Mad Dogs and Space Fights (753 Words)
Apparently Jack Colton didn’t believe in formalities or protocol. With a slam and a crash, he was in her office, a very flustered and indignant secretary stumbling and flailing after him like a bird caught in the path of a hurricane.
The young lieutenant had never looked so wild. Leaning over her desk, he thrust a sheet of paper at Hailie, inches short of her nose.
“Sign it,” he said. “I don’t have time to play twiddle-thumbs with you kids.”
She looked at him, as dispassionate as he was impassioned. “What is it?” she asked.
Finders Keepers (178 Words)
When Farmer Tye saw the dragon guarding a little brambly nest tucked under a bush, he knew what it meant. Baby dragons.
“You leave that nest alone, Farmer Tye,” said his neighbor and friend Jimmy Quinn. Jimmy was a carpenter and very conscious of his crucial role in the village’s upkeep, just as he was very conscious of Tye’s practical usefulness as well. To him, the stonemason was “Stonemason Tim,” the weaver was “Weaver Molly,” and the farmer was “Farmer Tye.”
Wood Watchers (99 Words)
Sometimes you are bathing in the forest. At other times, I am not at all certain that the forest is not bathing itself in you.
“Don’t look,” I said to Jack. “Keep playing. I think it likes you.”
Inside the Door (167 Words)
At the end of the road was a house. At the front of the house was a door.
For a moment Elle stood staring at the door. It was so familiar in memory that it was strange to see it in real life. Even the wreath was the same, although the flowers were certainly fresh.
The Patron (275 Words)
There was an artist who was known to paint one picture. Always it was the same, the same distant gray-green mountains and the dark, hilly plateau where the city had once stood. With only that one image to offer, people lost interest in the man’s art and his house would have fallen to ruin if it wasn’t for the attention of one customer.
She visited him every day to see how his new work was coming. Whenever he finished, she bought the piece, giving him a high price without waiting to hear what he asked for. No words were ever exchanged between them. That, like his art, was a ritual never forgotten, never changed. Who the woman was in her rich strange clothes, with her frightening piercing eyes, no one knew. They knew the artist, and knowing what he had lost and the disorder in his mind, they were afraid to ask him.
The Good Vampyre (522 Words)
‘You knew she was a vampire.’
‘I swear I didn’t.’
She met his wild glance with pain of her own.
‘Then why are you here?’ she asked. ‘Robin? What are you doing?’
‘I found out as you did. If I had known, could I have kept it from you? Have I hidden anything from you? Sissy?’
Dragon Sim (200 Words)
“One day,” said Michael, “they’ll invent machines that are so good they aren’t even machines anymore. Then we won’t have to do this kind of thing.”
Jen glanced at her companion. He crouched on the floor of their transport while the other two trainees, across from her, looked out the windows with faces like stone.
“Get up, Micky,” said Jen. “If we fail this exercise I’m gonna kill you.”