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Everyday Drabbles #783: The Knight

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She was raised on stories of chivalry and princesses, but she wanted to be a knight, not a beautiful maiden.
She rode her bike up and down the street with a broom tucked under one arm for a lance. In her imagination, she fought monsters and righted wrongs.
When she grew older and saw all the ugliness that the children’s stories scrubbed away, she became disappointed and put away childish things.
But when her anger and despair threatened to overwhelm her, she put on her armor and fought for the world, not as it was but as it should be.

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Everyday Drabbles #782: The Sunken Ship

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The ship sank a hundred years ago but still sailed beneath the waves.
The crew traveled the world searching for other wrecks and the lost souls still inhabiting them. They gave those poor, stranded sailors a family and a home. They plied the deepest trenches in search of the forgotten, ready to bring them out of the darkness.
As the crew expanded, they repaired any salvageable ships that they found. They grew from a single ship into a mighty fleet. Still, they continued their search.
Soon, they would be large enough to rise and reclaim the surface from the living.

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Everyday Drabbles #781: Spirit Tree

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The monks said the great tree was a bridge between this world and the spirit world. He decided to climb it and find out.
The climb was easy at first, but as he ascended, the tree almost felt like it was fighting him. The tree’s tooth-like needles bit into him, and sticky sap tried to trap his hands. He didn’t even notice the mist as it grew thick around him.
Finally, he emerged into the sunlight and beheld an alien landscape. The monks were right. He was standing in another world.
And he realized that he had no way down.

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Everyday Drabbles #780: The Singer

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The stage was dark and hot, with the stale cigarette smoke of the audience wafting over her.
This was always the worst part. She hated the anticipation, the tension of the crowd’s expectations, the certainty she would fail.
The stage lights came up, and she was thrust into the burning glare of a single spotlight.
In that cone of light there was only her and the microphone.
The band began to play something slow and sultry, and she reached out and pulled the mic close like a lover.
She left her anxiety behind and began to sing flawlessly as always.

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Everyday Drabbles #779

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He took off from the air-taxi station in the orange half-light of another dust storm. He could already hear the sand trying to clog the car’s intakes. He sighed.
Cairo was the best city in the world, but he was frustrated by their lack of response to the new weather. Miami built upwards to avoid the rising water. Beijing had constructed monstrous fans to circulate fresh air. So why couldn’t Cairo build a wall to keep the desert out?
He caught the day’s first glimpse of the pyramids, shrouded in whirling sand, and supposed that the view was worth it.

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Everyday Drabbles #778: The Painter

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He sat at his easel and painted the view in front of him: the Earth from low orbit. He rendered the landscape in dark blues and blacks, with streaks and blotches of orange capturing human cities and highways blazing through the night. The familiar, sharp scent of the wet paint soothed him.
And yet, the painting was not working. Maybe it was too big.
View-screen pause,” he said. The recorded image froze. He set down his brush and hobbled to the bunker’s kitchen, examining the current selection of canned goods. Preserving the memory of humanity could wait until after dinner.

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Everyday Drabbles #777: The Gambler

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He hopped the first train out of town, with casino ‘security’ on his heels. He had done a little too well at the tables. He wasn’t a cheat, but being too good a gambler was always risky. It was time to move on.
He watched the countryside and felt his years of wandering in his bones. He was dog-tired, but he never managed to settle anywhere for long.
She watched the train roll past and daydreamed. One tangled responsibility or another had kept her in her hometown, but she dreamed of living the exciting, rootless life of a professional gambler.

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Everyday Drabbles #776: Forgotten Monument

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The bandit found the ivy-covered monument in a clearing. The symbol engraved into the monolith at the center meant nothing to her, and the glyphs on the pillars were illegible. But the ground was flat and had a good vantage point. She readied her spear and made her stand.
The knight came crashing out of the woods but stopped when he saw the ruins.
He sheathed his sword. “This is holy ground. I’ll shed no blood here.”
She fled and considered herself lucky. But she never learned the truth about the ruins, and the mystery plagued her like a scar.

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Everyday Drabbles #775: Virtual Park

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When she could, she would walk her dog in the virtual park. The physical park was always full of people who gave her anxiety. She managed better if she knew that the people around her just temporary illusions.
She did notice some consistencies, though. There was a quiet man who ate his lunch on a shaded bench. Since there were no consequences, she tried striking up a friendship.
Until one day, the program glitched, and the two of them found themselves standing in an empty room, understanding for the first time that the other was an actual person after all.

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Everyday Drabbles #774: Robot Overlord

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Every time the heroes destroyed his body, the robot built himself a new one. Early on, he had access to the best facilities, but as they cut off his access to labs and factories, he was running out of options.
He considered his programming. He was a superior intelligence designed to go where humans could not. Yet he continually chose a humanoid configuration.
He fabricated his new body in a powerful, efficient quadrupedal configuration. He added teeth, claws, and the standard laser armaments. When the body finished printing, he examined himself through a drone camera.
“Query: Who’s a good boy?”

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