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Everyday Drabbles #358: The Hydrophobic Effect

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She stood on the beach and stuck one delicate foot out towards the approaching tide.
She braced for the icy shock of the cold water rushing over her toes.
It never came. She moved closer, her heels sinking into the wet sand, and tried again.
She heard the rush of the water all around her, and yet, she was dry. The water parted for her.
She stood, fascinated, as the sea flowed around her.
She took another step forward, and the water retreated, bending away from her like a bowstring. She kept walking, and the sea never closed over her.

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Everyday Drabbles #357: Graceful Exit

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The Elves were leaving. They marched to their graceful ships, slowly and gracefully, the last remnants of a fallen age. They would soon sail west, never to return.
As they marched, they spoke among themselves about how gloomy the land had become, now that their time was over. They mourned the passing of Light and Beauty, and wept for the Old Days that Would Never Come Again.
The Dwarves tossed rocks after them to hurry them along. They remembered how the Elves had forced their ancestors underground, long ago. They were eager to reclaim their homeland once and for all.

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Everyday Drabbles #356: Landing

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The escape pod crashed on a strange planet. He was in one piece, but all of the pod’s systems were offline. He couldn’t pull up telemetry, navigation, or external sensors.
Even the craft’s single porthole come to rest face down, so he couldn’t even look out and see where the environment. He didn’t know where he was, how long he’d been in suspension, or if the area he’d landed in was even habitable. All he had to go by was the pull of gravity and the faint howl of the wind.
He took a breath, and popped open the hatch.

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Everyday Drabbles #355: The Beginning

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The station was breaking apart around him. The enemy Walkers had fired rails inside the habitable zone, and now there was a shuttle-sized holes in the walls.
He couldn’t see any other survivors of the initial assault. The station was locking down. He wouldn’t make it to an evacuation point. That left… The prototype Walker lay on its base like a broken toy. Its hatch was open. Maybe it was still functional, or at least more sheltered.
But he had to move before the enemy robots came back for it. He dashed out of cover. This was his one chance.

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Everyday Drabbles #354: The Royal Engineer

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When the Royal Engineer was arrested, the King insisted she be allowed no visitors, paper, or tools. He knew her cleverness, and was certain she would try to escape.
Nonetheless, when the guards came, she was finishing construction on an exquisite, life-sized dragonfly made from trash found in her cell. Despite the materials, it was perfect, down to its iridescent wings. “Just something to occupy my mind,” she said with a smirk.
The guards hurried to unlock the cell door as she wound the mechanism and released it through the high, small dungeon window. But they were already too late.

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Everyday Drabbles #353: Border Patrol

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I wandered through a little door I’d never seen before and found my self in an enchanted glade. A centaur galloped up to me from across a field of sparkling wildflowers and stared down at me.
“Passport,” he asked, holding out a hand.
“Uh, I’m sorry. I don’t have it on me,” I said.
He sighed. “Destination?”
“I don’t know, I just saw a weird door and wandered through it.”
“Anything to declare?”
I blinked in confusion. Before I knew it I found back on the other side of the doorway.
“Tourists,” the centaur muttered before it slammed shut again.

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Everyday Drabbles #352: The Bride

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The bride attended the last of the preparations herself. By tradition, These could only be performed by her closest family members, and she was alone in a strange country.
She carefully powdered her face, white for purity, and shaded above her eyes. She painted a rose at her lips, and arched a thin, black line along each eyebrow.
Finally she painted her nails, inscribing each one with a glyph. A normal bride would choose charms for happiness and fertility. She painted the names of her family, whose revenge she would take as a hostage in a country far from home.

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Everyday Drabbles #351: Goblin Fruit

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In autumn, she wandered the fading woods. She was the last of her house, a relic of a faded age, like these trees.
Her servants flitted about, gathering goblin fruit. They filled panniers with spice-apples and honey-berries, cultivars that had been piled in silver dishes in her father’s house. She reached up and plucked one from a branch.
She took a bite and grimaced. It was over-ripe and cloying, with a hint of rot already forming. It was full of the memories of a tyrannical empire fallen.
The last princess returned to the hut she’d traded for the world, resolute.

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Everyday Drabbles #350: The Big Reveal

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Twenty years ago, my parents had one of those ‘gender reveal parties’ that caused a wildfire due to firework sparks. They told me when I was very young, but to this day, I’m not sure if they think it’s a sad or a funny story.
I spent a lot of time growing up thinking about the people who died in that fire. I thought I owed them perfection. But I’ve learned to let them go.
My parents burned ten thousand acres of old-growth forest to reveal my gender, and they were wrong.
I’m still figuring out how to tell them.

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Everyday Drabbles #349: Crowd Control

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It was a familiar ritual.
The magistrate would chain up the accused, list his crimes, beat him a little, and whip up the crowd to a frenzy. When he was done, they would call for the execution without the bother of a trial.
Today was different. The crowd was quiet, restive. He used his usual tactics, beating the rebel while listing his sins against the empire. But the crowd was getting worse.
The prisoner smiled up at him through split lips. “It only works if they’re your crowd.”
The magistrate stared out at the sea of people and was afraid.

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