The Green Knight and his Guests
A Retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Down the stone steps it rolled, quietly as that heavy a thing could thanks to the carpets unfurled for the day. There was no such padding upon the wall when the stairs reached their midpoint and pivoted at a harsh angle, so the sound of its collision traveled throughout the castle. There was no trouble yet, for everyone that could possibly hear it was floors below and awash in much more joyous noises. Continue reading
Fetch the Black Gold
Time off was not part of the experimental parameters the 8th were always subject too. While it would’ve been fair to have a longer period of rest after each foray if, say, they had gotten particularly bland or stomach-cramping tinned food that time, their current stay at the base in Tampico was just a fluke. Continue reading
That Dog had Something to Say
He really had no idea why he brought the book, even the first chapter had been insufferable, but he was certainly glad for it now with the sun beating down on his head. With one end of it stuffed under his collar the thin open novel made an excellent neck shield. Its cool pages were a relief on the raw shedding skin there. Continue reading
The Cave is not an Allegory
Tampico would’ve liked to be known for its architecture. Their cast iron balconies could’ve been right out of any European city a century ago. No matter how desperate your search for god, there was a church in Tampico grand enough to handle it. Its people would gladly sit you down and, in the Catholic hospitality as immortal as their god, share the region’s bounty with you. A tortilla of pounded corn stuffed with roasted iguana meat. Or perhaps armadillo. That was without even considering the bounty of seafood. All you had to do was stay close enough to the buildings, and to the food, to smell them. Straying might mean getting a whiff of the oil in the air. Continue reading
Author’s Note: This novella was inspired by the animals mankind has used in warfare since the dawn of civilization. None of them knew what they were doing, but some of them surely wanted to help. I take you now to one special litter, born in a place not yet swallowed by the first world war.
Gal rested on her bed of dry straw and whimpered. One of her ears flopped over her eye; she didn’t bother to move it. The freshly-washed hands hovering over her thought this odd, so they moved in and pushed the ear back. Gal loved the light, loved chasing the setting sun to the marshy edge of the island, so there was no reason for her to not see the light in her litter’s eyes. They were due any minute now. One of the hands rested on her swollen belly, both petting and feeling for the position of the puppies. She couldn’t tell the difference. Continue reading
Author’s Note: This story is closely based on a nightmare I had, written up the following night and only modified enough to make some amount of sense.
At sixty-three it was the oldest thing out there, living or inanimate. The house behind it was only forty-two. Everything older was off in the dark trees, grumbling, bundling up for the whipping wind of the late November night. The device was ready for anything, having weathered plenty of Cayuga winters already. Continue reading
Author’s Note: This story was written live on stream with the audience voting to determine the path of the story. The underlined phrases in the choice of three were the winning pathways. Stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade if you’d ever like to participate in our interactive fiction.
Burned over an Open Fire Musical Ice Caves Nightmarish Car Trip
The Vaatiqaat clan would not survive the ice age. They would never make it to the footnotes of natural history texts. Their bones would never be found; their clothes and tools would be completely obliterated by the encroaching glaciers near the shore. Even their symbol, stitched upon everything they wore and carved into the hilt of their weapons, the boar walrus, was an animal that would similarly become extinct from both the world and history. Continue reading