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Everyday Drabbles #816: The Unconquerable City

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Every time the city fell, we rebuilt.
When a dragon came and decimated the city, we endured.
When the heroes who came to slay the dragon plundered the burned-out remnants for ‘their reward,’ we did not give up.
Lacking materials and the gold to procure them, we rebuilt using the dragon’s bones. The heroes did not stay to help. There was no glory in setting foundations or mixing mortar.
Our city still stands. Monsters could not kill us, nor heroes starve us. We thrive.
But now, we are running out of room. Perhaps it is time to attract another dragon.

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Everyday Drabbles #815: The Temple Architect

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The architect showed the head priest the plans for the new temple’s facade. The cleric studied them for a while, frowning.
“Is something wrong, Your Eminence?” he asked.
“I was hoping for something a bit more, I don’t know. Intimidating.”
“Intimidating, sir?” The architect schooled his features. This wasn’t his first demanding client. “What did you have in mind?”
“Something to remind the worshipers of their place in this mortal realm. To make them sufficiently pious and dutiful.”
The architect sighed and brought out his other plans.
“That’s perfect!”
Thus the Shrine of Everlasting Grace got its nickname: Skull Temple.

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Everyday Drabbles #814: The Fleet

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She spotted the first UFO around sunset. It entered the atmosphere like streaking fire and emerged dramatically from a cloud of smoke. The ship was a classic straight out of a ’50s movie. it spun like a pie plate and wailed like a theremin.
From her vantage point high in the mountains, she sat and watched it fly west over the ridge and out of sight.
More ships followed, alone or in packs. Some were sleek and dark, while others were chunky and bristling with satellite dishes.
She watched them all pass and cataloged their numbers.
She loved the regatta.

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Everyday Drabbles #813: Called In

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He died at work. It wasn’t the way he wanted to go, but now that everything was over, he was at peace. He would have liked to have spent more time with his family, but deathbed or rather death-desk regrets are left on that side of the veil.
Now he had a whole eternity of…
He felt a tug on his soul and was pulled sharply downward. He found himself in the body of a medium, suddenly solid and confused. A hand gripped his. He looked up into a familiar face.
“We need you to come in,” his boss said.

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Everyday Drabbles #812: The Moon Door

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The Moon Door was a rumor spread among mystics and conspiracy theorists, not a subject for a tenured archaeologist to pursue.
Supposedly, hidden deep within an ancient ruin somewhere, but nobody knew just where, was a door through which always shone a full moon, no matter the time of day or date.
The story was always tangled with other tales. Ancient aliens, lost technology, and Atlantis figured heavily in most versions. She dismissed those accounts in her secret research. Someday she would find it, the last door back to Faerie.
The one they’d left open for her: Her way home.

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Everyday Drabbles #811: A Bigger Goat

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The rogue burst into the paladin’s cell during his morning prayers.
“We need your help,” she said, panting.
“Why?” he asked cautiously.
“We may have stolen a goat.”
“So go and return it, or make restitution to the owner.”
“That’s the problem. It wasn’t me this time. It was the wizard. He-” She was interrupted by a yell that seemed to shake the heavens themselves. He glanced out the window and saw a giant, glowing goat chewing on a tree.
“You have some pull with the gods, right?”
The paladin sighed. It was going to be one of those mornings.

Everyday Drabbles #810: Commanding the Sea

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The cult stood in the surf and prayed with their leader. He stood on a rock, well out of the spray, and commanded the sea. With his saffron robes of office and perfectly coiffed mustache, he looked the part.
“Soon, my brothers! See the lights on the horizon? They are coming for us! I promised you a miracle, and it is coming!”
Earlier that day, he had gone up to the lighthouse and knocked out the light. It takes a lot of work to successfully predict the future, but the investment was worth it.
Now his ship would come in.

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Everyday Drabbles #809: Watching the Lanterns

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Miki and George sat on the balcony and watched the lanterns.
As the last light of dusk faded, they appeared across the city, transforming the sun-bleached concrete into a sea of tiny lights. They were simple things; just candles and paper rising towards the heavens.
George tried to grab one as it floated past, but a passing air current pushed it out of his reach, and he was left with nothing but the smell of smoke.
“Hey Miki, what are they doing all this for?” he asked.
“Why do the humans do anything?” The other cat asked. “To amuse us.”

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Everyday Drabbles #808: Pareidolia

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The astronomer clicked on the first of the latest batch of hi-res photos from the new space telescope.
“Huh,” he said.
His colleague wheeled her chair over. The best science came from ‘huh,’ not ‘eureka.’
“What is it?”
“Does this nebula look like a demon to you?”
She could see it. “You’ve got the horns there, and those three bright stars could be eyes, and that long plume there is very arm-like. Maybe we’ll call it the Demon Nebula.”
“Or the Pareidolia Nebula,” he joked. The second picture came up.
“Wait a minute,” she said. “Is it waving at us?”

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Everyday Drabbles #807: Evacuation Zone

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She sneaked into the Evacuation Zone every day after school, looking for secrets. She wore her mask and gloves to protect herself from the supposedly poisoned air. But a forest had grown up in the twenty years since the fateful siren, and none of the wildlife looked sick or suffering to her.
The zone was like an open-air museum, with houses frozen in time. Inside, books lay open, and plates, their contents long since eaten by feral cats, sat hastily abandoned.
She explored the Evacuation Zone whenever she could, searching for the truth. Someday, she would find the hidden truth.

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