Fantasy Writing Prompt Blitz-o-Rama: Week 2

So I consolidated all my entries into one final week here. Check them out if you’d like!

Here are the prompts below:

Sept. 8-Day 8-Setting Prompt-Write a story in which the setting is actually a living, breathing thing.
Sept. 9-Day 9-Assassin Prompt-Write a story in which an assassin (monster hunter, mercenary, etc.) kills the wrong target. Write it from the POV of a witness.
Sept. 10-Day 10-Beauty Prompt-Write a story about a beautiful character without describing her.
Sept. 11-Day 11-Bard Prompt-Write a story about someone writing a story (or composing a poem, song, etc.)
Sept. 12-Day 12-Food Prompt-Write a story in which food plays a significant role.
Sept. 13-Day 13-Dungeon Prompt-Write a story in which everything is in darkness.
Sept. 14-Day 14-Random Prompt-Write a story in which a random encounter isn’t so random after all.

“Gigatropolis”
by Philip Overby

I live here, sir. Let me up.

“Another belly ache?” Maureen shook her head as she hung out her children’s clothes on the line. “What the hell has he been eating recently?”

Granald shrugged, hanging his own coat across the way. Damn blood stains hadn’t come out. “I try not to think about it so much.”

Maureen braced herself against the beam of her house. “That’s a big one. Must have had a handful of goats again.”

“Again, not really interested in his diet.”

“Don’t you ever think?” Maureen looked straight up the nose of the Mayor, the nickname given for the giant that carried Gigatropolis back and forth to the various islands of Gamul. “What it would be like to just stay on one of the islands? Get off the big lug once and for all?”

“Why would I do that?” Granald growled. “He doesn’t bother me.”

“The snoring? The burping? The farting? The constant belly aches waking you up in the middle of the night? I swear, it’s enough to drive me crazy.”

“You know an easier way to take care of the Longnecks?”

Maureen revealed her own bloody cloak and hung it on the line. She winced when she looked at it, but shrugged and grabbed another piece of laundry. “A boat?”

“Takes too long.”

“Airship?”

“Too expensive.”

Maureen gave a big smile, putting her hands on her hips. “Magic?”

“This question doesn’t have an answer,” Granald said. “The giant takes us to the islands. We trade. We take care of the Longnecks. The natives cheer. We get moving again. Not a bad life, really.”

Maureen snorted. “Well, you’ve never lived anywhere else have you?”

Granald fell silent.

“You think you’re going to meet a girl here? Get married? Raise a family? The only reason I’m still here is because my kids railed on and on about wanting to join the Hunters’ School. I swore I wouldn’t let them follow in my footsteps. Yet, here I am. Soon I’ll be hanging their bloody cloaks on the line.”

Granald almost fell over when a violent belly quake shook the city. Pots rattled, children screeched, beams buckled. The usual. It went on longer than Granald had ever experienced. “The hell’s going on?”

Maureen’s face was panicked. She threw on her still wet, still bloody cloak. “Giant hunters?”

“I hope the hell not,” Granald said, grabbing his spear from inside his house. He met Maureen back at their respective lines. Her spear had her children’s scarves and toys dangling from it. “You going?”

“Yep. Head up to the East Shoulder. Better perspective up there.”

Granald followed Maureen up the bucket pulley that took them further up the city, away from the Stomach and closer to the East Shoulder. It was the best vantage point in all Gigatropolis. If giant hunters were attacking from sea or sky, they would see them.

As the bucket squealed and squeaked its way up, Granald saw a flock of birds scatter up into the sky, darting away from the lumbering city. Sure enough, Granald spotted it. “There. See it?”

“That’s a big one.”

Hovering further up, a helicopter spun in front of the giant’s face, hunters lobbing mini-bombs, acidic concoctions, and fiery cocktails. The giant’s face twitched, but it was hard to tell anything else.

“We have to get up there fast,” Maureen said. “Help me.”

Together they pulled on the ropes until the bucket dropped them off at the shoulder. Rows of spears stood at attention, while only the most elite hunters with white, shimmering capes were allowed to go up to the central headquarters of the city, the Head.

“They have to let more up there than that,” Granald spat. “There’s only about a dozen Whitecloaks that are ever here at the moment.”

Maureen grumbled, slamming the butt of her spear down. She called out in a loud voice, “Let more of us up there! This isn’t the time for games and favorites!”

Others roared in the approval, nodding in Maureen’s direction.

She smirked. “Maybe that worked?”

One of the city guards mumbled something to a brown robed figure. One of the Appointed. The ones that guided the giant on its path. He would be the only one to allow the rules to be bent for this time.

The Appointed flapped his gums and the city guard waved his spear. “One at a time. Twenty more only.”

The crowd cheered and some of the hunters tried to push their way toward the bucket. Other guards blocked their way, motioning for calm.

“Hey, Granald,” Maureen whispered. “Over here. Short cut.”

She pointed over to one of the old buckets. It was rickety and broken, but could still be used to get up to the Head.

“Not a good idea,” he said.

“Come on, I’ve used it before,” she said. “Used to take my husband up here some nights. Pretty romantic spot.”

Granald nodded. “I bet.”

“Don’t be a chicken,” she said. “Let’s go.”

Cursing his luck of following Maureen, Granald went anyway.

After several terrifying moments, the lurching, shaking bucket got about half-way up and got stuck.

“Uh, that’s not good,” Maureen said.

“What?”

“It’s stuck. I can’t get it to go any further.”

“Well, what are we going to do?”

Maureen pointed up. “Look. His hair. If you can jump up, you can probably grab it and scale up to his head.”

“Are you insane?” Granald shouted. “I’m not doing that.”

“You want a chance to be something more?”

Granald nodded. “Yeah, I do.”

“Well, go then. If you take part in helping drive away the giant hunters, you’ll be praised. No more hanging clothes on the line for you.”

“What about you? Why don’t you do it?”

Maureen smiled. “I have kids.”

“And?”

“OK, OK, I just don’t want to. See how high up that is?”

Granald gritted his teeth. “Fine, I’m going to do it.”

“That a boy! Don’t slip. It’s a long way down.”

Gulping, Granald strapped his spear to his back and rubbed his hands together. He jumped up from the bucket and grabbed hold of the giant’s swaying hair. His hands slipped at first, the greasy locks much slicker than he imagined. And it stunk to high heaven. Holding his breath, he pulled and pulled until he entered the tangles of hair. Dead bugs and birds were all dried up and matted inside. Granald had to resist retching. Crawling through the maze of hair, he finally found himself at the very top. The metal dome called the Crown. The Crown was the highest point in all of Gigatropolis and only reserved for Whitecloaks and the Appointed. When Granald stood amongst the broken, bloody bodies of Whitecloaks, shocked to see so many of them dead or dying.

One wounded Whitecloak reached out to Granald. “Boy, you have to take out that helicopter.”

“Me?”

“Everyone else–” he coughed. “They’re hurt real bad. Please.”

“I don’t know if I can.” Granald grabbed his spear off his back. “I only have one spear.”

“There are others,” the Whitecloak said. He spit out blood. “Go.”

Granald ran forward, looking across the open window of the dome. The helicopter was hovering nearby, still dropping bombs wherever it could across the giant’s nose and eyes. It reached up to swat them away, but it was too slow and the helicopter darted away like a pesky fly. The damn giant hunters were relentless. They had already taken out some of the smaller giants in the region and had aimed at Gigatropolis for some time. This was the boldest they ever got.

Granald looked down, looked at his spear, and thought, “This is it. If I miss, they’ll come after me. If I hit them, I’ll be a hero. Promoted to Whitecloak surely.”

Granald held the spear in his grip, hands slick with sweat and giant hair grease. He aimed, his arm quivering with every breath. He let the spear loose.

It soared and soared. And soared.

And disappeared out of sight.

That was it. His one shot.

The helicopter buzzed and Granald saw a shaggy headed giant hunter poke his head out. He pointed up at Granald.

Ducking down, he breathed shallow as the whir of the helicopter came nearer and nearer. He didn’t have much choice. It was either hide or be scorched to death.

The helicopter hovered near where Granald hid. A spear lie broken nearby. If he darted out to grab it, they could drop a bomb right on his head. But if he sat and did nothing, they’d drop bombs on him anyway.

The decision was easy.

Scrambling out, Granald grabbed the broken spear. Curses came from the helicopter, but that didn’t deter him. He clutched the spear and ran full speed, jumping off the Crown and leaping through the air. His feet pumped, his knees hitting his chest.

And then the spear plunged through one of the giant hunters, impaling him right through the chest. He was on the helicopter. Granald gasped.

Another giant hunter with wild red hair jabbed a knife at him. He dodged it and slammed his elbow into the hunter’s nose. Blood gushed out. He grabbed him by the hair and hurled him out of the helicopter.

That left the pilot.

“Land it or I’ll break your neck.”

The pilot nodded.

As the helicopter landed, Granald tossed the pilot across the Dome. He could her cheers ringing out from further below. He did it. He really did it.

“If you move, you’re dead,” Granald said.

The pilot kept his hands up, his body trembling.

As Granald stood on top of the giant’s head, he could see the sun starting to dip behind the clouds. There was a whole world out there waiting for him. That’s when he knew, his days on Gigatropolis were over.

Hero or no, he had other things to do.

 “Two Princesses”
by Philip Overby
Not pictured: other princess.

Marta saw the minotaur go down in the field, butterflies scattering away from its body. Its horns poked up from the wildflowers for a brief moment until another arrow struck it in the back of the neck. A strained “moo” bellowed out and then it was dead.

“Oh sh*t,” she murmured to herself, touching her own horns that way she did when she was nervous. How long would it take before the hunter realized he got the wrong one?

She crouched down amongst the violets, trying her best to keep her horns hidden. Her eyes peered out across the field as she watched a centaur and a little girl come into view. The little girl had a simple blue cape tied around her neck and a matching bow in her hair. She bent down to examine the dead minotaur. Or at least Marta thought she did. She came up with a blue wildflower and tucked it behind her ear.

“This isn’t the one,” she said in a voice that sounded flat and cold. “Keep looking.”

The centaur whipped back its mane of golden hair. A beautiful creature if not for Marta’s undying hatred for them. The centaur galloped in place, snorted a couple of times, and rubbed the smooth wood of his long bow. “But–but, I’m tired. We’ve been at it all day. And you rode me down to the river two times already. I need a rest.”

“Quit your pouting, Dreamwalker.” The girl swatted him on the side with a riding crop. “Your my horse and you’ll do what I say.”

“Callista, I’m not a horse–“

The girl raised up the crop again. “What?”

“I said, ‘Let’s get going.'”

“That’s what i thought,” Callista said. “This minotaur. It has a bent horn. Look for a bent horn.”

“Of course,” Dreamwalker said. “I’ll endeavor to find you a bent horn, my princess.”

So it was true. She was a princess. That meant Marta’s fears were coming true. The League was coming to take the Wild Valleys away from the minotaurs and the other woodland races of the Delve D’anar. That meant that this Callista knew her minotaurs well. She knew Marta was also a princess, albeit a rogue one.

Marta long shrugged off the responsibilities of her herd. She rejected every bull meant to breed with her and refused to unite any of the other herds together. This left the minotaurs, the strength of the Delve D’anar, a wild card that couldn’t be relied upon. Just dozens of rogue bulls that did what they pleased without any fear of reprisal. To see one of her brethren fall to a traitorous centaur made her blood boil all the more. She couldn’t allow the humans and their “horses” take the Wild Valley away.

As she went to make her move, an arrow whizzed over her head, pinging off her bent horn.

“Found it, my princess,” the centaur roared. “Dead ahead.”

“After it!” Callista jumped on the centaur’s back and wildly kicked at its sides.

Panic struck Marta. She couldn’t move. Just stared as Dreamwalker nocked another arrow in his bow. At this rate, she’d have an arrow through her eye and have her head mounted on some League wretch’s wall by nightfall.

Steam came from her nose. She ground her hooves into the dirt.

Marta didn’t back down. She lowered her head and charge right at the centaur.

It was Dreamwalker’s turn to panic. Marta’s horns gored him right in the chest as he advanced, impaling him in a spray of blood that soaked the front of her face and trickled into her snout. She jerked her head upward several times to make sure the centaur was good and dead. When Dreamwalker went limp, Marta pulled her horns out and stood before the grounded Callista, a gory vision the stuff of human children’s nightmares.

Her leg looked cut. She whimpered and scuttled away from the stalking minotaur. “Please, please. Don’t hurt me.”

Marta stopped in front of her, the centaur’s blood dripping from her mouth. She shook her head, the blood flying off in tiny droplets. Callista shield her face and continued to scoot away.

“You would kill me, human girl?”

“I’m just doing what I was told,” she cried. “Honest.”

“What you were told?”

“My father.” She wiped her eyes. “He told me to get rid of you however I knew how.”

“So you would kill me?”

Callista blubbered into her cape. “I had to try.”

“Let me tell you something, little girl,” Marta said. “I’m no barbarian like you. I don’t kill just because I feel it. I kill if I need to. Like I just did.”

Callista’s lip quivered as he looked over at Dreamwalker, blood still pumping from the puncture wounds in his bare chest.

“Tell your father and any other members of the League that the Delve D’anar is growing. Everyday it’s growing. We will not lie down and die.”

She nodded, getting up to one foot and limping. “You’re going to let me go?”

“Only because you are young and I need a messenger,” Marta said. “If you come here again, next time I won’t be so merciful.”

Callista looked down at Dreamwalker one more time. “It’s miles back to my home. How will I get there without my horse?”

Marta lowered her horns, her eyes locking on the young princess. “Run.”

She did. As fast as her one leg could carry her. Across the field the young human girl cried and stumbled until she was out of sight.

There would be no Delve D’anar standing together. There would be no minotaur led army. That Marta knew. She hoped, just hoped that the little girl would tell how horrible the minotaur monster was. Strike fear into the hearts of the League and any other humans that dare step foot in the Wild Valley again. Tell her father of the gory sight of her pet getting torn apart. Tell her father of the countless nightmares she had, not able to get the image of the bloody, horned head out of her dreams.

And that would be enough.

“One of a Kind”
by Philip Overby
Does she have a sister?

“Who is she?” Laren asked, his jaw hanging open.

“Wilma Grazer,” the headhunter answered, sipping his frothy milk drink. “Don’t bother.”

“What?” Laren scratched his bearded jaw. “Why not? You think she’s better than me Nok?”

“Look at her,” Nok said. “She won’t even talk to you.”

Laren beat his hand on his breastplate. “No one turns down Laren the Lionblood. I am a warrior of much renown. Don’t you know this?”

Nok slurped on his drink. “Unfortunately.”

“Watch and learn,” Laren said, swaggering over to Wilma.

She turned to look at him as he approached, smoking a thin cigarette. “Yes?”

“Uh, uh–” Laren stammered. “Would you like a drink?”

“That’s the best you can do?” Wilma giggled. “A room full of bounty hunters, you’d think one had a good pick up line.”

“I was just asking–“

“Who is that?” She pointed at Nok.

“That’s Nok,” Laren said. “He scalps people for a living.”

“Oh?” She smiled.

“Yeah, kind of gross, right?” Laren folded his arms. “I killed a dragon once.”

“That’s really interesting,” Wilma said, brushing past Laren. “Excuse me.”

Laren’s face went red. How dare she? He followed her over to where Nok was sitting, still nursing his drink.

“Hello,” Wilma said to Nok.

Nok raised an eyebrow and swiveled in his stool. “Hi.”

“What you doing here by yourself?” Wilma sat next to him and stuck her finger in his drink.

“Don’t do that,” Nok said, pulling it away. “It’s expensive.”

She scowled and looked over at Laren. “What’s with him?”

“I told you, he scalps people. Not the friendliest guy.”

“I’m married,” Nok said.

“Really?” Laren chuckled. “Who would have thought that?”

Wilma shrugged. “Oh well.” She walked away.

“Wait, what about me?” Laren asked. “Don’t you want to hear about the dragon I killed.”

Wilma yawned. “Sure. What color was it?”

“I don’t know, it was dark.”

“Goodbye,” she said and walked out of the bar and out of Laren’s life.

“I’ll never meet another woman like her,” Laren said to Nok.

“Sure you will,” Nok said. “There’s her twin sister, Wanda.”

“Hello, Wanda!” Laren slicked back his hair and swaggered across the bar again.

“Takashira”
by Philip Overby

I’d like a new cellmate, please.

Translated from Old Dwarven

The cracked, bubbling skull of Takashira,
We watch you under the earth,
Through the deepest tunnels and down past the long forgotten rocks,
The mushrooms, the glowing embers of your tongue,
Laps at us.

We honor you, Takashira,
The tiger under the mountain,
Clutching stone in your maw, crunching it with your mighty teeth,
We’ll never let you die.
We’ll stoke the fires of your brain, forge from your gaping mouth,
And know our enemies will fall under hammer, club, and sword.

We come to you, Takashira,
Forgot the rivers, the lakes, the sun, the stars,
We only honor the hard, unbreakable realm you share,
So that when we’re buried and our bones rest in stone tombs,
We too shall breathe in the smoke of your breath,
And be at peace.

“What was that?” Jeril asked, scratching his scarred nose. “Doesn’t make any sense.”

“It was translated,” Ladran mumbled. “It doesn’t always make sense.”

“Old Dwarven.” Jeril rested his head against the stone wall of the dungeon. “How’d you learn that?”

“I studied,” Ladran said. “A long time.”

“Must be funny for you to be down here with me,” Jeril said. “I killed a knight. Had a right to though. Slept with my wife.”

Ladran only breathed in the dark.

“That’s a good reason, I’d say.”

Silence.

“Well, thanks for sharing whatever that was anyway.”

Ladran cleared his throat. “It was a prayer. The dwarves used to say it, morning, noon, and night.”

“Really?” Jeril showed his mouth full of missing teeth, the single beam of light from the moon shining in through the high, narrow window.” “Did it work?”

“Have you seen any dwarves around?”

“No,” Jeril said, “but I’ve been down here about ten years now. Were there any before you came down here.”

“No.” Ladran snickered to himself.

“What? What’s so funny?”

“That prayer,” Ladran said. “It wasn’t for peace, hope, or health like most of our prayers are. It was for destruction. About death. That was the only true way for any peace. That’s the only way we’ll ever get it.”

Jeril snorted and was silent for a long while. “You know any happier stories?”

 “The Feast of Feasts”
by Philip Overby
Who invited the wyvern?

“I’m not hungry,” Palis said, pushing the plate of pasta away.

“Eat it.” Alice twirled the spaghetti around her fork. “It’s good.”

Palis shrugged. “I’m sure it is. I told you I’m not hungry.”

The hall was empty save the two sitting at a circular table. All the other chairs sat empty. A crow cawed outside the window.

“It’s your birthday. Eat.”

Palis stuck his finger in the pasta, mushing it and pushing it around.

There was a thud against the door.

“It’s not getting in here,” Alice said. “Will you just eat at least?”

“It’s going to get in.” Palis sipped from a glass of water, his hand trembling. “How do you expect me to eat now?”

The thuds came and went throughout the night, sometimes accompanied by scratching or snorting.

“Should we just let it?” Palis said, reaching for a steak knife. “I could kill it, I’m sure.”

“You’re not going to kill it,” Alice said. “It’ll go away. Just give it time. If it’s hungry it’s not going to wait forever.

More pounding. Alice’s glass of wine spilled on the table. She snarled, whipping her hair back and pounding her fist on the table.

“It’s going to crack the door. Should we at least give it some food? Maybe it’ll go away then.”

“I don’t think it matters,” Alice said. “If we open that door it’s going to rush it. And one sting from its tail and we’ll be bloated and dead come morning.

“I’ve heard of people surviving wyvern stings. Some people are even immune to their poison.”

“You want to take that risk?” Alice dabbed the spilled wine several seconds and gave up in disgust tossing the napkin away.

The door cracked, buckled on its hinges. Just enough to make Palis’s blood rush. He snatched up the steak knife and stood up.

“The door is reinforced,” Alice said. “I’m telling you–“

The reinforcement bar split. One more good ram and it would splinter open.

Alice sat with her fork buried in her pasta, staring straight ahead, breathing in and out with labored breaths. Palis remained standing, his eyes locked on the door.

There was a long silence.

The crow squawked and flew away.

The door exploded, sending pieces of wood flying in all directions. Instead of standing at the ready, Palis fell back on his ass, scrambling backward across the stone floor. Alice jumped up, a long knife slipping out of her blouse’s sleeve and appearing in her hand. She brandished it and tossed her chair toward the door as the hulking shadow stalked inside, sniffing and snapping its jaws.

The wyvern barely fit through the doorway, but it wriggled its body enough until it got inside. Palis thought that would have been the perfect time to strike, but he just sat there, trembling while Alice did nothing else but wait for it to advance.

“Throw the roast at it,” Alice said.

“What?”

“Do it. Slowly.”

Palis got up to his feet and made his way to the table, picking up the roast. The wyvern slithered forward, its tongue darting in and out of its mouth.

“Throw it?”

“Yes, hurry,” Alice said.

As soon as Palis threw the roast and the wyvern opened its jaws to catch it, Alice rushed forward, knife going right for its eye.

The wyvern’s tail snapped and battered Alice backward, flipping her over the table and scattering wine glasses, platters of steaming vegetables, and a large duck.

Palis’s breath caught in his throat. “Alice?”

No answer.

The wyvern resumed chomping on the roast.

Palis ran around the table, picking up Alice and turning her over. She was breathing, but knocked silly. A red welt grew on her face. He snatched up her long knife and spun it in his grip. As he stood up, the wyvern slithered over to the table and began slurping down the left over pasta.

“Hell,” Palis whispered. “Alice?”

She only blinked.

Gritting his teeth, Palis leaned forward over the table, trying to snatch away the bowl of pasta. The wyvern’s jaws nearly snapped his fingers off.

“Damn,” Palis whispered, backing away.

When all the pasta was gone, the wyvern looked toward Palis, its stinger standing at attention, hovering over its head.

Palis winced, waiting for the stinger to strike.

Alice, wobbly but awake, flipped the table over. The stinger collided with the wood and burst through the other side.

“Now!” Alice screamed.

Palis shook his head to wake himself up to what was happening. He screamed back something incomprehensible and sliced the long knife through the stinger, severing it and spraying blood. The wyvern hissed and squealed, jerked the remainder of its tailer out and scurried out the door, crashing into the walls a couple of times before it squeezed its way out.

Palis fell down to the floor, gasping, clutching his chest. “Is it gone?”

Alice dragged the table over to the door and pressed it in front of it. “For now.”

“What do we do?” Palis croaked.

Alice rubbed her sore face. “We have cake. It is your birthday after all.”

“In the Dark, We All Fall Down”
by Philip Overby
Well, OK then. We’ll move. Damn, sorry.

The sun hadn’t shined on my face in over two weeks. To live in pitch blackness would make most men go insane, but I relished in it. I’d survived by scrounging for mushrooms and licking water from the walls. I imagined living in this cave might have been difficult for some, but I wasn’t just anyone.

I was hunting a troll. To live in darkness was a sacrifice I had to make.

The cave troll had been plaguing the village of Nedrock for over a year now. It would slither out of the slick tunnels of its cave, eat some people and drag what was left of them back down into the cave. I was never sure if the slickness from the cave was from water or blood. I had to test the consistency to avoid drinking the wrong thing.

I felt I was getting closer everyday. Although I felt dehydrated, hungry, often times dizzy and disoriented, I soldiered on. I could smell the troll’s stench some days, trickling down in the water. I had to spit it out, sometimes hair and grit getting in my mouth. It was obvious to me that the tunnel I was using was the troll’s own personal dumping ground after several skulls rolled past me one day. Was it day or night? I didn’t know anymore.

I felt the tunnel branch off into two directions. My sense of smell heightened, I followed the one that stank the most. I was not wrong.

Light spilled out, blinding me more, red spots blasting my eyes. Everything was white instead of black. I could hear the troll slurping and crunching nearby. I had to act fast.

“Hey!” I screamed, my voice almost hoarse.

The troll snorted. “What are you doing here?”

It spoke. Were my ears deceiving me?

“You talk?” I said.

“Yes, of course,” the troll answered. “Why have you disturbed my dinner?”

“I’ve come to kill you.” My voice flat and emotionless. I wasn’t even sure if that was why I was there anymore.

“Why?”

“You’ve been killing the villagers. I’ve come to stop you.”

The troll chuckled. “Don’t you understand? They built their village on top of my home. It’s like a group of cows settling next to humans, right? They are just asking to be eaten.”

“But cows don’t–” I stopped. Why was I talking with this thing? It didn’t have any notion of what was right or wrong. It must be killed.

“You should leave now,” the troll said. “I’m still a bit hungry. You look a bit scrawny for my tastes, but I’ll eat you anyway.”

“Die!” I screamed. It wasn’t long before I felt a flash of pain, more bright light, and a descent into further darkness. Wetness. Disorientation. I was hanging upside down?

“You’ll go nice in my soup,” the troll said. That’s when everything truly become dark.

“Wrong Number”
by Philip Overby
Thanks for the advice.

“Hello?”

“Hello, yes is this Thragmol?”

“No, sorry you have the wrong number.”

“Wait, Thragmol. The necromancer? His number was listed in the phone book.”

“Really? No, Thragmol here. What number did you dial?”

“31394.”

“Oh, that’s your problem. This is 31393.”

“Oh, really? I’m so sorry to bother you.”

“That’s OK, I was expecting your call.”

“Uh, what?”

“Yes, I’m a diviner, a medium, a psychic. I’ve been waiting for your call for a long time, Yarrol.”

“How do you know my name?”

“I just told you, I’m a psychic, you dolt.”

“Oh, right.”

“I’m here to warn you. Don’t contact Thragmol. Unless you want to experience dire consequences.”

“But I have to contact him. I was told he could help me find the Skull of Drazerly. My party and I have had trouble finding it. Our lockpicker died getting a poison dart to the eye. Our knight fell in a ravine. It’s just not worth it anymore.”

“You must continue on your way, Yarrol. Contacting the necromancer is not the path you are intended to take.”

“Why not? It’s the easiest one.”

“That may be, but you’ve always taken the easiest way, haven’t you?”

“No.”

“Yes, you have. When it was time to form your party, you decided to be the cleric. The healer. All you have to do is stand around until the fighting is over and heal people. Right?”

“What? I do more than that.”

“No, you don’t. The others protect you because you’re the most important one to them. Without you, they die. But it seems you’re not doing your job very well.”

“…”

“Am I right?”

“I suppose so. I’ve lost five party members in three years. I guess I’m not cut out for this.”

“You can be, though. Keep on your path. Find the way to Drazerly on your own. I feel your path with be fraught with danger, but in the end, you’ll become a much stronger man and cleric.”

“Will I grow from my experiences and become a hero to many?”

“Probably. I’m not that good at this, honestly.”

“Huh? But you sounded so convincing.”

“Good luck, Yarrol. You’ll need it.”

Yarrol went on to take a poison dart in the eye and fell into a ravine. A pack of hyenas ate him later. If only he’d called the necromancer.

So that’s it! 14 days and 14 stories! I want to thank everyone at Mythic Scribes who has participated. Great job everyone! I’ll be announcing the winners here on my blog later in the month. Thanks again!

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