Time to make a sharp right turn out of the land of doom and gloom. Unless you are the most insidious dissident, this week fairly demands that you look inward to find the realms of cotton candy and sugar-plum whimsy within your own mind.
This week’s prompt is… absurdly wholesome:
The Teeniest Beastling
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
Admittedly, this prompt was inspired by a story created by one of our own a while back, which you can find here. This is essentially the vibe we’re trying to capture. Not just a tiny beast but the teeniest beastling.
Here be hyperbole, gents.
Drench this submission in saccharin goodness. Shrink things down to a scale we can’t help but find tender and adorable by comparison. Turn your world-swallowing eldritch abomination into an angry little fella in an even larger eldritch horror’s aquarium, eating fully-inhabited celestial spheres dispensed into its environment like flakes of fish food. Wrap all the big evil of humanity into the package of a little baby, and let us all wonder at how something so lovely could pose such a tremendous threat. Write through the eyes of a chihuahua with a firm conviction that it is, in fact, at the top of this world’s food chain.
Whatever you want, just pay homage to the tone of this prompt. If we just wanted a small creature, I think that’s what we’d be asking for.
Give us a pleasant dream this time. We need it after the cold of the abyss.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!
Rules and Guidelines
We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- One submission per participant.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
- No more than 350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or stories written for other purposes).
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
- No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
- Original art may be included in your submission, but is not guaranteed to be shown on stream. Only .jpeg format images shared via a direct link will be accepted. (Example Submission) (Information on “Direct Links”)
- No additional formatting (such as italics or bold text) will be applied to the text of submissions. Symbols or instruction indicating such formatting may render your submission ineligible.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review, although they can be.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.
Vigilance by KenopsiaTennine
The demon prowled back and forth on their mountain perch, proudly surveying their vast territory. They began turning in circles, preparing to settle down for a sun-kissed nap, only to be stopped in their tracks by a terrible roar from the jungle below.
They navigated the path down their mountain, venturing into the wilderness toward the howling.
They entered the strawberry thicket and found their intruder almost immediately. A cicada. Another damned cicada.
The demon pup ran over to the cicada, smacking it furiously with one forepaw. The invading insect screeched at them, causing them to slap harder. It screeched louder. They flinched back from the sound and squealed back, pounced on the cicada, sat on it for a moment, hopped off of it to see if it had been defeated, and resumed smacking it with both paws this time.
Within seconds the thoroughly trounced cicada flew away up into the trees, screams fading into the distance.
Victoriously, the pup squeaked to the sky and snagged a ripe berry, nibbling at it before picking it up and beginning the trek back up their mountain of stacked, soil-filled plant pots. Upon reaching the top, they curled up and began to feast on the strawberry.
Their father glanced up from his position on the porch and yawned before resting his head again and falling back asleep, almost oblivious to the courageous defense of his pup’s territory.
The Attack of The Dracogiff by Jesse Fisher
The fields around medieval city were calm as the civilians milled around the city as it was just a normal day. The guilds of the city were doing their business; the Mercantile Guild were counting the morning’s profits from both the civilian and other guilds purchases, while the Performers Guild and Scholastic Guild held a meeting to decide on the historical play for the next month then to get in contact with the Laborers and Arcane for set dressing and effects respectfully. The many races that walked the streets were ignorant of this as unless they worked in any of these fields this was just background noise as far as they were concerned, as some of them had their own shops to run or eateries to look after and little need to be concerned with the guilds.
A loud roar like mewl broke the bustling city to a near standstill from beyond the wall a giant of unknown origins rose to where even the sky could not reveal it’s true form. From what a lone lookout could see it was a beast so bizarre that a name for it was out of his mind. The front part of it looked draconian with fur and feathers meeting the scales at the shoulders of the monster, lion’s paws with dragon talons for its hind legs and a scaly tail with a fluff of a mix of fur and feathers at its end, while the wings of it were leathery and massive.
It was then one of the front claws reached out to rip a building out of the city’s foundation, the city began to panic as doom came of them.
“Ginkgo!” An older upset voice came to the dragon-griffon hybrid’s ears, this caused the young creature to turn to see it’s father, a dragon.
“Play!” Ginkgo yelled as they waved the tabletop piece around.
With a slight huff the dragon picked up it’s young and looked at the mess on the table. “I’ll deal with this later when it is nap time. For now let’s play.”
Harmless creatures on their errands
The land of dreams hangs heavy over me, slowly but surely dragging me back to dark bliss. I snuggle into my pillow, happy to return to that magical place of sleep when……..
Ugh, he’s lucky I love him.
I open one eye.
Bartholomew stares at me, two inches away from my face, big golden eyes wide and happy.
He trills again, long and sweet as he nuzzles my face, his feathers tickling my nose.
I groan as I open both of my eyes but give him a little smile, running my finger over the top of his head. I get another soft nuzzle from him, his beak catching the light of the morning sun.
I sit up, my little griffin sliding happily down my chest, now sitting patiently on my belly, eyes wide and expectant.
“Alright, you win. Time to make the donuts I guess.”
Bartholomew just trills happily and flies from the room excitedly, chirping his little heart out.
He’s absolutely adorable, but of course I end up with the griffin whose an early riser.
Oh well, you know what they say about birds and worms.
One last chirp gets me out of bed, ready to face the day with my little griffin at my side.
A Name (The Teeniest Beastling)
By Philip Carrescia
I loved exploring the forest where I lived. It was filled with exciting new sites and smells wherever I went. I liked the rivers the most, as they were cool and clear, and made such a beautiful sound.
When I found something new, I would give it a name. The gnarled willow that drooped I called Old Low. The stream that I loved to follow I named Flow. The bush with the sweet berries I named Treat. Everything I knew had a name.
I was never given a name. Hawk called me Prey. Fox called me Lunch. But those aren’t names. Not mine anyway.
I wanted to have a name like everyone else, but no one would give me one. Stag stepped over me. Owl tried to eat me. Hare kicked me.
Was I really so unimportant that no one cared to give me one? What about Old Low, and Flow, and Treat? I named them, and they were happy with their names. They had names, so why didn’t I?
As I was thinking this, a noise came from behind me. I skittered under a bush named Prickle, who sheltered me more than once from Fox. I peered out between the prickles to see what was approaching.
The strangest creature I had ever seen was walking towards me, not on four legs, but on two. It’s hide was bare, and held no sign of molting for Spring, who had arrived.
As I stared out, it got down on all fours and stared back, seeing me through Prickle. It held out a bare paw and said, “Come on out, little one, you are safe.”
Strangely, I felt such kindness in the voice that I forgot my fear, crawling out onto its large paw. It lay down on its stomach, and held me up to its strangely colored eyes. “What should I call you?” it asked.
“I don’t know. No one has ever given me a name.”
“Indeed? Then I shall give you one.”
Now I walk proudly through the forest where I live. I have something special.
The Problem with Pixies
Virschael had tried flying, but they caught up with her. It wasn’t a surprise. Even compared to pixies, she was small.
“Let’s paint her green!” the blond male pixie yelled.
“I hate green!” Virschael protested. If she wasn’t made of stone, she’d be in tears.
“Great!” the female pixie responded. “That will make it more fun!”
The brunette male pixie had found a spinach leaf, and started smearing it against Virschael’s rocky skin, the dyes painting the tiny gargoyle viridian.
“I have an idea!” the girl pixie exclaimed. “Let’s hit her with a rock, see if she breaks!”
Virschael tried to fly away, but the girl pixie was faster, and grabbed her wings. She cried out, hoping one of her friends would hear her, but she was sure they wouldn’t.
The two male pixes had returned, carrying a large stone between them, their wings straining to keep themselves airborne with such a heavy payload.
“Someone help me!” Virschael cried, hoping that Rikuto or Ririn would burst into the clearing where the pixies were tormenting her, and rescue her.
“Clear off, vermin!” a voice demanded.
“Go away! We’re having fun!” the girl pixie yelled.
A large silhouette stepped from the woods and stomped up to the pixies. It reached out, and grabbed one of the males, causing the other to drop the rock.
“Whatcha doing! Let me go!” the male pixie yelled, squirming.
The figure thrust out the other arm, holding a staff in hand. It flared to light, revealing Virschael’s unlikely savior. A teenage orc girl, dressed in the white blouse and blue uniform of one of the witch academies. She flung the pixie into the other male, knocking both of them to the ground.
“Go away, ugly!” the female pixie spat.
The orc girl whispered an incantation, and three glowing darts appeared, pointing at each of the pixies. “Your call,” she proposed, a toothy grin on her dusky green face.
The pixies retreated as fast as their wings would take them.
“Are you Virschael?” the orc asked.
Virschael could only nod.
“I’m Erykah. Miss Ririn sent me.
Nails, by Nicki Snyder (cannibalbananas)
Tiny claws click across the linoleum. Very tiny claws. Miniscule even.
They belong to a light grey, wire-haired creature, with four round eyes of deep green.
His joy in life is causing misery, and he’s very good at it, if he does say so himself.
He spots his target. His eyes zero in on it and he leaps.
His light weight, round body makes no impact on your senses.
Scrambling for purchase, the little creature quickly gets to work. Biting and prying small slivers of toe nail off of its prey.
Fingernails, though, are its favorite thing to tear, but it takes whatever opportunities are presented. And today it’s the toenail of a purple-polished pinky toe.
Once the deed is done, and he’s happy with his work, the tiny beast scrambles away with glee. He stops by the bottom of a cabinet and watches you agonize over your broken nail.
You touch it and suck in a hiss of slight pain and added annoyance.
His heart sings as he sees you scowl at having another chipped and cracked nail. You stomp off to the bathroom and he dances in mirth.
He’s brought you pain and misery with the added bonus of wasting your time.
His tiny cackles reach no one’s ears. You are too far away.
He is proud of himself. He is the master and you are his puppet. His green eyes shine at the knowledge of another job well done.
He puts on his most menacing grin which adds dimples by his cheeks. He’s not done with you.
He scurries away as you stomp back in a huff. Visions of hangnails bring a wider grin to his face.
Krake by Onye Okoro (ig @onyeokoro1)
He crouched in the bush waiting. Mostly out of fear, but he tried to deny it. Truthfully, he had every reason to be fearful: his fur wildly contrasted the white and green cover, he was alone, malnourished and shivering, but worst of all there were two looming giants headed in his direction!
“I’ll be spotted for sure!”, he thought to himself while the giants came closer and closer.
The volume of their indistinguishable chatter grew as each moment passed. He didn’t want to fight, but he didn’t want to die either. The giants were approaching fast, and he was frozen in a vortex of fear and heavy thinking.
“I either die hungry or die fighting.”, he concluded after what felt like an eternity of clairvoyance.
The loud thud of one of the giants’ foot next to him helped make his decision an easy one. He quickly rushed out the bush in fear! One of them let out a yelp, the other an expletive; both stumbled back as they did. That split second of fear he sensed and his growing hunger caused him to shift, contort and redirect his running body towards the nearest giant.
“FOOD!”, he thought out loud.
He lunged and grabbed hold of the giant’s leg and bit down. No good. He was too weak to even puncture the giant’s flesh protector. Discouraged and exhausted, he let go of the giant after a few moments of gnawing and collapsed to the cold yet soft ground panting while glaring at both of them.
“You win. I have nothing left in me. Now claim your meal!”, he said through his eyes as the world faded to black.
The married travelers examined the tiger cub. The husband checked its pulse and gender while the wife kept watch for mama tiger. “The little guy’s still alive.”, said the husband now carrying the cub in his arms. “Woo! Thank god.”, said the wife. She came in close to get a good look at the two feet long titan that tried to tear her husband’s leg off. “Awww, he’s so adorable!”, she proclaimed.
Determined growls collided with encouragement from the canine like creatures beneath the overcast sky.
Arkina’s grunt was met with groans as she slid along the soft ground from the hit, her golden fur matted with dirt. She stood on shaky legs, a twinge in her back right paw making her bare her sharp canines.
“That’s enough, Darrus. She can’t take anymore,” Mala said, his red tails twitching in anticipation of his second turn.
“You’re only saying that because you don’t want to look weak if she can continue,” Deera surmised, one of her white tails gliding beneath Mala’s chin.
He snapped his teeth at her hindquarters, giving a deep-throated snarl.
“I can do it!” Arkina insisted. She could do it. Sure, her legs were shorter than theirs, and she had only one tail to their three, but she was fast, and her bite was strong.
Mala clicked his pointed tongue in a dismissive manner, but Darrus chimed in before Mala could express his thoughts.
“What say you, Ferling?” Darrus deferred to their stoic yet fair leader, humorous golden eyes meeting green gentle ones.
Ferling lowered his blue mane in Arkina’s direction, her gray eyes alight with anticipation.
“Give her another chance,” Deera encouraged, her tawny gaze clashing with Mala’s blue in challenge. She sat on her haunches and licked one paw to groom her face.
“Do you think you’re able?” Ferling asked, his deep tenor soothing.
Arkina’s jerky nod was met with a deep bow of approval. Deera’s cheer drowned out Mala’s disappointed sigh.
Darrus shook out his black fur, his full body stretch eliciting a contented groan. His crouch was all Arkina needed to charge.
Avoiding a swiping paw, she bit one front leg then a back leg, which almost buckled Darrus.
Pain in her leg sent her sprawling as rain fell, and Darrus lightly rested a paw on her flank, their breathing heavy.
“You’ll get there.” Darrus nuzzled her snout. Arkina purred.
They headed for their cave.
“You did well,” Deera praised.
“You weren’t so bad,” Mala admitted.
Arkina looked toward the sky. She’d be great one day.
The Hungriest Virus
By T. A. Andrewson
It did not know what it was but it was small. It was not even large enough to have a name. If it was complex enough to have thoughts at that moment it may have thought that it was designed to be small. But it wasn’t that complicated so it could only feel fear and comfort. It did not even know what fear was until it was removed from the tiny cage it had grown in. Now everything was new and that frightened the little thing with no name.
Now it rode on the shoulder of a giant. If the little thing had a concept of memory it the giant might have reminded it of home. For now though all it did was comfort the little thing and that was enough.
From the shoulder of the giant it could see the data stream, even if it could not comprehend what the data stream was. For a few brief moments the giant paused and the thing without a name for the first time comfortable and in view of something it did not know felt a new emotion, curiosity.
Then a light shone on the giant. The light was new. The light was scary. The thing that was too small to have a name burrowed deeper into the giant to hide from the light. Then the light was gone.
They had moved, they were in a new place. The giant slowly and gently placed the thing without a name on the ground. Then it gave the thing without a name some of the data from the data stream. It was good.
The thing that was too small to have a name felt a third new emotion, hunger. It started eating the entire data stream, absorbing as much as it could into itself. And when the light came for it, it ate the light too.
Breaking news: The Rouge AI and cyber terrorist calling itself David unleashed one of its information destruction attacks on Mango.Inc destroying thousands of gigs of data and the security AINGL.
Protector of the Forest, by Carrie
I ran towards the sound, back hunched over an armload of wood. Tripping, I smacked into a fallen log, my knees buckling under me. Recovering, I peered over it, my eyes just barely making it over the top.
It wasn’t a fight. It was a battle.
A wolf, a real living wolf, snapped at what looked like a squirrel jumping and dashing around it. But as I squinted, I realized that squirrels didn’t move that gracefully. Nor did they have ears the size of bananas. Or three tails.
I watched the wolf bat at the creature. Then, suddenly, the creature stopped. Its booming lion roar send shock waves that launched the wolf across the clearing. Its body hit a mound of fallen leaves.
The small creature straightened itself elegantly. The wolf growled as it slunk between the trees.
Silence. Then some of the wood I was holding slid to the ground while I tried to stand back up.
The creature’s batlike ears rotated, and before I could blink, the creature was sitting on my armload of wood, yellow eyes staring into my soul.
“Um,” I murmured, “hi.”
The creature sniffed me. “What are you doing in my forest?”
The creature barred two rows of sharp teeth. “This is my forest, female human. Why are you here?”
“Um, I needed to get firewood—”
“Aren’t humans using electricity now?”
“Well, yes, but it’s complicated. My aunt—”
“No matter. I am Keko, holder of three of the nine tails of the fallen Zeleka, and you, human, are trespassing in my forest.” Before I could respond, Keko sniffed me again. “You smell like food.”
“I do?” I’d thought I smelled like bad laundry detergent, but maybe it was that pie my aunt had been baking earlier.
“Hmm,” Keko squinted at me, “if you take me to this food, I shall spare you. Lead me to your den.”
I wasn’t one to argue with a talking, three-tailed creature the size of a squirrel with the roar of a lion, so I carefully began the trek back home.
“The Younger Generation” by R J Chapman
‘Experimenting! That’s what you call this, Martha?’
Jeremy listened to his father ranting. He glanced towards his companion apologetically. ‘He’s just a bit stuck in his ways.’
George nodded politely.
His parents emerged from the pantry with the food.
‘Who fancies some sacrificial virgin?’ asked Jeremy’s father.
‘She’s still alive!’ exclaimed his son.
‘It’s alright, we’ll cook it at the table,’ said his father with a dismissive claw.
‘It’s a she!’ said Jeremy outraged.
‘Don’t be so squeamish. A real dragon wouldn’t…’
‘Wouldn’t what, Father?’ asked Jeremy standing up. His minuscule frame was no match for the behemoth towering over him. Nevertheless, his nostrils flared and stumpy wings unfurled.
‘A real dragon wouldn’t… bring food home and call it a…’ he paused searching for the word. ‘A… bloody friend.’
‘Partner,’ corrected Jeremy before reaching behind him to grasp George’s hand in his claw. ‘We’re leaving,’ said Jeremy before stooping down to George whispering. ‘Also, we’d like the girl.’
‘This isn’t a takeaway,’ said his father.
‘Not to eat.’
‘You’re not having her,’ said his father crossing his claws.
‘Take her,’ said his mother undoing the virgin’s chains.
‘Bill, all you do is complain how stringy it is and then moan all night you’ve got heartburn. And I’ve never liked virgin,’ she added as if referencing a previous discussion.
‘But tradition,’ protested his father. ‘It’s what makes us dragons.’
‘I’m still a dragon,’ said Jeremy.
‘Have you tried eating virgin?’ his father asked pleadingly.
‘They’re stringy,’ Jeremy replied, placing his claw on his father’s shoulder. ‘And they give me heartburn.’
Bill placed his claw on top of Jeremy’s. ‘The day you hatched, I swore to keep you safe. To me, you’re still that tiny bug-eyed green thing covered in mucous. But you’re not a beastling anymore and I can’t protect you.’
‘I don’t need protection. Besides, I bagged myself a Knight,’ Jeremy smiled back at a blushing George. ‘All I want is your blessing and your hoard when you die.’
‘I am a dragon, remember?’
Jeremy felt like a hatchling again as his father swept him into his arms.
“A Typical Day”
“I can’t believe you managed to catch a living one.” Avi stared at the sleeping dragonling in Balthazar’s hands. It was about the size of a mason jar and the scales looked iridescent. A stark contrast to Balthazar’s darker clothes.
“‘Managed’ is a generous term,” Balthazar stated as he and Avi went to the library’s archives. “It was more like an accidental heist.”
“Surely nothing compares to the French Revolution?” Avi joked, though strangers would not be able to tell.
“You joke now, but you try barely outrunning a full-sized dragon.”
Some of the archives’ magical items hummed as Balthazar and Avi walked in. Balthazar lowered the sleeping dragonling into an open terrarium and closed the lid, making room for Avi to get a better look.
Avi picked up a voice recorder and began speaking, “The dragonling. Scientific name pending. Despite its common name, it is not a baby of a true dragon. At birth, they look like bats, but at around five years they start losing their fur to make way for their scales.”
Avi continued to talk about dragonlings and the one in the terrarium. Balthazar could not help but smile. Avi’s passion for the world was contagious, and it made Balthazar an optimist for awhile.
When Avi finished, he cracked open the terrarium lid to put a food bowl inside and asked, “Did you say anything to Jason?”
“He was still in classes when I left,” Balthazar answered.
“Well, I needed to head to his college anyway.” After closing the lid, Avi pocketed the recorder and put on his usual suit jacket. “An acquaintance of mine wants to know about our findings.”
“Someone at Cornell knows about magic?”
“I’d be surprised if there was a college that didn’t have a person that knew. Are you coming?”
Balthazar did not vocalize his answer, instead walking next to Avi as they left.
A Little Hope, by Zendrelax
Even still, he doubted.
He’d seen what the great one had been capable of. Felt it. But this one, he reflected as he watched it gaze out into the blighted landscape, is much smaller.
It looked in some ways like the one he had found in the forest—had found him, rather—but writ small. Its legs were spindlier, its body more narrow, and its horn much shorter. But its coat was still like burnished bronze, and its eyes were stars brought down to earth.
He’d be inclined to call it a foal, but part of him wondered how well that actually applied.
It was standing on the edge of his family’s fields, eyeing the black Rot that choked the earth. It had been in the same place for nearly an hour, shifting its weight from side to side, and at the moment it was pawing at the ground with one of its hooves.
He heard the door behind him, and soon found his wife sitting beside him. “She’s sleeping now. She was able to eat a little of the food you brought back.” That brought back it back, the racing urgency and the creeping dread. Their daughter had been well when he’d left for the forest. He drew his hand over to hers, and they leaned into one another.
In front of them, the little creature’s horn began to glow. It was a sharp light here, outside the sylvan mist, and it almost hurt to look at.
His wife reeled back, but he moved his hand to her shoulder.
After a few moments, the light faded. The not-foal was visibly panting. He stood up, slowly. He wasn’t sure–
It was small, but it was there. There was a patch of bare soil where once the Rot had ben. But the foal was looking higher, out at the expanse of the field, of the neighbors’ fields, and despite its labored breath, it stood firm.
He knelt beside it, stroking its neck, and the flickering tongues of its fiery mane danced between his fingers.
By: Giovanna J. Fuller
Angela pulled the curtain back to reveal a hallway. On both sides were doors. Big doors, small doors, wooden doors, gelatin doors, and doors painted in every color known and unknown to man. All of the doors were marked with golden numbers like a motley hotel.
She made her way down the hall until she reached a round door made of clear quartz. It was about as high as a five year old and just wide enough that the adult could curl over and finagle her way inside.
Inside was a field made of taffy colored grass sitting happily under a pink lemonade sky. There was no sun as the light seemed to be in the very air around them. The clouds in the sky cast no shadow and were of the lightest shade of blue that one almost thought they were white. There was no wind and no sound…at least for a moment.
Then, from between the blades of grass, came little balls of white fluff that floated up to her eye level.
“Aaaa! Aaaa!” they chorused in a choir of laughs.
Angela smiled and held out her hand so the little balls of what looked like white pappus could land on her hand. They crawled about like little ants, their microscopic legs tickling her skin.
“Aaaa! Aaaa!” a tiny host sang as one in order to be heard.
They were Pips, creatures so small they can only speak in words containing one sound.
She put on her spectacles to see them better.
Pips are all about the height of two pinheads and are covered in white fur. Their eyes are two yellow dots that change shape to convey emotions, much like people’s do. And they were very, very clingy. Even now, Angel found that most of her clothes were covered in the white specs as they swarmed her.
“Aaaa! Aaaa! Oooo, ouuuu eeee!”
She smiled at the Pips. “Let me change first.” She twirled her wand about herself and…
she was about the height of three pinheads.
“Now let’s have that cup of tea.”
She panted heavily, her little feet pounding the pavement as she ran as fast as she could up the deserted street. She glanced over her shoulder, letting out a cry, flapping her small wings frantically.
“Go away! Leave me alone!” She pleaded, but still it followed.
She burst through the greenhouse door, arms outstretched as she desperately rushed to the comforting arms of her best friend.
“Goodness, child!” He chuckled, patting her head, “What is the matter?”
“It’s going to eat me!” She sobbed, hiding behind the Bot’s frame.
“What’s going to-” he paused as a buzzing filled the air.
He scanned the area, finding the source, and gesturing to it, “This is bothering you?”
She nodded, sniffling.
“Oh, little one. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” He seemed to smile down at her. He held out his metallic finger, allowing her tiny beast to land on the tip.
“No! It’ll eat you!” She cried.
“No no. Little one, this is a bumble bee.” He held it out to her, “He’s not after you. He’s after your flowers.”
Her hands flew to the flower crown in her hair, “B-but they’re mine! He can’t have them!”
“You misunderstand.” Talebot laughed, “He won’t take them, little one. Inside every flower is a food source for this little bumble bee. It’s called pollen.” He explained, “Pollen is what bees use to make honey.”
“Really? So he’s just hungry?”
He nodded, “Yes, and not for you, I promise.” He held out his finger to her. She opened her hand, the tiny bee crawling into her palm. She let out a chiming giggle, “He tickles!”
“Shall we feed him?”
She nodded, looking around at the many flowers they’d managed to grow. Carefully, she placed the bee on a tiger lily.
“An excellent choice.” Talebot approved, nodding his head.
She sat down and watched it crawl to the middle. She looked up, beaming, “He likes it!”
Talebot patted her head again, “Would you like to learn more? I have just the story.”
“Oh yes, please!” She turned to him, eager to hear another story.
The Minotaur and the Dragon
By Alexander (BrokenEarth)
Rain fell heavily across the area, making it difficult to identify those who came by. It was nights like these that made the big, burly Minotaur wary and suspicious. It was nights like these that warned of danger.
He had just let in the last wagon, of course after thoroughly checking it and those driving, when he heard the bells ring. The scouts had seen something. The Minotaur squinted at the horizon, but there was nothing to be seen.
Then came the screams.
“Dragon!” He couldn’t tell who had said it, but there wasn’t any time to lose, if a dragon it was. Dashing inside the gate, and letting loose the cord that held it upright, and it came crashing down with a loud thud.
Quickly the Minotaur climbed the ladder to the top of the wall and prepared his bow to shoot, and it was then he saw it. A dark outline in the clouds, a massive winged beast flew toward the castle.
Suddenly, without warning, it shot its fire-breath at our walls, melting them in an instant. The dragon landed on the wall and pinned the Minotaur underneath its huge, scaly claws.
“Got you.” It grinned.
“Daaaad… That’s no fair… You gotta give me chance to win!”
The dragon was gone, in its place a Minotaur with a silly smile, the burly Minotaur replaced with a young one, wriggling to get away from his father. The castle was instead a fort made of pillows and blankets, and a good few of them were knocked down.
“C’mon, why shouldn’t I give it my all? I am a ‘dragon’.” The father said, obviously still laughing to himself.
“Yeah, but I’m the hero and the hero’s supposed to win!” The young one pouted.
From another room a voice called “Raaawrrr, I’m a good dragon! I shall slay the evil dragon!” It was the Minotaur’s mother, and she came over and tackled the father off of the young one.
They laughed for a while, the epic battle unfolding in a bizarre and fantastical way, until it was time to get dinner ready.
Unknown Fields, by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
When I was thirteen, my life was thrown into disarray. My family and I left our comfy city apartment in Greyton for a small farm property outside of Wayford.
I hated it.
The blistering heat of the summer sun combined with a myriad of boring chores conspired to make my days miserable. The farm was home to several grazing animals and a brood of chickens. Every animal meant several hours of chores which meant I had little time to get to know my neighbors. With my old friends a hundred miles away, I was left alone.
One night after it had rained all day, I heard a strange noise coming from outside my window.
Terrified, I hid under my blanket. What kind of horrific beast could make that sound? A ghost? A demon? I had never heard anything like it before.
“AHHHH!” There it was again! Determined to face my fear, I quietly snuck out of my bed and crawled to the window. Carefully, I slowly raised my head to peek outside.
I fell back onto the floor in shock. When I get back up, I see a silhouette on the window. I take a closer look and see…
‘I can’t believe I was scared by a toad.’
I stared at the beast for a little while until it noticed I was watching and turned to look at me.
“Oh, was I being too loud?” the toad asked gently.
“A bit.” I said, a little hurt.
“I am terribly sorry! Sometimes I can be a bit enthusiastic with my calls.” the toad said with a surprisingly clean voice.
“What’s your name little guy?” I asked gleefully.
“Well, I don’t really have a name.” the toad proclaimed.
“That’s ok!” I said. “I will call you… Bentley for now! My name is Emily by the way. Pleased to meet you!”
Happy to have met a new friend, we chatted there for hours. We talked about the stars, the forest, life as a toad, and old friends.
I wasn’t as lonely anymore.