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Everyday Drabbles #755: The Honeypot

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The runaway horse charged through the woods. The thunder of hooves and the shouts of the helpless rider drew the bandits’ attention. They might not have gotten involved had they not seen the fine fabrics that covered the saddle or spotted the gold fastenings on the bridle. The rider was a young woman, and she was dressed as richly as the horse.
They quickly stopped the horse, and brought her before their leader.
But they had missed the sword that she had hidden in the lace and ruffles of her gown. The princess gripped the hilt and took her chance.

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Everyday Drabbles #754: Construction Bot

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“What is it?” I asked, staring at the oddly shaped machine on my desk.
“It’s a bird,” the engineer said. “Birds would construct intricate nests. They were builders. I trained a low-powered AI to emulate that instinct. If my calculations are correct, they could assemble the lunar colony at a fraction of current costs.”
“And they won’t build random junk?”
“I’ve modeled the data, ma’am. It’s very promising.“
We went ahead with the project. Just as predicted, the bird-bots built the structures under budget and ahead of schedule. But we hadn’t accounted for the birds’ instinct to defend the nest.

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Everyday Drabbles #753: The Giant

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“I told you,” The old man said as the giant lumbered towards him. The knights formed ranks and raised their spears. Their elder, who was not wielding a weapon, tried to goad them into a charge. But nobody wanted to go first.
The towering monster stood sixty feet tall, with a rocky, lumpy body. Instead of a face, it had a single glowing rune. The giant stopped about ten of its paces in front of the cadre of knights. Its posture was not so much ferocious as annoyed.
“Hey,” it grumbled. “Which of you jerks keeps busting up my windmills?”

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Everyday Drabbles #752: The Island Ruins

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The nomads came across vast ruins built of stone and red rust on an island far out to sea. They argued over who had left them, for there were no living inhabitants, and their Storyteller had no legends to explain them.
The fishing was good, and the ruins made excellent shelter, so they stayed on for a season.
One day, a group of children came across a stone with words carved into it while exploring. They fetched the Storyteller, and while she could read the script, their meaning eluded her. She did not recognize them.
“NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY”

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Everyday Drabbles #751: Motivation

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I stood chatting with a merchant as the last of his goods were loaded onto my ship. He looked over the unusual rigging quizzically.
“Do you not move by sail?” he asked.
I chuckled. “No, but we can raise them in an emergency.”
“But I see no sign of a steam engine. How will you leave port?”
“That’s a trade secret, sir, but I can guarantee your goods will arrive in Boston a week before your competitors’.”
Below the waterline, the giant goldfish, raised and trained by my grandfather, strained against its harness, eager to carry us to the ocean.

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Everyday Drabbles #750: Morning Delivery

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Well before dawn, he rolled out of bed and dressed in his crisp, clean white uniform. The shirt had bright brass buttons, and the hat with its stiff black brim was iconic. He smiled at himself in the rearview mirror as he started up his truck.
His first stop was the distributor, where he made small talk with the foreman as the back was loaded with the day’s deliveries.
As the sun rose, he made his rounds, leaving a bottle on every writer’s doorstep.
The Idea Man enjoyed his work, even if none of his clients ever gave him credit.

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Everyday Drabbles #749: The Collaboration

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The throne is a collaboration of the great civilizations. The stone for the base was chosen and carved by master craftsdwarves. The most elite of the Elvish woodsingers formed the back, and the seat was woven by the greatest hillfolk weavers living. The gnomes assembled and enchanted it. The elder peoples all working in harmony for the common good.
All the Humans needed to provide was someone to sit on it: me. I sit in my flowing white dress and look out at the sea of expectant faces.
Not feeling any different, I close my eyes and deliver the prophecy.

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Everyday Drabbles #748: The Dull Forest

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The forest was sentient, and most people avoided it. Not because it was dangerous or violent, but because it was eccentric. Unfortunately, I had an urgent errand in the town on the other side and had no choice but to pass through it.
I walked as quickly and quietly as I could through the dark woods, taking care not to tread on a flower or snap a single branch. But my efforts to avoid the forest’s attention were in vain.
“Hey,” a flowering vine whispered in my ear. “How’s it going?” I sighed, preparing myself for a long, dull conversation.

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Everyday Drabbles #747: Familiar

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The cat allowed his human to seat him on the little throne and drape him with garlands of wildflowers. He shook them off, but she distracted him with a plate of chicken livers, so he let her continue, then curled up and fell asleep.
The witch completed her preparations for the spell, taking away the remaining food and checking the candles. She felt a little sad as she began chanting. He’d been a sweet cat. But what she needed was a familiar. She summoned in the spirit.
The cat awoke to the strange sensation of being someone else.

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Everyday Drabbles #746: Crane Wife

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One day Naoko was walking through the woods and came across a crane caught in a trap. She freed the bird, and it seemed to bow in thanks before flying away.
That night, a beautiful woman appeared at her door, saying she was her wife. She let the woman in, and they were happy for many years. One day, Naoko spied her wife weaving when she thought she was alone. She’d been the crane all along!
The crane wept, saying that now she had to leave forever.
Naoko only laughed and hugged her wife before changing back into a fox.

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