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Everyday Drabbles #291: Nightmare

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EDWinter2

The girl lay on the bed, asleep, but unquiet. She tossed and turned in the darkness, haunted by unpleasant dreams.
Her nightmare was curled up beside her on the mattress. It was a vague and formless thing, built from her fears and anxieties. It bristled with spines and claws. Needle teeth protruded from its maw.
It lay still and watched her through inhuman eyes. It took in her bedroom, and saw past it to the places a human couldn’t. It saw the things stalking her.
It was her nightmare, and it loved her. It would keep her safe from harm.

Everyday Drabbles #290: The Wolf

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EDWinter2

The wolf came and sat by her fire every night. It was huge, and so black she only see it by its eyes and the absence of stars. It never spoke, but there was something intelligent and otherworldly in its gaze.
Sometimes, it would present her with a kill, and she’d roast it over the fire. Sometimes it would sit and loll it’s huge tongue, and she would share her water.
Over time, she came to think of it almost as a friend. She had found precious little other company out in the wasteland.
But it never led her home.

Everyday Drabbles #288: Further Developments

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EDWinter2

In his darkroom, the photographer stared down at the portrait developing in front of him. It was… wrong.
That was definitely the young Widow Dagmar posed in somber black with the requested symbolic elements. The skull on her lap, and the scales beside her, were all as he had set them. But where had the moth come from?
It was so bright it seemed to glow, hovering above her left hand. He was sure wasn’t there when he took the picture.
He brushed one gloved hand against the glossy paper, and his fingers came back dusty with moth wing powder.

Everyday Drabbles #387: Homestead

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EDWinter2

She built her homestead in the high desert, under an abandoned satellite dish. She didn’t know what it had been for, probably some benevolent scientific venture that was forgotten as soon as everything went to hell. But the site was still in good shape, with plenty of building material, and she was miles from the nearest neighbor. It was perfect.
She wasn’t what you’d call a ‘people person,’ and society’s collapse hadn’t improved her outlook.
Which is why she was at a loss when the aliens landed and told her they’d received her signal, and wanted to open diplomatic relations.

Everyday Drabbles #286: The Samaritan

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EDWinter2

He dedicated his life to small acts of kindness.
A hundred dollars discreetly dropped into a struggling musician’s violin case in a busy subway station.
An extra pair of hands in a soup kitchen on the night of an unexpected, and particularly devastating blizzard.
A shout to call the attention of a distracted parent as their child wandered away in a crowded store.
He used the time machine to make small changes.
His instructors had said that even the least significant act in the past could change the future. He hoped they were right. He hoped it would be enough.

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Everyday Drabbles #285: The Gardener

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EDWinter2

She made gardens in secret places. She planted flowers in forgotten alleyways, and trellised Ivy in the hidden courtyards of long-abandoned buildings. She loved hidden worlds, and wanted them to be beautiful.
She found a solemnity in beauty destined to have no observer. A garden meant for no eyes was still as lovely. Perhaps it was lovelier, a rose growing only for its own sake.
She imagined the sudden rush of joy, someone coming to a desolate, lonely place, and finding a garden instead. The idea gave her comfort.
Plus, it was a great way to hide the bodies.

Everyday Drabbles #284: The Stag

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EDWinter2

The ruined abbey lay in the middle of the hunting grounds. Most of the hunters avoided it out of superstition, which made it the perfect place to lay in wait.
I watched the ivy-covered ruins until, late in the day, when a huge stag appeared in the wreck of an arched doorway. It stood there, a silhouette in the gloaming, as though it had never before seen man nor arrow.
I had the odd fancy that it had just received confession, and to take its life would be a sin. Then my stomach rumbled, and I took the shot.

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