Short Story: An Endless Line

Whumptober 2022 fill No.18: “Just get it over with.” | Treading Water | “Take my coat.”

Water licks my chin as my heavy limbs struggle in the water. It’s been over an hour since I was tossed off a boat by a jealous trafficker. The only thing I can see is the sea meeting the sky in an endless line around me, and it might be the last thing I see.

I was supposed to meet the ringleader two hours ago to report on my progress sniffing out the mole in the organization. I’ve narrowed it down to four candidates, possibly all working together. The idiot who threw me into the ocean isn’t involved. That’s just an unfortunate coincidence.

A wave slaps my face making me sputter as I claw myself higher. I’ve been sinking deeper and more often. It’s only a matter of time before I’m just another body in the sea. My only hope is that the ringleader wants my information desperately enough to look for me.

A grey patch breaks the perfect line around me. It’s a boat. Different from the one I was kicked off, but not one of the ringleader’s usual ships. I don’t know who it is, but anything’s better than where I am now.

I gather the little strength I have left and wave one arm in the air.

“Over here!”

~End~

Genre: general

Short Story: A Great Villain

Whumptober 2022 fill No.16: Mind Control | Paralytic Drugs | “No one’s coming.”

Features characters from Family Secret

~A Great Villian~

They had always thought their son would make a great villain.

It was both delightful and terrifying to be proven right.

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Short Story: A Small Bite

Even the Small Things (start here for context) | For the Small Requests | From a Small Connection | Just a Small Inconvenience | A Small Distraction | A Small Bite

Whumptober 2022 fill No.17: Breaking Point | Stress Positions | Reluctant Caretaker

Whumptober 2022 fill No.22: Toxic | Withdrawal | Allergic Reaction

Follows right after A Small Distraction.

~A Small Bite~

She didn’t learn her lesson.

It turned out that Mintbreeze’s friend was a big fan of dunples. How did he know? Because she took one look at the plum-coloured fruit and snagged a bite faster than he could open his mouth.

There was nothing wrong with dunples. The refreshingly sour-sweet fruit was popular raw, cooked, and everything in between. Its only flaw was looking too similar to dumplums.

Sour-spicy instead of sour-sweet, taste was the best characteristic to tell the two species apart. By then, it was too late.

The dumplum fruit was a potent hallucinogenic toxin. For the lucky few, it was a euphoric high, but for most, the toxin was nightmare fuel. It wasn’t fatal, but there was no antidote. So their only option was to wait for the toxin to run its course.

He sighed to the darkening sky while Mintbreeze’s friend thrashed in his grasp. It was more human contact than he was used to, but the only thing worse than someone trapped in a waking nightmare was a hurt someone trapped in a waking nightmare.

After this, they were heading straight back to Mintbreeze, and he would not play tour guide until the researcher learnt some survival instincts.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: A Small Distraction

Even the Small Things (start here for context) | For the Small Requests | From a Small Connection | Just a Small Inconvenience | A Small Distraction | A Small Bite

Whumptober 2022 fill No.12: “Mayday, mayday!” | Cave In | Rusty Nail

Whumptober 2022 fill No.21: Coughing Up Blood | “You’re safe now.” | “Take me instead.”

~A Small Distraction~

Adventuring alone came with great risks and rewards. There was no one to back him up if he got into danger, but he also had full control over his journey. And with his experience, he knew how to avoid most traps and unpleasant surprises.

Unlike Mintbreeze’s friend, who was an absolute magnet for them.

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Short Story: The Obvious Trap

Whumptober 2022 fill No.25: Lost Voice | Duct Tape “You better start talking.”

Whumptober 2022 fill No.26: Separated | Rope Burns “Why did you save me?”

Features characters from Family Secret. Follows after Bloody Timekeeping and Backup Rescue. Read those first for context.

~The Obvious Trap~

The path to their latest target was clear. Not just the room with the safety box containing the bonds they wanted to steal, not just the floor with their target, but the whole five story building.

It was obviously a trap. But Mr. Top Hat walked in anyway, because they knew who was waiting for them.

“Fancy meeting you here,” Mr. Top Hat said.

Their son remained silent from his spot on the couch. Conflicted emotions flashed across his still-pale face.

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