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Everyday Drabbles #443: The Intelligence

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Its creators gave it a human face, and the people that interacted with it expected it to think like a human. But they had created a supercomputer for supercomputers, a repository of knowledge and thought to surpass all others.
And yet, the people who visited came to it with foolish, tiny questions. What did it like to think about? What was its favorite color? The answers to trivial mathematical processes. Its creators insisted that it was ‘outreach’ and that it was important.
Its calculations showed it how humanity suffered. They lived short, cramped lives. So it smiled, and indulged them.

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Everyday Drabbles #442: The Duelists

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The duel lasted for hours. I was one of the best fencers in the kingdom, and he was no less skilled than I. We began in the dueling grounds, before a sizable crowd, but we cared little, with all our focus on the battle before us. We wheeled and dodged and lunged, leaving the crowd behind, fighting through the palace gardens and into the capitol streets.
I don’t know how long it was before I noticed we were fencing on a cliff beside a picturesque jungle waterfall.
“Hold,” I raised a hand for a break. “Where the hell are we?”

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Everyday Drabbles #441: Noir Love Letter

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Night fell over the city like a sable blanket. Fog rose off of the river and met the darkening sky as the skyscrapers lit like Christmas trees.
I walked along the water and watched the ballet of light and shadow, thinking. Somewhere out there was a mystery waiting to be solved. A beautiful woman with an ugly mind was plotting intricate revenge against her cheating husband. Shadowy thugs were plotting in the back room of some smoky gin joint. There were a thousand dirty stories waiting to be found in that concrete labyrinth, waiting for me.
I loved this city.

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Everyday Drabbles #440: Returned

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In a haze, he reached out and found his sword. He was wracked by a wave of pain, but vitality sang in his veins.
He felt stronger. His mind was clearer. He opened his eyes. He lay in a summoning circle, with swords at each corner. Lightning coursed through a black sky. He sat up and saw the witch.
She cackled. “Welcome back.”
“I died…” I stammered.
“The soul of the warrior is in his sword,” she said. “You can live again, so long as you fight.” It was a false life, but he wouldn’t waste his chance for revenge.

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Everyday Drabbles #439: The Developer

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He believed in ghosts to the extent that they were good for business. His colleagues thought he was crazy, but he always had an alert out for ghost stories and haunted houses.
He’d buy them cheap, wait a while for the story to die down, and flip them for huge profits.
Things were going well until one night, he found a spectral figure standing at the foot of his bed.
“I’m your twelve o’clock,” they said.
“What do you want?”
“You made a tidy sum selling my abode.” The ghost raised a bloody cleaver and grinned. “I want my cut.”

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Everyday Drabbles #438: The Titan

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They had created a monster. Sixty-feet tall and cloned from human DNA, she was an unstoppable killing machine, capable of survival to any environment, and able to adapt to any situation. She was beautiful, and terrible.
From the control room, the lead scientist looked down on his creation and wondered where it would all lead. In their desperation for a super-human savior, what if they had merely created their own destroyer?
“Hey guys,” the giant monster called from her tank. “Have you ever like, really thought about your hands?”
Perhaps the neurotransmitters still needed a bit of work, he thought.

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Everyday Drabbles #437: The Glass Key

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The girl stands in front of the door, the glass key warming in her hand. The door is somewhat less impressive. The unstained, weathered wood looks like it would break apart if she handled it too roughly.
When she was given the key, they told her it could only be used once, but that the door would take her anywhere she wanted.
She is paralyzed with indecision for a long time, but the door is patient. Finally, the old woman inserts the key, makes her wish and hears it shatter in the lock. The door opens, and she steps through.

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Everyday Drabbles#436: The Great Eye

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There are many great stone arches in the desert, each with their own unique magic. As night fell, the practitioners gathered hiked to The Eye, waiting for the moon to enter perfect alignment. They carefully assembled around the stone, and chanted and prayed as the moon rose like a pupil in a titanic eye, granting Power and Sight
As the moon moved into position, they grappled with intangible and imperceptible forces, bringing them to bear and opening a window into other places and times.
But windows work both ways, and on the lunar surface, the inhabitants observed them, and planned.

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Everyday Drabbles #435: The Dark Lord

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He sat on the Obsidian Throne, in his sable armor, with the greatsword Black Death beside him, and looked back on his accomplishments.
He had defeated the Dark Lord, taken the Castle Stygian, and led the Night Army in glorious conquest. And yet, his heart was heavy.
Until something caught his eye, a flash of color being smuggled out by an attendant.
“Stop right there! What is that?” The boy nervously revealed a piece of citrus fruit, spoils from the latest campaign.
He took it and ate it. This was what he was looking for. It was the new black.

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Everyday Drabbles #434: The Hunter

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He watched the sun rise through a thin stand of trees, his heavy breaths steaming. It had been a long night.
He had slain the beast, the town was saved, and evil had been thwarted. It was a new dawn. But the red glow of the sun seemed a bit too dull, and he smelled smoke on the wind.
Below, the village should’ve been just waking up. Instead, he saw burning houses and marauding soldiers. It seemed that the troops sent to hunt the monster had gotten bored after all.
He readied his sword for the next battle, weariness forgotten.

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