Dug fell flat on his back as the flock hit him like a rushing river flowing past, through, and over him as he was caught in their current. He staggered to his feet and away from the toolshed just in time to be struck again. This time he twirled away from the center, and was merely grazed by the talons of passing birds.
They moved through the air like a vibrant swarm of insects – such perfect unison that they appeared as one, fluid creature. Any other time, Dug would be struck by their beauty. Now, as they made an elegant turn toward him, Dug was wondering how he could possibly stop them. Continue reading “Dug Pifton’s Brand New Perspective, Part Three”
Eleanor Pifton, Dug’s mother, was the owner of Taffy Toffee Tungsten, Skymoore’s only combination candy shop/rare metal emporium. Seawater taffy had been a staple of the town back when it was on the surface, and it remained popular among traveling merchants to this day. Continue reading “Dug Pifton’s Brand New Perspective, Part Two”
Dug Pifton had a lot of things for which he was very fortunate. He had a mother and a father who wanted what was best for him, even if he didn’t always understand that. He had a pleasant home, even if the carpets did smell funny and the roof leaked from time to time. He had friends, even though they weren’t always the best friends. And he had an apprenticeship at Skymoore’s Druid Circle, for which he knew he had to be very grateful even though he didn’t like it much. Continue reading “Dug Pifton’s Brand New Perspective, Part One”
Hega Perdugal lived in Old Seamoore, a section of town which, as the name suggests, resembled the city as it was before it divorced the world beneath it. Unlike those of her neighbors, Hega’s home was made of stone, because she was a dwarf and even though she’d never been part of dwarven community, some things are just a part of you.
It was a small home, but large enough for a woman who lived alone and who rarely had company these days. Just before the thin stone path leading from the street to her door was a mailbox, which looked like an ordinary mailbox, except that it had the words “I’m not interested” carved in the side. Donovan Allman was inspecting it when Hega spotted him through the window one morning. Continue reading “Hamartia, Epilogue”
It was still dark when Karessa woke, and Donovan still slept. She set some water to boil. He was awake when she returned, sitting in a comfortable rocking chair. It wasn’t rocking, and he was staring. Rain pattered outside. Continue reading “Hamartia, Part Two”
Programming Note: Despite the title, this is a direct continuation of Extracurricular, so it’s highly recommended that you read that story before this one. Continue reading “Hamartia, Part One”
Pulldrid Academy was Skymoore’s finest school for adolescents. The campus was large, vibrant, and littered with important-looking brick buildings. It was the kind of place you sent your children when you wanted to offer them the best education, the fanciest connections, and the lowest risk of being subjected to mandatory psychological experimentation funded by unknown third parties.
Imagine Karessa Plunderton’s guilt, then, at never taking advantage of these benefits, especially factoring in that she couldn’t imagine how her parents managed to send her to a place like this. Some days she wondered if her dad’s disappearance was somehow related, which only enhanced her guilt. But her guilt couldn’t override her disdain. Continue reading “Extracurricular”
“What if they’re right?”
“Right.” Percival chirped hoarsely. His mandibles clicked arrhythmically. “About?”
“About. What if it really is safer down here?”
“Does this look safe, Eli?”
Ellidina considered their surroundings. Percival – a sectum, a four-armed humanoid insect – stood in an identical stone cell opposite hers, separated by a clear material that wasn’t glass, with small holes so they could speak. Each room had an identical, seamless iron door. They had dim magical light five hours a day. This wasn’t one of them. Continue reading “Two Miles”
It’s astonishing the wonders a good night’s sleep can do for a man. Last night, Benison Ioudek could not make the climb into Thalia Douieal’s carriage on his own, and this morning he was hauling tents and cooking supplies back to the caravan faster than the youngest guardsmen. It was a shift that drew a deal of attention, but the real topic of interest was, of course, the spell he had performed the night before. Continue reading “Good King Dundermoat, Part Two”
Benison Ioduok could open a door and arrive anywhere on Solkin, it was true. But the magic of a Story Keeper took a toll on the body, the soul, and the universe. So when he could, the old man walked or rode from one place to the next. Unfortunately, the world needed him more urgently than ever, it seemed, and his appointments rarely allowed it these days.
In fact, as he walked through the door which took him from a northern fishing village to a cave in eastern Penscarop, the Story Keeper was already late for his next meeting. Benison shook his head and pulled out his pocket watch, which had over a dozen different faces in five different numeral systems. He found the one for this particular region and adjusted the time a half hour back. The gears creaked and resisted as he turned them, but at last they acquiesced, and Benison was on time.
He leaned a little heavier on his cane. Continue reading “Good King Dundermoat, Part One”