Emily woke up feeling wrong. She remained still in her cot and kept her eyes closed; but, she strained to listen. She heard a handful of the other apprentices snoring and almost dismissed the uneasy feeling as a nightmare. Then she heard a noise again. The noise that somehow woke her up. It sounded like…

Sweet Deal

A tall, black hole opened at street level in the air in front of the towering concrete building. A brown-haired teenage girl stepped out of the black hole. As she crossed the portal’s threshold she changed into a pale, pointy-eared elf with flaming orange hair. Chainmail armor and an elegant ruby rapier sheathed on her…

Expository Interrogation

“I didn’t mean to hurt them!” Elsa Fuller yelled the moment Dr. Mundo opened the door. She pleaded from her shackled seat as the doctor stepped into the room. “Their corpses say otherwise,” Dr. Mundo sat down in front of Elsa. The woman in a straight jacket shook her head. “I can control time! I…

Royal Joke

“Today? Impossible.” Marcus Howzer said. He scoffed at Ms. Sharp from behind his large stone carved desk and shook his head. “This kind of technology needs too much approval to be rolled out in a day.” The white-suited woman sighed stood from her seat. “I’m disappointed Mr. Howzer. I assumed that you’d have more imagination…

Taken In

“What’s your name, sweetheart?” Matron Silver asked. The officer that dropped off the scrawny, pink-haired 8-year-old girl left in a hurry. The older woman closed the door and leaned against the edge of her desk to address her new arrival. The girl looked up to meet the woman’s brown eyes. “Justice,” she said. The woman…

Dreaded Surprise

Robert’s phone chimed for the first time in two years. The forgotten sound distracted him from his lunch and he stared at his phone in silence. After several seconds he reached for the phone with a shaking hand and checked the notification. “No way…” he navigated to the message; a comment on his latest video….

Manual Labor

Jasper’s eyes shot open and he sat up in bed cradling his right hand. Burning pain on his wrist woke him up and he searched the room, from the bed, for any sign of the cause. He saw nothing threatening in his room and turned his attention to the throbbing pain. “Ahhhhh hell,” he sighed….

Hand Shakedown

“100k?” Sam asked. “I thought this was just training?” he took a single step back from the dealer’s table. The other two gamblers, one on each side of Sam, fidgeted in place. They seemed to want to back away too but were afraid of the well-dressed dealer. The tall, suited man behind the table smiled…

Informal Introductions

“We should’ve had these on before we got here,” Alliane said. She struggled to secure the royal blue bowtie around her throat. The sweat pouring down her ruddy face and hands made the task more troublesome than it should have been. Her long, black hair irritated her more by sticking to her hands and face….

Things End

A sharp knock at the door startled Eric. The sudden jump caused him to drop the phone from his hand. “Babe? I lost my key.” Vanessa’s voice came through the door. Eric stared at the phone embedded in the lush, grey carpet. It landed face up with the emergency message taking up the entire screen….