Looking For Group

Looking for Group

by Ashley Lachance

 

Looking for group: Well-rounded rogue with archery experience. No fear of giants or spiders!

That’s the ad I posted. It lands me with a cleric, two mages, and the biggest paladin I have ever seen. They need a fleet-footed guide to scout ahead through Dagora Forest and kite the sudden population of walking corpses.

Well, I say sudden, but it’s predictable; a bi-monthly contract, in fact. Beneath the lake’s glassy surface are perhaps the oldest ruins in Eldoras. The ghouls spring up like dandelions, adventurers cut them down – a very standard run.

The scouting is almost dull. Thankfully, it’s midsummer and the forest is quite beautiful. The rich aroma of foliage and flowers almost hides the scent of the undead until we’re practically on top of them. Bonus: It hides our scent as well.

It’s easy, we tidy up our targets two and three at a time. Everything goes very smoothly making last week’s imp fiasco an embarrassing memory. We’re just packing up when the tremors start. It’s a slow, rhythmic pulsing causing increasingly large waves in the lake.

“It’s coming from the tower!” the cleric points her bell-sleeve covered hand to the east. Part of the ruin – could’ve been a tower, I guess – scatters rocks into the water with every shudder.

I didn’t see it coming. The explosion is sudden, violent, and all I see is a flash of rubbery tentacles. I reach for an arrow, but my quiver is empty; I lunge with the bladed end and trip over a root; and that’s when I realise I’m out of flare bombs, smoke potions, and toxic darts.

My attempts at dodging the ensuing onslaught of barbed limbs results in sharp agony in my own. The world spins. Something cracks – my head or my back – and now, I can’t feel my legs. A groaning whimper comes from my lips, but it hurts too much to think. There’s blood in my eyes and screams in my ears.

What are the odds of rolling a one on a D20 six times in a row? The dice must really hate me today.

 


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The Odd One Out

The Odd One Out

by M. Aei

 

You wouldn’t recognize me if you saw me, I’m that kind of guy.

I’m not sleek like the Nile.

I’m not fluffy like those Pampered Ones up at the palace – not that I would ever dream of saying so to their faces. There’s just something about several hundred pounds of muscle and fangs as long as my tail that keeps me from arguing. That’s for foolish youngsters with all their lives left.

I’m not so lucky. I only have one.

No. I didn’t lose them. I was born that way. You never heard of a one-life cat? Well, that’s me – in the flesh, or the fur if you prefer.

All my siblings were perfectly normal cats who went on to have kittens of their own. I might even have some long lost relatives out there.

Me? I was the slow one – always the last to learn anything or go anywhere. And after the priestesses of Bast at the temple told mother I only had one life, even that stopped. I don’t hold it against her. She meant it for the best, but I was suffocating and so, I ran away.

I like my independence, what can I say? What did you expect? I’m a C. A. T.

It took time to learn how to survive on my own. Back then it was like struggling against this grey unmovable mass, but over the years it became easier. I would even say I have far surpassed any of my brethren of the day. Experience counts for a lot, when you’re a one-lifed cat.

My fellow felines are much the same as they were then. Some even still roam the ruins where the temples used to stand along the river, fur as sleek and slick as ever, biding their time until, once again, they will be worshipped as godlings. Stubborn, cats are.

But not me. I moved on.

The reason I never had more than one life was because the Universe, in its infinite wisdom, knew I would never need the others.

Time. Time is what I’ve always had.

…LOG….check…

…End1110000111Trans…

…Cat…

…LunarOrbitalStationAlpha…

 


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Killgoarrex

Killgoarrex

by K. Hawley

 

“We’re going!” Henry called from the front door. Donna heard the minivan beep as it was unlocked.

“Later mom,” Jeff quickly ran outside behind his father. He was a skinny, pale blue blur in his Sky Computer Repair soccer jersey.

“Good luck.” Donna called after him before the door shut. While the van started up and pulled out of the driveway, she smiled fondly and finished folding the laundry. She grabbed another load of dirty clothing from her son’s hamper and proceeded to the basement. After moving a wet comforter to the dryer, she meticulously sorted out the new pile into the washer.

With the machines rumbling contently, she moved for the metal shelf screwed into the far wall. She pulled on its frame. The well-oiled, hidden hinges soundlessly revealed their opening; a rough-hewn staircase cut into the earth leading down into the abyss.

Down the steps and through an old wooden door she went, entering into a cold room devoid of light. By memory, she found the barbecue lighter and lit the candles scattered on the natural ledges along the wall. The orange, flickering glow revealed a broad, white chalk circle in the middle of the room. At the heart of that circle lay a naked form with glossy red skin and four bony horns on its head.

“Awaken Killgoarrex.” Donna commanded.

“I do not slumber. I wait… to eat the flesh of the unborn.” boomed the unmoving mass.

“Grant me boons, demon, and I shall grant you yours.”

The beast snarled and rolled away to the far side of the circle. There was a long pause before it spoke: “What is your wish mortal?”

“For Jeff to score a goal at his game today and at least a B on his math test.”

“For a taste of the unborn… I shall grant this.” There was a soft flash of silver light from hidden eyes.

As Donna moved to the stone steps, she casually glanced over her shoulder: “Do you want your unborn scrambled or poached?”

“Poached, mortal!” cried the demon, “with salt, pepper, and extra ketchup this time!”

 


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Little Curiosity

The following content within this post is copyrighted to its original author, Ashley Lachance. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Lachance and ScribeCat.ca with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

– – –

Lucy slowly stirred from sleep like every other morning. She languidly stretched and blinked her eyes against the twinkling dust shining in the sunlight. Lounging and stretching again, she finally deigned to leave her bed for breakfast. As usual, she relaxed for a spell on the veranda before finally sauntering around the corner for her routine stroll.

The crisp, autumn air tickled her nose with the faint scent of decay. Lucy took a deep breath as she glanced around her familiar path. The trees still wore many brilliantly coloured leaves – gowns set aflame by the rising sun – but a stormy night had crushed and mulched enough foliage to leave an earthy note on the wind.

Suddenly, an unfamiliar sound caught her ear. It was a peculiar lilting call. Lucy knew every bird song, every animal call, in these woods and this new voice belonged to none of them. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other and rolled her shoulders before trotting toward this new melody. Pausing only briefly to get a better listen, she strayed from her usual path without fear.

Deeper into the forest, with ferns tickling at her heel, Lucy abruptly halted at the edge of a pond. Touching one delicate toe to the water’s surface, she watched the ripple expand and distort her reflection. After a few quick blinks, she realised the singing had stopped. Looking up, Lucy spotted a most peculiar figure.

Sunbathing on a fallen log, her long silky hair, her creamy skin, even her silvery fishtail, reflected the sun in a dazzle of colours. Her mouth still gaped, like a fish out of water, but the musical voice that followed could only belong to the mysterious minstrel.

“Oh,” she smiled politely, “Hello there, stranger. Since you have found me this morning, I will grant you one wish.”

“I desire nothing, fair singer,” Lucy sniffed, “My curiosity has been satisfied.” Spinning around with a swish of her fluffy tail, she headed back toward her traditional morning route.

The singer smiled after the cat and watched her vanish into the brush.

– – –

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