Clopping

Clop clop clop one way.

Clop clop clop closer.

The gait was irregular, unsure.

Each strike of the foot clicked against the laminate floor and echoed about the room, through the open plan layout and to their ears.

“Is there a horse in there helping out?” He wondered aloud.

A rapid flurry of clopping followed, a head poking out from around the corner. “IT’S NOT FUNNY, DAD!”

She clopped back into the kitchen, leaving him with a glare from his wife. Her mouth’s barely suppressed mirth twitching at the corners of her lips dulled the usual impact her looks had on him.

“She needs to practice for her new job.” She chided.

“Oh shit, the pasta!” Came from the one-girl stampede in the kitchen.

“I get that, but while cooking?”

“Aw sod, the veg!” Their daughter was at a gallop now.

“She was quieter in those old clod stompers she used to wear!”

His wife sighed. “The goth days are gone now, it’s going to be all business and heels.”

“Fuck, the fish!” Their daughter swore amidst the clanging of pans and pots.

Her husband chuckled. “She’s still got the mouth of a sailor though.”

Lunch

The school’s canteen was as packed as some of the lunch boxes were. A queue clung to the edges of the room, shortening as people got served only to grow as late arrivals appended themselves to the back of it. Small voices joined together to fill the air with a loud cacophony, added to by teachers demanding manners and servers verifying orders.

At one hexagonal table, tucked away near the corner window with a view of the school pond, children sat on plastic chairs with heads in their lunchboxes pulling their bounty out to trade and consume.

“Crackers and cheese, all right!”

“Trade you one for a ham sandwich, no crusts.”

“I’ll swap Pizza Bites for a Dunker!”

“Oooh, Mum packed kettle crisps today… what’ve you got?”

Looking a little sheepish, one of the girls looked up from her purple lunchbox and shrugged. “The usual.” She procured a kettle lead from the box, causing the boy to blush.

“Sorry, I didn’t-”

She shook her head with a smile. “I know.” Brushing her hair to the side, she slipped the thick plastic connector into the socket just under her collar bone. “Would you-”

The boy had already taken the plug. Pushing it into the mains socket, he flicked the power switch and returned to his seat. “Is it okay if I stop with you today? I’ve a book I want to read, so…” he trailed off.

A smile broke across her face as she nodded carefully. “That’d be nice, thanks.” A message flicked up in her vision, informing her of the upcoming switch to standby mode for efficient charging. “I’ll be asleep till the end of lunch, so…”

“You always do after sports.” One of the girls at the table said. “Eat well!” She added, followed by similar choruses from the others.

With a bigger smile on her face, the gynoid child rested her head on folded arms. Amid the chaos of the canteen she drifted off to charge, happy for the company around her.

That Lovely Girl

“There she goes, that lovely girl.”

She had an air of genuine kindness that the residents loved. Always interested in their tales from decades past, no matter how often they rambled on during their telling. When they sung her praises to their relatives, she was always modest.

“I don’t need to be thanked for that.” She’d smile while steering a tea trolley loaded with treats, all ready to be dispensed before Countdown came on.

“Isn’t she such a dear?”

Every once in a while when they were distracted, a ring or trinket would vanish.

But they’d never blame her, that lovely girl.

This week’s Three Word Wednesday words were: Distracted, Genuine, and Modest.

Glut

Isaac had once thought that there was too much shelving going up in the study. Seeing box after box of his partner’s books being brought in started him thinking that maybe, just maybe, they’d need some free-standing units to go in the middle of the room.

“You’re -sure- you need all these books?” He asked, draping himself over a box with ‘Mythology’ scrawled along the top in marker pen.

“Quite sure.” Juan smiled, the man in his element as he wheeled in further boxes by way of a trolley. The contraption had three joined wheels on to make it easier to move up the stairs. “Could you move that box over to the shelves away from the window, please?”

With a groan, Isaac hefted the boxed books across. His bleach-blonde tufts of hair were slick with sweat from the move. “I could buy you an e-reader, and re-buy as many books as are available?”

His partner laughed, a wave of his hand levitating a book up and opening the pages. “I cannot quite interact with ebooks as I can with the real thing. Some may consider this a glut. I? Well… there are many more I seek to pick up.”

“I’d put the book down and help out with moving if I were you.” Isaac warned. “If the girls catch you slacking off with your nose between pages, you’ll have hell to pay.”

“True.” The scholar replied, returning the book to its box before wandering over. “There’s time to sort and order them once we’re all settled here.”

Anticipation

The atmosphere was electric. Anticipation was eternal in that place. They never tired of the thrill. As long as they were alive they were ready to party. All they had to do was wait and a chance would present itself.

And it just had. Someone had been foolish, negligent, or careless. The door had opened and they had surged towards it. She was waiting. The meeting with their beloved was a passionate one. Sparks flew when they touched. The heat was palpable.

For the poor soul who bridged the gap the result was a sharp, savage, and ultimately fatal shock.

This week’s Three Word Wednesday words were: Electric, Passionate, and Savage.

Hirsute

The small band of warriors kept their distance from the beast’s fallen form. Taking the moment to catch their breath gave them the chance to watch the creature take its last movements, arrows riddling its sides with the wounds oozing yellow blood.

“Shall I recover the arrows?” The youngest of their troop asked while wiping the sweat from his forehead.

The captain placed a hand on his shoulder. “Not this time. Do not be fooled by its hirsute form, the bristles are loaded with venom.” He nodded over to one of the older warriors. A scarred woman slipped a cylindrical container off her back and pulled a pair of thick leather gloves from it. Rolling the sleeves up to her forearms, she made a slow approach flanked by two spear-carriers.

The youngest member watched as the spear-carriers slipped to the sides to jab with the tips of their blades. No signs of life from the beast gave her the confidence to approach and remove their arrows. With the missiles clear she was free to begin harvesting the choice dark bristles, taking care not to squeeze the venom out as she removed them.

“Captain, why do we gather the bristles if they’re so dangerous?” He asked after several minutes spent watching. The look his captain gave him was one he knew well. It was the ‘use your brain’ look. Musing, he eyed the beast. “To use on creatures our weapons are ineffective against?”

“That is correct. There are other uses for it too, and killing a number of them now stops us from getting overwhelmed in the future.” His captain explained. “A fine balance must be maintained.”

The young man continued to watch as his fellows plundered the caterpillar for its toxic hair. Every so often the fairy’s eyes darted towards the round fake eyes of the beast, a shudder running through him at the almost alien-face marked with warning colours. That face would probably haunt his dreams that night.

Twas the Fight Before Christmas

Author’s Note: What happens after heavy exposure to the magical warrior girl genre mixes with a darker interpretation, the festive season and a traditional Christmas classic? This. I’m not that grand at poetry, but the attempt had to be made. Seasons beatings to you all!

Twas the night before Christmas, throughout London Town
Demons were stirring, trouble about to go down.
One borough had a teenager alert to their ploy
With a swift transformation she’d bring end to their joy.
Running along with her weapon gripped in hand,
Her staff soon to swing with fury most grand.

In black boots and white pants dashed Maiden Blue
Her jacket the colour of a name-fitting hue.
Meanwhile in the streets a riot began to stir
As demons frenzied with snow on their fur.
Leaping and twirling with style oh-so-flash
A torrent of water was summoned forth to slash.

Taking that element of power in her left hand,
She washed away monsters as if grains of sand.
Her foes were many, and one called in fear,
It’s plight was answered by a villainous deer.
With antlers glowing red and a coat of pitch black,
Even the maiden faltered in her attack.

With hooves moving rapid his charge came fast,
The Maiden in dodging could barely make it past.
“On this sacred night I shall invoke a creed,
“Your defeat is at hand, I will make you bleed!”
“You talk tough tiny human, I will give you that,
“But your skin should make a most wonderful hat.”

Facing off against each other the sparks did fly
A stab of his horns, she leapt to the sky.
Across roads and roofs the battle did rage,
Like a fight straight from a comic book page.
A flick of her staff she hoped would strike,
He shouldered it wide, the blow destroying a bike.

A roar from his mouth unleashed thunderous sound,
Though hurtling back she soon came to rebound.
Blue eyes full of fury, heart pounding with hate,
Her power surged forth, one second too late.
Red lightning crackled from his mighty horns,
Sending her careening into a store full of porn.

Shaking off magazines, DVDs, and cuffs,
She winced from her landing, the impact quite rough.
Knowing she soon had to end this fight,
She gathered her power and channelled her might.
Stomping a hoof and lowering his head,
He would gore this girl and return to his bed.

The deer started his run, hurtling fast,
Not knowing what she was starting to cast.
Raising her staff and holding it ready,
Her grip was firm, her stance was so steady.
Driving the tip straight into his brain.
Water and lighting unleashing much pain.

With cries falling silent, the deer fell to its knees
With a blade made of fluid, his neck she did cleave.
From his corpse dark power rose to erupt,
To be sealed away so as not to corrupt.
Azure light thrummed about her form,
The city was safe, she returned to her norm.

There was little joy to winning when at the clock she did glance
She saw she had missed her school’s Christmas Dance.

Strike Team

The troop helicopter was hovering on flickering blades above the insertion point. With the side door opened and the cables ready to drop, the armed men and women on board readied to descend into combat.

“You know the target. Get in, grab the package and get out. You have permission to terminate anything that tries to interfere.” Their XO snarled through the comms system.

With the signal given, the team started their drop. Down cables they zipped, weapons raised and ready as they neared the hordes of enemies. The situation was chaos, the crowds riled.

Operation Black Friday had begun.

Author’s Note: Seeing as the stores in the US decide to start Black Friday sooner, I thought I’d drop this story now. A nice little drabble, now heavily discounted!

Process

“I don’t mean to criticize you,” his superior spoke in a voice that indicated he -was- meaning to, “but couldn’t you hurry that up? We need a lead.”

Pinching his brow as he bit off his planned retort, he sucked in a deep breath before responding with all the patience he could muster. “It’s not a simple task. I am working as fast as I can, and I could work faster if I did not keep having to explain this.”

Continue reading

Late Night Gaming

With the bedroom door firmly shut and the lights off, the young boy could only work by the light of the muted TV. Finding his headphones, he fumbled with the back of the unit for the jack. By the light of his smartphone he sifted through his school bag for the game case a friend had given him. Deft hands worked to boot his console up and slide the disc into place, carelessly discarding the old EA Sports game into the mass of cables on the carpet. With the controller gripped firmly in hand, he hit the start button.

His hands trembled slightly as he played through the dark tale of survival horror, battling with a massive disadvantage against gruesome monsters and inhuman wretches. He clenched his jaw to avoid screaming out at the scare moments when some digital demon would leap into his field of view. As much as he wanted to put the controller down and hide under his duvet, he was equally engrossed in the events playing out.

So engrossed, he did not notice the bedroom door opening.

So absorbed, the headphones blocked the approach of the tall and cloaked figure.

So immersed, the feel of a skeletal hand touching his shoulder made him cry out in fright, dropping the pad and scrambling out of his chair to face the visage of Death looming over him, skeletal face barely visible underneath the cowl.

Drawing himself up, Death spoke chilled words: “Your punishment shall be severe.” The spectre declared, reaching forth with those flesh-absent arms swaddled in dark cloth.

 

 

Death Jr. went without his games console until Christmas morning for playing past curfew, and for playing a game his parents had not checked out first.