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Everyday Drabbles #382: Superweapon

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The prototype superweapon was nearly completed. The Space Forces needed something big to strike against the Earth Armada.
The lead designer was nervous as he led a team of dignitaries through the assembly floor. Finally they came to the machine. It stood on two massive legs, a giant robot over a hundred meters tall. It was painted fire-engine red, and it bristled with gun placements and spikes. Some rocket launchers were welded on for good measure.
The others stared up at it for a moment, then burst into peals of laughter. He knew he shouldn’t have made his 12-year-old co-designer.

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Everyday Drabbles #381: Haunted Castle

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The haunted castle loomed in the fog like a malevolent dragon, its empty windows seeming to watch the ghost hunters’ approach with disdain.
They parked the van in the front courtyard and started lugging in the detection equipment. “The British government is only giving us the night, so everybody stay alert,” Devon said, hoisting a EMF reader and nearly tripping over a sign for the gift shop.
As the night wore on, they combed through the drafty halls, finding nothing. The ghosts huddled in distant rooms, waiting for them to leave, and complaining to one another about ‘the boorish colonials.’

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Everyday Drabbles #380: The Factory Ruins

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“This is a restricted area. You do not have clearance to enter.” Mac stated, but he followed me into the old factory.
“I know,” I said. “So keep it down, will you?” We crept through a field of rusting cooling tanks standing like broken snow globes. Rumor had it there were still viable fuel cells hidden somewhere on site.
“Scan for energy signatures,” I told Mac, and the robot paused.
“Southwest of this position, .25 kilometers.”
“Well, let’s go, buddy!” The company had announced they would no longer supply our district. I had to find something to keep Mac going.

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Everyday Drabbles #379: Owl

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The Halloween party had just started when the doorbell rang. Scarlet answered and found a huge owl standing on her porch. The bird hooted, puffed itself up, and pushed past her into the house.
“Ignacio?” she called to her husband, unsure how to wrangle the bird as it stepped boldly into her front hall. Then she realized that it was wearing a fancy hat, glasses, and high-heeled shoes. “Evelyn? Is that you? What happened?”
The owl flapped her wings and tilted her head in reply. The witch’s curse was inconvenient, but at least she’d win the costume contest this year.

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Everyday Drabbles #378: Sand Painting

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The artist worked all night on their sand painting, staking out the perfect location on the rocky beach and using their tools to create a twenty-foot circle of whirls and loops, intricate yet subtle in its creation.
As the sun rose over the beach, they could see that the colors of the sand painting were perfect. They felt a surge of pride.
The morning joggers and shell hunters stopped to stare at the sand painting. “That’s amazing,” one said. “How do you get out of the middle?”
They looked around, and didn’t have an answer. They knew they’d forgotten something.

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Everyday Drabbles #377: The Assignment

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The bat-winged kitten curled up on the student’s desk and purred contentedly. The apprentice witch beamed up at her instructor, who didn’t share her pride.
“The assignment was to summon a gryphon,” The archmage said.
“Technically, any avian and feline combination counts.”
“Bats aren’t avians.”
“What about flying foxes?”
The old wizard sighed. She was clever, but lazy and that would cost her one day. “I was looking for a classical combination of lion and eagle.”
“But this one’s so much cuter.” The kitten stretched its wings and stared up at him with big green eyes.
“True. C-plus,” He decided.

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Everyday Drabbles #376: Bellerophon

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Bellerophon sat in Elysium, dejected. All about him the other heroes feasted, fought, and competed in games of strength and skill, but he could find no peach.
Cadmus crouched beside him and asked what was the matter.
“I’ve been forgotten, Cadmus. The gods have abandoned me and the poets give other heroes my deeds.” He glared daggers at Perseus, who was absorbed in a game of mancala with Theseus. Cadmus sighed. This again.
“We’re dead, my friend. And well beyond such concerns. Just enjoy yourself. Unless you plan on storming Olympus again. Oh no.” That was when the trouble started.

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Everyday Drabbles #375: Ringfort

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It was nearly sunset by the time the knight reached the old ringfort. . He’d heard the moss-covered ruins were a hideout for outlaws, and he was there to bring an end to their raids.
He searched in the lengthening shadows, but could find no trace of the supposed bandits. By the time he was finished, the sky was dark and the first stars had appeared.
He went to make his leave, but could find no exit in the earthen walls. He turned back and heard music and laughter coming from the main hall. He went in and joined the feast.

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Everyday Drabbles #374: Witch Melons

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He found the strange seeds in a corner of his barn, and planted them to see what would happen.
He couldn’t identify the vines that grew from them, nor the hard, waxy fruit that they put out. He decided to call them witch melons, and waited to see what would happen.
One morning in late summer, the vines were empty. He thought deer or raccoons had gotten to them, until he found the strange creatures in his yard. They had green carapaces and soft, red bellies, with scorpion-like pincers and fish tails.
He raised them, to see what would happen.

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Everyday Drabbles #373: Shield

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After saving her life, the witch gave the prince a magic shield.
“This will come between you and any that might harm you,” She said, smiling.
On the battlefield, it worked even better than she’d promised, seeming to move on its own. But he saw its true value when he came home, and it fell from its rack and onto an assassin.
After that, he wore it everywhere, and trust those around him less. He refused to see kith and kin, and violently resisted their attempts to separate him from it.
The witch’s proclamation had been a curse, after all.

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