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Everyday Drabbles #460: Arson

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I woke up to a flurry of text messages asking me if I was alright. After some confusion, I finally got a phone call, and I was able to ask what the fuss was about.
“Your house burned down!” My mother shouted.
“I’m at home. Everything’s fine.”
She sent me a link to the video. It was very realistic. I would’ve believed it myself if I wasn’t standing in the center of the alleged inferno.
The doorbell rang. I found an insurance inspector on the step, ready to put in a claim. It was going to be a long day.

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Everyday Drabbles #459: The Knight

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He was the second son of a minor lord, from a small holding in the north that didn’t produce much more than sheep. But he was good on a horse, and steady with a lance.
He won many honors for his family and his king on the tournament grounds. It wasn’t true warfare of course, but sportsmanship.
He’d been considered provincial at court, but answered the charge more than once on the tilting ground. But he knew that someone would unseat him someday. As he grew older, he leveraged his position in court and found management was his true calling.

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Everyday Drabbles #458: Figurine

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She found it in the back corner of a rusty old swap-meet on a backwater orbital station. It was her holy grail, the figurine she had been seeking for megacycles. She paid way too much for it and headed straight back to her ship.
The figure was a human male, late in his life cycle, dressed in an atmospheric suit and holding some sort of electronic device. His features implied he was in the midst of an argument.
She smiled and placed it on the stasis wall with the rest of her collection of ‘Lost Species of the Galaxy’ figures.

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Everyday Drabbles #457: The Cabin

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The cabin stood on a desolate little island in the middle of the lake, with barely a foot or two of bare rock between the water and the walls, abandoned in the winter chill.
He’d chosen the site for its remoteness and security. He would finally be able to do his experiments without fear of interruption or espionage. If he needed to forge a few human comforts for that security, so be it.
He also thought the remoteness might delay catastrophe, if the worst should happen and the sample escaped.
It turned out he was wrong about the last part.

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Everyday Drabbles #456: The Stars Gate

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The High Astrologer made a gate for her tower with all the stars and planets orbiting a glowing sun in perfect synchronicity. The magical gate was a wonder that her guests beheld with delight, and was decried as a decadent extravagance by those it kept out.
One evening, she found an angry mob of her fellow stargazers standing outside her tower. The shouted at her and pointed meaningfully at her gate, and at the night sky.
She stood on the other side and watched them through the slowly spinning celestial bodies.
“Fine,” she acquiesced at last. “I’ll put them back.”

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Everyday Drabbles #455: Midnight Caller

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He didn’t believe in monsters. He wasn’t afraid of the dark. But he heard the scratching at his closet door, and he knew that his belief had little to do with anything.
He tried to convince himself that the cat had just gotten trapped in the closet again. Firming his resolve, he got out of bed and padded over to the door. He opened it a crack, hoping for an indignant meow, but what he heard instead terrified him.
“We’ve been trying to reach you about your vehicle’s warranty…”
He slammed the door shut and dived back under his covers.

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Everyday Drabbles #454: The Chorus of the Sphinx

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Every night I hear the little monsters yelling and mating in the alley behind my apartment. I’ve called my super, animal control, anyone I could think of, but I just kept getting the run around.
“What has teeth but cannot eat?”
My super said they weren’t his responsibility, and he’d put up a fence that they’d quickly hopped over.
“What has one eye but cannot see?”
Animal control came to collect them, but they were outsmarted.
“What has legs but can’t run?”
In the end, I’m going to have to hire adventurers. I hate these feral sphinxes and their riddles.

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Everyday Drabbles #453: Timekeeper

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The machinist lived in a clockwork house, and spent most of his time keeping the cogwheels and gears turning. The townsfolk were happy to have the time of day, but considered the man to be extremely odd.
The door to his house was tied to the mechanism of the clock, and could only be opened once an hour. As such, he lived by a strenuously regimented schedule, and was always in a rush when he was in town.
The old women gossiped that he needed a wife, but he always rebuffed them.
“I don’t have time for romance,” he said.

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Everyday Drabbles #452: The Chameleon

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The herpetologist and his assistants searched the bridge to the Royal Society in a panic. His living sample of the rare chameleon he’d discovered had escaped, and if they didn’t find it soon, his presentation would be ruined.
“Remember, it is probably blending into the stone. Look carefully!”
“What if it changed into something else, knowing stone would be obvious?” A graduate student asked.
“Don’t be daft. It isn’t capable of that level of sophistication.” He spat.
Disguised as an gold ornamental carving, the chameleon watched them tramp up and down the bridge, and waited for its chance to escape.

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Everyday Drabbles #451: Rat King

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“You’re a real, living human?” the Rat King asked, adjusting his crown nervously. “I have so many questions.”
The time traveller smiled and bowed. This wasn’t what she expected the far future to be like. New York City was a ruin, populated by six-foot tall talking rats. Rats that were heavily armed and standing between her and the time machine. She played along.
“Like what?”
The Rat King asked his questions, and with a dawning horror, she saw all of Humanity’s faults laid bare by his skewed perspective. She vowed to get back to the present and start fixing them.

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