Spoilsport – Short Fantasy Fiction

The following is a fiction piece of exactly 100 words, according to Microsoft Word. Enjoy!


The sight of mingling coworkers, bobbing and swaying in their greens and reds, made me nauseous. With a petite Asian woman on his arm, my officemate Jonas sidled next to me. “Rob, meet Amy.”

She offered me her hand, delicate fingers curved down. I gave them a kiss.

Amy smiled. “What do you do?”

Software developer is dull. “I’m a fantasy author.”

Tree ornaments sparkled in her eyes as she grabbed my belt buckle. “What’s your pleasure?”

With a scowl, Jonas clapped her on the shoulder. Her eyes went black. He grimaced. “Don’t say ‘fantasy.’”

Her eyes came back on.

Jonas and Amy - Spoilsport Story

Pestilence – Short Fantasy Fiction

[This story was written in response to a challenge on the Mythic Scribes forum, and is also posted on that site. About 2000 words.]

A leaf floated down from a tree branch hanging over the balcony of the Green Palace. Ella picked it up from the balcony floor. Numerous holes in the leaf left it looking skeletal. “I’m dying,” the leaf cried, and then it did.

Ella’s heart missed a beat. “The island is overrun by bugs, Gammon. Something must be done, or our beautiful island will be reduced to a sandy beach where nothing grows.”

The High Priest joined her on the balcony. “Curses on Trader Ograk.”

“Gammon, we’ve been through this. Retract your curse. We don’t know it was the ogre who brought the infestation.”

“No one else has visited our shores since the last new moon.”

He had a point. Ella sighed, pocketing the leaf. She would use it, along with all the other recently dead and dying leaves from her tree, in making a new outfit, to memorialize their passing. “But cursing him does us no good now.”

“You’re right. I hereby retract the curse. But we must do something.”

Another leaf fell in front of Ella’s face, crying in agony.

“Have our wizards any magic left to combat this pestilence?”

“They are doing what they can, Princess. It is not enough.”

“These are desperate times, Gammon.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures, Princess. I think it time I resorted to prophecy.”

“You will create more controversy,” said Ella. “Too many of your previous prophecies have failed. People will not believe a new one.”

The High Priest dropped his chin. “The god does not inspire me to speak. He leaves me to do what I think is right of my own design. I can think of no other course of action that may save us. All I can do is my best, and pray that the god will bless my efforts.”

“I understand,” said Ella. “It must be done.”


The prophecy spread across the island in a matter of minutes: A Chosen One would come forth to deal with the pestilence upon the island. Gammon, High Priest of Elhon, had spoken. Some said that the prophecy could not be true. Some said that it must be true, for why would Elhon allow a priest to lie? Some pointed to the failure of other prophecies. Others argued that those prophecies may have succeeded in ways not understood by those of mortal blood. The ways of Elhon were mysterious, they said. I’ll show you mysterious, their contenders said.

The prophecy was carried away from the island by swans, since they were more reliable than the ducks and geese, and could survive the long journey to the other islands. A duckling chose to undertake the task along with the swans – a duckling so ugly, the other ducklings were glad to have a reprieve from looking at it.

Then the waiting began. The leaves continued to drop, their every cry wrenching at Ella’s heart.

“Even if a Chosen One should come now,” moaned Ella, “it may be too late.”

“We must have faith,” said Gammon. “Elhon will not fail his people or his plants.”


The tree beside the palace balcony sported only fifty-six leaves, down from seventy-five at the same time the day before. Ella counted the leaves every morning. At this rate, the tree would be leafless in three days. Other trees in the forest were in similar condition. “Soon I will have neither a man nor a tree in my life, Gammon.”

“You will have me, Princess.”

She patted his arm. “I will always have you, dear friend.”


Two days later, only twelve leaves remained on Ella’s tree. Some bugs gnawed the bark of the tree, leaving wicked scars in their wake. “This is the end,” said Ella. “This is the last day of greenery on my tree. Is there no elven magic that can preserve even these last few precious leaves?”

Gammon shook his head, his hood cloaking his face like a veil. “We have done all we can, Princess.”

A brace of ducks waddled by below, quacking contentedly. Every one of them looked plump. They’d not lacked for anything to eat this past moon. But even they could not consume enough bugs to end the pestilence. Only when the bugs had devoured every plant on the island would the pestilence end.

A swan landed on the balcony. “I have brought you good news, my Princess.”

Ella studied the swan. “Forgive me, swan, but I do not recognize you.”

The swan held his head high and strutted about. “You knew me as the ugly duckling.”

“Oh, my goodness,” said Ella. “What magic converted you from duckling to swan?”

“No magic, my Princess, only time. But that is not the best news I have for you. The Chosen One comes.”

Ella felt the throbbing of her heart in her chest. “Why did you not lead with that?” She ran inside and down the spiral stairs to her bedroom, where she donned an outfit crafted of grass blades and rose petals. Then she hurried out to meet the Chosen One.


It wasn’t a Chosen One who had come. It was Trader Ograk. Ella’s throat felt dry as she watched the merchant ship dock. Her muscles tensed as the ogre dropped a plank and tromped down it, his heavy feet sinking into the sand as he reached the bottom of the plank. He marched up the beach to her and kneeled. “I hear you’re in need of a Chosen One.”

“Go away,” said High Priest Gammon. “It was you who brought this pestilence to our island. You cannot be our Chosen One.”

“Didn’t say I was.” Ograk stood. “But I brought someone who is. He’s a simple farm hand who found a magic rock. He used it to run an army of invading trolls off his home island. His name is Herman. You want to meet him? He’s on board my ship now. Says he’d like nothing better than to meet an Elven Princess and be her Chosen One.”

“Oh,” said Ella, feeling flush. She fanned her face with a hand. “Well, then, yes, please, by all means, bring this human man before us.”


The fellow ran down the plank and up the beach. He did not kneel before Ella. “Hi,” he said, extending his hand for a shake, “I’m Herman.” He held up a stone, a spherical, polished black thing with a hole in the top. “I found this magic stone, and when I heard of your dire situation, I felt I had to come see if I could help.”

“It is a very pretty stone,” said Princess Ella, touching its sleek surface. Her arm brushed against Herman’s, causing her skin to tingle.

“Well, thank you,” said the stone.

“It does have a magical glow,” said High Priest Gammon.

“Always want to look my best,” said the stone. Herman smiled and shrugged.

“Let us waste no time,” said Princess Ella, “and put it immediately to the test.”

“At your service,” said the stone.


“The Chosen One has come to our aid,” proclaimed Princess Ella from her balcony before the gathering of her elven subjects. “The prophecy of High Priest Gammon is true.” The crowd cheered.

Priest Gammon walked up beside her, and the crowd fell silent. “We will be rid of this pestilence once and for all,” he shouted. Everyone in the crowd looked at each other with skeptical glances.

“I present to you the Chosen One,” proclaimed the Princess, and the crowd cheered again.

Herman walked out on the balcony. He held the magical stone above his head. “With the magic of this stone, I will end this pestilence!” The crowd cheered even louder for him than they had for Ella. Herman lowered his arm and his voice. “All right, rock, what must we do?” Herman shook the rock and rubbed his finger in the hole on top of it.

“Ooh, yeah, baby.” The stone shone even more brightly. “All right, yeah, um, first, you must go to the center of the island.”

“This palace is at the center of the island,” said Ella. “We’re already there.”

“Aw,” said the stone, “that’s not very dramatic. If I’m to do magic, there ought to be some drama, some tension. There ought to be a journey for us to make, obstacles to overcome, something that bards will want to write stories about. Standing on a balcony is hardly a legendary feat. Perhaps you could all strike dramatic poses. Make it look like you’re confronting something dreadful.”

“But we are confronting something dreadful,” said Ella. “The pestilence is dreadful indeed.”

“That’s the spirit,” said the stone. “Now strike a pose, please. Herman, hold me aloft and command me in your loudest voice to do what needs to be done.”

The Princess and the High Priest posed, legs spread apart, each with a fist extended behind their backs and the other hand raised, pointing into the trees.

Herman set his feet wide apart. He held high the stone and cried, “Magical stone, I command you, rid this island of its plague!”

“Um, just a moment,” said the stone. “Is it a plague? I thought it was a pestilence. I’m not sure I can deal with a plague.”

“What’s the difference?” said Herman, lowering his arm.

Ella broke her pose. “I thought a plague was a form of pestilence.” She touched the stone and let her fingers slip free of it, to land on Herman’s arm, where she allowed them to linger.

“It’s a pestilence,” said High Priest Gammon, still maintaining his pose, “regardless of whether it’s a plague. A plague is a form of pestilence. So if you can deal with any pestilence, you can deal with a plague.”

The stone shimmered. “That is not for you to say, old man.”

“I’m not so old I can’t put a curse on you,” said the High Priest, his legs trembling.

“Settle down,” said Herman, his gaze briefly meeting that of the Princess. “Forget I said plague.” He held the stone up again. “I command you, stone, to rid this island of this pestilence.”

“And be quick about it,” said the Princess, retaking her pose, “so that I may give the Chosen One his reward.”

“You already used up my magic for the year,” said the stone. “If it’s not a plague, you can’t change your mind, and I can’t help you.”

“Oh, for Elhon’s sake,” said the High Priest, slumping to sit on the balcony floor, “it’s a plague. It’s a pestilence. Just get rid of it.”

A bug wearing a crown flew down from the tree. “Would you three please shut up?”

“Don’t you mean four?” asked the stone.

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” shouted King Bug.

“That’s only three ‘shut ups’,” said the stone.

“Aaaaugh!” shouted King Bug. He flew away, muttering something about there not being that much food left on the island anyway. His fellow bugs followed him. They loaded themselves onto the merchant ship and sailed away, leaving Trader Ograk knee deep in the water staring after them with his jaw down.

“Hooray!” shouted the Princess. “The pestilence is gone! Three cheers for the Chosen One!” The gathered crowd applauded. There was much dancing in and beneath the nearly leafless trees, until well after the sun went down.

“I do all the work, and he gets all the credit,” said the stone.

“Looks like you’re stranded on this island with us,” said Princess Ella to Herman. “You’ll just have to stay with me.”

“And you can stay with me,” High Priest Gammon told Trader Ograk.

And so they all lived happily ever after, until the Elven King returned home from his odyssey. But that’s another tale for another day.

To The Core – A Fantasy Short

[This story was originally written by Michael K. Eidson and previously published October 16, 2012, on Burrst. About 1000 words.]

Wearing a long cloak in hot weather wasn’t always a sign you’re concealing something or intend to, thought the elder Cornraind as he watched the younger Nachford walking amongst the carts and stalls in the marketplace. Cornraind had seen Nachford around here before, knew the man to have only half a brain and no couth. The older man had not seen the younger one take anything from a cart that he hadn’t put back, but Cornraind was still suspicious. Not that it was his duty to patrol the marketplace, but even in retirement he had the mindset of a City Guard.

Cornraind stayed his distance, but maneuvered his way through the stalls to keep Nachford in sight. Something didn’t look right about the young man. Cornraind couldn’t put his finger on it; maybe Nachford had put on some weight, or grown an inch taller. Maybe he had already stolen something and carried it under his cloak. But it wouldn’t do for Cornraind to confront the young man; any ensuing incident would have bad consequences for Cornraind even if Nachford were concealing stolen goods. The City Guard would lock away anyone for the night, even a former City Guard, who caused a disturbance in their fair city without due cause.

Shrill laughter cut over the noise of the crowd. Nachford had apparently just told one of his strange stories to Pwervara, an older woman selling apples. She held out an apple to Nachford, and the man placed both hands on it, one on either side. He bowed to the stall owner and kissed her wrinkled hand as she released the apple.

At the same time, a hand covered with mottled gray skin snaked out of a pocket of Nachford’s cloak, grabbed another piece of fruit from the apple cart, and hauled it into the pocket. As Cornraind hurried closer, he could hear munching from Nachford’s direction. When he stood right behind Nachford, he heard a belch and saw an apple core thrown at high velocity out of the pocket.

Cornraind had just witnessed what was obviously a theft of an apple, and he clapped a hand on Nachford’s shoulder.

The young man turned around with an inquisitive look, holding the apple Pwervara had handed him. “Yes?”

“Excuse me, young Nachford, but your stowaway stole an apple from this nice lady.”


“The gremlin in your pocket.”


“In your pocket.”

Nachford reached into his pocket and turned it inside out. It was clearly empty.

“I know what I saw.” But doubt gnawed at Cornraind’s gut. Had he been wrong? Was his sight playing tricks on him? He looked for the discarded apple core, but didn’t see it anywhere.

“I think you need some herbs and prayers, old man. You’re either seeing things or you’re possessed.”

Pwervara shooed him away with her hands. “Nachford was just about to buy an apple, and I don’t need you ruining a sale for me. Or should I call the real City Guard and have them carry you away? Guard! Guard!”

“I’m sorry,” muttered Cornraind, and he trudged away, his conscience weighing heavy in his chest. He’d been so sure of what he saw.

As he passed another apple cart, one belonging to Raugal, a man about Cornraind’s age but too poor to retire, the mottled gray hand reached out of one of the lower pockets of Cornraind’s cloak and snatched an apple. He heard munching and crunching, and then the apple core went flying. “Why you little…” he shouted, and dove a hand into his pocket. His hand met no resistance other than the cloth of the interior of his pocket. He turned the pocket inside out, and it was empty.

“Can I help you?” Raugal stepped around the cart and looked askance at Cornraind.

“I saw it again,” mumbled Cornraind. “It stole an apple from your cart.”

Just then a hand reached out of one of Raugal’s pockets and grabbed another apple. Cornraind moved quickly. If he could catch it while it was eating, maybe it wouldn’t have a chance to get away.

“Get off!” Raugal shouted, striking Cornraind over the head and shoulders as the retired City Guard bent over and stuffed a hand into Raugal’s pocket.

Cornraind clutched something hard and clunky and drew it out of Raugal’s pocket. Coins fell from his clenched fist.

“Thief!” shouted Raugal.

Cornraind dropped the coins and ran. He managed five quick strides before he collided with a cart loaded with fish. He and the fish and the fishmonger landed on the ground in a tangled, smelly mess.

A stern voice boomed over him; it belonged to City Guardsman Gavaeld. “What is going on here?”

“The old coot tried to steal from me,” said Raugal.

“He’s ruined all my fish,” said the fishmonger.

“He interrupted my making a sale,” said Pwervara.

“He accused me of stealing,” said Nachford.

“Come on, old man,” said Gavaeld, hauling Cornraind to his feet. “Of all people, you should know better than this.”

“But I–”

“Save it. You can sleep it off in a cell tonight, and Chief will decide your fate in the morning.”

Cornraind knew better than to argue. If he were still with the City Guard, he’d have done no differently than Gavaeld, given the same circumstances. He went along, keeping his mouth shut, and stood there looking forlornly through the bars of a cell with no furnishings except a small straw cot against the back wall. Gavaeld turned the key in the lock to the cell door, wagging his head in pity but not speaking one word of comfort to his prisoner. Cornraind knew he wouldn’t receive even a morsel of food until morning; it was part of his punishment.

As Gavaeld turned to walk away, a hand zipped out of his pocket and threw an apple through the bars. The fruit landed at Cornraind’s feet. The retired City Guard picked it up, rubbed it on his cloak, sat on the edge of the straw cot, and quietly yet gratefully ate his meager dinner. He even ate the core, eliminating any evidence that he’d somehow avoided a part of his expected punishment.

To Usurp the Usurper

This story first appeared on Burrst.com. All other rights to the story were retained by the author.

Nelvon jerked his head around, afraid that the creatures might be hiding somewhere just off the forest path. His spell of Disreputable Provision had caused them to avoid contact with him for the past three miles, but the spell wouldn’t work on them again.

He reached in his pocket and pulled out a scrap of paper. On it were the words “Discount. Savor. Regress.” He had discounted the hell hounds, in one sense of the word. He had savored the taste of ambrosia, the nectar of the gods. Now he hoped to regress. He stole a glance at the backs of his hands; they were still as wrinkled as before he had entered the ruined temple, before he had found the goblet of god food. His body still suffered from the effects of aging.

He wheezed as he hurried along the path, moving his ancient legs as fast as he could. One, two, one, two, one, two. He kept a rhythm, just as he’d been taught when a member of the wizard corp. One, two. Glance left. Glance right. Were those red eyes peering out at him from the bushes to his right? Was that a dark shape skulking behind the trees to his left?

Nelvon stuffed the paper back into his pocket. His cloak flapped loudly as his legs pumped, continually propelling him forward. Yet his ears were alert, his eyes keen. The smell of wet leaves after an afternoon rain filled his nostrils. What did wet hell hounds smell like?

A low-pitched, deep-throat growl caused his legs to break rhythm and spin him around. There was not one hell hound, but five, the largest of them in front, and only five yards away. They bounded towards him on silent feet that didn’t quite touch the ground. Their eyes burned red, like living coals in a blazing bonfire. The leader came within leaping range, and leaped.

With no time to think, Nelvon spat out the first spell that came to his mind, the spell of Sound and Thud. It was foremost in his mind because of the silence with which these creatures ran. It wasn’t natural.

And he’d used up most of his other spells already.

The leader smacked into him, hard, knocking Nelvon onto his back. His head cracking on the gravel of the forest path exploded like thunder. The lead hell hound hesitated at the sound, its front paws on Nelvon’s chest, its drooling snout hanging over Nelvon’s face, it’s foul breath seeping into his lungs. In that moment of hesitation, Nelvon reached up and took the hell hound by the throat. He twisted, and the hell hound’s neck snapped, while it’s head lolled limply to one side, and then it slumped onto his prone body, lifeless, but heavy in death.

Laughing, he effortlessly rolled the hell hound’s body off him and sprang to his feet. Looking at his hand, he saw the wrinkles had all gone. Pulling up his sleeve, he saw rippling muscles. He lifted his head and laughed, shaking a fist at the sky. “I have done it!” he exclaimed, and the power of his voice surprised him.

The other four hell hounds stood their ground, staring at him, their tails between their legs. Then they moved slowly backwards, retreating to the protection of the treeline behind them.

“I don’t think so,” said Nelvon. “I have defeated your leader. I am now your leader. You belong to me.” He knew the laws of magic and the supernatural. “Follow me, and protect me as best you can.”

They understood him. He was their leader. Their tails still between their legs, they formed a V formation behind him and followed him along the forest path. He did not look furtively about him. He knew that any other hell hounds out there would think twice before attacking him now.

“I am coming for you, Aggreth,” Nelvon murmured. “You usurped me, and now you will pay.”

No one would stop Nelvon from returning to his position as chief wizard on the Wizards Council now. As a demigod, he could rule the council for eternity.

Visiting Other Worlds

A giant man juggling worlds. I’ve created a few different worlds in my time, and traveled in several created by others. The first world I remember visiting was called Earth, sometimes referred to as Terra, the third planet from a star called Sol. Earth was not of my creation; it was far more complex than any world I have ever created. I assume Earth was in existence quite some time before I came into being, but I have been unable to prove my assumption.

I don’t remember the portal I used to visit Earth, but I’ve been told it was a relatively small one, anchored in the uterus of a female human called Mommy. The size of the portal forced me to enter Earth as a proportionally small creature. I arrived on Earth in the form of a human, which appears to have been a good choice, since other life forms on Earth were subjugated to the will of the humans. The only form that might have been better than human would have been the cockroach, but apparently the choice of portal through which one enters Earth determines the form one will take on Earth, and the portal anchored inside Mommy did not support cockroach forms, only human ones.

Passage through the Mommy portal was so traumatic for me, it wiped my mind clean of all memories. I have no memory of what or where I was before arriving on Earth, and in fact I do not even remember anything from my first year on Earth. Baby Mike I have seen portraits of what other people claimed was me, but none of those portraits from my first year on Earth jogged any memories. My memories of my second through fourth years are vague at best, but looking at portraits from those times caused a stirring inside me, a subliminal recognition of the subjects of the portraits, so I believe the claim that I was among those subjects. Continue reading “Visiting Other Worlds”

The Old Country

About 5400 words, Parental Guidance Suggested

Jimmy kicked aimlessly at a snow drift and looked with a smug grin at Emma, who sat with her face in her hands and her young tush on the cold concrete of the stoop. Her shoulders quivered with each sob.

“You’re not a baby anymore,” Jimmy said, wiping his nose on his coat sleeve. “It’s time you learned there is no such thing as Santa Claus. He’s just somebody grownups say is real to make their kids behave. It’s all pretend. You have to grow up some time. Stop crying or you’ll wake up Grandma.” Continue reading “The Old Country”

George in Blunderland

So I understood how Alice felt when she fell down that stupid rabbit hole. Except that she wasn’t freezing, and all she had to do was wake up. I wished I could just wake up. This was strange enough to be a dream, but it hurt so bad all over, no way it was a dream. I probably broke all my bones.

I lay crumpled on the ice with talking animals for company and nothing to eat or drink and no way home.

“You look good,” said the polar bear. “Short and skinny, but crunchy. My name is Patty. What’s yours?”

“George,” I muttered with a shiver, not in pain too much to wonder how a polar bear could talk or to be glad it wasn’t attacking me. Continue reading “George in Blunderland”

Looking Without Seeing

Failyne bit into the dirt, trying not to scream. The brown grass crackled as Khanakh knelt beside her.

“Look at me, sorceress.” His tenor voice oozed venom. “It can all be over. Your power will be mine, and there is nothing you can do about it. The sooner you admit it, the better for both of us.”

She couldn’t have turned over to look if she wanted. Yes, she had power, and she had planned to use it against her enemy. But he had discovered her plan, and sought now to bring it to ruin. Catching up with her moments before she could work her summoning, his first action had been to break all her limbs. Continue reading “Looking Without Seeing”

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