The corner of the office was on fire.
I blinked, turning to look at the flames as they climbed up over the vaguely orange-pink wallpaper, twisting and letting out little screams as they singed the leaves of the fake potted plant that failed to cover up the water stains behind it. I considered looking around for a fire extinguisher, but I just knew that it would be way expired, and wouldn’t make this situation any better. Might as well just let the fire burn itself out.
It did, a few seconds later – but as it retreated, it left a hulking, red-skinned form standing in the corner, horns scraping against the ceiling and glinting yellow eyes leering down at me. The humanoid figure stepped forward, its hooves leaving smoking, burned impressions in the dirty carpet.
“Peter Welch,” the figure snarled, lifting one hand to reach out towards me – but then paused, shifting its glare from me over to its own arm. “Hold on, what is this?” Continue reading →
“I’m sorry,” I said, for what had to be the tenth time since the interview started. “What am I here to do, again? Exactly?”
The manager of the IKEA, a pugnacious and pot-bellied little man settling unpleasantly into middle age, turned his head to glare back at me. “Get rid of the pests!” he repeated, clarifying absolutely nothing. The fluorescent lights glinted off his bald egg of a head, piercing through the meager hairs that attempted to cover the expanse of sweaty scalp. “You have pest experience, yes?” Continue reading →
Brindle stumbled out of the portal, his battle-axe ready in his hands. “H’rak K’thum!” he shouted out, lifting the weapon over his head as he roared the traditional Dwarven battle cry.
Ariven next emerged from the portal, his long Elven fingers still splayed out, glowing with energy as he maintained the breach. “Is it safe, dwarf?” he called out, his focus remaining on the portal.
“Yeah, looks that way,” Brindle grunted, lowering his axe as he looked in both directions down the corridor. “Strange smell, though. Alchemical. Where have you brought us, wizard?” Continue reading →
“I’m not sure I see the problem.”
I sighed, wishing that I hadn’t heard the question posed to me through a full mouth. Without turning around, I knew what filled that mouth, what gave the words their slightly sticky quality.
“The problem,” I sighed, hating that I had to explain this yet again, “is that it defies the laws of conservation of matter and energy. They shouldn’t be appearing, and the material can’t just come from nowhere.”
“They’re not bad though. Good flavor. Maybe could be heated up a little, and they’d really hit the spot.” Continue reading →
Author’s note: God, this dialogue was hard to write.
I stared in horror at the massive, writhing mass of tentacles and eyeballs that seemed to twist and writhe through space, somehow passing through itself in ways that didn’t seem possible when considering the laws of physics. Dozens of eyes blinked at me, reddened pupils boring into me with a disconcerting gaze.
“WhO dArEs To SuMmOn Me?!?” roared out the monster, speaking from hidden mouths in a cacophony of voices that grated at my ears like heavily distorted death metal. “WhO dArEs To SuMmOn HyPeRsAtAn!?”
Finally, I found my voice. “Wait, what?” I exclaimed. “Hypersatan? I didn’t summon you!”
“YoU dId!” Several of the tentacles lashed out at me, turned back at the last second by the confines of the summoning circle. “I hAvE bEeN sUmMoNeD bY tHe RuNe, 6666!” Continue reading →
I blinked, my head feeling woozy. Something, I knew, had just occurred. I’d been on top, happily thrusting back and forth, listening to her gasp as I took her. I’d been working hard to ignore all the sensations, trying to last as long as possible. I wanted to make it last, not finish too quickly, even as I felt that tingling rising up my spine from my crotch, the sharp stabbing in my left arm-
And then, next thing I knew, I found myself on my back, staring up at the ceiling, Vita leaning over me and looking concerned. “Hey, are you okay?” she asked.
I blinked back at her. She was still naked, but even that wasn’t enough to distract me. “What happened?” I asked again. “I – we were going at it, and then all of a sudden, I was down here.” Continue reading →
Elaniel strolled out of the portal in the plane-port to a smattering of enthusiastic applause. Grinning, he gave a wave to a few of the cherubs that always fluttered about, now diving down to clap at him with their pudgy little hands.
“Thank you!” he called out to them. “It’s been a fun tour, lasted longer than I expected!”
Still smiling, accepting the occasional handshake and backslap from some of the other angels, Elaniel headed up the stairs from the plane-port, up to the offices of the debriefing seraphim. As soon as Fidel had finally given up his last breath, he’d received the normal scroll, instructing him on where to head for his debriefing.
Elaniel didn’t feel nervous in the slightest. He’d done a great job, he told himself. All things considering, he ought to earn his next rank just for this one tour, on its own. Continue reading →
“Hail, good woman! Might I trouble you for directions?”
I jerked up in shock at the sound of the unexpected voice, and my pruning shears closed a centimeter from taking off the tip of my thumb. Cursing, I hauled myself up to my feet, dusting some of the dirt off of the knees of my old jeans.
I turned around to see who had spoken to me – and felt my mouth drop open as I stared up at him.
Them, perhaps I should say. Continue reading →
Okay. Memoirs. I’m writing my memoirs. I sat down to write them, and now that’s what I’m doing. I’m definitely not procrastinating because I can’t think of anything to say.
After all, it’s not like I’ve led a boring life. I’ve had many adventures! In adventuring circles, my name carries great weight and renown! Heck, just the fact that I’m retired and sitting down to write these memoirs is sign of my success; most adventurers don’t come back and get the chance to write these, usually because they’re stuck in a bear trap or inside a dragon’s stomach or something.
In fact, I stumbled upon some of them, back when I slew the Great Terror Beast of Barseleth, freeing the innocent peasantry from its ravening maw. There wasn’t much left of them but bones and slime. Continue reading →
I groaned, rubbing my hands over my eyes. It didn’t really make the aching go away, but I knew that, by the end of my shift, I’d feel worse.
A couple seats over from me, Ricky, the junior technician on duty, looked up with sympathy. “Hey, Dana, I’ve got some aspirin in my bag if you need one,” he offered gallantly.
I managed to give him a weak smile. “Thanks, Ricky,” I told him, “but I’m okay for now. Just getting ready to tackle the next batch of messages.” Continue reading →