Category Archives: Flash Fiction

The Undersea Party: Part 5, Devil

The Undersea hall is wide and tall, made by a giant race of scaled men. The floor is smooth and wet, and Jacob is slow with his steps. An iron and oak box strains his callused fingers. Sealed shut by centuries of neglect, it is red with rust and soft with rot.

Metal clinks inside as Jacob shuffles forward. “This one’s heavy enough to be filled with gold.” He huffs, struggling to maintain his posture. “Not more devil-damned dwarven copper.”

Kriv, short as Jacob’s hip, scoots his bald blue head under the chest. “Need more light.”

“Get out from under there,” says Jacob.

Belazar, a head taller and a barrel wider, shuffles over with a torch and grips the side of the chest with his free hand. “May I have a turn, Sir?”

Jacob nods, and the burly orcelf tucks the box under his arm, easy as a load of laundry.

“Thanks.” Jacob cracks his back. “It’s not the weight; it’s the awkward shape.” Continue reading The Undersea Party: Part 5, Devil

The Undersea Party: Part 4, Statue

Torchlight makes shadows dance as the adventuring band tiptoes deeper into the Undersea maze. Built by a giant race, the place shrinks the veterans into children. They are like puppies and kittens with trinkets and charms, exploring an endless dungeon with fur raised and ears twitching.

Breath hushed, the band of five pause where the yellow ribs of something colossal blocks an entry like a portcullis.

Solaris runs her hands along a carved bone thick as her arm. “Could you break through this?” She gestures to Belazar. “Without too much noise?”

The bulky orcelf saunters over and grips the bone bars. “Maybe.” His dark gray skin flushes and tiny tusks poke from his lips as he grits his teeth.

Continue reading The Undersea Party: Part 4, Statue

The Undersea Party: Part 3

Spiders: Featured spider color altered from original: taken by Thomas Shahan. Used with permission.

Still under the docks of Titantale City…

The empty bookshelf swivels open to a passage, a short tunnel through the Undersea’s speckled blue granite.

Solaris runs her soft fingers across the rough cut stone. “Not titans’ work. It is old though. Maybe chiseled through by the first people that took advantage of the scaled giants’ disappearance.”

Jacob rubs his hands together. “Let’s get some treasure.”

“You first.”

Solaris taps his back with the base of her torch, and the martial artist leads her and the rest of their party into another dark room. The floor is dusty instead of damp and webs cover the walls all the way up to the ceiling, a tree’s height above Solaris.

“Spiders.” She spits on the dry floor. “Now, you’ll see why I prefer crabs.” Continue reading The Undersea Party: Part 3

The Undersea Party: Part 2

The walls are a mixture of porous and smooth, hard granite and fossilized coral full of holes. Solaris swings a flaming torch from side to side. Blues, blacks, and whites, all swirl together, and the wide corridor echoes with skitterings and clickings coming from inside the stone.

“Crabs are fine.” Solaris kicks at a foot-sized claw poking through the wall. “It’s the beetles, bats, and spiders.” She shivers. “Especially the jumping spiders. Those things look like a nightmare ate a teddy bear and grew eight legs, too many eyes, and huge fangs.”

The crab she had kicked snaps at her. Shell striped, purple and gray, with cyan barnacles adding a spiky layer, it is a giant crustacean that has survived many seasons. Solaris makes a circle and slash motion of her overgoddess to show respect and then jabs with her torch until the creature skitters deeper into the nether behind the carved stone.

Sylyca, the diminutive elf holding the parties’ other torch, points back at the oversized stairs they’ve descended. “We are below sea level, aren’t we?” She lowers her voice. “Have we entered the Undersea? Is that dream demoness close?” Continue reading The Undersea Party: Part 2

The Undersea Party: Part 1

Seagulls squawk and soar over the city’s slumside docks. Under new management, boards have been removed from storefront windows, replaced with trade goods displayed behind glass. Shiny trinkets, silk, and spices instead of empty bottles, drugs, and darker vices.

Clean money flows into what the band called Lute now controls.

At the edge of this district, a ship-length inland from the choppy water, a dark building sits. Built with salvaged titan granite, it is scaled for men, not giants. Shiny black pillars guard the entrance, a veneer of obsidian elegance.

Solaris, the sea witch, licks salt from her lips and runs her hand over the volcanic glass covering the stone columns. She helped remove crusaders that had claimed this place for their overgod of tyranny and death, but that isn’t what causes her goosebumps.

“There’s a way to another world underneath this Obsidian shrine.” She claps her hands. “Time to dust off some lost mysteries. The Undersea awaits our exploration.” Continue reading The Undersea Party: Part 1

Vermin Leftovers

Tables borrowed from other taverns, piled with food and drink, boxing off the street. A breakfast feast for the victors of the ballroom slaughter.

Colgrevance sits in the dirt, apart from the others. A plate of fish and eggs cooling under the early spring sun.

“Boss, are you not hungry?” Solaris saunters over with a roasted chicken wing in hand. “I’m starving.” She peels the seasoned skin off with her teeth and slurps it, moaning. “My favorite part, especially when it’s a little crispy on the outside but still juicy fat underneath. You know what I mean?”

Colgrevance sets his food aside. “He made a deal. Harmony and her demigodess will remain.”

“ ‘He?’ ”

“Lord Valor treated with Lady Notion after destroying the vampiress. So many dead, and the Ultramarines remain headquartered in that mansion… like vermin.”

Continue reading Vermin Leftovers

Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 5

The many windows of the gothic mansion are curtained, blocking the late afternoon sun with thick midnight-blue canvass.

Colgrevance settles his horse as a dozen men from the Pale Crusade form up to either side. The soldiers plant shields and kneel, peeking over with helms on and heavy crossbows aimed at the tall doors of the ballroom’s entry. Their holy man stands before them, hands clasped, mumbling in Celestial until a white light glows through his palms. Behind, their leader slips on a helmet to seal plate armor fancy enough to rival Colgrevance’s and strides around humming hymns of the angel’s tongue.

“Tristen?” Colgrevance puts on his own helmet.

His armored peer pulls a greatsword off his back and rests it on his shoulder. “We’re ready. Where’s your wearebear?”

“Beorn’s fetching the big lout.”

https://www.zerochan.net/738616 Unknown Artist
zerochan.net, Unknown Artist

Tristen taps his breastplate and whispers a word. A white glow spreads across his suit, like moonlight shining through a metallic window.

Colgrevance drums his fingers on his saddle. “Messoack!”

“I am present.” The gray-skinned magician steps out of the shadows of the alley behind them.

“You sure you won’t lend me that bat ring? You and Jacob will be the only ones without a demigod to summon.” Continue reading Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 5

Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 4

Blood dries under the afternoon sun. Colgrevance tends to the wounds of his bandmates with bandages and potions.

They smile and thank him, but their eyes narrow at his pristine armor. Form-fitting full plate filled with mystic power, it protects him to the precipice of invincibility.

While his companions were cut, through cloth, leather, and steel, Colgrevance was never scratched. His assault upon Lowtide Mansion was bold, but with little personal risk.

He sits head-bowed on a bench outside Drunken Sea Tavern, the closest drinking establishment to the monster-controlled estate.

Solaris comes around the corner with a frothy mug of brew. “Taste this, Boss.”

Colgrevance waves it away. “Thank you, but—”

Voice deepening, she says, “Do it.”

Continue reading Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 4

Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 3

Under a warm noon sun, Lowtide Mansion is more awkward than intimidating, a gothic structure with the moody style of a past age. Colgrevance gathers his raiders, four familiar and one fresh.

“We’ve rested, recovered, regrouped.” Colgrevance pats the top of a little blue man’s head. “And now we are informed. For those that don’t know, this is Kiv.”

“Kriv,” says the thigh-high man. “And, oh wow, can I tell you about vampires. They don’t like garlic, mirrors, running water, or puns done by miss-stake.”

Continue reading Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 3

Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 2

Bodies bleed. Some moan, most breathe, all are dressed in finery.

Colgrevance crouches over Beorn. A matching pair of shortswords stick out of the warrior’s gut. Blood leaks out like the sap of a tapped maple tree.

Clapping his gauntlets together, Colgrevance says in Celestial, “Stable.” The silver metal encasing his hands flickers a light green, and he uses its minor enchantment to stall the bulky half-elf’s bleed and ease his gasps.

“Sorry, I froze,” says Colgrevance. “I’ve never been caught by a hypnotic rune before.”

Continue reading Crashing A Vampire Ball At Lowtide Mansion: Part 2