(reading time: 5 minutes)
I Thought it was the Cat
Demoted for a raise. Strange I know, but it’s the only way to put it. They wanted me out of the building after the ‘softball incident’. I won’t go into detail about it other than to say they’re all sore losers.
It was mutual. I get an extra five K a year and I use it to pay the price of being near all our distribution centers on the East coast. Being equidistant from three truck stops in the middle of nowhere puts you, you guessed it, in the forgotten rusty storage shed of nowhere’s overgrown backyard.
No partner. Had one, but they also didn’t care for my gloating after the softball incident. So when I got there, town called Cracklebranch, my roommates were a pair of suitcases. Got a tiny house on the cheap. Couldn’t hear anything at night. No crickets. No birds in the morning either. Continue reading
Prompt: A tough-as-nails female cop and her partner, a sentient rotting banana that only wishes to be eaten, must solve a murder.
The smell was horrendous, but she dealt with it by reminding herself that their partnership was going to be short-lived. It was just one case, and she hoped to solve it before most of the people in the office building were done with their lunch hour. It was a murder, sure, but most parties involved wanted an answer as quickly as possible. Continue reading
Prompt: An elf boy and his fairy boyfriend are abducted by aliens.
The leaves of the the shy shoot plant were supposed to be excellent cover. It was a magical bit of flora, utterly invisible to human beings and their mechanical lenses, but still solid enough to hide anything under it. All sorts of magical tribes had relied on the tree to act as either neutral ground in times of conflict or safe bunkers for secret keeping. Continue reading
Prompt: You enter a house with a dark hidden secret; when looking around you see a painting moving faintly. You lean closer, and an arm pulls you in. You’re stuck in a world of paintings; how do you get out?
It was always the quietest house, which was why Michael Roslinger hated being there when he was a child. It was older than his grandparents, even back then, but it never creaked or moaned in the night. It had no personality. As an adult, as a patron of the arts, he knew everything was supposed to have one. That meant the house was like a comatose person, or that it had brain damage somewhere in its dark cellar. Continue reading
Author’s Note: This was written live on stream, with the tone being determined by the numbers under minesweeper tiles. The audience could bid tokens earned in stream to reveal random tiles. A mine hit results in the death of all characters, unless they are temporarily saved by a lump sum of tokens. If characters make it to the end of the stream, they survive to be seen another day. Join us at twitch.tv/blainearcade if you wish to participate.
1-peace 2-alert 3-escalation 4-action 5-tragedy 6-world-changing
The minefield has been moved. It now connects the Trap to a new world, a new game. There is no destruction this time, nothing forcing them to flee. Only the brave, curious, and strange will take the journey. Who will step through the fog and face the myriad dangers of the field?
Three enter: Treackle the candy-thieving pixie, Floab the radically shy dragon, and Dawn the blind swimsuit model. Continue reading
Prompt: Your goal is to create and protect a network of planetary colonies and defeat a computer adversary trying to do the same.
There didn’t seem like much reason to guard it. It was just the last experiment of the mad genius who’d spilled his mess across the entire galaxy and expected the rest of humanity to clean it up. The ship inside the launch facility, just under its exoglass dome, was the government’s final attempt to make him clean it up himself. Continue reading
Prompt: A swords-woman wields an Eidolon-enchanted sword. The sword holds an array of powers.
Enish, daughter of the irrelevant Sir Nash, knew she was doomed to the same sort of history that plagued her family tree back to its roots. Observers, every last one of them. They’d never starred in portraits or tapestries, always relegated to the sidelines of the scene, their faces so tiny and simply in the paint or fabric that they looked deformed by awe or stupidity. Continue reading
Prompt: A sad male poet secretly does magical needlepoint
I’m actually surprised I’m allowed to tell my own story here. I thought for sure he would’ve stopped me. Can he not make it past the veil? Truly? It does make a sort of sense. If my art can’t make it, if nobody’s can, then the force that opposes it is similarly kept out. Do you keep anything else out here? Sadness? Pain? A poet can hope. Continue reading
Prompt: Write a story based on these three words: public, birthday, volcano
The crater of Maragol was the greatest gift a civilization could ask for. It was a volcano, full of danger to be sure, but the silent deity within was kind enough to keep its eruptions regular and predictable. The people living at its feet, between the ripe groves of the leaning trees, knew to get out of the way every four years or so, to spend a week at sea while its spewed liquid fire and expanded their island. Continue reading
Prompt: A famous assassin will be publicly executed, overshadowing the sale of three slaves. A hooded woman buys these slaves and tells them she will let them free if they rescue her brother from his imminent execution.
Nobody could accuse the Royal Regents of not using their space economically. They only held a small section of that country, but nothing in their grip had a chance of slipping out, at least not until that cloudy day when all the knots had been made for the gallows. Continue reading