Category Archives: Short Stories
A collection of original short stories featuring mostly nameless characters.
He was powerful. Without him, they would have wiped out long ago, and destroying the enemy nest would have just been a dream of a dream. But such power came at a cost.
In exchange for monstrous power, he himself would turn into one, just like the monsters they had defeated. His original plan was to sneak out after he was no longer needed and quietly end himself before he became a threat. Fortunately for him, they caught him before he could and grilled the secret out of him.
That was two hours ago. Ignoring the nails slowly sharpening into claws and teeth growing into fangs, they brainstormed and argued endlessly since then over all kinds of theories and possible solutions.
“Enough,” he said, “I asked for this. Let me deal with it.”
“Shut up. This was our dream. You don’t get to play hero alone,” their healer snapped with tears in her eyes.
“Sit.” Their leader pushed him back in his chair. “Let us save you for a change.”
“The contract was very clear.”
“Every contract has a loophole. We’ll find it.”
They ignored the baby horns starting to peek through his fringe.
The smell of Milo hit him before he even stepped into the room. It was the smell of school days. Of mountains of homework. Of his parents watching him and his siblings like prison guards so they didn’t escape before they completed all their exercises. Of mugs of Milo brewed as bribery to convince them to stay a little longer and write a little more.
He took an involuntary step back before he remembered. He wasn’t the one with endless piles of homework now.
Schooling a schadenfreude grin into a more commiserating smile, he stepped inside.
“I don’t want to write anymore.”
“My hand’s going to fall off.”
Ah. It was nice to be a grownup.
Genre: family, slice of life
Their little cousins loved his sister. She always played with them and showered them with gifts. At family gatherings, she was the first person they called and the only one they called at the top of their voice with obvious delight.
But she was only human, and as much as she loved her cousins, playing with all of the at once was exhausting. In a rare opportunity where all the cousins were otherwise occupied, she retreated into her room to rest. Their little cousins, however, were soon ready for more.
He cut in before they burst into her room. He wasn’t like his sister, but surely he could entertain them for a short time?
“Who wants to play ‘pop pop’?”
She undulated to his music, something he would appreciate a lot more if he wasn’t so terrified.
He peeked at his watch. They asked him to buy them ten minutes. Only two had passed since he started serenading the monstrous guardian with his music.
His fingers slipped. The wrong note screeched horribly out of tune and shook the guardian out of her haze.
In his fear, the next few notes also missed the mark. The guardian’s gaze sharpened.
He ditched the current piece for a new one that he could play blind back to front in his sleep. His fingers moved easily through the the familiar tune. The guardian slipped back under his thrall.
He took another peek.
Seven minutes to go.
Come back soon everyone.
His plan was brilliant. Foolproof. Groundbreaking.
It just didn’t last ten seconds after it was put into action.
Someone slapped him in the face.
“Move! Don’t blank out now.”
Half pushed, half dragged, he got out of the fire behind cover.
“Got a Plan B, smart guy?”
In the distance, he heard a sizzle, then a pop. Second pop. Third pop. Boom.
“Plan A is back in action. You know what to do. Let’s go!”
They funnelled the whole vat of liquid into the tiny bottle. An undeniably magical bottle because that was a lot of stuff going in there with no problems. Plus it still weighed practically nothing afterwards.
“Magic,” she argued.
“Technology,” her brother shot back.
As one, they turned to their uncle. “Which is it?”
“Doesn’t matter.” He pocketed the bottle. “As long as it works.”
She shared a look with her brother.
Their uncle sighed.
It was that winsome smile, she concluded. That was the root of all their problems.
If he didn’t have that smile, he wouldn’t have so many dates.
If he didn’t have so many dates, he wouldn’t rack up such a debt.
Worst of all, if not for that smile, her girls wouldn’t keep serving him food he wouldn’t pay for.
No more. It was time to make that smile work for her for a change.
“I have a proposition,” she said, “You don’t have money to pay me back? That’s fine. Pay me back with your time instead.”
He smiled, but his eyes narrowed.
“Sounds interesting. Keep going.”
“Don’t accept sweets from strangers.”
It was a common life lesson parents gave their children. Most parents taught it verbally, some favoured a more intimate approach.
Like hiring him to play the role of a dangerous stranger.
For purely educational purposes, of course.
The job paid him well, and he loved that he could be super creepy and not get thrown in jail.
It wasn’t just drugging kids and snatching them off the street. Even before he met them, he basically had full permission to stalk the children to study them inside out. To find out how far to push, what kind of experience to give them, how best to send the message home.
Most of the time, all he needed was one meeting to teach the child a life-saving lesson.
Then there were children like this girl, whom he had tricked with increasingly nasty treats under difference disguises, who still trustingly accepted his lolly when he offered one to her.
Maybe what this girl needed wasn’t a lesson but a bodyguard.
Entering the fairy palace was easy. Many stumbled in by accident. Getting out was the difficult part.
To leave the palace, a price had to be paid. Either sacrifice the memories formed within the palace, or lose a lifetime of memories in the mortal world.
“Or you can keep everything and stay here instead,” his newfound fairy friend said with a careless cheer that fooled neither of them. After a moment, the fairy’s manic smile softened. “But all the people you cherish are outside.”
“I’m sorry,” he said.
They clasped hands one last time, then he turned to the gatekeeper.
“I would like to leave the palace.”