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Everyday Drabbles #499: Time Traveler

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If there was one thing he hated, it was the fake psychics that wrote supposed ‘books of prophecy,’ creating entire generations of mystic scammers in their wake.
He built a time machine to go back and confront these charlatans before they could spread their poison. But when he got to the past, he found the supposed prophetess waiting for him with tea and biscuits.
She showed him a book, detailing their whole encounter, written a century earlier. He fled back to the future, terrified.
She sipped her tea, satisfied that he hadn’t discovered the time machine hidden in her barn.

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Everyday Drabbles #498: The Archivist

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“You ever hear the one about finding a tortoise in the desert?” I asked. My companion slowly lifted her head to regard me but made no reply.
I sighed, sounding like a broken pipe organ in a windstorm, and sat down heavily on a piece of broken rebar. My posterior heat sensor complained about the sun-baked metal. I ignored it.
The tortoise went back to her slow process, and I watched her navigate the ruins for an hour.
I was tasked with remembering Humanity, built in the last moments of civilization. I just wished I had someone to talk to.

Everyday Drabbles #497: The Sphinx’s Daughter

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The Sphinx found the baby abandoned on the shore of her island, left in a boat by a warrior who had failed to answer her riddle. She was fascinated by the tiny, wailing creature.
Changeless and immortal, the Sphinx was ageless. She decided to adopt the baby, to better understand mortals and their habits. She didn’t come to love her until later.
Over the years, the baby grew into a child, who became a woman. The Sphinx taught her everything she could. One day her daughter left to join the human world, and the Sphinx waited for her to return.

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Everyday Drabbles #496: The Count Steps Out

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The Count straightened his tie in the mirror. The aluminum backing was far more forgiving about showing reflections than silver.
He smiled at himself and switched off the bathroom light. His phone buzzed from the pocket of his tuxedo jacket. His rideshare was downstairs waiting for him. While he had his phone out, the vampire pulled up his social media to confirm the address on the invite.
He checked his blackout curtains and reset his security alarm before locking up the apartment.
Perhaps it was no longer an age of shadows and blood. But modern times certainly were more convenient.

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Everyday Drabbles #495: Symbiosis

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“They’re doing it again,” the naturalist called to his partner. The rare albino alligator species they’d come to study had the weirdest symbiotic relationship with a species of local freshwater crabs. As they watched, the gators lined up on the shoreline, allowing the crabs to scuttle onto their heads. They proceeded to march up and down the muddy beach, the crustaceans waving their claws in the air.
The scientists were baffled. They couldn’t discern any advantage in the behavior. They were just… walking around.
If the alligators could talk, they would have scoffed that the scientists just didn’t understand fashion.

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Everyday Drabbles #494: The Supervillain’s Wife

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She stood by his side for decades. She supported him through the death rays and doomsday devices. When spies and superheroes infiltrated his lair, they would offer her an escape. She always declined.
Was it so difficult to imagine that a man like her husband could feel love? Or that he could be loved in turn? She didn’t expect them to understand. They would leave her, only to be captured by her husband themselves.
Finally, on the eve of his greatest triumph, they toasted with champagne. He took a sip, and she watched, waiting for the poison to start working.

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Everyday Drabbles #493: Mountain Spirit

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The spirit looked upon its mountain and was pleased.
Snow-covered the peak in a thick glacier, which melted in sparkling rivulets where the sun hit it. The pure water would trickle down the slope, feeding rivers that carried water and streams that fed the forests below.
As the seasons turned, the leaves would change, the rivers would freeze, and the glacier would advance. The cycle felt like breathing to the mountain’s spirit.
But something was off. The spirit looked down and saw its rivers dammed and forests cleared for luxury cabins. It had picked up a bad case of humans.

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Everyday Drabbles #492: Update Notification

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When I woke up this morning I found that the world had changed. The Sun was a little brighter. My coffee tasted a little stronger. My husband’s hair was a slightly lighter shade of brown.
I thought I was losing my mind until I checked my email.
Dear Customer, you may have noticed a new update for Life™! We implemented a few bug fixes and improvements. Version 1.349 changes are listed below.
I read the list and they matched the differences that I had seen. There, at the bottom, was a little red ‘Unsubscribe’ button. I wondered what would happen.

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Everyday Drabbles #491: Hidden Message

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The police found the strange device in a raid on a thieves’ den. The antique device was a brass dodecahedron, with lenses on two faces.
But the machine didn’t seem to do anything. Until one day a detective idly held it up to his eye and scanned the office.
Looking through the scope, he saw a bright red arrow painted on the wall. He put the device down and looked again. The arrow was only visible through the mysterious object. Something in his gut told him to follow it, and it led him to the strangest case in his career.

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Everyday Drabbles #490: Mother’s Day

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She was the terror of a thousand worlds, the creator of innumerable horrors. Her name was spoken in terrified whispers, in mournful howls, or in most cases, not at all.
She was the mother of Chaos. She birthed Destruction and Strife throughout the galaxy. And she waited in her lair and listened for news of her children, who never wrote and seldom called.
She didn’t really mind. She sat on her rock and listened to the ends of civilization and it was enough. But there was a corner of her black heart that would’ve liked a card on Mother’s Day.

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