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Everyday Drabbles #472: Monsters’ Nest

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The village had been abandoned in his grandfather’s time. Now it was a monsters’ nest and den for even fouler things. Barely anyone even remembered the place had a name, once. It was simply called the Valley of Darkness.
Despite the danger, he snuck off to the outskirts every chance he got. He was always careful, and always quiet. He would watch the monsters and make notes of their habits as they stalked through the crumbling ruins.
His elders told him that place was lost, and he should look to the future. But someday he would lead them home again.

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Everyday Drabble #471: Time Mage

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I studied magic all my life, and finally unlocked the secret to manipulating Time itself.
I could speed its flow, slow it down, or lock objects or even people in place. I could even travel to the past, and assert my will over those events.
But like all magic, my powers came with a cost. I had cut myself off from time’s river, and while I could manipulate the past, I was unable to influence the present.
My actions were erased by fate like sand in the wind. I had found power, but in using it, made myself a ghost.

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Everyday Drabbles #470: Chaos Guardians

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Late one night I snuck out of the Centaur village.
I’d heard that the humans had created terrible new guardians, and I had to know the truth for myself.
And there, at the edge of the settlement, I saw them, bathed in the moonlight.
They were horrifying. Their bodies were a twisted parody of the lower half of a centaur, ending in a mockery of a minotaur’s face. They were the embodiment of chaos itself. And then one of them saw me.
The Chaos went ‘Moo.’
In a panic, I raced back home, vowing to never bother the humans again.

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Everyday Drabbles #469: The Descent

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I watched as we approached the lunar surface in a docking pod. The tower was a nightmare of spikes and protrusions. It had been designed by the Master of Armstrong City himself and was one of the only ways in or out.
Spikes closed around the pod like the jaws of a prehistoric fish. We were guided into the central elevator of the compartment, which seamlessly descended to the spaceport.
I’d heard that with the pod attached, the tower resembled a rose. But no visual was supplied to the public. The city bloomed only for the eyes of its master.

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Everyday Drabbles #468: The Vigilante

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She told herself she wasn’t a supervillain.
A vigilante, sure. She would accept that. Perhaps she would go so far as a rogue. But she was no villain. She really was something of a hero.
It was true that she had committed acts of violence in revenge. There was no getting around that. And the police were after her. But her mission changed after that. She might be on the wrong side of the law, but she pursued her own justice.
The Lacromista loaded her freeze gun with tears and set out into the night to avenge another broken heart.

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Everyday Drabbles #467: Macroeconomics

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The northern raiders left at dawn to pillage the southern islands. Their boats were crewed by warriors with hearts of steel, and guided by wise men who read the stars and commanded the wind.
The ships returned heavy with gold. They traded it to the traveling merchants, exchanging their plunder for fine swords and good timber to build their boats.
The raiders never wondered where the islanders’ treasure came from. They didn’t consider what the merchants did with the gold when they left.
Five generations of warriors took the same golden necklace before the raiders caught on to the scam.

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Everyday Drabbles #466: Surge Pricing

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When the space station’s air tanks were struck by space debris, Station Management sent out a priority alert.
Until the repairs were complete, and the supply could be guaranteed, they would be initiating ‘Emergency Pricing’ for all essentials. The price for oxygen quickly skyrocketed by a thousand percent, and for some reason, repairs on the system took twice as long as expected.
Station Management sent frequent updates, mostly propaganda about ‘Duty’ and ‘Support.’ They wanted to recreate the old debt structures from the bad old days on Earth.
They hadn’t realized that some debts could only be paid in blood.

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Everyday Drabbles #465: Low Bridge

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After the sea rose and the island sank, a memorial was built to all that was lost beneath the water.
The monument was a recreation of a simple pedestrian crossing. It was erected in what was once the heart of a great city, and children would climb the steps and imagine looking out at a labyrinth of skyscrapers.
It was a bridge to nowhere from nowhere, set in an expanse of empty sea that was as still and clear as glass.
And yet somehow that didn’t prevent boats that were too tall to pass under from getting stuck beneath it.

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Everyday Drabbles #464: Haunted Doll

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The haunted doll had the misfortune of being made in the ‘80s. The other monstrous playthings had real hair with tragic backstories, or porcelain skin fired from graveyard dirt. She had injection molded plastic and a pull string.
While there was something unsettling about her, especially as the years passed and she cracked and faded, she felt like she wasn’t cursing the living to her full potential.
Still, there was always that one person who would see the ring on her back and give it a tug just to see what would happen. Curiosity and Horror went so well together.

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Everyday Drabbles #463: The Archer

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He was the most skilled archer in his unit. He could hit a bullseye with a longbow at a hundred paces. He could shoot a bird out of the sky, and had done so, in the forests he called home.
But here he was, thrown together on the front lines in a battered helmet and a leather jerkin, standing in a line and firing blindly into the opposing army. His talents were going fallow.
He should be sniping enemy knights. He asked his commander for a promotion. The nobleman put him on latrine duty for a month for his impertinence.

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