Red-Handed

“I won’t say nothing!” Charlie huffed with a bloody smile. The mid-20s thug was chained to a brick wall in a bathroom-sized room. Two black-masked strangers, one male one female, questioned him. “You’re gonna hafta kill me, ’cause I can take a ton of pain. More than you can dish out! Haha” he coughed and…

Red Badge of Immortality

“Your wish is granted!” the genie snapped his fingers. “Immortality like you wanted.” Max checked his hands and fingers. “I feel the same,” he said. “How do I trust you? How do I know I’m immortal?” The genie sighed. “I don’t know what to do to convince a ‘meh’ mortal.” “I try to be honest…

Hint of Evil

“This is stupid, this is stupid, this is stupid,” Adam mumbled to himself as the elevator moved up to the top floor. The mid-30s college student paced within the empty elevator while he reminded himself of his stupidity. “I’m gonna say the thing and they’re going to call security on me.” Before he could reconsider…

Justine’s Jeopardy

“Whatcha doin’, spider-freak?” Ben asked the hunched over girl. She was alone in the middle of an overgrown field when Ben and his group spotted her on their walk from school. The girl, Justine, became the talk of the town the day she turned 16. On their sixteenth birthday, all children get their familiar: a…

Party Invitation

“Yes?” Turner asked the stranger at his door. When he opened the door, his first thought wondered if it was Halloween. A tall, lean figure wearing a black cloak and hood stood on his doorstep. He spotted a pale, delicate chin under the hood before the stranger pulled it back. She was a pallid woman…

Gnomish Niche

“That’s cursed. That’s cursed. That’s broken. That’s worse. Don’t you have useful items? Magic ring? Belt of titans? Enchanted thing to help me win?” The vendor shook his head. “Cursed, broken, worse than useless. These items keep my family fed. I uncurse them, fix them, more or less make them useful again.” The bearded gnome…

Special Morning

“…world 63,239,430 we have an unscheduled early rise here.” Penny heard a rushed whisper as she padded down the blocky hallway. The unexpected voice stopped the mid-30s mother in her tracks. When she did, the hallway began to change around her. The dim, jagged walls smoothed into bright white. Two sections of the wall on…

Devilish Informant

“It was an old story,” Alice began her tale but did not make it very far before Ms. Sharp interrupted her. “I don’t need a prologue or the wisdom of your ancestors. Just tell me what you know,” Ms. Sharp said. Alice nodded. “Her name is Ballisea. The story says she loved a Zero but…

Mystery Box

Ronald pulled the small wooden box out of the cupboard to get a better look. The box was light-colored; it seemed to be made of bamboo and its lightness added evidence of that. He guessed it to be about six inches wide and long, with maybe a three or four-inch height. A bright yellow note…

Waiting on Destiny

Hi,” Claire said. The mid-20s waitress recognized the obnoxious guest that considered her worthy of a tip but failed to leave her one. She had no choice but to serve the table; her only hope was that this time the suited man wasn’t alone. She hoped the friend would tip. Claire did not feel the…