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”
“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”
“Was the Suntouched ever in love?” Karessa asked one day as Donovan limped onto the store floor from his living quarters. Everyone had noticed the limp, but Donovan didn’t acknowledge it, so neither did they. It was looking better, anyhow. “Any special women in his life?”
“No,” Donovan replied, perhaps too quickly.
“Wha? No! Er, not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
“Of course there isn’t.”
“Shouldn’t even need to say it.”
“But you did.”
“Well, anyways, the Suntouched had neither.”
“Really? He galivanted all over the world for what – thirty years? Fifty? – and he never had a girlfriend? A lover? A fling?” Continue reading “A Brief Note on the Love Life of the Suntouched, wherein we Briefly Check in on the Lives of Donovan Allman and Karessa Plunderton, and Which Contains a Very Long Title as to Obfuscate the Miniscule Length of the Piece Itself”
“Do you know where your father is?” Mrs. Plunderton asked.
“Out shopping,” Karessa replied automatically as she tied the laces of her boots. In truth, Karessa had not seen her father in four years. Nobody had. “You know how the Mish Mash is. You get all the best deals this time of day.”
“Doing anything after school?”
“Theater. I’ll be home late.”
“Oh, for the love of – are you still wasting your time there? Do you know where we’d be if your father and I wasted our childhoods playing pretend instead of working?”
Maybe not in the Mish Mash, Karessa almost said. Instead, she chose to endure her mother’s rant and try not to take it personality. It wasn’t easy. Never was. Continue reading “Assembly”
There is a small subset of people within Skymoore which most people suspect the existence of, but about whom few have the confidence to talk about openly. Their signs are visible to the skilled observer – esoteric characters carved into the leaves of trees, the handles of tankards, and the heads of unsuspecting bald people – but their purpose is shrouded in mystery. Their members are secretive. You might see one from a distance, standing atop the old lighthouse, scanning the city with binoculars or merely their expertly trained eyes. Always watching. Always listening. Always waiting. And although many know they exist, few are willing to speak their names out loud. Continue reading “Fetch Quest, Part Two”
“Is there some kinda magic word, or does it just work?” asked Pendleton Witherby, an unusually gangly dwarf, as he fiddled with the amulet he’d just purchased.
“Just works,” Karessa said. “Activation words are for things you might not want active at all times, but there’s no harm in a little confidence.” Continue reading “Fetch Quest, Part One”
“Just a minute!” Gwendolyn called as she groggily pulled a silk nightgown over her head. The wave of cold as her bare feet touched her wooden floor washed the cobwebs out of her mind. Though an unpleasant sensation, the frigid floor was sufficient motivation for Gwendolyn to prance quickly across her home, the size of which she was regretting for the first time in her life. Continue reading “Cold in a Colder World”
The Warm Moon waned above Skymoore, while the Pale Moon was out in full. It was an exceptionally quiet night, and a cold one, but Karessa had Lawrence Dufton to keep her company, and her father’s jacket to keep her warm. Continue reading “Out Shopping”