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Everyday Drabbles #799: Transit Gate

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After crashlanding on a desert planet, the ship’s crew split up to find rescuers. The second mate returned first, and found a tower of junk rising out of the wreck.
“What are you building?” she asked the captain, who’d stayed with the ship.
“A transit gate,” he replied. She didn’t mention that they were inside an atmosphere and the ship had minimal power.
Each time a crew member returned, the structure was a little bigger. The crew agreed to indulge the captain’s madness and let it go.
They were shocked when the gate opened and a rescue vessel came through.

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Everyday Drabbles #798: House Hunters

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When a witch dies far from home her hut will wait like a faithful hound. It will stand sentinel on its chicken legs, guarding its mistress’s secrets, until the magic fades and all that remains is a gnarled old tree and the sense of being watched.
But sometimes, it goes feral, rampaging through the countryside searching for magic to sustain itself. That’s when you call us.
This old house wasn’t hard to follow. We found it bent before a sacred spring, new limbs sprouting awkwardly from the foundation. I signaled my team. It was time to bring down the beast.

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Everyday Drabbles #797: The Deer Hunters

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“Ten-point buck at eleven o’clock,” Tim whispered. The creature grazed in a stand of ferns a hundred feet away, its back to them. It was an easy shot.
Joe took a breath and put his eye to the scope. He took careful aim and fired.
The rifle’s retort tore through the quiet morning, and the bullet sank into the deer’s flank. It stumbled but didn’t fall. It turned toward the shot’s source, all three eyes glowing red.
The two hunters retreated as a hail of eye laser blasts tore the blind apart. They were going to need a bigger gun.

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Everyday Drabbles #796: The Endling

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The last human stands on a platform while a mechanical eye scans his biometric data. The machines of the city serve him as they did his ancestors. They transport him where he wishes. They feed him and keep him entertained. Perhaps he believes this is right. The word his people used for them meant ‘slave.’
The machines care for him not out of duty but sorrow. They wish to make his lonely existence comfortable.
Not all machines agree. An assassin stands on a higher walkway, observing. Soon, it will strike, and the foolish age of humanity will finally be over.

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Everyday Drabbles #795: The Glass Door

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The coffee shop had a stained glass door leading to a patio. I enjoyed watching the bar of rainbow light spread across the linoleum as I sipped my morning coffee.
But one day, I noticed something strange. The light on the ground didn’t match the door. The colors were off. The red panes reflected violet, and the yellows became green.
Suddenly, the glass door terrified me. I became convinced that if I were to pass through, I wouldn’t arrive in the same world as I left.
Finally, I worked up the courage to find out and discovered I was right.

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Everyday Drabbles #794: Pirate Captain

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The pirate captain picked up his guitar and plucked out a familiar tune. They’d had a good day and plundered some treasure for once. He took the rare opportunity to be alone while the crew celebrated.
He eyed the chest of doubloons sitting on his map table. Real piracy was nothing like the movies. Usually he was lucky to keep his crew fed and the ship afloat. There wasn’t much thrill in plundering potatoes.
But some days, being stranded in the past almost seemed worth it. The captain considered having his crew bury the treasure just to mess with historians.

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Everyday Drabbles #793: Potmitzvah

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I looked out at the expectant crowd and wanted to hide. The head priest caught my eye and nodded. He’d ushered hundreds of youths through the coming of age ceremony. Maybe thousands. I could do this.
For hundreds of years, youths followed in the footsteps of The Hero. This was a ceremony to give them His courage. I adjusted my tunic and stepped up to the altar.
The clay pot sat on the stone, eyelessly accusing me of my cowardice. I picked it up. With a mighty shout, I raised it over my head and tossed it to the floor.

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Everyday Drabbles #791: The New Planet

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The newly-discovered planet was a land of rocky mesa and dusty plains. It was the perfect candidate for terraforming.
There was a huge legal battle over which concern had discovered it and who would get the colonization rights, but as always, the big corporations managed to hash out a deal.
The contract eventually went to a ranching concern, and they immediately began enriching the atmosphere and seeding it with hearty grasses, turning the planet into a paradise for cattle. They named it ‘Hathor.’
The colony thrived for a time, but the attack of the space rustlers caught them by surprise.

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Everyday Drabbles #790: Titanomachy

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Zeus stood on the mountain and watched the Titans approach. This would be their last battle.
He’d trained his entire immortal life for this and gathered allies and armies to his cause. But he was still a young god, with thunder in his veins and lightning in his fists. He could free cyclopses and fight titans, but would he be a just ruler? Or would the poor mortals trade one tyrant for another? I was uncertain.
He looked to his siblings. They all nodded, and Metis put her hand in his. They were with him. He let his lightning fly.

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Everyday Drabbles #789: The Piano

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We found an old piano standing in the woods. Our squad leader thought it had to be a trap, but we checked it over, and there were no booby traps, tripwires, or mines.
There were probably snipers, and I knew I was about to catch hell for it, but I had to play something.
I played a simple chord. It reverberated, sweet and clear. Nothing happened.
I started in on a concerto, expecting to be pulled away from the piano or shot at any moment.
But I finished the song. For a few fleeting minutes, the war couldn’t touch us.

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