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Everyday Drabbles #515: Conqueror

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The portal opened and he stepped out onto thin air. The early-morning streets were nearly empty, and still damp from last night’s rain. His arrival went unnoticed. This wasn’t a world where people looked up.
He had chosen his destination carefully. This version of Earth was sad and gray. It had no monsters, aliens, or demigods. There weren’t any heroes. Nobody would stand in his way.
His powers were harder to use here, and if he wasn’t careful he might lose them altogether. But the prize was worth the cost.
Better to rein in Hell, he thought and got started.

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Everyday Drabbles #514: Summer Job

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Quincy tromped up the ramp of his uncle’s barge and stowed his duffle below decks. He was about to spend another summer working on his uncles’ boat, ferrying passengers and goods up the Dragontail River and through the Singing Plains.
They’d ply the waters of the floating canals, trading rice for salt in the Dwarven Mountains, passing through the ancient Elven Forest of Lamps. They’d stop in Piketown and Warlocksburg, and probably take a detour to Port Crystal if they made good time.
Just like last year and the year before. Quincy sighed. He was going to be so bored.

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Everyday Drabbles #513: The Old Baker

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The old baker watched his new apprentice knead dough with a guarded expression. The kid was good. He worked hard and never complained about the hours. But something bothered him. “What made you pick up the trade?” He asked.
The bell on the front door tinkled, even though it should’ve been locked. The kid grinned.
“Baking is the expression of consequence. You make something and you see how it turns out.”
The baker reached under the counter and found the hidden gun. He didn’t know how they found him after all these years, but he wouldn’t go without a fight.

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Everyday Drabbles #512: Theophany

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The god towered over the village, their massive frame blocking out the sun, their brilliance lighting the sky. Radiance fell from the tips of their horns. Their footsteps shook the earth. Flocks of birds sheltered beneath their wings.
The villagers watched in terror and ecstasy as their diety approached. Some of them knelt in supplication. Some sang songs of praise and thanks. Some laid a carpet of flowers for their feet. Some of them cowered, not daring to look upon them.
The god sighed. There had to be a better way to nip over to borrow a cup of sugar.

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Everyday Drabbles #511: The Great Reclamation Project

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The Grand Duchess pranced into the lab on four spring-heeled feet. “How goes the reclamation process, Doctor?”
The smaller machine didn’t move from his station, but his free-floating camera eye swiveled to focus on her.
“Passing well, Your Grace.” He gestured to the weed in the analysis chamber. “We are nearly ready to reintroduce plant life to the surface.”
“It doesn’t look like much,” she said.
The scientist thought of their earliest ancestors, boxes on spindly legs and crude, blocky bipeds. Humble beginnings. He was not a religious bot, but sometimes he felt like the long-lost Progenitors.
“No, it doesn’t.”

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Everyday Drabbles #510: Sword of Truth

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The swordsman stood on the hill and bellowed out a challenge. No coward, I rode out to face him. The wizard grabbed my arm as I dismounted.
“Be careful lad. He wields the Sword of Truth.”
“What’s it do?”
“I don’t know, but it’s said that he cannot be defeated.”
“Well, I can take him.” But as our blades met, I heard a voice whisper in my ear.
“Last week when the tavern maid said ‘Enjoy your mead,’ you replied, ‘You too.’”
I cringed in embarrassment, and at that moment, he thrust under my weakened guard, delivering a mortal blow.

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Everyday Drabbles #509: The Doorman

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He’d worked as a doorman at the old hotel for as long as anyone could remember. He would always have a smile and a story. He treated everyone who crossed his path the same as the guests in the fancy hotel. He was a fixture of the neighborhood.
When the hotel closed down, it was boarded up. The doorman disappeared and the neighborhood buzzed with rumors of his fate.
Until one day he returned, and sat in the shade under the awning, resting his back against the boarded-up door. The whole neighborhood came out to greet him and share stories.

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Everyday Drabbles #508: Tree City

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They planted the seeds in the center of the blast sites. The plants were genetically modified, created to thrive on the poisoned air and irradiated soil that the war had left behind.
As the trees grew to impossible heights, they rebuilt the city around them in concentric rings, a dome of fresh air and clean earth that expanded year after year. They built pumps and pipes that sent clean water from under their roots to the rest of the city.
But the city never shared the secrets of the rejuvenation with their neighbors. That decision led to the next war.

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Everyday Drabbles #507: Wings

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He bore the proof of each battle on his back. Not as scars, but as black feathers as long and sharp as swords.
After each fight, his wings were a bit larger, a little heavier. Blood ran down his back where they pushed through. She knew that they would kill him someday. The wounds they caused would kill him, or they would weigh him down in battle.
She begged him to stop. She told him that her life wasn’t worth his. He just returned to guarding her and waited for his wings to get strong enough to carry her away.

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Everyday Drabbles #506: Paladin

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When his manager added a paladin to the tour, the bard thought it was a bad idea. Sure, she was great at managing security, and the free healing that they all got in the morning was worth the lecture that usually came with it. But he was sure that their wildly different philosophies would put them at odds before long.
To his surprise, she had very little to say about the performances themselves. As the tour went on, she even became something of a fan.
The real trouble started the night she tried to crowd surf in full plate mail.

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