were sitting down to your evening tea…
If there had been more time to contemplate the leap, no doubt she would have taken it. But there wasn’t. Pointy steel in angry hands followed down the tunnel and if she didn’t want to have them thrust into her, she had to jump now and contemplate later.
They were all looking at him now. Hardened men and women. Battle-tested warriors. He could see the fear in their eyes, in their blank expressions Silent tears glistened on a few of the younger faces. He would mourn them all later.
They’d all heard the stories before. Longtime adventuring companions, seasoned explorers, torn apart by the lust for fortune and glory. They would prevail where others had succumbed.
Goblins? Orcs? No, not goblins. The crudeness of the arrows could indicate either, and while their size might indicate goblin manufacture, their true maker was definitively not goblin. Only an expert would notice…
He wasn’t certain what first caused him to notice the boy. Sometimes that’s how it worked. Divine inspiration wasn’t always about shining visions from the heavens or talking squirrels and crap like that. Sometimes…sometimes it was just a feeling.
Gerrod wasn’t even sure it was the right kind of rock. He’d seen the swordsmen sharpen their blades with a stone, but he’d never held one himself, much less an actual blade. Never felt the texture or hefted the weight. So he just found a rock that looked about the same size. A rock is a rock, right?
Callum never wanted this life. He’s a farmer’s son, but the fifth son. Might as well be a mule, for all the respect he ever received. Another mouth to feed, and not much help around the family plot. So when the baron’s men came ‘round, looking for militiamen… Callum was expendable. Let the baron feed him Callum’s da’ said.
The bolt of magical force that Alumnet expected to emanate from the wand never came. As a result all the goblin received was a spray of spittle that mingled with its own fetid sweat of rage. The wizard could have spent time thinking about whether she got the command word correct, but the rusty sword coming down at her head shortened her available window for thought. She thrust the wand forward, through the goblin’s eye, and into its brain.
There’s a certain merchant in Harramantown that owes me an explanation.
“Pendleton! The goblins are here!”
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