Category: Short Stories

  • Usurpee

    “Prince Eric is in town,” Bellarmin said a little too casually. My head spymaster looked downright smug. “Oh?” I asked, idly leafing through whichever unimportant report had been the pretext for our meeting. It was something about latrine cleanliness and death rates in the Narrows. The words seemed to slip straight from my mind even…

  • Not a Cult

    “…and so it shall be, according to thine will. Hail Bas’fal!” “Hail Bas’fal!” the one acolyte in attendance cried. I closed the holy book with a thump. Truthfully, I could not even begin to see the words scrawled on the pages in the dim light of the cellar. Fortunately, it did not matter; I had…

  • Parallel Parked

    There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, the anger of a gentle man, and god damned everfucking parallel parking. Little known fact: I actually failed that part of my driver’s test. It was Halloween night and rainy, which was just perfect. Not only could I not see worth a…

  • Deicide

    “Take a left here.” Barlow frowned at the instruction but obliged nonetheless. “Something on your mind, rook?” he asked as the car rounded the corner. “My nav says straight.” “Mine too,” the rookie agreed. “But Kino optics interface with the SkyCams for only $322 a month. I’ve been keeping an eye on the route, and…

  • The Dwarfed Apprentice

    Gehrlittan the Lesser snarled when he first met me. I was somewhat relieved; I had been mostly convinced of my inevitable metamorphosis into a midday snack, so the realization that Gehr had restrained his initial impetus to ingest me into a mere growl was quite encouraging. “You,” he huffed, smoke enwreathing my entire self. “Hello,”…

  • Best in the Empire

    Spiro tightened the strap of his chest piece just a hair more to straighten it out. It was a worthless bit of frippery. almost more soft gold inlay than actual hardened steel, but if he was to participate in this charade, he was to go all the way. “Thank you, sir,” he whispered into the…

  • A Contentious Retirement

    The stage was set. We had both agreed to a duel at high moon, which was Witch’s idea of comedy. Granted, she could only appear when the sun was below the horizon, which took regular old high noon out of the picture entirely, but… But frankly, it didn’t matter to me at all. I was…

  • Mind Your Beeswax

    No one respects potions. And frankly, I get it. Magic is so varied and multifaceted and wonderfully complicated, and potions are just, like, chemistry. You follow a recipe, you make a foul-tasting beverage that has been made a hundred times before, and through its power, you grant temporary magic to those who are otherwise dispossessed…

  • Truly Desperate

    I’m just the archer guy, man. You know who I am. All of the old comics had an archer man, even in the day when superheroes were but distant dreams on the minds of children. The original Defiants had an archer guy. Every superhero group since then has had an archer guy. Hell, even the…

  • Ready, Able, and Unwilling

    I stepped onto the gravel flats and that familiar fluttering thump stepped into overdrive. “You’re—” “For Shiraz’s sake, yes, I’m sure this thing won’t crash,” Pella cried in exasperation. “No commercial airship has ever crashed in the history of ever.” “Well, first of all,” I said. Pella rolled her eyes as the line we had…