Short As Fictober #20: “Treasure Hunt”

The lantern's white-yellow light proffers a soft circle, a small illumination bubble to hold back the miles of darkness overhead. You count off the last fifty paces in this corridor, and stop. When you bring the lantern close to the cave floor, you find the same symbol you'd seen in the last three rooms--an eye floating above three wavy lines. Your heart sprints and your belly turns inside out.

Short As Fictober #18: “Arm in a Sling”

Remy walks into the old Victorian's entryway shaking twilight frost from his trenchcoat. His movements are awkward as his right arm is immobilized in a sling. He does the best he can with his left hand to brush away the frosted condensation.

Short As Fictober #16: “Polyhedral Hood Ornament”

While we waited on the tow truck, we flipped through the convention's schedule for the hundredth time that week, checking to make sure we were each going to the right panels at the appropriate time. There was no way we were going to miss the talk on adapting comics into films. There were some tremendous names attached to that panel.

Short As Fictober #14: “The Legend of Whispering Will”

Tommy dipped his map into the coffee water bath he'd prepared that morning, and let it soak for a few minutes. While he waited, he whistled a worn out melody from the summer of ‘88, a ghost of a song he couldn't quite remember the name of. Funny. He and his friends had listened to it constantly that year, and it would seem that at least the name of the band might have rung a bell or two. He wrote a mental reminder to ask Connie when she finally bothered to show up.

Short As Fictober #13: “Dragon Grass”

The baby dragon I'd rescued from the crows a few months back, the one that was roughly the size of a fat cat when I found at and had stayed that size ever since, had finally started to grow. Ash was as big as a beagle, and that wasn't counting the tail. Hiding her from Grandma and Grandpa, which had never been easy, suddenly got a lot more challenging. I knew I couldn't keep her in the house, but the old high school gym ten blocks over was still standing. If I could get Ash to the gym, she'd have plenty of room to grow and fly.

Short As Fictober #12: “Early Dragons, Part 2: Ash”

I was playing in the backyard--something both grandparents had warned me against many times on account of the big dragons being heavy in the area--when a flopping green mess came scrambling over our property's cement barrier, and landed in the oleander bushes. Squawks and croaks emitted from the bush, chased by plumes of fire and smoke. I wanted no part of this dragon.

Short As Fictober #11: “Early Dragons”*

Ten years beyond the big Ocean Rise, the first of the dragons flew ashore. People freaked out, though not as much as you might expect with the revelation that dragons were real. I think a lot of that had to do with their size. These early dragons were much tinier than anyone expected.

Short As Fictober #10: “He Hefts the Snow Shovel From His Shoulder”

Roger Nimitz stands just inside the open mouth of his garage and surveys a swirling sky the color of dryer lint. The day's not yet freezing, but he's bundled up in his bibs and warmest coat all the same. A monster of a snow shovel rests like a bastard sword over his right shoulder, while a pumped and primed blower rests at his side like a faithful hound. He should be able to handle the storm's early stages, but Roger wants the blower ready for when the flakes earnestly start to gather, and the situation turns serious.