ZachTheLitchKing t1_je1b0ul wrote

<Fantasy / Comedy>

People had called Kothar an unhinged madman, but the necromancer's insanity was nothing compared to the hero's jaw... literally unhinging! Kothar might not have been as surprise were it a reptilian species of some sort - Lizardfolk, Argonian, Reptoid, anything - but a human? To call watching a man's mouth expand to the point that an entire cheese wheel fit 'unsettling' was an understatement.

"Are you...are you even ch-chewing?" Kothar asked, his eyes narrowing as his face twisted in discomfort. The hero just stared back at him with a ferocious intensity while lifting up a roast chicken. His teeth sank into it but he did not bite through; rather he was just using them to hold the chicken in place as he shoved it inch-by-inch into his gullet.

Kothar felt nauseous. He had not had a stomach in over eight centuries but this was getting to him. The spell that had been glowing in his staff had long since faded away as his concentration was utterly destroyed. Another wheel of cheese came out of the hero's pack and as he opened his mouth again Kothar could see the whole chicken still in the process of being swallowed.

"Please stop," the mage said weakly, taking a step back. The hero stepped forward as he forced the cheese into his mouth, not even blinking as he glared at Kothar.

"Stop this at once!" Kothar said, pointing his staff threateningly but fear was gripping the necromancer now. He had done some despicable and disgusting things but this was unnatural even beyond his dark magic.

When the hero pulled a watermelon out of his pack, Kothar shrieked and threw the staff down on the ground. He turned and ran away, glancing back as he made for the hidden escape tunnel and saw only the hero, watermelon half in his mouth, giving chase.



ZachTheLitchKing t1_jdsdcr2 wrote


Where A Heart Resides

Beatrix Acardi was the wife of a well regarded hunter north of Florence, who hunted only the rarest and finest of pelts to sell to wealthy merchants. Due to his frequent and long expeditions, few in the city could be surprised that she started to spend inappropriate amounts of time with another man.

Donato Gildo was this other man. He claimed he was a fisherman from the coastline who had managed to work his way into a successful enterprise, trading the freshest morsels with the nobles of Florence. "The most important thing," he oft said to those who asked how he managed this rise, "is to build more." His wealth bought him influence despite his 'condition'.

He was blind.

Donato walked with the assistance of servants, his eyes ever covered by the finest silk cloths he could buy. Despite this, he was deemed extravagantly handsome; the envy of men and the desire of women throughout the city.

Donato and Beatrix sat together on a sunny veranda, an artist of great renown sketching their likeness as they embraced as 'friends', though all knew it to be more. Ser Botticelli was just finishing the lines of Beatrix's almond-shaped eyes, bringing them into focus as a sharp contrast to the covered ones of her lover.

"My husband would be cross if he found you here with me," Beatrix breathed into Donato's ear.

"Wed me and leave him," Donato spoke in a tone as wishful as it was wistful.

"Nay, that is not the nature of us."

"I need not my eyes to see through your accismus," Donato rested his lips perilously close to her neck before he stood up, offering a florin for the artist to depart early, citing the scent of rain in the air. Beatrix led him inside as the wind started to pick up and had her servants bring them a treat.

"Pity of the weather," Beatrix said with a sigh as she took a piece of cake, layered with cream, merengue, and sponge bread. Donato added a dollop of honey to sweeten it further for her, "Would that we could bask in the sun all day."

"There is no bad weather," Donato claimed, "Only bad clothing. Without it you could free yourself of the burden of ruined wool and enjoy the rain."

"I would also be free of the burden of decency," Beatrix jested, patting him on the leg.

"I could send your servants away, and none would know," he lifted his hand and gave a wave. The servants in the room bowed and left them alone. Beatrix merely giggled and rested her head on his shoulder, drifting off to sleep as the honey worked its magic.

Donato rose from the seat and removed his blindfold, glowing red eyes lightly illuminating the quickly darkening room as the sun itself seemed to hide. He traced a finger along the beautiful human's cheek before leaving to observe the sketch that had been interrupted. The unseelie fae grinned, his mouth stretching inhumanly wide, as he looked at how fine a visage she was providing him.

Her husband, a descendant of one who had made a deal generations earlier, was none the wiser to his wife's affair for the time being. Donato was owed a hundred hearts, and every generation he took one from the family line. Often it was literal, but there were many opportunities where the heart need not be beating in someone's chest for it to be stolen. Ser Acardi truly loved Beatrix, and Beatrix loved him just as much.

"Ah, my dear Beatrix," he whispered into the gloom, walking out onto the balcony now that the rain was starting to come down. It washed away the sins of humanity, and it also washed away the prying eyes that might glimpse him as he observed all that humans had built before him, "One day all of this will be gone, and you forgotten." The man glided back inside, dripping from the rain, and loomed over his prize.

"But rest assured, when I take you from your husband, you will be mine forever," as he whispered, a faint purple spoke flowed from his lips and snaked its way through the air, down into her ear, "Your love for me will endure eternity. You need only thank me for it. When next we meet, thank me for giving you what your husband could not."

The Archfae laughed softly as he began to fade. Tomorrow he would return to hear the words he planted in her dreams. When her husband returned, he would feel the pain of his heart being torn from his chest. Unlike his ancestors, he would live with that pain for years to come. That pain would empower the unseelie for decades.

"Little and lasting..." he chuckled, and vanished.

WC: 799/800

>!Continuation of [SEUS] Sekihan and [SEUS] B'stilla!<

>!"Acardi" is derived from the Norman name Achard, a form of Ekkehard, and a precursor to ( Accardo!<

>!"Beatrix" - Probably from Viatrix, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator meaning "voyager, traveler". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus "blessed, happy" ( and a precursor to "Beatrice"!<

>!"Donato" is from the Late Latin name Donatus meaning "given" (!<

>!"Gildo" is a masculinzed form of Gilda, meaning "payment, tribute, compensation"!<


ZachTheLitchKing t1_jdqoz5l wrote


[Established Universe: Inside Job]

"Wait, that was an option the entire time?" the President asked, looking out the White House window at the alien mothership that was trying to land on the Washington Monument. It continued to lower itself halfway down the monument and then lift back up. The President had no idea how the statue was somehow delaying the invasion but was grateful for the first time since his inauguration photo op that the massive brick waste of space existed.

"Yeah, totally," Rand said, leaning back in the chair with his feet up on the President's desk. Respect was not a language the CEO of Cognito Inc. spoke, "I mean, I'd give that thing a fifty megaton enema right now if I could find the remote. Nuke that bastard back into the Kuyper Belt. Damn waste of a nuke, locked up in that big stone penis," he grumbled.

The President pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "Fuck it, summon Cthulhu."

"Way ahead of ya," Rand said, finishing sending a text message to his daughter.

On the other side of the city, way below ground at level negative-seventy-seven. Reagan Ridley's phone buzzed on the table. Yet another text from her asshole father. She wanted to ignore it, but the buzzing persisted, so she swore and checked the messages. The message spam that her dad flooded her phone with had buried the initial message so she had to scroll past a bunch of Pick up and Buzz buzz! messages.

"Whaddup Space-Jamma Mamma?" Brett, the too-handsome blank slate of a human asked, wheeling up on an office chair next to Reagan.

"My dad needs us to summon Cthulu," Reagan said, tossing her phone over her shoulder to the floor while going back to pouring her eighth cup of coffee, "Something about an alien invasion or some shit, I don't know."

"OH!" Brett said, "So that's why Independence Day is trending on Twitter," he pulled out his phone and pulled up a gif of the mothership on the monument, "I thought they were filming another sequel." His excited expression melted into a frown, "Awww, does this mean we're not getting an I.D. 3?"

"Only if God exists and is merciful," Reagan muttered, "Just go to conference room 666 and tell them Project Green...light? Green smoke? Just tell those creepy fish fucks they can do the ritual."

"Can-do boss!" Brett said, standing up with a salute.

"And wear a poncho!" Reagan called after him, not wanting Brett to follow her around smelling like fish eggs all day.



ZachTheLitchKing t1_jdnmz1n wrote

<Fantasy / Comedy>

"And you're certain this won't harm me?" the knight asked, eyeing the black liquid in the vial.

"Quite certain," the aged man said, slowly churning another concoction in his large cauldron, "No dragon would dare consume you once you imbibe it. But it only lasts for twenty-four hours."

Sir Phillip frowned and sighed, upending the vial and drinking its contents. It tasted bitter and metallic, like blood but with an acrid, smoky aftertaste.

"I should not need it that long," he said, sliding the visor of his helm back into place as he left the apothecary's shop. His horse was ready to go outside and he mounted up, riding out of town for the slopes of the Smoking Mountain.

Sir Phillip, Knight of the Realm, was terrified of dragons. Everyone was, but the beasts were a specific phobia of his. He became a knight because dragons destroyed his childhood village and killed his parents. However, every chance to face them that arose, he always ran or hid. But not today. Today he was going to do what needed to be done and save this hamlet from the monsters' tyranny.

The knight rode his horse as high up the mountain paths as it would take him before it's own instinctual fear of the beasts stopped it in its tracks. Phillip dismounted his loyal steed and gave it a swat on the rear, encouraging it to return back down the mountain. He would not force his horse to make the possibly one way journey with him.

It took a day to finish scaling the heights, but finding the lair was easy enough once he was near the summit. The large hole, devoid of snow, with visible steam coming from it was the obvious hold of the dragons.

There were three of the great beasts inside, a red, a blue, and a green, and each was lounging on a pile of gold, jewels, and bones respectively. Their heads lazily turned towards Sir Phillip as he marched in, sword drawn and shield raised. He thought they looked lethargic, likely having recently devoured a herd of cattle or something of that nature.

Phillip stood his ground, his knees quaking in fear, and held his sword aloft. If he could do this without conflict, that would be the best option. The best way out.

"Dragons!" he said, his voice echoing inside his helm, "I come to you prepared to-AHHHHH!" he screamed as the blue dragon leaned closer and snapped him up in its jaws. The three dragons tore the knight to shreds, peeled off his armor, and devoured him. After that nice snack, the trio returned to their slumber.

The next day, the old man from the apothecary entered the cave and looked around. The remnants of the knight were scattered about, and the dragons were dead on their horded treasure. The old man nodded, satisfied with his work.

Poisoned bait was the easiest way to deal with dragons.

He snapped his fingers and several retainers with horses and carts entered. The horde was collected while the old man set about to dissecting the monsters, harvesting them for the alchemical ingredients they contained. He might need more poison in the future.

----------------------------------WC: 535



ZachTheLitchKing t1_jd9d130 wrote

This is the Way

Lua was raised in The Covert, an enclave of Mandalorians. She watched brothers and sisters take the Vow and don their helmets as she grew and waited. The helmet was sacred, proof of commitment. But armor was the defining trait she planned for.

Lua whittled a figurine out of a piece of wood. She spent weeks carving it into a human shape, and weeks more carefully engraving each plate of her planned future. She interviewed her brothers and sisters throughout the Covert, asking about the purpose of each plate and where each mar in the metal came from.

Colors were vital. Every Mandalorian took the Vow, but every vow had its differences. Vows had small details, unique and important to every Mando. Tenants like passion, and protection were popular, and the difference between tan and brown was as vast and subtle as between loyalty and valor.

The day came when Lua took her vows. She entered the circle of her clansmen, helmets and armor donned, ready to accept her. The Armorer, their leader and guardian, held a helm sized for Lua. The young woman took to a knee, clutching the small wooden figure she made.

The Armorer spoke, Lua repeated after her. Word for word, the Vow she knew by heart. Memorized over years of observation and preparation.

"And what will you provide for the Covert?" the Armorer asked, "What makes you worthy?"

"I will protect our people," Lua vowed, lifting her eyes toward the faceplate of their leader, "I will fight for peace." It was displayed to all as she held up her work. Light green trim and a pine basecoat defined it.

"This is the Way." the Armorer said.

"This is the way!" they all chanted as the helmet was lowered onto Lua's head.

She was a Mandalorian.

WC: 300/300


ZachTheLitchKing t1_jcmrey5 wrote

The Box

It was an annual tradition for the outgoing high school class to have a bonfire and tell scary stories the night before graduation. Chloe sat opposite Tucker, self-proclaimed fear immune, who insisted that none of the stories were scary. He interrupted most of them with jokes, or spoiled the endings of ones he'd heard before.

It was Chloe's turn, and she was making one up on the fly, ignoring Tucker's interruptions and speaking softly to entice the others to listen closely and shush him for her. Always a wallflower, she hated the attention, but right now needed to make the most of it.

" soon as the old wooden box arrived at the doorstep, Mia knew the time had come. She took it inside and set it on the table, putting it in front of her husband. She untied his arm and gave him a choice; tell her the truth, or prove he was not lying.

'The box is magic from Old Country,' she told him, 'Separates truth from lies. An honest man does not fear it, but a liar will suffer fate worse than death.' She pushed it closer, a hole big enough for a hand on the top surface. He tried to look inside but saw only darkness. The man's confidence was his undoing though, and he gave her a defiant look and put his hand in the box."

Chloe was not great at making up a scary story so she went for visceral instead, describing every prick, pinch, and cut of the hand, breaking out near the end to her own dramatic scream of pain. She was happy to see Tucker flinch at it.

Letting the silence fill the air for a few extended moments, Chloe pulled a box out of her backpack. Polished wood with a black hole carved out of the top, big enough for a hand to fit.

"Tucker," Chloe started to walk around the bonfire towards him, "You were saying the box was fake?"

"Oooooo," one of the other guys that usually joked around with him called, "She callin' you out!"

"Pfft," Tucker said, standing up and rolling his shoulders. Chloe noticed his fingers flexing at his sides, as if he were fidgeting with a pen. He looked around the fire, a nervous smile on his face as he tried to say something. Probably a joke or a snarky remark.

Chloe held out the box, her heart racing in excitement. She lowered her head towards the dark wood, tilting it so that the gaping black hole was facing him. The fire light was hitting the side of the box, making the hole seem darker by contrast. "Go ahead," Chloe said, her voice as even as she could make it, "Put your hand in."

She wished that she could read his mind, to see what he was thinking. Did he fear pain? Did he fear a prank? Embarrassment? Her eyes were on Tucker's face the entire time, watching it shift through a multitude of emotions. None of them were an expression of confidence.

"Screw this," he said, smacking the box out of her hand and walking away, "I'm over this kid shit." A couple of his friends got up, jeering him and making fun of him for wussing out. Chloe watched them walk away into the darkness before picking up the box and laughing.

"What was in it?" someone asked.

"Exactly what Tucker's afraid of," Chloe said, pulling the latch from the side and swinging the box open. She turned it towards the fire to show everyone it was empty, "Nothing."

WC: 597


ZachTheLitchKing t1_jcgeqjp wrote

Bea was trying her best to ignore her co-worker Brett as they cleaned up the coffee shop for the day. Yet again he was going on a spiel about why she should date him and yet again he kept overlooking her drastic hints, like saying she was not interested and saying she had a girlfriend. Part of her wondered if he was high or drunk whenever he got like this because his memory was clearly being altered by something. Unfortunately she'd spent the last six hours with him and was pretty sure she would have noticed him stepping away to indulge.

"So for reals, why don'tcha wanna go out with me?" Sam asked, picking up a chair and flipping it upside down onto the top of the table.

"For real? You want to know for real?" Bea asked, her sarcasm so palpable she could have spooned it into a latte.

"Uh, yeah?" Sam asked, clearly unsure why she was asking like that.

"Do you ever actually listen to what other people say?" Bea asked, "Like do you hear me when I tell you no?"

"I mean, yeah?" he moved on to another chair and shot her a cocky grin, "But you never really give a straight answer, do ya?"

Bea rolled her eyes so hard she risked giving herself a headache, "Do I give a straight answer? No, I only give gay gay answers."

"Gay?" Sam looked a bit befuddled as he paused mid-chair-flip, "Do you think I'm gay?"

"Why the fuck would I think you're gay?"

"Why'd you ask?"

"Did I? Did I just ask if you were gay?" Bea grabbed a paper cup and started to fill it with the excess steamed milk to drain the machine.

"Uhhh, I guess not?" Sam said as he replayed the conversation in his head, "But why-"

"Ever heard of a lesbian?" Bea asked, her tone starting to boil down to a flatness matched only by the soda she had left on the counter an hour earlier for herself. Unfortunately this conversation and the slow down in cleanup it caused had made her lose out on the treat and the machine was already off.

"You mean the chicks with chicks online?" Sam looked excited at the notion.

"Do you think they're only online?" Bea asked.

"Wait, are you one?"

Bea considered tossing the near-boiling contents of the cup in her hand at Sam but decided it might not be the best reason to get written up or fired. Not yet anyway.

"Gee, do ya think? Was the fact that last night when I said 'I'm a lesbian' not a big enough clue?"

"Ohhhh that's what you said? I thought you said you were a 'has been' and I was like 'Woah, what were you before'?" Sam chuckled, smacking himself on the head. Bea wanted to join him on that but he was too far away to make it easy. She just groaned and started to wipe down the counter on her way to the sink to dispose of the hot, foamy, milk.

"So... why won't you date me?"

"That's it, come here," Bea said, dropping her rag and vaulting over the counter with one arm, ready to throw the scalding liquid at him.


ZachTheLitchKing t1_jc6h8tj wrote

Hi Blu!

Excellent suggestion; I flipped that structure around like you recommended :) I'm definitely going to start re-reading after significant edits/cuts (that word limit is a cruel mistress xD) It reads much better now IMO.

I'm so glad that you're enjoying Bea showing up ^u^ Expect tons more of her :P


ZachTheLitchKing t1_jc4vphx wrote

Hi Fye!

Thanks for all the valuable feedback :D Your points all made sense and pointed out some areas I thought I'd tweaked but apparent hadn't xD This was fairly long and I needed to do a lot of cutting down >< Always nice to have another set of eyes look it over though and I touched things up where you noted.

As for Bea, I use her a lot because she is a character I've used for years at this point. She's sort of transcended the details of her original story and is now a reliable and fun personality that I enjoy writing with. Broadly speaking, I would say that any given instance of Bea could be imagined as a snippet of life with any other instance, but I don't really stress too much about continuity there. She also appears in very different genres and time periods now and then :)

I'm glad you liked the short and I'm glad you're liking Bea :D


ZachTheLitchKing t1_jboshqw wrote

"Okay Bea, you can do this," she said, trying to psyche herself up for the absolute worst part of her job. A journalist sometimes required doing things that were unseemly, disgusting, or even illegal, which was why they hired out work to freelancers like Bea. She wondered how much legwork they actually did before they made enough to hire out the dirty work.

Bea opened the dumpster and quickly stepped back, not believing the smell could be that bad. She had not been dumpster diving before today and the offer had been pretty damn generous on paper; five hundred dollars was hard to turn down. But after this she knew she was going to update her Fiverr profile to exclude this specific activity.

The first part of the job was just to hang out near the hotel where some guy was staying at. Bea did not know his name but the email had come with a picture of his face and that was all Bea needed. The second part was to make sure the guy was actually staying at the hotel and Bea had taken inspiration from one of her favorite spy novels about how to do that; she'd printed out the picture and went up to the front desk of the hotel, asking about a room and showed the picture, saying she had a restraining order against him and wanted to know if he was here before booking. The young man behind the counter said something about privacy concerns but also said that she might be more comfortable seeking other accommodations with a sincere nod. Bea took that as confirmation.

The third and final task was to wait for trash to come out of the hotel and look through it for anything that might incriminate him. The sun was hidden behind the horizon at this point as she looked inside the dumpster, holding her breath against the stench, and winced at the idea of climbing into it. There was so much garbage, and she had no way of knowing which of it was his.

Bea donned a pair of gloves and a long sleeved T-shirt, which she tucked into the gloves and into her jeans. The less she touched anything the better. After climbing in, she began to rummage round and decided that she was definitely going to exclude dumpster diving from all future gigs. She was already well seasoned in filth so she was going to finish this one but never again.

After almost an hour, and after scattering garbage all over the alley, Bea left and tried not to gag at the stench clinging to her clothes. She would need to burn all of it and take a bath in battery acid or something. While walking away she texted the client and let them know that she could find nothing; the guy was clean.

At least one of us is. she thought wryly.

WC: 486
Edited for crit feedback

Revised Version