The Cutthroat’s Promise, Part One

It was a quiet day at Beyond Investigations. The pile of cases on Roland’s desk was empty as a church on Friday night. His office was still, save for the flickering of the lantern that hung just a bit too low in the center. Indeed, Roland was anticipating a slow day today, and that was just fine; you didn’t get a lot of days off as a set designer who moonlights as a private detective and sells baked goods on the side. It’s a hard life, but someone’s gotta do it.

Just as Roland gets up to call it quits for the day, in walks a dame whose every feature is like the night sky – dark, mysterious, but radiant all the same. Roland knows the look of trouble when he sees it, and sits right back down in his seat, ready to hear what she has to say, ready to accept whatever curveball she threw his way.

“Oh, hey Roland. Didn’t know this was your place.” Continue reading “The Cutthroat’s Promise, Part One”

Left Behind, Part Three

Pif, Deacon, Alph, and the newcomer all sat huddled around a meal of jerky, cheese, and fruit, filling their bellies after a long day. Off to the side, the Trans-It! energy canister rattled softly as it recharged the five Minitoa’s Double A’s. Almo’s breathing complimented the machine’s rhythm perfectly, a musical reminder of how bad their situation was. Below, Odd & Ends was quiet. The shop was closed for the day, and the owner had retired to his room. Continue reading “Left Behind, Part Three”

Left Behind, Part Two

To be honest, Alph rather liked Skymoore.

He wasn’t fond of being stranded and fighting for resources, and he wished the city were of a more convenient size, but it was nice. Back on Ernadam, everything was metal and factories and smog. Skymoore had a little metal and a little smog, but mostly it was quaint. And their blue sky and green plants were much more pleasant than the purples and reds of home.

But it was nice to breathe normally.

Yet Alph couldn’t bring himself to care about getting home as much as everyone else. It wasn’t home he wanted. It was peace.

But there would be no peace today. Continue reading “Left Behind, Part Two”

Left Behind, Part One

Deacon stood beside Lilm, his sister, in a field of purple grass. Before them, a rotted temple struggled to stay upright. The sky was the crisp red of a summer afternoon on Aldom. A hundred of their people, all of whom were genetically identical to Abraham Lincoln (not that one) had congregated there, and now watched the pair expectantly.

“I can’t do it,” Lilm said. “What if it doesn’t work?”

“We are faithful,” Deacon said, offering his eight-fingered-hand. “It will work.” Continue reading “Left Behind, Part One”

Nestor’s Big Day, Part One

Punctuality was fifth on Nestor Pinkly’s list of top six-hundred favorite things. Number four was the sunrise. So, a few years back, Nestor had enchanted a clock so that it would produce a sound, like an alarm, whenever it reached a specified time. He called this the Loud Noise Clock. The Chamber of Sanitation promptly banned it, citing noise pollution.

“Everybody knows that noise pollution brings bugs,” the Chamber said in unison. “And with bugs come mosquitos. And with mosquitos come mosquito eaters. And with mosquito eaters come the rare mosquito eater eaters. And with rare insects come the foulest creature of all: entomologists.” Continue reading “Nestor’s Big Day, Part One”