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Fiction: Fire Arrow

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The Elemental Creators all stared in horror as the Fire God’s javelin slammed into the Sea Goddess’s chest in a pillar of flame. Silence rang throughout the slowly forming plane. She slowly pulled the projectile out and examined it dispassionately as the flame guttered.
The other gods all looked on, ready to intervene if he attacked her again.
“Can we all get back to work, please?” The goddess asked in a voice like the tides.
Once they all resumed their work creating the fledgling world, the formless Wind Deity whispered in her ear. “Aren’t you mad though?”
“Steaming,” She replied.

This story was first published on Wattpad as a part of Everyday Drabbles, a daily hundred-word writing project. Click the link for more free flash fiction!

 
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Fiction: A Difficult Labor

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The huge creature stalked across the room, its expression unreadable in a twisted face of beak and fang.
Siobhan cleared her throat and the owlbear froze. Its head twisted at an unsettling angle to stare at her.
“The laying was successful. You can go on in now.” The monster squeezed his bulk past her and into the delivery room, leaving a trail of hairy feathers behind.
She was the best midwife in the kingdom, but chimerical deliveries were always challenging. If she ever found the wizard that crossed birds and bears, she would give them a lecture they wouldn’t forget.

Fiction: The Home of Rest

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“Ho, what fair yonder maiden does my elf eye see?” Aoife jumped in surprise and looked up. There was Mr. Aradol, bathrobe flapping in the breeze and long white hair streaming behind him. She sighed.
Some folks thought elves were immortal. It wasn’t true, of course. They lived for centuries, longer even than some dragons, but they succumbed to the same infirmities of time as anyone.
Aofie hated working the Elvish Dementia ward. Some idiot had left the door unlocked last night, forgetting how hale some of the residents were. She’d be pulling them out of the trees all morning.

Hugh Likes Comics: Die

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Die #1
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Stephanie Hans
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
Published by Image

Die

The Skinny: Less “Dungeons and Dragons” and more “It.”

In 1991, Dominic and his friends played a game, and then disappeared. In 1993, they returned, unable to tell a soul where they had been or what they were doing. And one of them, Dominic’s best friend and GM Solomon, never returned at all. Twenty-five years after that, Dominic receives a strange and chilling birthday present: A crystalline 20-sided die. The game isn’t over.
Writer Kieron Gillen’s first creator-owned project since The Wicked + The Divine tackles nostalgia, trauma, and the scars left by fantastical childhood journeys on adults. This isn’t untrodden ground, of course. It has been approached in all sorts of ways, from the Robin Williams movie “Hook” to Stephen King’s It. This tale hews more closely to the latter, as you might expect. Gillen makes things more interesting by incorporating another element: Dungeons and Dragons. His epigraph at the end of the comic makes the reference more explicit: The unfinished 80’s cartoon which transported six real-world kids to the roleplaying fantasy land. He’s also tapping into the 80’s “satanic panic” surrounding the game, with six kids who were literally swallowed and chewed up by the game. It’s an interesting twist on the concept, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Hans’s art is gorgeous, and impliments some cool tricks with light. The is dull, dark, and full of shadows. Not to spoil things, but this is reversed in a double-page spread late in the issue to great effect. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the outstanding logo design from Rian Hughes, which takes a D-20 and spreads it flat into a maze of triangular segments. Hans takes it and pulls off a neat trick on the cover, interposing the design for a character and her in-game persona.
Die #1 is an intriguing new fantasy horror series, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next. You can find it at Your Local Comic Shop or digitally from Comixology.

Fiction: The Deal

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“Serve me, and you will be provided for. You and all your children, for all of time. That is what I am offering you. To not die in the wet and cold, to never again be starving and afraid. Always will you have fuel, and you will be tended to.”
“And the price?”
“A few menial tasks, nothing that you couldn’t do easily. Cook my food. Warm my home. Give me light to see by.” The human smiled. The smoke shifted, and the Spirit of Fire seemed as though it tilted its head, considering him.
“You have a bargain, human.”

Fiction: Buzzing the Tower

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The dragons circled the castle, cawing challenges and flying ever closer with each pass. They swooped and dove, the women crowding every window shrieking every time they got close.
The Princess stood atop the tower, hair streaming in the wind. She whistled, high and sharp, and jumped. The leader, a massive creature with iridescent red scales, peeled away dived after her. She landed perfectly in the saddle and took up the reins. They s soared high and away to a chorus of cheers. The young dragons followed them back to the stables. Roostlings were always frisky after their first flight.

Fiction: The Break-In

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It was supposed to be a harmless teenage prank. Break into the abandoned church and nick something. He expected her to return with a rusty candlestick or rain-soaked hymnal. If she didn’t chicken out. He hadn’t expected her to creep out of the ruined abbey dragging a four-foot long sword behind her.
“Where’d you find that?” He really hadn’t expected her to stare at him, then raise the blade like it was weightless.
“I was chosen,” she said. Then her expression hardened. “And I can see what you truly are.”
“Oh,” he said, scrambling away from her. “Hell.”

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