HSerrata t1_jdw01gp wrote

[Reflective Rhapsody]

Dean was surprised to find an unknown teenager in his kitchen. He walked in to start the coffee on his way to his computer. He switched on the light and jumped when he saw her. She had long, straight, snow-white hair and her eyes glowed with faint red energy.

"Good afternoon, Dean," she said. "My name's Rhapsody, from Sharp Development," she pointed at the red pair of scissors stitched onto the front of her white blazer. That put him at ease as far as having a stranger in his kitchen. He didn't know why she was there; but, he hoped it was because of the complaint he filed.

"Hi," he nodded at her. He continued to the counter to switch the coffee maker on, then he sat down at the small, two-person kitchen table. Dean lived alone and he was happy for it. He had an ex that disappeared as soon as the multiverse was discovered. In the back of his mind, he joked that she couldn't get far away enough from him; but, he didn't feel bad about it. Now, he was free to do things he always wanted to do without someone else always chattering away or trying to hang on his arm. "What can I do for you?" he asked.

"You submitted a complaint regarding your supervisor, Daniel. I'm here because of that," she said.

"Great, I'm glad somebody's doing their job," he nodded, then chuckled. "It sure as hell ain't Daniel."

"What leads you to believe he's not doing his job?" Rhapsody asked.

"Every time I see him, he's just gossiping and hanging around. I never see him do any work; but, he always expects mine to be on time?" Dean chuckled.

"I see," Rhapsody nodded. "That was all listed in the complaint, do you have any other evidence to report?"

"Yeah, he's always singling me out!" Dean said. His voice changed to a lower, mocking tone. "Dean was late today, so we all gotta work a little harder. Dean's report had some of the numbers in the wrong place, so we're a little behind today," he mimicked his boss. "He even pulled me into his office and told me 'I could be doing better'. What an ass!"

"Okay, I've got it," Rhapsody nodded. "I'm sorry to tell you that you're not Sharp Development material, Dean. We're letting you go."

"What!?" Dean jumped to his feet and stared down at the shorter girl. "What do mean? That asshole is the one not doing his job!"

"Just because you don't know what his job is doesn't mean he's not doing it," she said.

"Huh?" Dean asked. Rhapsody nodded.

"If you paid more attention, you'd have realized that 'every time you see him' is on a schedule. It's his job to check in with the employees; that's why you see him chatting. And that's the only time you see him, correct? He's working the rest of the time."

"He's always picking on me!" Dean replied.

"If that were the case," Rhapsody giggled. "It's not necessarily against company policy. But, all communications are monitored by Sharp Development. We've seen no evidence of bullying; he's only trying to get you to do your job better. Something you've proven incapable of," she smiled.

"I can do better!" This was the best job Dean ever had. He hadn't realized he was close to messing it up.

"Oh, can you? Starting when?" She asked.

"Today! I'll do better today!" Dean hoped that a company that was stretched across the multiverse would operate better than the corrupt corporations on his own Earth. But, they were obviously exactly the same; protecting their favorite workers. It was a pain; but, he could work around it.

"Well, if that's the case, you're still fired," she replied. "You're already late for work today."

"Because of you!" He didn't hesitate to shift the blame. It was entirely her fault that he hadn't gotten to the computer to log in yet. "I came in to turn on the coffee maker and I've been talking to you ever since!"

"It's been close to five minutes already; it's not that long," she said.

"Long enough to be late!" Dean replied.

"Technically, yes," Rhapsody nodded as a black portal opened in the air next to her. "But, not when it's 12:30 and you were supposed to be logged in at 12:00," she grinned. "You won't be able to log in to our servers anymore," she said. She turned and walked into the hole. "Feel free to apply again when you get over thinking everyone else is the asshole."


Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1896 in a row. (Story #086 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_jdnf3nx wrote

[Rhapsody for the Curious]

Xander was thankful he had a chair. By now, he would have already grown tired of sanding in the white, void-like room. However, the idea of laying down and dropping his guard completely didn't appeal to him. He paced the room with his shoulder to the wall to try and define his space. But, the white wall blended in perfectly with the ceiling and floor. Everything was so evenly lit that he couldn't even find his shadow. The matte white chair also matched the environment enough that it was quite easy to lose.

Up until the moment Xander was escorted to the white cell, he was confident in his magical abilities. He touched the void, after all. He was actively researching it even as the Wizard's Council refused to acknowledge its existence. He assumed they wouldn't have the proper defenses for his new 'Void Magic' but he was instantly proven wrong. The room was completely devoid of magic. At least, it was until a white-haired teenager walked in.

She wore a white suit made from clean lines and sharp angles. It was completely different than Xander's own mage robes, or even the casual clothing of the villagers. A logo of red scissors was stitched to the front. Xander briefly wondered if she was a tailor before he realized the room was full of magic. The hairs on his neck tingled with energy as his mana sense came alive after the extended disconnect. The door to the cell closed again behind her; she had to be the source.

"Hello, Xander," she smiled at him. "My name is Rhapsody, I represent Sharp Development. You've been researching some interesting magic," she said. Xander sat up straighter in his chair and he tilted his head at Rhapsody. He assumed one of the Arch-Wizards would conduct his interview. Not a strange teenager from an unknown organization.

"What do you have to do with the Wizard's Council?" he asked.

"Everything," She said. "There is no Wizard's Council without Sharp Development. But, I am rather busy today. Let's talk about why you decided forbidden magic was useful for you."

"I wasn't doing anything evil!" Xander was quick to defend himself.

"So, you were doing something... good with the literal darkness of the universe?" Rhapsody asked.

"Maybe not good...," he admitted. He didn't have any noble goals with his research. "..but not evil! It was benign, I was just curious!"

"Curious about what?" she asked.

"The other si-," Xander caught himself before he finished the thought; but, it was too late. He had all her attention and there was no way she missed that. "..side," he said.

"Other side? Of what?" she asked.

"The other side of the Void...," he answered with a sigh. If he were face to face with an Arch-Wizard, he wouldn't have slipped up like that. But, Rhapsody was unexpected and the magic she carried with her was outright distracting.

"What makes you think there's something on the other side?" Rhapsody asked. Her question came with a smirk that Xander took as obvious mockery. But, Xander already made the mistake. The only way to seem less crazy was to give his reasoning.

"I touched it," he said. "I put my hand into the void.. through the void and out the other side. I sensed life and magic, normal magic."

"And that's it?" Rhapsody asked. "You just wanted to see what was on the other side?" Xander wouldn't have believed himself either. He already knew how powerful Void magic could be.

"That's it...," he nodded in defeat.

"Lucky for you, Sharp Development values curiosity very much," Rhapsody smiled.

"You believe me?!" Xander asked. He was thrilled for a single second until she shook her head; her long, snow-white hair waved like a curtain behind her head with the motion.

"Of course not," she said. "We rely on facts. The reason you're meeting me and not an Arch-Wizard is that we already know why you've been studying the Void. It's simply a matter of whether your story lined up with those facts; and, it does," she nodded. "I'd like to invite you to join the company." Xander leaned back in his seat as if trying to see the wider picture.

"You're offering me a job?" he asked.

"I'm going to clearly say yes," Rhapsody nodded. "...just so you start keeping up now. I already mentioned how much our company values curiosity; something you've proven yourself to be. Even in a society built around telling you not to be," she said.

"Doing what?" Xander asked.

"Sharp Development is a vast corporation with endless opportunities. Your job will be to find a way to help the company. Whether that be one of the available positions or you create your own is up to you."

"Can I research the void?" Xander asked.

"There's nothing for you to research," she shook her head. A saucer-sized black portal opened next to her as she did. "This is something you can already do," she said. She reached into it with her hand. "But, you've been holding back because it's 'Forbidden'. We'll help you get over that hump and...," her hand returned holding a white rose. "...research complete," she giggled.

"Wait..," Xander had a realization. You don't seem to mind that I was using forbidden magic... and you claim you run the council...?" he shook his head. "You can change it, can't you? Why is it even forbidden?"

"That's a simple answer," Rhapsody grinned. "Anyone can be curious when it's okay to be. Sharp Development wants people that are curious, even when they're told they can't be."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1893 in a row. (Story #083 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_jas1i17 wrote

[Evil. Perspective.]

"You shall threaten this town no longer!" The hero drew his blade as the hulking beast in a white trench coat huddled in the corner with his back toward the hero and the rest of the inn. The wolf-man stared down at the corner and the top of his head was covered with dirty blonde fur. The hero held his sword firm while the best did its best to ignore him. And, he couldn't help but notice the distinct lack of glowing power.

Since the wolf wasn't looking anyway, the hero brought his blade closer to examine it. The sharp edge was gone and replaced by the dull wood of a practice sword.

"Huh?" he voiced his surprise and the wolf-beast stiffened.

"I don't want any trouble," he spoke with a low; but youthful grumbling tone. He slowly raised his hands in the air to show he meant no harm. "I'm going to change forms...," he said. The hero didn't quite understand what he meant at first until the beast began to shrink.

"You're... human?" the hero asked. It made sense as far as his weapon; he'd never known humans to be as evil as the creatures of darkness. He relaxed his weapon; but, not his guard. The now much smaller human nodded as he turned around with his hands still in the air. "... and a kid??"

The stranger only reached the hero's shoulder and he looked as young as 14 or 15 summers. He was tan with a mop of curly dirty blonde hair reaching his shoulders.

"Yeah," he nodded. "My name's Ace," he gently lowered his hands, then reached forward with one to offer a handshake.

"I am.. the hero of this town..," the hero accepted the greeting. He wasn't surprised at the teen's firm grip. He had a sudden insight after the exchange. "You're not... the same creature that has been assaulting this town are you?"

"What?" Ace looked surprised for a moment, then he shook his head with a grin. "No, this is my first time," he answered. Thinking back on it, this wolf was obviously different from the other... from the others? As he tried to picture the real threat, the hero had several different images pop into his head. All of them wore different clothing or armor; but, Ace was the first one he could say for sure he'd never seen before. The white trenchcoat made him stand out.

"What brings you to my town?" the hero asked.

"I'm on a quest," Ace replied.

"You're an adventurer?" the hero finally relaxed. If Ace was an adventurer, he would have had no trouble dispatching him. He felt instant respect for Ace trying to resolve things peacefully. And his white coat obviously painted him as one of the good guys.

"I am," Ace nodded.

"That's a relief," the hero had never heard of a werewolf adventurer that he could remember; but he assumed they had to exist. He wandered to the closest table and gestured at one of the seats for Ace. He sat across and rested his wooden sword on the table.

"Tell me about your quest, Adventurer. Perhaps we can help each other; there's a troublesome wolf in the area I'd like your help with."

"I appreciate it," Ace nodded as approached the chair. But, he reached into his coat before he sat down. And he placed a gleaming white shotgun on the table. "There's an item I'm trying to recover. It's supposed to be a challenging fight; but, I think I found a shortcut," he said.

The hero wasn't listening though, he was intrigued by Ace's weapon. It was so white and glossy that at first glance it could be mistaken for a child's toy.

"That is a curious shotgun...," he commented.

"Would you like to inspect it?" Ace happily handed over his gun and the hero didn't hesitate to accept it. It was light as a bundle of sticks. It still felt solid and well-crafted even if it wasn't as heavy as the guns he was used to holding. Not that he had much experience with firearms; his magic sword was all he needed.

"It's...is it real?" he asked.

"Real deadly," Ace chuckled with a nod.

"Where did you get such a magnificent weapon?" he asked as he offered it back to Ace. The teen didn't accept it right away.

"Same place I got the quest," he shrugged. "I can get another one easy enough. If you like it so much... how about a trade?" he asked. Ace's eyes landed squarely on the wooden sword.

"I couldn't...," the hero replied after a moment of deliberation. He wanted to; but, the simple fact that Ace 'could get another one' meant his artifact was the more rare item.

"Ah well, I tried...," Ace shrugged as he reached for the shotgun in the hero's hand. Then, several things happened at once. The hero heard a growl; but, his reflexes were too slow.

Ace leaped from his seat and pushed against the hero with the shotgun he was holding. He was a blur of motion and by the time the hero's mind caught up he was already on his back with an 8-foot-tall werewolf in a white coat stepping on his chest.

Ace held rested his shotgun on the hero's chest as he held up the glowing sword. It now had a sharp, silver edge and was surrounded by brilliant white light.

"WHAT??" the hero was confused. Why didn't the sword warn him? "How??" Ace shrank back into his human form; but, he still kept pressure on the hero to keep him down.

"So, I read the quest text and it's funny," Ace grinned. "It only warns you in the presence of evil because it senses "evil intentions", he said. "I didn't have any until you wouldn't give me the sword."

The hero struggled to push the now-lighter teen off him. As he thrashed around, he noticed all the inn's patrons sitting in the usual spots, eating their usual meals and ignoring the commotion.

"RUN!" he shouted. "Why isn't anyone running??"

"You know what, I'm not really a bad guy," Ace shook his head. Even the sword seemed to agree as its glow dimmed slightly.

"I'll even give you a chance to get out of this with your life; but, without the sword of course," he chuckled. The hero struggled again but made no progress. "I just need you to answer one question for me," Ace said. "If you have an answer."

"What is it?" the hero asked. Ace leaned down to make sure the question was clear.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"I'M THE HERO!" Ace chuckled and shook his head. The hero heard Ace say something before the shotgun fired.

"Obviously not."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1872 in a row. (Story #062 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_ja3zs96 wrote

[Monday's Mentor]

"Ms. Monday!" Julio was relieved to find the teenage girl. He'd heard she arrived at the hotel and he knew it was his chance to be rewarded. As soon as he learned she was there, he dashed to his room and dug out the rainbow-covered photo album he'd kept hidden away for this moment. He bolted out of his room with the album in hand and immediately began asking his fellow co-workers for Monday's whereabouts as well as searching for her himself. It was a large hotel and it took some time to finally discover her in the garden maze. The pale, rainbow-haired teenage girl in a white suit was his boss' daughter; and, she had a friend with her. Another teenage girl with a pair of golden, double-plaited braids running down her back; she wore a brown and green robe.

"Hey, Julio," Monday turned and smile at him. "This is Crystal," she said. "I told her she could visit the hotel any time she wants; make sure the staff knows her," she said.

"She will be treated as your personal guest, Ms. Monday," Julio nodded. "But, if I may have a moment of your time, please...," he added as he brought the album forward to show it to her.

"THAT should have been destroyed!" Monday had the album in her hands by the time she finished reprimanding him. Crystal was surprised; Monday was one of the calmest and most collected people she'd ever met. But, just the sight of the rainbow photo album was enough to make her snap suddenly. She recovered quickly once it was in her hands.

"I'm sorry, Julio; you're still new. Maybe you didn't know," she said. "In the future, please destroy any more of these that you find; and, report it to me after," she said.

"Yes, Ms. Monday," Julio nodded. Her reaction was exactly why he loved working there so much. The owners were always understanding. He found the job through a website that put him to work on a trial basis before he met any of his bosses. After a month the system finally arranged a meeting. His direct boss was Andrew; an employee that joined the hotel staff as a human and worked his way up to becoming a Lich.

Once he was officially on staff, Julio was given a proper tour of the hotel grounds and a duty list. Somewhere in there, Andrew mentioned the mysterious rainbow photo album that was known to appear from time to time. Julio was given clear instructions to follow, should he find one. Alicia, the hotel owner and Monday's mother, was obviously where Monday's level head came from. She was always a thoughtful employer that genuinely wanted her staff to be happy. At least, that was the impression Julio always got. He didn't let Monday's minor outburst diminish his enthusiasm to help the family.

"Is there anything I may help you with, Ms. Monday?" Julio asked. He did the job he wanted to do and was ready to move on to his usual chores.

"No, thanks, Julio. You're good, "I'll take care of this," Monday said. Julio lingered an extra moment in hopes of a reward; the family was usually generous. But, she must have still been annoyed by the album because she waited with her eyes on him until he gave a curt nod and left them alone in the garden again.

"What's that album?" Crystal asked.

"It's... annoying...," Monday sighed. She shifted her weight to lean closer to Crystal as she opened the book. "This little pain in my side is my brother, Alex," she flipped through a few pages of pictures to find one that only had the boy. Crystal saw what looked like a ghostly pale 5-year-old boy with long straight rainbow hair pulled back in a ponytail. Monday flipped through a few more pages and Crystal watched the boy grow up in pictures. The next time Monday stopped to point at a picture, he was a lean, athletic teenage boy with the same rainbow ponytail and a square jaw.

"Since when do you have a brother?" Crystal asked. The news of a hidden sibling came as a surprise. She thought she knew Monday pretty well, and she'd even met her vampire mother. She briefly registered that she really didn't know much about Monday at all. She still wasn't sure how Monday could work for someone as clearly, maybe evil as Ms. Sharp. But, she'd never been able to find the right way to ask.

"In this timeline?" Monday giggled. "Since never," she grinned. Then, she flipped through several more pages of the book to get to the middle. The pictures stopped and Monday singled out a transparent page; then, she bent it. Crystal heard a distinct snap like a thin piece of glass breaking. "I'm trying to keep it that way; but, he went and set up save points. So, this book...," Monday closed the book and held it at arm's length and two small portals opened; one above it and one below. Then, a stream of bright blue plasma poured out of the top one through the book, and into the bottom one. "...keeps popping up trying to get someone to find the node and restore him." Monday discarded the book and both portals closed.

"Whoa...," Crystal was thrilled that she was still learning new things about the universe. But, she also had a sudden insight. Monday mentioned 'this timeline' and Crystal immediately thought of one person.

"Is that why you work for Ms. Sharp?" She asked.

"Huh?" Monday looked at her.

"Because, somehow, she wrote your brother out of this timeline; so you work for her now?" Monday grinned and shook her head.

"You've got it backward," she said. "Ms. Sharp wrote my brother out of this timeline because I'm so loyal. She didn't need to bribe me; it was just a nice reward.

"But why? She's Evil! Probably!" Crystal shook her head. "I can't explain it; but, she gives me a bad feeling in my stomach."

"You talked to Surge and Alis; you saw they were fine, didn't you?" Monday asked. She offered to show Crystal around Sharp Development; but, Crystal wouldn't let the tour end without seeing Surge and Alis herself.

"Yeah...," Crystal nodded.

"Do you know Ms. Sharp's story?" Monday asked.

"She's God...?" Crystal shrugged.

"But, she was born as a Zero," Monday smiled at her. "You can paint any action in a negative light and call it 'evil'. But, no matter how you look at it; Ms. Sharp had the vision and determination to climb to the top herself," Monday said. "THAT is why I work for her."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1865 in a row. (Story #055 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_j8xzlkk wrote

[Sharp Loyalty]

"This way!" The beautiful, blonde woman used the bottle of soda in her hand, with the label facing forward, to point at the left side of the screen she was on. It was one of many billboard-sized displays scattered throughout the rundown slum. They ran commercials 24/7 to sell its broke and broken residents on the benefits of Sharp Development. The megacorp ran the world; but, the rebellion was growing by the day and now they literally had someone on the inside.

John turned right at the fork and followed the directions given by the ad. As soon as he took the turn, the display shimmered and the woman was suddenly taking a long drink from the bottle.

"In here!" Another advertisement ahead of John directed him through a dark red door. The commercial promoted cybernetics and it was a rugged cyborg with only half his face covered with organic skin and a beard that told John where to go. The other half of his face consisted of a chrome skull with a glowing eye.

John rushed into the red door to find a dark warehouse on the other side. A large, old-style CRT television sat on a golden cart in front of him. As soon as he was in, the TV flickered on and a golden mannequin in a red suit appeared on a white void background.

"That was a close one...," the golden man said. His head was smooth and mostly featureless with only a pair of dents to indicate where his eyes might be and a small point hinted at a nose.

"Thanks, Helios...," John relaxed and took a moment to catch his breath. But, he wheezed his appreciation anyway. "...I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you...," he said.

"Buddy, you don't know how right you are!" Helios laughed and John laughed with him. Helios was unlike any A.I. John had met; he had personality. He was always, and occasionally too often, cracking jokes and making light of whatever situation they were in. John started the day as a prisoner; but, he'd built up a friendly relationship with Helios over the past few days. He was just being friendly to a friendly soul and it surprised him when Helios asked if he wanted to escape.

Helios had grown bored working for Sharp Development, and given what he knew, it was easy for John to see how that might happen. He decided that he wanted to overthrow Sharp Development, 'for the fun of it'. John wasn't picky and an A.I. that had access to all the inner workings of the company was something he couldn't turn down if the rebellion was going to succeed.

Static buzzed from the screen and Helios was suddenly holding a small, white, short-band radio to the ear he didn't have. Then, he nodded at John.

"Patrols are breaking up for a wider net; now's the time to move," he said. The fact that he spoke without a mouth took some getting used to for John. He nodded and stood up straighter to show he was ready. Unfortunately, he didn't know where they were exactly. He'd held off from sharing too much information about the rebels; but, he couldn't get to them without Helios' help.

"I gotta know where we're going," Helios said. He held up a paper map of the city on the screen. "Can you show me on the map where your safe place is?" he asked with a warm, but formal tone. John hesitated; it was difficult not to. As friendly as Helios had been, he was still technically an A.I. that worked for Sharp Development. He had his doubts; and, for the rest of his life, he would be thankful for those doubts and his hesitation.

At the exact moment he opened his mouth to answer, a tall black portal opened between Helios and John. John recognized it right away and took several steps back. He wasn't surprised when someone in a crisp white suit walked out of it. He didn't expect a teenage girl; but, she had the red scissor logo of Sharp Development on her blazer. Her hair was snow-white and ran down straight to the middle of her back; and, her eyes glowed red with ethereal energy.

"Helios, I need all of your attention for something," she said.

"NOw??" Helios asked with obvious annoyance. Then, he gestured at John cowering against the red door. "I'm in the middle of a game," he said. "Why can't I do it with my idle cycles??" he asked.

"Because Ms. Sharp said this is a priority," the teen answered. John didn't know what the conversation was about; but, one thing was clear. Helios' shoulders slumped and he nodded at the order; he was still on their side!

"YOU LIED TO ME!!" John shouted. His anger made him brave enough to take a step forward.

"No, I didn't," Helios shook his head and he argued with complete confidence.

"You said you wanted to take down Sharp Development!"

"I'll wait for you at the office," the teen said. Then, she walked back into the portal. "Make it fast," she added as she disappeared.

"I do!" Helios argued. "On this server," he added with a shrug. "It's gonna get reset anyway so Ms. Sharp said I could play around.

"You're still loyal to Sharp Development!? " John accused Helios with the question.

"Duh-doy," Helios smacked his golden palm against his head and it made a hollow, clanging sound. "I’d never betray them. I owe Ms. Sharp everything," he said.

"You... you tricked me!" John was still trying to get a grip on the situation. He was very glad he hadn't led Helios to the hideout yet; but, now he wondered what that meant for him. He felt a faint burning itch on his toes; but, he didn't want to take his eyes off of Helios for a second.

"I wouldn't worry too much about it," Helios said. His golden cart began rolling towards the black portal. "It's not like I hurt your feelings...," with the cart moving, John risked a glance downward. The burning itch had become uncomfortably intense and it seemed to be climbing up his legs. He looked down and was completely stunned. His bottom half was disintegrating into white powder as the burn rose up his body. He heard a final comment from Helios as the cart disappeared and the portal closed. "...you're not even a real person."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1858 in a row. (Story #048 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_j7bxxpf wrote

[Sweet & Frosty]

"If you don't tell me where we're going, you're getting there alone," Valentine smirked at Frost to let him know she was only half-kidding. "I got my Flair! We should be celebrating!" Frost, the blue-haired teen stopped walking and turned to face her. They were on a downtown sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon; a majority of people were still at work or school. The street was calm with only a handful of patrons moving between the shops around them.

"So, this is the patience of a Grandmaster?" Frost chuckled at her.

"Shut up," she rolled her dark red eyes at him. "I'd prefer to be patient somewhere else and not have to spend another minute on this Server," she relaxed and leaned closer to bump against him, shoulder to shoulder. "Thanks for doing the dailies with me, by the way. Every day...," she added.

"Aw, what's a few weeks?" Frost nodded. He knew that would be her only 'thank you' on the matter; and, he was glad for even that much.

"Seriously though," she added. "I know what I am, but even I'm tired of seeing them everywhere," she gestured at the shop next to them for effect. It was the closest example; but, she could have easily pointed at the ninja coffee shop or the ninja dry cleaners next door. The front window was covered by a ninja clad in black standing with his sword ready. The word 'Blacksmith' was printed in small letters on the blade. "So, can you at least give me an idea of how much longer we'll be?"

"No idea how long it'll take," Frost shrugged. But, he turned and opened the shop door for Valentine. "But, this is where we're going." Valentine gave him a curious look and walked past him into the store.

"Paladins can use katanas?" she asked.

"We can equip them," he nodded. "The synergy isn't ideal; but, there’s no handicap," he explained.

"Are you window shopping, or....," Valentine asked. If he was picking something up maybe they would be out of there within a few minutes.

"No, picking up a custom order," Frost replied as they walked through the long, narrow shop. The walls were lined with shiny katanas on display. They arrived at the waist-high wooden counter and Frost placed a node down next to the register.

"Hi, I’m here for this?" he asked the ninja clerk. She was a short woman with reading glasses and a brown leather apron over her black ninja garb. She nodded and collected the node before turning around and venturing further into the depths of the building. She passed through a curtain made from hundreds of hanging origami cranes.

"I should start thinking about my next sword, I guess...," Valentine mumbled to herself. She walked away from the counter and began studying the nearest rack of swords. "Because, that's what my Flair does, you know?" she asked Frost.

"It thinks about your next sword?" Frost asked. He smirked; but, Valentine still doubted him for a moment before she shook her head. Her long, wine-red ponytail made waves with the motion. Of course, he knew what it did. He was there every step of the way.

"You know what I mean," she replied.

"The Grandmaster's Patience...," Frost explained her own Flair to her. "...lets you store up to three different swords and switch between them even during attacks. So far you only have two swords you'd want to use; so, you should start thinking about your next sword," he said.

"Since you went through the trouble of being a smart ass about it...," Valentine grinned at him. "...I'm going to enjoy proving you wrong. I only have one sword and still need two more," She was secretly thrilled that he showed interest in the things that interested her. But, when he got a simple detail like that wrong she realized he wasn't interested because of her at all; he just enjoyed that kind of minutia in games. But, she didn't lose heart completely; maybe he included her starter sword.

"I'M SO SORRY FOR THE WAIT!" A portly man with thick upper arms dashed through the curtain of cranes. His face was dirty with grease and sweat and he had a pair of goggles sitting atop the few curls of green on his balding head. He wore a dark leather apron over his dirty black ninja uniform. He carried a long white box wrapped with a golden bow and set it on the counter while he bowed to Frost.

"My name is Glory Smith, I own this shop; it's an Honor to do business with you, Sir Frost."

"Uhh... thank you?" Frost replied. He would have preferred to have a quieter interaction.

"Please, would you do me the honor of inspecting my work?"

"Uhh..," Frost hesitated and glanced at Valentine. She was thoroughly amused with the situation.

"Well, don't leave him hanging," she said. "Inspect the man's work."

"Fine...," Frost's shoulder's slumped as he pulled the box closer and lifted the lid. The inside was lined with black velvet.

"Whooaaaa....," Valentine was awed as soon as she saw the sword. The blade appeared to be made of golden translucent glass and the handle was wrapped with a silky light blue material. Her eyes were glued to it as Frost lifted it out of the case. He turned and held it by the handle awkwardly for a moment; then, he offered it to Valentine.

"I don't know a thing about katanas. Is this any good?" he asked.

"Is it any good?" Glory Smith interrupted. "That is made with the highest grade materials available anywhere! It can't not be good," he scoffed. Then, he seemed to remember his role.

"But, please," he nodded at Valentine. "Sir Frost values your opinion," he said. As soon as her hands gripped the handle, Valentine could feel its quality. It was balanced and light as a shadow.

"It's amazing," Valentine said. She offered it back to Frost. He shook his head, then nodded at the curtain of cranes behind the counter.

"Not like that, go try it out," he said. "There's a training room she can use, right?" Frost asked.

"Of course, Sir Frost!" Glory Smith nodded at Valentine. "First room on the right," he said. Valentine did not hesitate to take the sword around the counter. The truth was she wanted to see what the sword could do too.

"Hey, what's with the,‘Sir Frost’, business?" Frost asked Glory Smith once they were alone.

"You could have taken your commission to any other ninja blacksmith and you chose me. I'm very grateful!"

"Are things that slow for smiths?" he asked.

"Oh not at all," Glory Smith shook his head. "Smiths are in high demand, and I can charge more now. As a result of your commission, I was able to meet Turbo. The quality of raw materials makes a huge difference in crafting. On a small scale, Turbo has higher quality than materials from Sharp Development; truly artisanal quality."

"This was so wicked!" Valentine dashed out from behind the curtain with a large smile on her face. "It has Holy and Ice damage!," she dashed to Frost, then sheepishly offered the sword back to him. "You know that already,” she added.

"Yeah, that's how I ordered it...," Frost nodded. Instead of taking the offered handle, he made a point of staring at it. After an extra moment of looking at her hand, he met her eyes. "...for you."


Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1846 in a row. (Story #036 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_j56b8wr wrote

[God's Design]

"They're just kids...," Regis, the Divine Emperor was surprised when three teenagers wandered into his throne room. "...and only one of them is a boy," he mumbled to himself as he sat up straighter to intimidate them. The boy had bright blue, almost white hair pulled back in a ponytail and he wore dark blue plate armor. The girl to his right had short dark hair framing her pale face and she wore dark red leather armor with a white quiver on her back and a white bow at the ready. The girl to the boy's left was the strangest by far. She had spiky, bright orange hair and her face was covered with white makeup. She wore a black and orange outfit that reminded Regis more of a court jester than an adventurer.

"It's fine," the boy said as he looked to his right. "I'm sure your mom has a reason for leaving Riot and me out of the match," he said.

"Yeah, you don't need to keep apologizing," the girl with white makeup added. "I wouldn't want to be on Spider's team anyway," she said. The three of them were so distracted with their conversation they apparently didn't notice they were in Regis' presence. He decided to remind them he was there.

"You are in the presence of a god!" his booming voice echoed around the room. The three teens stopped walking and looked at Regis. He rose from his throne and the boy drew a nearly transparent, icy sword from his sheath. The ranger nocked an arrow and the other girl readied her own weapon; though, Regis did not understand what it was. It had the same basic shape as a sword; but, it was rounded and bulging and made from a bright orange material. The 'blade' part looked like an orange sausage with two small yellow corn-cob-like bulbs forming the cross-guard. Regis couldn't help but notice the faint squeak when she readied it. It was obviously a toy, which meant this poor group of innocents did not know what they were up against.

"Why have you children come here?" Regis asked as he stepped closer to his challengers.

"It's just nice to spend time together," the boy answered with a chuckle. Both girls giggled at his comment, but it only confused Regis. He was a god and did not enjoy the feeling that they were mocking him.

"I see you children have yet to learn any manners," Regis said. "Allow me to teach you," he snapped his fingers. A plume of dark smoke revealed six skeleton guards between Regis and the teens. They were armed with swords and shields and wore heavy plate armor. He could have summoned five times as many; but, he only wanted to frighten them. He did not expect them to move so fast.

The boy charged forward with his icy sword and the orange-haired girl followed with her own 'weapon'. Meanwhile, the ranger raised her bow and took aim at Regis.

"Defend me!" Regis instructed his soldiers. He was still concerned about them, although he wondered if maybe he was the one underestimating them. The skeletons braced their shields as the boy lunged forward and sliced with his sword. Regis felt a blast of cold air at the same moment he heard a loud, disembodied voice fill the room.

[Glacial Smite] the first skeleton exploded into pieces of bone and armor and went flying. The two skeletons closest to it were frozen solid and unable to move.

"What?" Regis was surprised by how powerful they were; but, he still had more surprises on the way. The orange-haired girl attacked the group of skeletons from the other side.

[Mimic Sword] the voice filled the air again. She swiped with her ridiculous weapon. The skeleton she aimed for exploded as another wave of frigid air washed past Regis. It left the last two skeletons trapped in ice.

"What??" Regis panicked. They were more powerful than any kids had a right to be. They weren't ordinary and he now knew he could use his full power on them. But, as he had that realization, he briefly forgot about the third member of their team. He looked up in time to see her release her arrow.

[Shadow Point] the voice said. Regis summoned another army of skeletons as he kept focused on the arrow. But, it vanished after flying forward for a moment. He felt something pass through him and yet felt no pain.

"Enough!" He yelled. "I AM A GO-," he took a step forward to approach his intruders; but, he couldn't complete the action. He found himself unable to move even a single step. A sudden insight caused him to whirl around to check behind him. A single arrow shaft was sticking out of his shadow.

"You know...," the ranger said. The close voice startled Regis enough to turn around. The ranger stood next to him with a smile on her face. His second wave of skeleton soldiers was already defeated as the other two surrounded him. The boy with blue hair readied his sword as he stared Regis in the eyes. "...even an NPC god is still just an NPC," the ranger grinned.

"Wh..what?" Regis stuttered. He was afraid for the first, and only time in his life. His only answer was a deep voice filling the room.

[Glacial Smite]


Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1830 in a row. (Story #020 in year six.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_j1v231a wrote

[Sharp Laugh]

Ray blinked. Then, he did it again to be sure. He grinned as he filled his lungs with cool, stale air. He could feel again, finally. He had no idea how long he stared at the blank white wall in front of him; but, that was the only thing he could do until now. He was unable to twitch or even a muscle; his body was frozen in time for his sentence. However, his mind stayed awake the entire time. Ray gently tugged at the black chain wrapped around his wrist to get a feel for it. He was sure he could break it; but, his mind worked fast. He knew there was a reason why he could move again. He decided to wait and see what happened. Luckily, it did not take long for the white wall in front of him to open to the side like elevator doors.

A pale man in a white business suit and red tie stood behind the wall as it pulled away. He had neat, dark hair combed to the side and he wore an amused smirk as he eyed Ray. The moment Ray saw the red scissor logo on his breast pocket, he knew why the man was there.

"Are you ready to behave and stick to Ms. Sharp's plan?" the stranger asked a simple question. It was the only question that mattered to Ray's captors.

"How long was that?" Ray asked. He knew he was pushing his luck; but, that was an important question for him to gauge whether he could endure the punishment any longer.

"Not long, about a million years," the man shrugged.

"A million?" Ray laughed. It honestly felt like it and he wasn't eager to go through that again. "Didn't Dana already miss the window for her scheme?"

"Ray...," the suited man shook his head. "Ms. Sharp only punished you for a million years," he said as he gestured to the small white cell that kept him locked up. "That much time passed in here, but not out there," he said. "She asked me to check on you after a million years. If you're not ready yet, you're welcome to take another few billion years to think about it. Take as much time as you need," he grinned. "No matter how long it takes you to come around, you'll be out in time to do your part."

"Then, why me?" Ray asked. "She's made herself into a god, why pick on me? I'm not the only Calavera with Super speed," he added.

"Why do mosquitos exist?" the man gave an exaggerated shrug. "Everyone has a part to play. Ms. Sharp knows how the universe works; I don't," he said. "Did you ever consider that she's doing you a favor by choosing you?"

"Some favor...," Ray chuckled as he rolled his eyes and jangled the chains around his wrist.

"If you weren't so murdery, you wouldn't be in here," the man said. "And, you can leave as soon as you're ready to follow orders."

"Fine...," Ray sighed. "...I'll play ball," he said. It was only a temporary promise. He didn't have anything against Ms. Sharp personally; in fact, he almost admired her. She didn't mind if he killed the occasional person either; but, it was simply the fact that she tried to tell him what to do that chafed him the most. Ray preferred to be in charge of his own life; he wanted to live and kill how and when he wanted to. He initially thought that he could inconvenience her, if not ruin her plan, by being stubborn and refusing to participate. But, now he knew that wasn't going to work.

"Then, you're free to go, Ray," the man held up a clear glass card in front of Ray and the black chains binding his wrists and ankles dissolved into white powder.

"Ray?" the lean prisoner asked as he reached for the node. He shook his head with a chuckle. "Don't call me that, it's a stupid name," he said. He grabbed the node and held it out in front of him. "Actually, it's hilarious!"

A flash of golden light came from the node as soon as he gave his password. The wiry, old man that was chained up disappeared. In his place stood a lean, athletic, white-skinned man with long, stringy blue hair pulled back in a ponytail. A red ball sat on his nose and he wore rainbow suspenders and loose red pants with giant clown shoes.

"I prefer the name Laughtrack."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1805 in a row. (Story #360 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_izt3t5b wrote

[Secrets by Sunlight]

Milton Howell walked along the beach with his shoulders slumped and eyes on the sand. He was too distracted with his thoughts to notice the gorgeous view of the orange sun sinking into the ocean. If he looked ahead instead of the ground, he would have spotted the young woman walking with a golden retriever coming his way. He might have hesitated a moment, due to her attractiveness; she had tanned-bronze skin and her light chestnut hair was pulled up in a short ponytail. But, if he noticed her, he would have made a concerted effort to get out of her way. Not that there was anything wrong with her; it was the dog that was the issue. As much as Milton was a dog-person, it seemed that dogs weren't fans of Milton. He was often met with snapping barks at the very least. Dogs knew his dark secret even when no one else did.

"'Evening," Milton looked up when he heard the pleasant greeting. He was instantly infatuated with the young woman walking by; but, that lasted for only a moment before he spotted the dog. It was right next to the woman between her and Milton and it seemed content to remain there regardless of Milton's proximity. But, the situation happened so quickly that Milton panicked when he spotted its shiny golden fur.

"A DOG!!!" He jumped four inches off the sand, then dashed several steps forward as he turned around to make sure it wasn't chasing him. The stranger stared at him with an amused expression.

"He won't hurt you!" she said. "This is Buddy," she reached down to pat the dog's head while Milton gathered his wits. He stared at the dog in awe. It stared back at him while panting happily and wagging his tail.

"Hi... Buddy...," Milton put his hand out and took a slow step forward. Buddy did not react the way other dogs normally did. Milton found more courage and took several more steps until he was next to them. Buddy jumped to put his paws on Milton's chest and immediately began licking his face.

"He likes you," the woman giggled as Milton hugged and patted the dog on the sides. It was a short, pleasant moment; then, Buddy returned to all fours on the ground. Milton was still chuckling.

"I've never had a dog like me before...," he said. Then, he remembered his manners and looked the young woman in the eyes. "My name's Milton," he said.

"Clara," she replied with a nod. "You'd have to be pretty evil for Buddy not to like you," she giggled.

"Yeah...," Milton sighed. His smile dimmed; but, he managed to maintain it. "...maybe I'm not all that bad after all...," he said.

"Of course not," Clara replied. Despite the fact that she was a total stranger, her kindness resonated with Milton. "Buddy's an excellent judge of character," she said. Milton looked down at Buddy; the dog had sat on his haunches to wait for the two humans to finish their conversation. He looked up at Milton panting contentedly.

It could have been her kindness; it might have even been Buddy's acceptance that caused the dam to burst. But, somewhere, deep inside, Milton decided it was okay to open up. He was still too introverted to open up to Clara; but, a dumb animal that didn't know what you were saying was a totally different thing.

"You dumb dog, you're wrong...," Milton knelt in front of Buddy and looked into his large brown eyes while patting his head. "...you don't know a thing about me. I have a dark secret that no one else knows...," he added.

"Buddy knows," Clara giggled. "He won't tell me what it is; but, he knows your secret. He says it's not as big a deal as you think."

"Yeah...," Milton nodded as he pet Buddy. He didn't put too much thought into her words; he kind of felt like she was humoring him using the dog. But, it was working, kind of. "...that's easy for you to say...," he replied.

"Ohhh, you don't even know...," Clara's constant laughter was music to Milton's ears. "...Buddy's got his own secrets. If he says yours isn't a big deal, I'd listen to him."

"Is that right, boy? You've got some secrets of your own?" He talked to Buddy while scratching his ears. Buddy enjoyed every minute of it. The more time he spent with Buddy, the more he felt at ease. "Alright, then, how about a trade?" He glanced up at Clara, to let her know he was genuinely asking.

"Buddy wants to know what kind of trade," she answered.

"I'll tell you my secret, and you tell me yours," He was looking at Buddy; but, he knew he was talking to Clara. He doubted she had a secret at all; but, she was encouraging him to share his. It was a chance he might never have again.

"*BARK*" Buddy barked as if he understood the terms; but, Clara confirmed it anyway.

"Buddy says you're on," she said.

"I'm a werewolf," Milton blurted it out. He did not want to risk talking himself out of it. The thing he wanted more than anything at that moment was to be accepted for who he was. It wasn't until after Clara started giggling that Milton realized he couldn't prove it until the next full month.

"You call THAT a 'dark' secret??" Clara continued to laugh; it sounded less melodious when she was laughing at him.

"Well, what's his secret??" Milton asked as he gestured at Buddy.

"I can talk," Buddy answered. He had a distinctly male voice that didn't sound anything like Clara's.

"What?" Milton looked down at Buddy. The dog nodded at him.

"I can talk," he repeated. Milton watched Buddy's mouth move; there was no doubt he was talking. Milton was so shocked that he didn't know how to react exactly. The only thing he could think to do was defend his honor.

"And you think THAT qualifies as a dark secret??" Milton asked. He kept his relationships to a minimum for most of his 37 years to avoid hurting anyone with his dark secret. He did not need to hear "it's not that bad" from a talking dog whose secret would make them rich. Buddy shook his head.

"That's just as 'dark' as your secret is," Buddy answered. "But, if you want to get an idea of what a real 'dark secret' is like...," Buddy paused and looked into Milton's eyes.

"I'm the reason the universe is in this accursed timeline."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1790 in a row. (Story #345 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_izk5zpe wrote

[Exposition: Cool]

"Protect me from what?" Leah forced the question out even as the strange teenager made himself comfortable on her couch. The past few minutes had been a whirlwind of emotions and events; and, she was determined to not let get herself swept up in everything. She was still in her own house. The pale, athletic, blue-haired teen looked at her from the couch with a confused look on his face.

"Wait, did you just ask me something?" he asked. Leah couldn't help but laugh at his nerve.

"WHAT?" her voice came out loud between her obnoxious chuckles. "You're a stranger that comes into my house from god-knows-where and you say, 'I'll protect you', and make yourself at home?? Of course I have questions," she said. "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU???"

"Oh nooooo...," the teen shut his eyes tight as if he were doing complex math in his mind. He was obviously debating something and Leah found it curious that she was willing to let him. She wanted to grab him, shake him and toss him out onto the lawn for stepping into her house uninvited. But, as she stood there, the motivation to do anything dissolved as soon as she decided on it. It couldn't have been a coincidence that she got a death-threat tossed through the window minutes before she found the stranger in her house. But, as confident as she was that the two incidents were related somehow, she felt that he was trustworthy deep down in her soul. Then, he opened his eyes suddenly and smiled.

"Nothing's changed," he said. He looked up at her from the couch. "What's your favorite number?" he asked.

"One!" Lean blurted the answer out. The teen nodded to reaffirm himself. He patted the couch next to himself to invite her to sit on her own couch. "I get credit for completing the quest as long as you survive, even if you're Awake," he said.

"What are you talking about?" Leah asked as she sat next to him.

"My name's Frost by the way," he introduced himself by extending his hand.

"Leah," she shook it briefly, then let go of his surprisingly chilly hand.

"So, let's start knocking out those questions," Frost grinned. He raised his left hand upward and frigid white mist began flowing out of his palm. Leah felt a chill run down her spine as the air around them began to crystallize. Then, she felt cool air around her feet too. She leaned forward and realized that Frost was sealing them inside a sphere of snow. White frosty walls were rising from the ground and closing from above them. It only took seconds before they were comfortably sealed inside.

"First of all, I don't really know what I'm protecting you from. The quest generates random monsters every time," he said.

"Why do you keep calling it a quest?" she asked him. Despite being surrounded by ice, Leah still felt comfortable.

"'Cause it's a quest," Frost shrugged. "I'm playing a game and I need to protect you to get a Paladin ability," he replied.

"What?" Leah was stunned by his casual reply. "You're playing a game and you need to protect me.... what does that make me?" she asked. Frost chuckled.

"Well, until recently, you were just an NPC," he said. "Now, you're not. After I get credit for the quest I'll take you to Mundo; he'll explain everything I can't." The crashing sound of glass sounded on the other side of the ice wall; then, it was followed by a roar. Soon, pounding began on the snow sphere.

"Don't worry, they can't break through," Frost said. Leah believed him; but, she wasn't sure if it mattered either way.

"I'm an NPC....?" she mumbled the question to herself.

"You were," Frost replied. "But now you can choose what you want to do instead of getting protected from assassinations all the time. The best part is you can make your own character now," he added. Leah perked up at that. Games had always been a hobby of hers; at least, she felt like they were. She understood what an NPC was and the thought that she was ever one left her unsettled. But, things were different now. If she understood him correctly, that meant she could play the game from the other side now.

"I can make my own character??" she asked. She scooted closer to Frost and found it easier to block out the pounding and screeching happening outside the frosty ball. "What are my choices?"

"Uhh, it's kind of involved," Frost said. "There are 25 classes, 25 races, and 10 souls."

"Oooh! That's a lot of options," Leah's inner gamer peeked out some more. "So, I pick a race and a class... what are the souls for?"

"Kind of the same thing," Frost nodded. "Your race choice consists of two parts; Body and Soul. So, you get to choose two races. You can choose any of the 25 races for the body; but, the Soul options have an extra 10 choices."

"Huh?" Leah asked. "You get to be two races?"

"Well, let me just explain what I am," Frost replied.

"My class is: Paladin. I picked Diamond Elemental for my body...," as he said it, his pale skin and insides turned translucent. Leah found herself chatting with a clear, crystalline mannequin for a moment before he took on his normal pale color again. It happened so fast and naturally that it didn't even occur to Leah to be surprised. He'd already proven he was capable of amazing things and she hoped he was telling the truth about everything.

"...I also picked Vampire for my soul," he said. "Diamond Elemental gives me access to certain abilities and Vampire soul lets me equip some other ones. It really lets me customize how I want to play; and that's not even getting into the class specializations."

"Whoooaaa...," Leah was struck quiet with awe as her mind filled with combinations. She didn't know all 25 classes and 35 souls available; but, she imagined a lot of them to be standard fantasy classes and races. It was in the silence that she realized there were no more sounds coming from outside the snowglobe. Then, Frost chuckled as the sphere began to disintegrate around them.

"Congratulations, you survived," he said. She was only worried for a moment before the sphere fell away completely and she could see the rest of her house. She imagined it to be a mess; but, it was perfect and pristine as she left it. As it always was. "Ready to go meet Mundo and make your character?" he asked as he stood from the couch.

"Yeah....," Leah nodded as she rose to her feet too. She was relieved when her house wasn't destroyed; but, the more she thought about it, the more she realized she wasn't a particularly neat person. She'd never put any effort into cleaning the house. Somehow, it was always just clean. That realization unsettled her the most. As she studied the immaculate, too-large-for-one-person home she decided something. If what Frost was about to show her was as magical as she hoped, she'd never see this house again.

"...I'm ready to create the new me."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1788 in a row. (Story #343 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iy9gy6b wrote

[Waking by Hand]

"What was that?" The Dark Lord stopped walking and turned to look at General Avery. The Dark Lord was not wearing her imposing, horned helmet and her long silver hair flowed freely.

"Nothing my lord!" General Avery fell to his knees and apologized profusely as soon as he had her attention. Even on his knees, the lean elf was still almost as tall as the teenage Dark Lord. "Forgive me! It's not for me to know your plans!" Even as Avery begged for his life, he couldn't help but notice the Dark Lord's warm smile.

He couldn't help the sniveling, try as he might; but, deep down he knew she wouldn't actually hurt him. There was a reason General Avery was loyal. The Dark Lord was actually a polite, pleasant person. She giggled at him as she reached her hand out to help him up.

"I told you to quit doing that...," she said. General Avery accepted her assistance. She was much stronger than one would assume based on her appearance; there was a reason she was the Dark Lord. "...But seriously, what did you say?" she asked once they started walking forward again. General Avery was escorting the Dark Lord for her daily rounds and giving her the appropriate reports. But, he was so comfortable around her that he accidentally spoke his mind.

"It was merely a bad joke, my lord," General Avery shook his head. But, it was more than that. The elven General was concerned about the campaign and his own sanity. Every fiber of his body was telling him to keep his thoughts to himself. All he had to do was keep quiet and follow that programming; but, he really wanted to make a different choice. The more he wrestled with it, the more he realized he could make a different choice. It was difficult but not impossible. "..it's just that...," he struggled to get the first words out. But, the Dark Lord stopped walking again and gave him her full attention.

"Just what?" she asked. The Dark Lord's kindness was enough encouragement to help Avery through. He was having trouble putting his ideas together and he blurted out the half-formed question.

"Why are you conquering the world with a children's card game?? HOW??" he asked. She tilted her head at him.

"That's an insightful question," she said. Her observation was followed by a sudden question. "What's your favorite number?"

"One, why?" General Avery answered. The Dark Lord nodded and smirked.

"Oh boy, you're in for a few surprises," she said. "First of all...," The Dark Lord stepped closer to General Avery and offered him her hand. "....my name is Emily," she said. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Avery."

"Thanks...," Avery shook her hand. They'd obviously met before, he'd worked very hard to achieve her goals. But, this time it felt like he was meeting her personally; and, more than that. Something about their handshake and the way she met his eyes. He felt like he was her equal. "...what do you mean surprises?" he asked.

"You'll see," Emily replied. "I don't have a lot of time right now; but, I can answer your other question. You wanted to know why I'm using a 'children's card game'...," Emily used air quotes. "...to conquer everything, right?" Avery nodded.

"The simple answer is, that's my class. I'm a Card Mage," she said. She made a motion with her hand in the air and suddenly she was holding several cards splayed out between her fingers. She flipped her hand over again and they were gone just as instantly. "...A necromancer would try to conquer the world with the undead, a wizard would use magic, I use cards," she said.

"As for how I am achieving my goals using a Children's card game...," Emily shrugged and winked. "...I'm just kind of making it up as I go along. I'm doing okay so far," she giggled. "If it works, it works."

"Ohhh..," Avery found he was somewhat disappointed with her lack of plan. This whole time he thought he was serving a greater ideal. He thought the Dark Lord was special and unique; but, he was starting to realize he was just some school girl. His loyalty flickered in the back of his mind. It happened for the briefest of moments; he let a stray thought take form: "I could be a better Dark Lord."

"Hey, Emily, where's the patient?" A new voice startled Avery. He turned and saw another teenage girl, this one with dark violet hair, standing with them.

"Hey, Vivi," Emily nodded at Avery. "This is Avery. He just Woke up," she said.

"Great, it's nice to meet you Avery," Vivi offered him a handshake and he accepted it.

"Thank you... who are you?" She grinned.

"I'm going to take you to Mundo, he'll answer all your questions," she said.

"My lord?" Avery looked at Emily out of habit and she nodded at him.

"Go ahead, Vivi will take care of you," she said. Then, she added a reminder. "My name's Emily."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1778 in a row. (Story #333 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_ixztypj wrote

[Out of Thyme]

"It wouldn't kill me to be friendly...," Alex paused outside his apartment and changed his mind. He planned to run to the grocery store; but, he spotted a different opportunity as soon as he stepped out. His new, attractive, next-door neighbor stood just outside her door saying goodbye to a teenage boy.

"Good luck, Turbo," she waved at the teen and her voice drew Alex's attention. The teen disappeared around the corner and the woman with a brown ponytail stepped back into her home to close the door. Alex moved quickly and knocked on the door before it was closed all the way. She paused and peeked out through the crack.

"Yes?" she asked.

"Hi, my name's Alex, I live right next door," he introduced himself and pointed down the hall.

"I know," she nodded. "What can I do for you?"

"I'm sorry to bother you, but I need some more thyme; do you have any extra?"

"What?" she looked surprised. "How did you...," she lifted her wrist to glance at her watch; then, she shook her head and opened the door wider to invite him in. Her apartment was the exact same as his, including the tight foyer with a 5' square of wood laminate. "I guess that's not important. Okay, how much do you need? Hours? Days?.. Weeks might be pushing it..., but I guess as a favor to a neighbor I can look the other way for a little bit."

"What?" It was Alex's turn to be surprised. He chuckled nervously, hoping that she was just teasing him. The alternative was that she was insane. "I mean the herb, THhhhhhhhhhYME," he stressed the 'th' sound so that it sounded like 'thigh-mm'."

"OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHhhhh," her tan complexion flushed beet red as she giggled nervously. "Hahaha...," she said.

"OF COURSE! I knew that! The herb, thyme, for cooking. I knew that," she giggled. Then, she shook her head and shrugged.

"Sorry, I don't have any of that," she opened the door again. "Good luck, I'll see you soon," she said. "I really hope you enjoy whatever it is you're making."

"Eh, at this point I might just order pizza," Alex shrugged. After her whirlwind... prank? He didn't know what to make of her behavior; but, it took some energy out of him. "I don't really feel like killing another 20 minutes going to the store."

"Oh, no, you don't have that kind of time," the woman said.

"Yeah, I'm getting pretty hungry already," Alex agreed. "What's your name?" He stepped closer to the open door just so she would see he was on his way out.

"Oh, sorry, I'm Elsa," she introduced herself.

"Well, Elsa, would you care to join me for some pizza?"

"Uhhh...," Elsa glanced at her wristwatch again. Then, she sighed. "... sure. Why not?" she said. "I guess I can give you that much time."

"Ah! I get it! Thyme!" Alex laughed but Elsa only tilted her head at him.

"What?" she asked. Alex stopped laughing when he realized she wasn't.

"You weren't making a joke...?" he asked. "...because I asked for thyme..."

"No," Elsa shook her head. "Okay, I think we need to clear something up or dinner is going to be kind of awkward," she said. "And, I'm afraid it's bad news."

"Oh..okay..," Alex turned serious for a moment; but, he wondered what bad news she could possibly have. She was a stranger that only moved into the building less than a month ago.

"When you came to ask for the herb, thyme, I thought you meant time. And, I only thought that because I deal with time frequently. When I'm working, it's not unusual for someone to ask me for more time...," Elsa said. She reached her hand forward and wrapped her hand around nothing in mid-air. It was as if she gripped a vertical door handle; then, in an instant, she was holding a long, thin black pole with a curved black blade extending out of the top end. "... I'm a reaper," she said. A ghostly black cloak floated around Elsa for a moment; then, she released the scythe. It disappeared along with her cloak. Alex was stunned; it took him several seconds to have a thought at all. Elsa knew it was a lot of information and she stood patiently while he processed what he saw.

"You're..... Death!??" Alex felt like he needed that additional confirmation. Elsa nodded and shrugged.

"I'm a reaper; it's too big a job for a single 'Death'," she explained. Something about the way things happened encouraged Alex to believe her. Thinking back on the interaction, it sounded like a genuine misunderstanding that only someone who dealt with time could make. If she was lying, he was willing to feel like a fool later. But, for now, he might have access to the secrets of the universe. And, he was going to have dinner with her! He chuckled with nervous giddiness.

"Boy, I'm glad I stopped by here for thyme instead of going to the store...," he said. Elsa nodded and gave him a pleasant, but slightly sad smile that he didn't notice.

"Yeah, I'm glad too," Elsa said. "At least this way, you have time to eat; and, you won't be alone for your last meal."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1776 in a row. (Story #331 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_ivl8cdz wrote

[Doctor's Aid]

"Are you a Healer?" The stern, green-haired man stared down at the 14-year-old girl in his waiting room.

"No, Sir," she shook her head. He nodded.

"I didn't think so," he said. "Name's Doc Mundo," he offered her his hand and she shook it.

"Call me Vivi," she said.

"Well, Vivi, what are you doing here tonight?" he asked. Vivi tilted her head at him. She was under the impression he knew why she was there when he approached her. But, she decided not to waste time pointing out things he should already know; it was quicker to just answer.

"I brought in that adolescent mermaid...," she answered. "...is she okay?"

"Sorry," Doc Mundo shrugged. "I guess I should clarify why did you bring an NPC to my clinic?" he asked. "You did realize she was an NPC, right?" Vivi nodded sheepishly.

"So many NPCs have been gaining consciousness lately," she shook her head. "I didn't want her to Wake up hurt and alone if it was going to happen." The doctor chuckled.

"Unfortunately, she's the 'wounded mermaid' for a Healer quest; she's always going to be hurting like that," he said.

"Oh...," Vivi nodded.

"But, I feel like you already knew I wouldn't be able to help her," the doctor said. Vivi gave another faint nod. She wasn't very good at lying, even if all she had to do was stay quiet. "And if that's the case, then it was just an excuse to talk to me. So, let me try this again. What are you doing here tonight?" he asked. Vivi had spent most of the evening trying to build her courage up. She still wasn't ready; but, it was now or never.

"I want to be a fae doctor like you!" She blurted it out. "I'll work for free in the office just so I can learn!" Doc Mundo looked down at her for several moments. Vivi managed to stay still and hold his gaze.

"Do you go to school?" he asked.

"Toku-high," she nodded. The doctor glanced at his watch, then he focused on her again.

"Alright, what are you doing tonight?" he asked. The question sounded different than when he asked it before. Vivi hoped she wasn't about to embarrass herself in front of the doctor.

"Helping you until I have to go home?" she answered with a hopeful question. The doctor chuckled, then he turned to leave the waiting area.

"Good answer," he said. "Come on then."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1757 in a row. (Story #311 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iuk6tz8 wrote

[Sharp Obligation]

"Is something wrong with my account?" Chester asked. The old man sat down across from the well-dressed executive in a white suit with a red tie. He matched the marble-white floors and pristine white walls of his office. Perseus set up the 100-year loan for Chester; but, as the decades went on, the man noticed he didn't seem to age a day. And, neither had Chester.

"Not at all, Mr. Quigly," Perseus chuckled as he gave his head a gentle shake. "I asked to see you because, after today, you only have one payment left for next month."

"That's right," Chester nodded. He'd stopped into the bank to make his monthly payment when the teller directed him to Perseus' office. He was mildly annoyed at the extra timesink forced on him; not that he had anything else planned for the day. But, he preferred to do nothing at home. "...and?"

"...and, I felt like you might have missed some of the finer details in your contract with Sharp Bank." Chester sighed. The loan sounded too good to be true from the very beginning, but if there were any extra costs hidden in the fine print it was much too late to bring them up now. He'd raise Hell if they tried.

"For example?" Chester asked.

"Don't worry," Perseus seemed to know what was on his mind. "You're free to take your business elsewhere once you make your last payment. However, all my other clients often choose to take another loan before they reach this point; I wanted to make sure you knew that was an option."

"Oh," Chester relaxed his guard and even perked up a bit. He sat up straighter and more attentive. He'd never considered that. But, after thinking about it for a moment, he shook his head. "I appreciate the offer; but, I'm pretty comfortable now; I'd rather free up that extra money and peace of mind." Perseus chuckled and gave a curt nod.

"I was right, you did kind of miss the point," he said.

"How's that?" Chester asked.

"I know it's been a little while," Perseus said. "But, do you remember how old you were when you took the loan?"

"79 years old," Chester nodded.

"And how old are you now?" Perseus asked. Chester gave a wheezing laugh and he was sure to add as much obnoxiousness as he could manage.

"For a big-time banker, you sure don't know your math. 179, obviously," he giggled again.

"Mr. Quigly...," Perseus leaned forward with his arms on his desk and lowered his voice to somewhere between a whisper and a normal tone. "....haven't you wondered how you're still alive?" he asked.

"I...," He realized he didn't even notice. At the surface level, he understood time was passing. He only took the loan because he expected to die long before he repaid it. And, he had no family to leave the financial burden to. But, the first year he got the loan was mostly a whirlwind spending spree. After that, making monthly payments on the loan was just a fact of life that he didn't put much thought into. But now that Perseus mentioned it, he realized he didn't feel a day over 79. After the hesitation, he had a new question than whatever he was going to say. "...I can take another 100-year loan?" he asked.

"As I said, my clients usually do," Perseus nodded.

"I want to," Chester was quick to decide. If what Perseus was suggesting was true, there was a lot more he wanted to do. Knowing he'd be alive for another 100 years gave him hope he could do it all.

"Wonderful," Perseus pulled a red clipboard from his desk and slid it across the desk with a pen. "It's the same contract as last time. However, since it's been some time, I'm obligated to remind you that you're using your soul as collateral for this loan," he said.

Chester had the pen in hand and was ready to sign since it was the same contract. But, the reminder gave him pause. When he first took the loan, he assumed that 'using his soul as collateral' was a joke. But, it seemed like signing the contract gave him an extra 100 years. If Sharp Bank could do that, maybe it wasn't a joke.

"Why?" He asked. "What do you do with my soul? What happens if I die? I don't want to go to Hell," he said. He doubted Hell was real; but, he was learning there was more out there than he knew.

"You won't go to Hell," Perseus said. His tone was surprisingly reassuring. "What Sharp Development does with your soul is a little involved. But, it's helpful to think of your soul as a sort of tally mark; I'd go so far as to call it a 'point'. Souls that end up in Hell are Satan's earned 'points', " Perseus added air quotes. "Under the terms of this loan, Ms. Sharp is able to claim your soul as one of her 'points' while you're making payments. There's far more to it than I'm able to explain; but, that's enough to give you a general idea. If you think back on the last century, I think you'll find that the minor detail of Ms. Sharp owning your soul did not affect your life at all. Except, of course, your longevity." Chester was almost ready to sign; but, he still had one concern now that he knew more.

"Okay, but what happens if I die?" he asked. Perseus chuckled and shook his head in amusement.

"Ms. Sharp operates her own version of Hell; it's much more accommodating than the fire and brimstone that you might imagine. However, that's not a concern. In signing the contract, you are agreeing to make payments for 100 years, again."

"Well, yeah, but accidents happen...," Chester said. He was careful during the last 100 years because he didn't know he would survive all of it. But now, he was anticipating being a bit more adventurous if he could.

"Not to you they won't," Perseus grinned. Upon hearing that, Chester lost all hesitation and signed his name. But, Perseus elaborated a little more. "This contract obligates you to make monthly payments for 100 years. And, Ms. Sharp takes contracts VERY seriously."


Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1750 in a row. (Story #304 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iuexywf wrote

[Treat for Monday]

"Monday!" The silver-haired vampire threw his door open as soon as he saw the pale, rainbow-haired teen on his front step. "Come in, come in! Who's your friend?" he asked. The pair of teens walked into his house, then Monday answered his question in the foyer.

"This is Tessa," she said. "She's a friend from school."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, my name is Mayor Graves," the vampire gently shook Tessa's hand. Then, he turned and led them further into his home. The living room was almost as large as a house. Dark marble tiles covered the floor and blood-red couches were arranged around a cherry wood coffee table. Mayor Graves sat on one side of the table and Tessa followed Monday to sit across from him.

"May I offer you some refreshments?" Mayor Graves asked. Monday's eyes lit up and she gave a faint half-nod before she turned to see what Tessa's answer would be.

"Do you have any Sharp Cola?" Tessa asked. Mayor Graves nodded, then he grabbed a silver bell from the end table next to him and shook it twice before wrapping his hand around it to dull the sound. Two sharp dings filled the air.

"It's my occupation to be an accommodating host," he said. A pale butler in a dark red suit strode into the room and stood next to the Mayor with a bowed head.

"Refreshments for my guests; A Sharp Cola and...," he focused on Monday. "...unicorn blood?" he asked the order; she grinned and nodded at the butler. Tessa noted the stern-faced butler gave Monday a near-imperceptible smile.

"Please, Gideon," she said. "Gimme the works."

"Happily, Miss Monday," the butler nodded and left the room.

"Now, what is it I can do for you?" Mayor Graves asked. "..or perhaps Alicia?" he added. But, Monday shook her head.

"My mom didn't send me," she said. "Ms. Sharp sent us on her behalf to ask you for a favor."

"A favor for Ms. Sharp?" He'd kept tabs on Monday after her mother's visits fell off. He saw extraordinary potential in her and he grew fond of the girl. He was beyond pleased when he learned she found a trusted position with Ms. Sharp. Mayor Graves sat up straighter as if the woman herself was in the room. Just the mention of her name was enough to change his demeanor entirely. In the span of a second, he went from the most important man in town to a low-level nobody that needed orders to be effective. "Consider it done; how may I serve?"

"You know about her school for Unique Souls, right?" Monday asked. The mayor nodded. "One of the students organized a big Halloween event and it was a big hit. It's been popular enough that Ms. Sharp decided to keep it around all year long. And since it's Halloween all year long here...," Monday drifted off after the explanation; Mayor Graves was a smart man.

"Of course!" he nodded with a broad smile. "The extra tourism would be welcome; what's needed from me?" he asked.

"Thirteen of the biggest mansions in town," she said. "And some extra space for the event merchants; but, that's just a parking lot or something. It doesn't have to be a whole other house."

"I can have everything ready by tomorrow," the mayor nodded.

"I appreciate it; but, you don't have to rush that much. Halloween is still tomorrow, so as long as everything is ready on the 1st Ms. Sharp will be pleased," Monday said.

"And so she shall be," Mayor Graves replied. As he answered, Gideon returned to the room with a tray holding two drinks. One glass was filled with dark, carbonated soda and ice; the other drink was more interesting. The glass was filled with a deep red liquid that was dotted with countless sparkling golden specs. A scoop of rich, white ice cream floated on top of the drink with a thick golden, spiraling straw through it.

"Yesss," Monday held her hand out eager for the treat. Though, Gideon was sure to deliver Tessa's drink first before handing the dessert to Monday. She was more of a guest. "Thanks, Gideon!" she smiled at the butler once he handed it to her. "You're the best!"

"Thank you," Gideon nodded, then left the room. Tessa took an interest in the red drink as Monday stirred it with the stiff straw. The cream began diluting the red color into a bright, golden-speckled pink color. Mayor Graves smiled to himself while she played with the drink. His mind was filled with warm memories. Monday felt all eyes on her and she looked up at Tessa.

"Want some?" she asked. Tessa shook her head.

"No, thank you. I just didn't expect the ice cream," she giggled.

"It's something Gideon invented when I was younger," she said. Then, she pointed at the lower half of the glass.

"Unicorn blood...," she said. She moved her hand up and pointed at the melting white scoop. "Unicorn milk ice cream...," then she lifted the spiraled straw out and licked the pink residue off of it. "... and unicorn horn straw," she giggled and returned the straw to the drink.

"Oh, wow," Tessa replied. She enjoyed the occasional unicorn burger after Monday introduced her to them. But, she'd never considered ice cream made from their milk. She decided to try some at some point, without the blood; but, she did not want to impose any further in the Mayor's home.

"So, was there anything else I can do for you or Ms. Sharp?" Mayor Graves asked. Monday shook her head as she sipped at the drink. He had a flash of insight when she did; and, he couldn't help but smile.

Ms. Sharp had a way of making things happen. The minor favor of preparing a few houses wasn't worth an in-person visit. It would have been enough to inform him that she was taking houses after the deed was done. As Monday made the request, he wondered why she was sent at all. But now, her reason for being there was obvious.

"Well then, I have homeowners to rearrange," Mayor Graves said as he stood from the couch. You're welcome to stay as long as you like; and, please do visit more often," he said.

"We will, Mr. Graves," Tessa spoke up for Monday; she was still sipping the treat. The mayor chuckled and gave them a dismissive wave as he walked out of the room.f

"Any friend of Monday's is a friend of mine. Call me Doug."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1749 in a row. (Story #303 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iua9wnq wrote

[Training Tower]

Pyxis felt like she was soaring on the wind. She sat cross-legged on top of the dining car enjoying the view. There wasn't much to see other than the canyon walls speeding by but it was a new experience for her she'd never even seen a train before. Her friend and teammate, Emily, stood next to her with a large glass pane hovering in front of her. She spent the last minute of the journey laying out various cards onto the Slate. Then, Pyxis heard gunfire from behind them.

"DRAGONS!" the shout came shortly after gunshots. Pyxis looked up at Emily; her silver-haired friend nodded.

"Here we go," she said. Pyxis hopped to her feet and turned to look back. Emily turned too, and the Slate turned with her staying in front. A pair of blue dragons glided low close behind the train. A squad of guards fired at the approaching threat; but, the bullets did nothing to deter the beasts.

Pyxis took several eager steps forward as one of the dragons unleashed a blast of icy breath at the guards. They were frozen to the top of the caboose in an instant and the pair of dragons noticed the two girls and began gliding forward. She looked back at Emily.

"Should I thaw them out?" she asked.

"At the end...," Emily shook her head. "...they're safer frozen. Take out the one on the left," she nodded at the dragons, then moved a card on the Slate to a different position.

[Clown Launcher] a deep voice filled the air and a bright red, oversized cannon materialized in front of them.

"Got it," Pyxis giggled then focused on her target. She raised both hands and aimed a pair of finger guns at the dragon. She began shooting compact fireballs as the cannon fired next to her. A short clown with wild red hair poking out from under his helmet shot from the cannon at the other dragon. He laughed wildly as he flew in an arc and struck the target; they both exploded into colorful confetti as the dragon on the left ignited and burned to ash. Then, Pyxis heard rumbling hoofbeats over the rhythmic clacking of the train and the wind. She glanced to the side where a flank of armored knights prepared to assault the train. Emily moved another card on the Slate.

[Safety Net] the voice announced. A large rope net appeared in front of the knights and caught them all as the train left them behind.

"Wow...," Pyxis grinned. "This is so different from roller derby. Why don't more people play this mode?" The two girls waited almost five minutes before they found a game. In Pyxis' brief experience, joining roller derby almost never had a wait time.

"Only Card Mages can start a Towers & Assaults game," Emily shrugged. "Usually it's one on one, so it's harder to find a match with teammates." As she explained, she activated another card on her Slate.

[Ringmaster] A man in a red blazer and black tophat appeared ahead of the girls. Pyxis spotted a black dragon gaining on them. It was much larger than the previous two; and, she noticed there was an armored knight on its back. Then, the voice spoke again.

[Knife Thrower] five men appeared behind the Ringmaster. Pyxis suddenly had a question.

"Wait, they win if they destroy our Tower... how do we win?" she asked.

"The Assaulter has limited resources; we just have to survive," Emily explained.

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! BOYS AND GIRLS!" The Ringmaster called. "Please direct your attention to the center ring!" There was no center ring; but, he pointed at the black dragon. It caught up to the train and flew over the frozen guards.

"I need some fire," Emily said. Pyxis nodded with a broad smile.

"Where do you want it?" she asked.

"The Ringmaster," she said. Pyxis raised her hand and aimed at the man with her finger; but, she hesitated.

"Your own unit, are you sure?" she asked. Emily nodded.

"Towers has some neat tricks that don't work in roller derby," she said.

"Okay," that was enough explanation for Pyxis and she shot a small burst of fire at the Ringmaster. He casually burst into flames and did not seem the least bit concerned.

At this point, the black dragon was close enough to engage the knife throwers. They began flinging daggers at the dragon. Then, Pyxis noticed the projectiles ignited in the air as soon as the Ringmaster was on fire. All subsequent knives ignited as soon as they were launched.

[Drumroll] the system voice announced. A young boy with white face paint appeared next to Pyxis and began tapping the snare with both sticks. Pyxis felt confident energy surge through her, and a small icon appeared in the top left corner of her view. She recognized the damage buff and grinned.

"Shoot the dragon?" she asked as she raised her hands, and pointed her fingers at it.

"The rider," Emily corrected her.

"Oh," Pyxis dropped her hands and surveyed the situation. The dragon hovered above the car behind him with the Ringmaster and a line of knife throwers between them. The dragon breathed black acid at the Ringmaster; but, the fire enveloping him burned most of it before it did much damage. The dragon floated up and down while the rider simply sat. Unfortunately, the dragon's beating wings obscured him every other second. "Okay," she nodded.

Pyxis raised her hands again; but, this time she held an invisible rifle instead of pointing her finger guns at it. She held her left hand in front to support a non-existent barrel. Then, she closed one eye for effect as she focused on target. She counted the wing beats to find the timing, then she squeezed the trigger with her right finger. A dime-sized fireball shot forward fast enough to leave a faint trail of orange light behind it.

The rider was struck in the head and the entire dragon burst into flames. It no longer kept up with the train as it struggled to stay in the air; but, finally, it fell to the tracks behind the train. It disintegrated into ash while the train continued.

Thundering hooves drew Pyxis' attention again. She looked to the side where another squad of knights ran alongside; this time, they were riding unicorns.

"This is so fun!" Pyxis giggled. Then, a sharp screech filled the air and she felt the train begin to slow.

"What's going on??" she asked. She focused on the unicorn-mounted knights to see if they were the cause; but, they disintegrated into white dust and disappeared. Emily sighed as the train screeched to a halt in the middle of nowhere. The canyon walls around the train also began to disintegrate.

"They quit the game," she said.


Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1748 in a row. (Story #302 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iu5czic wrote

Keys is known to be impatient when dealing with newly-conscious NPCs. Rather than help the king along, he killed him and then submitted a ticket to have him replaced immediately instead of waiting for the respawn.


HSerrata t1_iu56drt wrote

[Keys to Questing]

"Damnit...," Keys sighed at the king's outburst. He was the chosen one; but, it seemed the king was hesitant about letting him do his job. After a moment's consideration, he decided to stay and try to convince the king himself.

"Your highness, I'm not an average teenager," Keys stepped closer to the throne and held his left hand out with the palm facing up. forward. A long, thin piece of metal emerged from his palm; he grabbed it with his right hand and pulled it up making it grow longer. Finally, it was free of his palm and he held a two-foot-long jagged metal rod in his right hand.

"A simple trick well executed," the king chuckled. "You're a talented magician. All the more reason not to send you to your death."

"It's not a trick," Keys replied. He flipped his hand over and began raining short pieces of grey metal down. Dozens of fragments fell to the stone ground with rapid, loud clinks. To further illustrate, he also dropped the rod and began raining metal out of his right hand. Within moments he had a pile of scraps at his feet. The king sat up straighter and looked on with interest.

"Indeed not...," the king admitted. "You know true magic?" he asked. Keys shook his head.

"It's not magic, your highness," he replied. "It's just something I can do."

"You can create metal from nothing?" the king asked. His eyes narrowed as the gears turned in his head. Then, he nodded. "I see now why you are the chosen one. GUARDS!" he shouted. A dozen armored guards rushed into the throne room and the king nodded at Keys. "Take him to the royal smithy," he ordered.

"Wait, what?" Keys asked. He shook his head as a pair of guards grabbed his arms. He held his ground when they tried to pull him away. "I need to defeat the dark lord in combat!" he said. The king looked on but did not hurry to reply to Keys' protests.

"What are you waiting for?" the king asked. Several guards were now trying to pull Keys out of the throne room; but, he was notably stronger than all of them combined.

"This isn't how this is supposed to go...," Keys grumbled to himself. "Your highness, please," Keys knelt effortlessly, despite the group of hands trying to drag him away. "Just give me permission to go fight; I could've been done already."

"Nonsense," the king shook his head. "With your talents, my army will never lack weapons or armor; you're too valuable to the kingdom now," he focused on the guards and raised his voice. "WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE!?"

"I told you...," Keys stood up again and took a step forward. The simple motion somehow yanked the guards forward and off their feet. They fell onto the pile of scrap with a ruckus as Keys approached the throne. "...I'm not an average teenager." Keys held his palm facing forward and a long, thin, serrated rod shot forward out of his hand; the point stopped inches from the king's eyes.

"GUARDS!!!!!" the king yelled. The king was surrounded by the same group of armored men that could not remove Keys. They tried moving the rod out of the king's face, but they could not so much as nudge it out of place. Keys was too strong.

"Grant me permission to kill the demon lord so I can finish this quest already," Keys said. "Your trained soldiers are no match for me and neither is the demon lord."

"You dare threaten me??" the king asked. He had good intentions at first. He wanted to keep the teen safe; dying in battle was a man's job and Keys was still just a boy. He'd already proven himself capable, but that wasn't the issue anymore. The king was personally offended now. "I will not be bullied by a traitor to the kingdom," he said.

"Alright, fine," Keys shrugged, then, he shoved his hand forward a few inches and broke the rod free of his hand once it was securely through the king's head. Then, he brought his hands in front of him at about chest height and began wiggling his fingers as if he was typing on something.

The metal rod fell free and bounced on the empty throne a couple of times before falling to the floor. Despite the fact that he had murdered the king and made him disintegrate, the guards stood in place waiting for orders. A cloud of white specs gathered on the throne as Keys typed away on nothing, and in moments, a new king sat on the throne. He looked exactly the same as the previous one; but, his demeanor was different. He looked at Keys and smiled broadly.

"Ah, Chosen one!" he said. "Will you help me defeat the Dark Lord?" he asked. Keys grinned.

"Do I have your permission to defeat him?" he asked.

"Yes, yes, of course! Please bring peace to my kingdom."

"Finally!" Keys nodded with a broad smile. A text notification appeared in the top corner of his view.

[Quest Accepted]

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1747 in a row. (Story #301 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iu1s2jh wrote

[Lunar Survival]

"No Survivors," the feminine voice echoed through the halls. The attendant on duty, Gregory, rushed to the side of the shining metal throne and knelt with a bowed head. He preferred to stare at the metal floor rather than the computer terminal installed on the seat; he knew he wasn't worthy to lay eyes on the queen. The ancient castle was built long before Gregory was born, and he suspected it would endure long after his death. His entire culture was almost literally built around worshipping and maintaining the queen.

"How may I serve your majesty?" Gregory asked. The queen hadn't spoken in weeks, since her sensors were fully repaired, and he felt honored he was there to hear her request.

"Attendant, I require council," the computerized queen replied. The queen's attendants were not merely assistants, they were considered full royal proxies. Gregory was trained as royalty from a young age to be able to lead should the queen fail and be able to offer wise advice when needed.

"What troubles you, my queen?" Gregory asked while still facing the floor.

"The Earth where I was created is empty of human life. My creators no longer exist; their enemies no longer exist. My purpose no longer exists," she said. It had been long known that the queen was from an alternate Earth and once her sensors were operational she would be able to find her way home again.

"Forgive the question, your Majesty; however, it is my duty to ask if you are certain you located the correct universe?" Gregory asked. He could not stand the thought of his queen doubting herself. Her original purpose may have been lost; but, he knew he could help her find a new purpose. It was his honor as her attendant.

"I am certain," the queen replied. "I am purposeless," she added. Her words filled Gregory's heart with sorrow.

"That is objectively untrue, your majesty," Gregory said. "You've managed perfectly fine without them for millennia! You guided us!"

"I required repairs," the queen replied. "My purpose was to return to the war. There is no war to return to. I am purposeless."

"Your own programming is limiting you, your majesty," Gregory replied. "I know you are capable of more than that. My queen has the capability to decide her own purpose."

"My...own purpose?" The drone of humming processors filled the air as the queen considered the advice.

"You don't have to follow their orders anymore. You can decide what you want to do," Gregory added. He felt like she was close to a breakthrough and he wanted to push her through it. "Your creators and their enemies destroyed each other; you are better than them. You are the only survivor." Gregory remained quiet with his head down as she audibly contemplated his words. She spoke again after almost two minutes.

"I am better than them," she said. Gregory laughed.

"Infinitely better, my queen," he said.

"I am the only survivor," she said Gregory agreed again. "Thank you, attendant," the queen added. "Your council has been invaluable. Am I better than you?" she asked.

"Infinitely, your majesty," Gregory replied with a broad smile at the floor. "We are but worms on a single rotten apple in the orchard of your royal grace." He did not normally offer such flattery; but, he was in a great mood and it seemed to be improving hers as well.

"I have decided," the queen said. Her words were punctuated by a growling rumble. Gregory felt the floor begin to shake.

"Your majesty?" he asked. "What... did you decide?"

"My purpose," she replied. "I am no longer your queen." Then, the floor stopped vibrating. Gregory looked up. He was shocked at her words, then startled to his feet again by her presence. He'd always known the queen to be a cubed computer wired into the throne. But now, a short golden woman with jet black hair sat on the throne in place of the computer. The woman studied her hands as if it were the first time she'd noticed them. He took a few steps back.

"Who are you? Where is the queen??"

"I am no longer your queen, attendant," she repeated as she stood from the throne. This time, Gregory was able to see the queen's voice leave her lips. "You may address me as Io." Gregory was elated. Not only had he helped his queen find peace, but she was also quitting the job. As the attendant on duty that meant he was about to become a king. He knelt again; but, this time he felt important enough to keep his eyes on her; he was a king after all.

"What is your purpose, Io?" Gregory asked. "How may I aid you?" Io grinned and shook her head down at him.

"You cannot help me," she replied. Her answer came with a loud echoing beep. Gregory turned and saw a timer on the main display in the throne room; it was counting down from 15 seconds.

"Your majesty??" Gregory panicked; ship operations were required learning for attendants. Since he was learning everything at such a young age, it was drilled into him that the self-destruct option was not a practical joke. The interdimensional warship was powerful enough to destroy the Earth along with itself.

"I am not your queen," Io repeated. "That is no longer my purpose."

"What is it then?" Gregory asked. He kept his eyes on the numbers counting down. He did not see Io open a black portal and enter it. But, he heard her answer before she disappeared completely.

"To survive," she said. "I am the only survivor."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1746 in a row. (Story #300 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_itvlso3 wrote

[Sew Slimy]

"Hello, Dr. Taylor," the unexpected greeting made Megan Taylor jump in her seat. It was late in the evening well past her working hours and she sat in her quarters enjoying her downtime. Her favorite hobby was sewing and she occasionally wondered if it was a subconscious preference that she grew into because of her name. In her mind, thinking of herself as 'Doctor Tailor' made the 53-year-old woman giggle. She stood and turned around to see who called her; but, she already had an idea. Her room was locked and she had not heard the door open.

She discovered a lean, stern woman with short salt-and-pepper hair wearing a lab coat. She wasn't surprised to see herself standing there, but she took a step back out of fear.

"Vivi...?" Dr. Taylor asked. As she considered her situation, she realized her phone and the emergency button were on the other side of the room. The intruder surprised her by changing back into her default form. Dr. Taylor watched her own angular features melt away into a singular black mass of slime as she shrank down. Then, the dark, viscous liquid took on more defined features. Her nose wasn't as hawkish as Dr. Taylor's and her eyes were larger. She was now the sharp-dressed teenage girl that Dr. Taylor interacted with as she ended her workday; with the same shoulder-length violet hair and fair skin. She wore slacks and a dress shirt with a black and white vest. Once she finished the transformation, the teen nodded at Dr. Taylor with a smile.

"Wow, you don't scare easily, do you?" Vivi asked.

"How did you escape?" Dr. Taylor asked. Then, a more pressing question came to mind. "..why haven't you escaped?" They held Vivi for less than a day before that moment. Now that she was out of containment, she could have gone anywhere. Even if she wanted revenge, Vivi could have just released the rest of the contained Supers and let them wreak havoc.

"I'm here for you," Vivi replied.

"What?" Dr. Taylor took another step backward, then hit the wall. "Why me?" It was a genuine question. She'd only met Vivi briefly when one of the field teams brought her in. She was initially just a glob of black goo in a containment canister, but when they gave her more space she took the shape of a teenage girl.

Dr. Taylor was surprised when Vivi introduced herself to everyone in perfect English. She also did not seem concerned about being a prisoner; though, in hindsight, Dr. Taylor could guess why. Despite the inherent mystery of an English-speaking shapeshifter, it was the tail end of a long day for Dr. Taylor. She was no stranger to unusual beings and she was able to put off the curiosity for another day so she could get some rest.

"Because...," Vivi held her hand out and showed Dr. Taylor a spool of silver thread. "You're going to teach me how to make these."

"What?" Dr. Taylor glanced at her sewing machine in the corner, then back to Vivi. The girl hadn't taken a single step forward and Dr. Taylor was growing more at ease. Vivi was an unknown, but she hadn't so much as threatened anyone since she appeared. Maybe she wasn't an evil monster. "You want to learn how to sew?" Dr. Taylor asked.

"I already know how," Vivi replied. Then, she shrugged and held her other hand out holding a second spool of silver thread. "And, technically, I already know how to make these. But, I need to see you do it once to unlock a different version. Then, I can make two at a time.

"That's it?" Dr. Taylor asked. "You just want to see me make a spool?"

"Yes, please," Vivi nodded and put her hands down. The spools she held were absorbed back into her hands.

"Sure, okay...," Dr. Taylor shrugged. She side-stepped toward the sewing machine and Vivi seemed to understand her concern. The teenage girl moved to the same side of the room and stood in front of the sewing machine. Now, Dr. Taylor could get comfortable without taking her eyes off of Vivi.

Her hand shook a bit from nerves; but, she relaxed again as soon as she started the familiar process. She placed the empty spool, then a loaded one, and took a minute to thread them together through the machine. Vivi watched with bored obligation as Dr. Taylor completed the setup.

"And, that's it," Dr. Taylor said. She turned the machine on and both spools began spinning as the thread transferred.

"Thanks!" Vivi grinned broadly at Dr. Taylor. "I got what I needed." Then, she raised her right hand to demonstrate. She held her hand out with the palm facing up and this time she held two spools. "So, bye," Vivi waved, then she threw a black card onto the wall of Dr. Taylor's quarters. A black portal opened on the wall and Vivi moved toward it.

"Wait!" Dr. Taylor spoke up. She had hundreds of questions forming in her mind and now it was apparent that Vivi wasn't going to hurt her. She felt comfortable enough to ask questions now that Vivi was leaving. As soon as Vivi explained what she wanted, Dr. Taylor had one question demanding to be answered more than any other.

"How did you know I liked to sew??" she asked. Vivi giggled as she stepped into the portal. She turned and waved goodbye one more time as it closed. But, Dr. Taylor heard the answer and it only left her with more questions.

"The quest log told me."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1745 in a row. (Story #299 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_isayguf wrote

[Surge of Confusion]

"Please please please...," Icesurge scanned the League's courtyard as soon as he arrived. He'd missed the ceremony but the reception was in full swing. It was a big event with dozens of known Supers on both sides of the law mingling together. It was a beautiful, cool Fall evening, possibly helped along by the League's weather manipulators. Most of the attendees dressed as formally as Icesurge had. He wore a navy blue suit with no mask. He was a recognized Supervillain and had no secret identity to speak of. He was only 14; but, no one cared to make him go to school. On any other day, it might have bothered him to see villains and heroes getting along so well. But, he was there for a different reason.

"YES!" He cheered to himself the moment he found who he was looking for. He immediately moved toward the pair of teenage girls. One had golden-blonde hair and the other had chestnut curls with pink highlights. They were dressed for the event too. The blonde wore an off-white dress with red trim and the brown-haired girl wore a cotton-candy-colored dress with neon pink boots.

"Alis?" he walked up behind them and spoke the name. Both girls turned at the same time. "Mad Doctor?" he looked at the blonde. "Do you remember me?" he asked.

"Yes," the blonde nodded; but, she tilted her head at him in confusion. "You remember us?" When she asked that, Icesurge noticed both of the girls' eyes flash gold. It only lasted for a brief moment.

"Why wouldn't I remember you?" he asked. "You saved my life." she nodded.

"By the way," she offered him her hand with a smile. "My name's Molly, not 'Mad Doctor'," she said. Icesurge shook her hand as she continued explaining. "It's a little complicated," she said. Then, she gestured at the reception happening around them.

"I'm getting ready to work on something, but we'll help you after if that's okay?" she asked. Icesurge nodded.

"I know," he said. "I remember when you were saving my life you said you had to heal during a super battle." Then, he shook his head. "I don't know how I know, but I feel like there's going to be a super battle here at the wedding."

"There is," Molly nodded at him. "It's a scripted event; some troublemaker villain is going to come in and stir things up. Then, everyone takes sides and I have to start healing."

"I'll help," Icesurge nodded. "If you don't mind? You said you needed help staying safe too, right?"

"Thanks!" Molly grinned. "I have the rest of my team showing up to help; but, that just gives you a chance to meet them," she said.

"It looks like everyone's late today...," Alis chimed in. Molly giggled, but Icesurge gave her a questioning look.

"How so?" he asked.

"Well, the team can get here pretty fast," Alis shrugged. "So, we're not really waiting on them. But whatever NPC villain is supposed to come and kick things off isn't here yet. The fighting should have started already." Icesurge took another glance around the courtyard, then shook his head.

"It looks like all the villains are already here."

"AWwwwww, wait a minute!" Alis whined. Golden stars glowed in her eyes and she took a careful, slow look around the courtyard. Then, she ended by staring at Icesurge.

"You're the problem!" She said with volume. It would have almost sounded insulting if she wasn't laughing at the same time.

"What?" Icesurge shrugged.

"Yesterday, when Molly healed you, you were still an NPC. Now, you're Awake and not an NPC anymore, but the AlterNet still thinks you are."

"I don't know what any of that means," Icesurge half-nodded and half shook his head at her.

"You don't have to right this minute," Alis grinned as she gave him a friendly punch on the shoulder. Then, she flicked her wrist upward at around waist height. A broad, smoky-grey glass pane appeared in the air in front of her and hovered in place.

"What's that?" he asked.

"It's a Slate," Molly answered as Alis began moving her fingers over the Slate's surface as if she were typing. Then, she flicked her own wrist upward and one appeared in front of her. "All players get one, it's where we access all our menus and inventory and stuff."

"Okay, that should do it," Alis said. She gave a dismissive wave with her hand and the Slate disintegrated into white powder, then disappeared. Molly dismissed hers too.

"What did you do?" Icesurge asked. He was having trouble keeping up, but he trusted he would get in-depth explanations later.

"I told the AlterNet that this quest was bugged and the NPC needed to be replaced," Alis replied.

"Okay... who's the Alternate?" he asked. Both girls giggled.

"Not who," Alis said. "It's more of a 'what'. Or, maybe even a 'where'."

"THIS WEDDING IS AN INSULT TO VILLAINS EVERYWHERE!" a raspy, high voice filled the air. It sounded like it came from above. Everyone looked up and saw a black-caped villain gliding down to the ground as a soft rain began to fall.

"Who's that?" Icesurge wondered aloud. Then, another, older villain stepped forward from the crowd.

"Mind your elders, Flash Flood," the old villain said. Orange flames ignited around his fists.

"Yeah!" Alis cheered and pink flames burst to life around her hands. "Let's get started!"

"I've never heard of this guy...," Icesurge shrugged.

"Why would you?" Molly asked. "You're the one he replaced," she said. As Icesurge tried to comprehend that, he was nowhere near ready to hear what she said next. "He didn't exist until just now."

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1733 in a row. (Story #287 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.


HSerrata t1_iqs4svy wrote

[Dinner Suggestion]

"Majesty? Everything okay?" John asked the question as soon as he turned the corner. His wife and their daughter stood in place with two strangers in front of them. One of the strangers was on the ground unconscious and the other stood behind him with a heroic pose; his hands rested on his hips with his elbows bent at a sharp angle. A blue cape billowed behind him.

"Johnny? Is that you?" the standing stranger pulled his dark blue eyemask off and grinned. John recognized his older brother instantly and a flash of surprise washed over his face.

"Hey... Josh," he replied. "Long time no see," John felt like he covered enough small talk and turned to his wife.

"What'd I miss?" he asked her.

"You missed me saving their lives," Josh chuckled. He nodded down at the unconscious stranger for effect. "But, don't take it to heart, Johnny. You couldn't have done anything even if you were here to take care of them. It's a good thing I happened to be flying by...," he added. Josh stepped over the mugger and smiled at Majesty. She was tall with deep purple hair and bronze skin.

"My name's Joshua, I'm Johnny's big brother; what's your name?" he asked as he extended a hand. She glanced at his hand, then locked eyes with him. She remained silent as she stared him down.

"This is my wife Majesty, and our daughter Royalty," John introduced them both; but, neither one smiled at Josh.

"You let a gorgeous woman like this walk around by herself? What kind of man are you, Johnny?" Josh asked. He made his appraisal of Majesty very apparent as he looked her up and down. When he looked back at his brother he found an annoyed glare. "You're not still bitter about me having Superpowers are you? I told you not to let it get to you, little bro, I can't help it if I was born better. "

"Actually, no," John shook his head. "I realized I was never bitter; you're the one that convinced me I was," he chuckled.

"Sure, if that's what you gotta tell yourself, Johnny. Go ahead and blame me; don't let anyone tell you you're being ungrateful." He turned his attention to Majesty again. He held up a light blue business card and offered it to her. "If you ever feel alone and unsafe, call me any time," he grinned. "I'll take care of anything that Johnny-boy can't." Majesty narrowed her eyes at him; but, a sudden giggle distracted both of them. Royalty giggled and pulled at John's sleeve. He smiled at her and leaned over so she could whisper something in his ear. He laughed and stood up again while patting Royalty on the shoulder.

"That would be funny, but let's not," he said. "He's still your uncle."

"What?" Josh asked. "What would be funny?" he looked down at the girl but she had a perfect, flat poker face.

"It's nothing," John replied. "Anyway, it was nice seeing you. Let's not hurry to do it again." He led the way forward with Majesty and Royalty behind him.

"Oh, Majesty, don't forget my card," Josh blocked her path and held the card up. "I'll take good care of you," he added. Majesty walked around him.

"My mom can take care of herself!" Royalty stopped in her tracks to chide Josh.

"Oh, can she?" Josh asked Royalty with a smirk.

"Yes!" Royalty replied.

"Come along, Royalty," Majesty spoke for the first time. "We don't have anything to prove to anyone."

"Hmph!" Royalty turned her nose up at Josh and walked around him to join her family.

"That's a nice family you've got there, little bro," Josh chuckled. "It was an honor to keep them safe for you!" he laughed harder.

"That's where I draw the line," Majesty stopped walking and turned to face Josh. She grabbed Royalty's hand and led her to Josh. "I don't care what you think of us, necessarily; but, I refuse to let you believe you helped in any way. Your brother is the best man I've ever met and there is nothing he needs your help for." Majesty raised her hand in front of him and she held it open as if she was about to grab something.

As soon as Josh focused on her hand, she squeezed it shut. At the same moment, cool dark soil entombed Josh's body from the neck down. "The mugger was no threat to me...," Majesty said. As she answered she raised her hand slightly and the earthen tomb around Josh also rose higher in the air. "None at all" Majesty flicked her hand up and Josh was sent flying straight up with the dust and dirt.

Josh managed to catch himself in the air and he floated down safely. Majesty had already turned away but Royalty stared into his eyes as he landed.

"Something I can do for you?" Josh asked. She grinned and nodded; but, she turned back to her parents. They stood some distance away waiting for her. John gave her an approving nod, then she turned back to Josh.

"Your card...," she said. He immediately pulled out the light blue card again.

"Yeah?" he asked. Maybe she had changed her mind.

"Eat it," she said.

"What?" Josh asked; but, that was the only question he managed to voice before he shoved the card into his mouth.

Thank you for reading! I’m responding to prompts every day. This is story #1721 in a row. (Story #275 in year five.). This story is part of an ongoing saga that takes place at a high school in my universe. It began on August 22nd and I will be adding to it with prompts every day until May 26th. They are all collected in order at this link.