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Everyday Drabbles #505: Muse

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I was spending another morning in the coffee shop, staring at a blank document on my laptop screen when I heard a soft tapping at the window. I ignored it, but it got louder. I looked up to see a hulking figure with burning eyes staring at me through the glass.
“Hello,” it whispered. “I’m your new muse.” It smiled, exposing razor-sharp fangs.
“What?” I asked. I glanced around, but nobody else seemed to notice it.
“I just transferred from the nightmares division,” it explained. “You’re my first case.”
I nodded, dumbstruck.
“So, how’s that manuscript going?”
I started typing.

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Everyday Drabbles #504: Movie Theater

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I’ve got an hour of air left when I find the movie theater. The disaster tore the roof right off. I can see the Earth hanging above me through the support beams.
It takes about a day for a rocket to reach Armstrong Colony. Far too late to do anything once they started paying attention. Instead of rescuers, they sent an apology.
Miraculously, the building still has power. With no one left to turn it off, the projector keeps to its schedule, playing for an empty house.
I turn off my suit’s biosensors and settle in for the last reel.

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Everyday Drabbles #503: Live Demonstration

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The last thing he remembered, he was dying in a hospital bed. But he woke up floating in a tube of strange green liquid suspended from the ceiling of a cavernous room.
“Oh, you’re awake!” A voice said. He could just make out a masked figure below him. “You’re in a laboratory at Enceladus Station University. The year is 2247, by the way.”
“Was I frozen?” He asked. “Did you find a cure?”
“Er, not exactly. You’re a demonstration for first-year medical students.”
“Oh.”
“But if it makes you feel better, medically speaking, you’re already dead.”
It didn’t, in fact.

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Everyday Drabbles #502: Midnight Bargain

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When the stars were in the correct alignment, in the dead of night, she rode out on a white horse, nude except for a crown of stag antlers and oak leaves she had fashioned herself. She rode for a long time until she passed through a shadow into Someplace Else.
All around her she could see the detritus of those who hadn’t followed the instructions. The sand was littered with glasses and shoes and other scraps of clothing. But no bones.
“What do you seek?” A voice called from the darkness.
“Power,” she replied and felt herself begin to change.

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Everyday Drabbles #501: Entomologist

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The entomologist spent his career studying insect communication. He searched for the secrets hidden in ant pheromones and bee dances. They weren’t hive minds, but cooperatives.
Finally, after years of work, he hit upon something hidden in bee dances. It was a memetic code that he could replicate. In the lab, the bees became more cooperative and friendly. He decided to test it on humans.
He made a viral video and encoded the meme. After the first million hits, without a single negative comment, he’d thought he’d found something to truly better mankind.
That was when the advertising agencies started calling.

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Everyday Drabbles #500! Psychopomp

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The water was calm, with puffs of mist that clung to the surface like silk.
The shore was pleasantly warm and damp, a green hillside that ended in a wall of fog.
She turned and looked at the bank, biting her lip in thought.
“How about this one?” the ferryman asked, but he’d learned to read her looks, and knew what she would say.
“I’m sorry, but this isn’t my afterlife.” He paddled back into the vast river. They had visited hundreds of spots, but he would carry her as long as it took for her to find her home.

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Everyday Drabbles #499: Time Traveler

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If there was one thing he hated, it was the fake psychics that wrote supposed ‘books of prophecy,’ creating entire generations of mystic scammers in their wake.
He built a time machine to go back and confront these charlatans before they could spread their poison. But when he got to the past, he found the supposed prophetess waiting for him with tea and biscuits.
She showed him a book, detailing their whole encounter, written a century earlier. He fled back to the future, terrified.
She sipped her tea, satisfied that he hadn’t discovered the time machine hidden in her barn.

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Everyday Drabbles #498: The Archivist

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“You ever hear the one about finding a tortoise in the desert?” I asked. My companion slowly lifted her head to regard me but made no reply.
I sighed, sounding like a broken pipe organ in a windstorm, and sat down heavily on a piece of broken rebar. My posterior heat sensor complained about the sun-baked metal. I ignored it.
The tortoise went back to her slow process, and I watched her navigate the ruins for an hour.
I was tasked with remembering Humanity, built in the last moments of civilization. I just wished I had someone to talk to.

Everyday Drabbles #497: The Sphinx’s Daughter

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The Sphinx found the baby abandoned on the shore of her island, left in a boat by a warrior who had failed to answer her riddle. She was fascinated by the tiny, wailing creature.
Changeless and immortal, the Sphinx was ageless. She decided to adopt the baby, to better understand mortals and their habits. She didn’t come to love her until later.
Over the years, the baby grew into a child, who became a woman. The Sphinx taught her everything she could. One day her daughter left to join the human world, and the Sphinx waited for her to return.

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Everyday Drabbles #496: The Count Steps Out

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The Count straightened his tie in the mirror. The aluminum backing was far more forgiving about showing reflections than silver.
He smiled at himself and switched off the bathroom light. His phone buzzed from the pocket of his tuxedo jacket. His rideshare was downstairs waiting for him. While he had his phone out, the vampire pulled up his social media to confirm the address on the invite.
He checked his blackout curtains and reset his security alarm before locking up the apartment.
Perhaps it was no longer an age of shadows and blood. But modern times certainly were more convenient.

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