Attack Dog

He found it on a country lane. A beast of curling black fur and heavy paws. Its red eyes lit up its face in the dark; long muzzle, long tongue, long teeth.

‘It’s okay,’ he said gently. Lacking anything better, he offered it a ham sandwich, arm outstretched.

The beast growled, a sound of low menace that brought to mind the first rumble of an avalanche.

‘I won’t hurt you, I promise,’ he said. He laid the sandwich on the ground and took a step back. ‘Try it.’

The beast lunged forward and snapped up the sandwich. Its teeth clacked and its mouth smacked wetly.… Read more

Love and War(craft)

She kicked the skeleton squarely in the chest, then drew her twin shortswords. ‘Still think this was a good idea?’

Her companion raised her staff and lightning cracked down from the sky, turning a zombie into ash. ‘Well, I’m having a good time,’ she replied.

Their eyes met over their laptop screens. One raised her eyebrows; the other looked down in a blush.

‘So … maybe we’ll do this again sometime?

‘Yeah! Yes. Um … the Ashara Raid?’

‘It’s a date.’

This microfiction written in thanks to a donor on Ko-Fi. Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/OrnaW-8155178/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=3978569″>Orna Wachman</a> from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Moonlight Dog

Her dog was a creature of moonlight and chill wind.

It lived on the hill behind her house, in the ruins of the old stable. She’d been up there to get … away, when she heard whimpering.

It was a timid thing, thin-boned and silver-furred, all eyes flashing in the dark and tail vanishing into shadow.

Given time, she earned its trust.

It would lean against her side and she would run her hands through its icy fur. She brought it treats that it would never take, but when she called, it came. But only at night.

‘Who left you here?’ she would wonder as it bowed and bounded in play.… Read more

A better player

She played late into the night and then later still, ignorant of the shadows pressing in on all sides, uncaring of the heaviness of her limbs or the life set to resume in a few hours.

For her, there was only the quest, only the character on the screen, only the voices of her guildmates, intense in her ears.

The shadows crowded closer as her eyelids drooped, their inky hands reaching for the keyboard.

When her head hung and a snore rose up in her throat, they gently nudged her aside and finished the raid.

‘Yes!’ a player crowed in her ear.… Read more

Lost

They met at twilight: a woman, scratched and sore, and a fox with mauled ears and eyes like reflected stars.

The fox had one leg lifted, poised to flee. The woman pulled her tattered coat tighter about her as she sat among the leaf-litter.

‘I’m lost,’ said the woman. ‘But I can’t go back. I won’t.’

The fox tilted its head to one side, yipped, and picked up a careful pace.

And through trees and darkening light and desperate hope, it led the woman to her new home.

Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by n4pgw, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Another day

He made it to the rooftop, fingers slipping on the rain-slicked tiles, skin cold and stung by the falling sky.

She huddled by the false chimney. Her arms hugged her knees to her chest. Gull-grey wings shivered tight to her back as she gazed up at the storm-laden clouds.

He settled beside her and placed a hesitant hand on her shoulder.

‘I was going to do it,’ she said. ‘I was really going to do it.’

‘There’s always tomorrow,’ he said.

Always another day to fly.

Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by Pezibear / Petra, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

The Present Revealed

‘That can’t be right,’ she said.

‘It is the truth,’ the fortune-teller replied. ‘See for yourself.’ He gestured with a hand laden with many rings to the crystal ball that sat between them.

She glanced at the ball, then jerked her gaze away as if stung. ‘All I see is me. You’re just telling me what you think I want to hear, but I fail at everything. I’ll never succeed. I never have.’ She stood up scurried from the room, head down, shoulders raised in tension.

The fortune-teller watched her go, eyes dark and unreadable through the veil he wore.

‘You will,’ he whispered.… Read more

The Rose-girl

Someone pushed her from the boat, the sudden plunge into icy blackness muting their laughter.

She floundered in the cold and dark, the surface an ever more distant gleam of gold. She kicked hard, but it grew no nearer.

Fear gripped her. Then: a girl with dark skin that glittered pink at the edges. Tentacles swirled around her — from her hair, like rosy locks, around her legs like a trailing skirt.

She took the hands of the drowning girl.

–It’ll be okay–

The words were a whisper, mind to mind. Her smile bared sharp teeth, but kindly.

They stared at each other, one human and one other.… Read more

On Her Watch

‘Ellie, nooo …’ She crouched to sweep up the shards of glass and soak the red wine splattered across her floor like a crime scene.

She narrowed her eyes at the watching cat. ‘You never used to push things off counters.’

The queen prrted hopefully, and boffed the human’s hand when she was done. Tension melted from the human.

The queen eyed the wine bottle. She had seen another human slip something into that bottle, and nobody would hurt HER human on her watch.

Another microfiction. Image by WenPhotos / Wendy Corniquet, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Cry for help

She heard howling in the night: desperate, ragged calls that faded into brokenness. The neighbours’ dogs were silent.

She put on coat and boots and stepped out into chill air under a hazy moon. Her footsteps squelched along a pavement still moist from the memory of rain.

She followed the howls away from her house and up the hill to the old churchyard. No foxes or rabbits skittered past; no bats hunted above.

A hulking figure crouched on the churchyard wall.

It was a misshapen thing of fur and fangs and bulging muscles. A twisted wolf-creature, man-like only in the broadest strokes.… Read more