Tag Archives: Ink Slingers Guild

An Unexpected Visitor – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 25 July 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Sulking
  • Formula
  • Shiny

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!


Meri was sulking in the corner after her run in with the wizard’s formula. She should have known better. No wizard would be so stupid as to leave his kitchen unwarded especially in this day and age. She waited for the sting on her skin to abate as she sat trembling in the living room. The things she had to do. If it wasn’t for that stupid pact she’d made with her ex-boyfriend this would never have happened. Love, what a joke. She watched the shiny film of the ward fade back to invisible. When she had walked into the kitchen it had outshone even the sun and burnt like hell. The front door opened and a beautiful man walked in, his eyes finding her immediately. His full lips raised briefly on one side. Meri scooted back into the wall.

“An unexpected visitor,” he said playfully. “Why, I shall go make us some tea.”

Meri frowned as he vanished into the very kitchen she had tried to enter.

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“Um, Seth?” Wren asked, her blonde hair shiny in the glow from the firelight. “You sure you want to do that?”

“What’s the matter, baby bird? Too rich for your blood?” He replied, then looked at the rest of them.

Wren swore, knowing that she should have known better than to play tonight. Then again, it’s not like she would remember missing a memory. No doubt she had done similar things before tonight. It probably explained why she had no memories of her life before she turned 25. “I’m out,” she said, flipping her cards down on the table. “I like my current future.”

Charis laughed. “Seth’s only willing to bargain his because he knows what’s in store for him.”

“And tell me wise one, what’s my future?” Seth poked. “Women and riches?”

“Death in a back alley.”

“You in or out?”

“Out,” the man said, folding his cards with a scowl.

“Oh, are you sulking?” Seth teased. “So sorry.”

“And what about you, Corbin? You up for a big boy game?” Seth turned his attention to the dwarf. The dwarf looked back at him, face serious.

“This isn’t a game, boy,” he warned. “Maritime rules rule here. Your current future will be swept away.”

“I know the formulas,” Seth said. “I know what it means. Are you in or out?”

The dwarf sighed, “In. And I call.”

“Good.” Seth considered his hand one final time before laying it on the table. Two cups and three staves. A full court. A solid hand.

Then he looked across the table as Corbin lay down three staves and two scepters. A royal court.

Fuck, Seth thought.

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Hiver spent the time before they left sulking, refusing to talk to anyone. But when he looked at the darkness that was the mouth of the cave, something clicked for him. I don’t want to die, he thought to himself. And I didn’t last this long in this life to just give up now. Geb looked at him strangely when he came up and asked what he could do to help, but the big man just shrugged.

“Stay out of the way and stay quiet.”

“Quiet, got it,” Hiver said, nodding rapidly.

“Very quiet,” Geb said again. “Waking a sleeping dragon gives you maybe four seconds to have any last regrets about this life. Then you’re toast.”

Hiver nodded again, more slowly. The first part of the formula for escape was coming together. His heart began to thud in his ears. Maybe that wasn’t such a good path to go down. Maybe he had malaria or some other deadly jungle disease where your head swelled up and exploded, but not before you went mad. Well, Hiver decided, the whole company was mad for coming here, so at least he would fit in.

With Geb’s expert leadership, they made it deep into the dragon’s home without mishap, though Hiver was sure the dragon would hear his heart going and come charging after them. Not yet, he thought, not yet.

Then they were in the huge cavern filled with ever shiny object possible known to man. The whole party edged in, around chests of gems, piles of gold, urns and platters of gold and silver and statues with jade chips for eyes and obsidian hands and feet. There was more wealth in this one cavern than in the entirety of most kingdoms up above.

Hiver took a deep breath and kicked the largest platter of object that looked like they would make the most noise clattering over the stone, then dived behind a rock. He hoped this worked as the dragon woke with roar.

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As he ventured deeper into the ship he could tell that he was closer to their nest. He had run into the watcher they had posted in one of the corridors. These creatures tended to enlist the help of shadows.

Shadows were mostly useless for anything but sulking around and sometimes the more powerful ones could cause a chill to run up the spine of a human. However, being a watcher and notifying them if anyone passes close to where they slept was a use and it was exploited.

One of the other reasons Shadows tended to not be used for more practical situations is that they were easily distracted by shiny objects, like the small mirror, which Mark placed just inside the door when he spotted it. He could have killed it, but that might have made more noise and he liked the element of surprise.

As he neared a storage compartment a renewed wave of stench hit him. There they were.

He grabbed two vials of what he liked to call sauce out of his knapsack, a formula of holy water and tears of joy and lobbed them into the room, closing the door to allow it to permeate.

Since the room was pretty well sealed they would be incapacitated within moments and then an easy beheading and he could grab a pizza for lunch.

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She leaned back from the microscope to rub her eyes sulking. She’d been staring at the same six slides for days now. The results of their testing hadn’t made sense. The soil sample shouldn’t have come back with the levels that it had. It just didn’t match the surrounding area.

“Have you figured it out yet, Diane?”

“No,” she said, startled by the fact that he’d made it into the lab without her knowing. “It doesn’t make sense. The formula shouldn’t change the affected area on such a level. I don’t know where we went wrong.”

“Well, you could take a break and we could go out on the deck and stare at the stars if that would help.”

“I’d rather figure out how we caused the death of humanity than have an ‘OH SHINY’ moment again. We are the last two human beings alive you know.”

Ivy Slate

James’ shiny new car glistened in the sunlight while he was still sulking from his loss. He thought he had the formula for success in this new venture of his, bootlegging whisky in the back woods between his dry town and the next five miles over. He contemplated the 5 cases he’d just broken going over more bumps, logs, and rocks than he could count. And since the reason for his rush was now irrelevant, he took some time to notice his surroundings. It was then that he saw her for the first time.  Anna. She was sunbathing in a creek, her clothes quite a distance upstream.

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A Rare Delicacy Called Coffee – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 25 July 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Coffee
  • Onion
  • Maritime

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!


When he’d suggested a trip to the museum, she thought of pretty paintings and statues of marble. She didn’t think she’d staring at knots made of material she didn’t understand. The low drone of the voices around her went unheeded as she wandered from exhibit to exhibit. Hellfire and damnation, she thought, can this get any more boring?

“Here you are, I brought you a rare delicacy from antiquities. It’s called coffee. People from your planet used to swear by this stuff. I’m told wars were fought over and ended with just one cup of this stuff.” Malock said, his breath reeking of onions from their dinner treat. “Aren’t you glad I brought you to the Space Maritime Museum of Earth History?” He whispered huskily by her ear making her cringe.


“It’s me,” Corbin said, the dwarf running a hand through his beard. “And I’m going to raise.” There was a general groan. “I offer the taste of coffee.” Charis and Wren nodded, not recognizing the word and perfectly willing to give up something they had never known, but Seth paused. “Seriously dude? Why coffee?”

Corbin grinned at him. “Maybe you should put your purse down, boy, if you’re going to play cards with the big kids.”

“So says the one who would only agree to maritime rules,” Charis quipped, and the dwarf snorted.

“Ship rules are the only ones that matter,” Corbin explained, “and the only way to play.”

“Ok, fine,” Seth agreed. “Coffee goes. I just don’t understand why you would give up something so good, when you could have chosen…say..onions.”

Wren snorted next to him, and laughing, added, “That one give up onions? What would his breath ever smell like then?”

Corbin glared at her, but said nothing as everyone added the markers signifying the new bet. Then, the players all turned to Seth. He considered his cards one last time, then nodded. “I’m going to raise as well,” he said. After an appropriate pause for the right amount of buildup, he added. “I offer my current future.”

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Soli loaded another box on onions onto the ship. He rolled his eyes as he caught the name of it for the umpteenth time. The Maritime Whore. The captain dealt in perishable goods but took on the odd whore here and there to bring to the new world. He was the only captain Soli knew that would bring a female onboard. The crew was wary of their bad luck but the captain only scoffed. She was where their pay really came from after all. The goods didn’t bring in all that much. Soli knew it was bull but went with it. He liked getting paid. He also liked not sticking in one place for very long.

“Ay, Soli!” someone called.

“Yep.” He said as he hefted a crate of coffee beans.

“I believe we have a debt to settle,” the rough voice said as a mountain of a man appeared from the fog.

“Do we now?” Soli muttered.

“Ay, we do,” the man said and his fist started toward Soli.

Blinking, Soli dropped the crate.

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The rest of the journey had been even more unpleasant for Hiver, something he’d thought impossible before talking to Geb. Then the journey ended. The mountain loomed up in front of them. Just the sight of it made Hiver’s bones turn to jelly. They sat around a sorry excuse for a fire, drinking watery coffee, and planning the assault of the caverns under the mountain.

Hiver thought it very odd that he was the only one that hadn’t had a clue what they were really doing here. He listened to the planning with one ear, thinking of several impossible ways to get out of this.

“We go in at first light. It will be deeply asleep at that time,” Geb was saying with a satisfied grin. He held up the bag of onions he had brought along and allowed no one to fry or stew up. “These may be a tasty addition to a meal for us, but they’re basically chloroform for a dragon.”

Hiver raised his hand, noting this his fingers were wrinkled just as though he had spent an hour soaking in a bath.

“Yes?” Geb said.

“If the caverns are underground, won’t this be sort of a…well, more like a maritime mission?”

“Your point?”

“We didn’t really come prepared for that,” Hiver said. “Maybe we should just turn back while we’re still in one piece.”

“My friend, you go back, and you won’t be in one piece very long,” Geb said. “Those men you’re running from won’t let you go that easy.”

Hiver hunched down, more miserable than ever. Any way he looked at it, there was truly no way out for him. Except through the muzzle of an angry dragon.

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Mark asked that everyone leave and simply give him the keys he would need to open any doors or pathways. The detective who was begrudgingly assigned to him seemed to want to put up a fight and the Navy officer who was supervising wasn’t sure that he didn’t need a ‘guide’ to make sure he didn’t get lost.

Mark turned and simply looked at both of them, ignoring their minions milling about and said “You said that you didn’t want any more deaths. So no maritime experience needed. I will go alone.” The smile, combined with his tone was complimented with the casual, almost relaxed way; he took the final swig in his coffee and tossed the cup to one of the security guards. This seemed to cause the understanding he was hoping for.

The detective turned to say something as Mark ensured they were all off the vessel but Mark cut him off with “You will know when I am done’.

Mark turned and headed for the first staircase that would take him into the bowels of the ship.

Why he hadn’t needed a guide was due to the sense he had innately. After all, when he entered the dimly lit corridor he could already smell the pungent odor the creatures admitted. It was somewhere between sewage a rotting onions. The stench let him know there were at least 3 of them. This would be fun.

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Ivy Slate

The old man slowly sipped his coffee. His face, weathered by a lifetime of maritime pleasures, looked out over the horizon for the last time. He sat contemplating the legacy he’d knitted together over the last 104 years. Men from his small fishing village didn’t typically live so long. He attributed it to having taken a cup of onion soup every day for the last 80 years. His wife, Lauren, had a special recipe from her grandmother. Lauren had died the day before. And he looked at the last cup of soup she’d made for him.

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Give us your opening line! ~Stories My Friends Started~

The Ink Slingers Guild would LOVE for you to jump in and join the fun!

We have an exciting new project called Stories My Friends Started.

In a nut shell – you give us the opening line of a short story. Then one of our authors will grab the line, write out the story and it will get posted on the website. You get acknowledged for the opener and we get to have some fun!

To submit, go here and enter: SUBMIT MY OPENING LINE!

That’s right! Go on over there and put us to work!


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Coming Soon! Behind the Veil – Short Ghost Stories

Available October 4th!


Behind the Veil

Dearest Reader,

I hope you are comfortable all snuggled up in the apparent comfort of your own home. Perhaps you are enjoying a crackling fire, a hot cup of cocoa, or maybe you are wrapped in a warm blanket.

Have you ever felt like you are being watched, only to turn and find no one there? Do you ever hear whispers and dismiss them as the wind? Footsteps in an otherwise empty house? The trail of fingers on your arm that send shivers down your spine?

All of those feelings are real, and have a cause.

We are called by many names; spirit, shade, banshee or phantom. Regardless there is one thing we have in common – we have died and are bound to your plane, trapped between lives.

So, keep on a light while you read the stories of our mortal lives and what happened to our souls. Remember that wherever these pages find you, you are not alone and not all of us play nice with others.

~ One of Many

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ISG Writing Exercise 9 July 2014 Part III

On 9 July 2014, these three words were chosen:

  • Dragon
  • Glass
  • Sort

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!


After we sorted through his options for living on earth, the demon deciding on China, which I always encourage since they have a different take on manners there then in America. He seemed happy enough so he paid me cash in a thick worn leather satchel, and vanished in a mist of smoke. I would need two weeks to get everything ready for him at which time he would pop in for the address and identity and leave my life forever. I grabbed the tea cups and threw his in the trash. The glass was partially melted and way too hard to clean. I was just looking for the TV remote when I heard the sounds of a small tornado in the back yard. I seriously almost cried. Could a girl just get a moment already? I headed toward the back when my doorbell rang. The dragon would be really pissed if I didn’t show up immediately out back but he would also eat an intruder so I had a hard decision to make.

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Elan was sorting through the glass shards that were to form the basin of life if he could ever figure out how to put it together.

He never quite understood why these items were created without instructions. Wizards in general were annoying. Under the misguided impression they would live forever like the elves.

Elves never become wizards Elan thought. This is was most likely because you have to have patience and willingness to surround yourself with musty old books in dingy towers so you were dedicated to the craft. Elves hated dingy.

Such a stupid profession.

An expletive escaped his lips as he had to begin the assembly process again. The magic allowed the pieces to remain held together only a small period of time before then undid themselves completely and with a crashing noise he knew his time was up.

It had been easier to gather the dragons tear needed to make the stupid bowl connect to the spirit world.

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Sara was staring at him as though he had lost his mind. “Didn’t you hear me? It’s a dragon,” she hissed slowly and loudly, as if he had suddenly forgotten how to speak the language.
“I know,” he mouthed slowly at her. He gestured at the huge creature that lay sleeping a hundred yards away, nose resting comfortably on a mound of golden treasure. His arms spread wide as if to convey the sheer size of the creature. He pointed to his eyes, adding in a low whisper, “I can see it plain enough.”
“Well then why would you suggest that we go in there?” The outrage on her face was plain enough, but Jason was starting to wonder how the dragon nearby could sleep through her indignation.
He scowled at her, then lifted the glass pendant from around his neck, holding it out in front of him. The item swung lazily from the end of the cord, haphazardly at first, but then clearly swinging back and forth towards the dragon. “See?” he whispered. “We have to go in there. The princess must be trapped somewhere in that mess.” He could feel his heart sinking at the notion of having to sort through all of that treasure in order to find the artifact that held the Queen’s beloved heir. Hell, he’d rather spend his afternoon fighting a dragon than slogging through that horde.

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ISG Writing Exercise 9 July 2014 Part II

On 9 July 2014, these three words were chosen:

  • Teapot
  • Tarnish
  • Sour

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!


Swallowing the sour taste in my mouth, I opened the front door. Blue demons were the most pleasant type of demon but that didn’t actually mean they were pleasant. Unfortunately I got a lot of demon business, presumably because no one wanted to work with them but they paid well and on time which I like. I have a penchant for shoes, especially Madden and quite frankly those bills can add up.  I grabbed my favorite knife and looked it over for tarnish before heading to the back patio where I knew it would be waiting for me, flicking the stove on as I passed through the kitchen to heat up water for the tea. I slowed as I remembered that I broke my teapot when I had to show the pixie who was boss. Annoyed I pulled out two cups and threw tea bags in before heading out again. I smelled him before I got there. As I opened the door he let out a belch that would rival the backfire of a classic car.

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Fred sat on the counter smirking at the sour look she was giving the tarnished teapot.  He almost laughed when she picked it up making an audible hmpf noise.

She had been cleaning the house from top to bottom for almost a week straight. She had cleared every speck of dust off the shelves. She had swept every corner and had even done the windows. The last room she had to finish was the kitchen.

As he watched her begin the task of shining up the teapot they had been given as a wedding present he couldn’t help but wonder if she would be ready when she was done.  He leaned back against the wall wishing to feel its cool tiled surface against his skin and instead feeling nothing.

When it had happened he didn’t know what he should have expected. He knew it was coming, but wondered now if he was here, still, because she needed him to be, at least until she was ready to let him go.

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The girl was staring down at her plate, her mouth a full grimace. Jeff sighed, knowing what that meant. Keeping the dream of a decent tip alive, he went back to the table.
“Something wrong, madam?”
The girl looked up, her face only barely beginning to uncurl from what must have been a very unpleasant bite of something sour. She was young, pretty in that fresh faced way of all new college students, still filled with hopes and dreams, still untarnished by the soul sucking city life that awaited her. He hoped she would get used to that expression. She would no doubt face even more unpleasantries in her life.
She took a hard swig from her glass (water–no lemon–light ice) and looked up at him, eyes watering slightly.
When she could speak, her voice was low, timid. Definitely a freshman, he thought. “What…” she tried again, swallowing hard. “What is that?”
“It’s the soup special,” he told her. “Chicken, vegetables, and curry. Pretty standard stuff around here.”
“Well, not to be rude, but it’s godawful,” she told him. He watched her eyes wander around the small restaurant, then linger on a tray holding a teapot and mug on a nearby table.
“Perhaps you would like some dessert instead?” he offered. “We have excellent tea.”

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ISG Writing Exercise 9 July 2014 Part I

On 9 July 2014, these three words were chosen:

  • Bizarre
  • Darkness
  • Soap

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!


After this mornings horrible experience involving one of my eyes, a gnome and the soap, I was not really shaken by the darkness surrounding my house when I came home. It’s kind of annoying sometimes the bizarre creatures that I deal with on an all too regular basis but it comes with the fact that I’m a half healer and half Fae.  My mom seduced my dad, gave birth to me and then sent me to him to raise. After the first time our house was shrouded in darkness, when I was three, and all the electric went completely dead, my dad lost it. He ended up in a weird home and I ended up with Aunt Marnie. It was a good thing really since Marnie was part of  the healer side so she understand the oddities involved. Plus she knew about the Fae and so she really helped me to hone my skills and be the best guide I could. Yep, guide. I help the non-human folk get around the human folk or avoid as it seems fit. And right now, a blue demon must be waking for me thus the darkness around the house. Just when I thought I could kick back and watch a movie, probably a romance, I had another job to do first.


How bizarre she thought as she was now sitting in total darkness.

Holding the slippery soap in both hands, with the water of her bath still very hot she wondered what she should do next. She had thought about lighting some candles before she stepped into the tub, but alas the possibility of the lights cutting out had not crossed her mind.

She heard the sound of the floor boards on the stairs creak.

The soap slipped from her hands making a plop in the tub. A chill ran up her spine as she strained to listen harder.

At first it was quiet and she thought she might be hearing things when the handle on the door to the bathroom began to twist. It was an old style doorknob and made a grating sound as you turned it. Her heart was beating so fast and hard in her chest as she sat there paralyzed.

Then the door swung inwards.


“Is that not a little bizarre?” Justin asked the soapmaker, staring down at the black bar in his hand.
The woman gave him a cool stare, clearly not appreciating his observation. “Why would it be, sir?”
Justin shook his head, blonde hair falling in front of his eyes. He moved to push the strand behind an ear, glanced at the bar in his hand and then at his fingers, and casually wiped his hand on his pants, his other hand slowly replacing the soap on the counter. He was careful to wipe that hand off as well before looking back up at the woman. “But why would someone want to be covered in darkness?”
“It is not my job to ask what patrons do with my wares,” she snapped. “My duty is only in providing certain goods to those willing to pay for them.” She gave the worn cuffs of his old shirt a pointed glance, but her eyes lingered on the pouch at his waist. His moneypouch was of better quality, and it marked him as a potential customer yet, so she wasn’t willing to completely dismiss him, dirty shirt or not.
“But to bathe in darkness…” he considered. “I mean, what would be the benefit? Why wouldn’t you make something to make a person truly invisible instead of just dark?”
The soapmaker gave him a level stare. “Young man, not everything in my shop works on such a literal level. Darkness can have many meanings.”


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ISG Writing Exercise 25 June 2014 Part II

On 25 June 2014, these three words were chosen:

  • Livid
  • Pluto
  • Element

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!


Nonni tore through the warehouse pulling boxes from shelves and glancing over the contents before moving to the next. It must be here! She screamed to herself. The noise echoed in her head as box after box hit the ground.

“What the hell are you doing?” Rory screamed from the front of the warehouse. Nonni turned and saw his face livid and full of hate.

“Looking for the element, you ass!” Nonni yelled back, “Where is it!”

“Why would I tell you?” he hollered but with the barest of a laugh.

Noni stopped. She was looking in the wrong place. “Where?” she screamed.

“Maybe on Pluto or perhaps Uranus,” he said, this time with a substantial giggle.

Nonnie started the run toward the front of the warehouse, pulling the blade from her side as she went.


Pluto ascended the stairs as though he were walking the path to his own gallows. Maybe the Overlord would forget about him if he took too long to appear. Or, and much more likely, he would torture Pluto by peeling his skin off in tiny strips for making him wait. Even this did not speed Pluto’s steps. His mind wirrled, trying to come up with an excuse, an explanation, an alibi. There was none.

“I’m doomed,” Pluto said to the empty hall. “He’s going to be livid, I just know it.”

Pluto hung his head and ran into something very hard that should not have been in his path. He looked up, blinking away stars and saw…a wall. The wall was built of red brick and looked somewhat out of place in the white marble halls of the Overlord’s palace. In front of the wall was a thin young man with features that were just enough out of place that Pluto could tell he wasn’t human.

“I’m here to save you,” the young man said grandly.

“You’re going to save me?” Pluto asked, mildly skeptical.

“Yes. For you saved one of my brethren, and we are indebted to you.”

Pluto went white. This was an Element. The last time Pluto had run into one of the magical beings – “I’m in this whole predicament because of you and your brothers,” Pluto said, backing away.

He backed away too quickly and tripped over his own feet. His mouth opened in a silent scream of hopeless horror that died in a strangled yelp of despair when the young man’s arms caught him mid-fall.


She was livid “What do you mean you missed it? It is a planet, how can you miss it?” She could tell her face had flushed by this point and Bletch’s six eyes were just wildly staring at her. Nircotts hated any sort of confrontation. He was out of his element and terrified to even move.

“Technically the earthlings no longer considered the rock they refer to as PLUTO as a planet anymore.” Chimed in XX213. She hated droids.

“I don’t care what the “earthlings” think. We need to be in orbit or we will miss our window to drop the rid of the package.” She said intentionally lowering her voice and tone to a range she knew Bletch would respond to. “So can you turn us around and maybe get us hovering just above the atmosphere?” she sounded almost sweet in her pleading thru gritted teeth. Blectch nodded and began to use the terminal to move the ship around.

She knew she shouldn’t have taken on this cargo.


“What do you mean, you sent him to Pluto? That’s not even listed as an approved planet anymore!”

Alex stared at the program director, mouth hanging open. “What? When did it get off the list?”

The director was livid, face purpling as he spat out the words. “Pluto isn’t even a registered planet anymore, you imbecile, nevermind on the approved planetary transfer list!” He turned to his aid, a young perfectly put together woman who held a tablet like a shield in front of her, fingers never pausing as they slid across the screen. “Where did this…” he paused to gesture at Alex, who felt the blood driaing from his face, “newbie go to training?” The aid swiped a few moves on her tablet, then replied without looking up.

“The Academy of Interstellar Travel, sir,” she said. “Alexander Whitman Chisholm. Class of ’27.”

“I see,” the director said, nodding as if all of his suspicions had been confirmed. “A for-profit online institution. You are out of your element, young man. What else did they forget to teach you at that sorry excuse for a school? Please tell me that you do know that interstellar travel involves triplicates of Form B17, right?”


Coming shortly!

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ISG Writing Exercise 25 June 2014 Part I

On 25 June 2014, these four words were chosen:

  • Cake
  • Cup
  • Truly
  • Sly

And these blurbs were written within eight minutes….Enjoy!


Mauri watched the cake sway in the heavy wind. The dragon, in his excitement for the cow now running through the meadow, took off eagerly. The Cake was dangerously close to toppling, lucky for the bride, her father was there wobbling back and forth, arms out with a scary look in his eye. Mauri feared that if the cake did go, Sally may lose a bit more than a cake when he lost his sense of humor. He was a truly good wizard, well known actually but never, ever let him mess with food. It was never a pretty sight.

Mauri frowned and took a slurp of her wine. Her lip caught on a sprinter in the cup and she licked blood from her lip. Her eyes roved the guests looking for someone to cover the cake to get the food allergy wizard away and also to checkout who might be her after wedding meal.

The dragon chose that moment to land not far behind her. She could smell the blood from the cow. She rolled her eyes and took another slurp of wine. Glancing at the barn she saw the sly little one who had let the cow out. The farmer probably wouldn’t be very happy but the bride was paying pretty well so maybe he won’t get the magistrate involved. One can never tell these days. Tossing the cup behind her, Mauri strode to the back of the seated guests and took a chair for herself.

Normally she wouldn’t give these things the time of day but it was her great, great, great granddaughters wedding after all.


The elf gave her a sly wink over the enormous slice of cake he was devouring. Though he was barely three feet tall and had the ageless face of an eternal twelve-year-old, it was truly the most lecherous thing Merdi had ever had the displeasure of witnessing. She tapped her foot, waiting…waiting…and the elf’s eyelids began to droop. Then he fell face-first into his dessert.

“Serves him right,” Merdi said, leaping up.

She pulled the elf out of the mounds of colored icing and went through his pockets. She found nothing so she went through them again and a third time, digging deeper each time.

“It’s not here,” she whispered to herself.

The elf stirred, his arm jerking out to knock his cup from the table, spilling the repulsive red punch over the carpet. Merdi’s eyes grew wide. Clutched in his tiny fist, looking as big as a grapefruit, was the jewel. It glittered in the light, a thousand colors dancing in and out of each other in a mesmerizing show. Merdi blinked and threw a napkin over it. She was shaking, her heart was racing, and her vision blurred. Even through the thick white cloth of the napkin she fancied she could still see the sparkling gem.

She pulled it from the elf’s grasp, making sure to keep it concealed in the napkin and stuffed it into the secret pocket of her jacket. Merdi patted the elf’s head. She had nothing against him personally. It was all part of the job. As a token of her goodwill, she left a small bottle of the cure to the skull-splitting headache the little guy was sure to have when he came to. One couldn’t be too careful with the elves, as Merdi knew all too well.


Staring at the sign in the window, she couldn’t help that a “cupcake saint Bernard” sounded like a terrible plan. I mean, truly, why did the human race keep insisting on making all the animals smaller.

“Because they will then fit in the glittery purses.” Suzy said with a sly smile taking another sip from her expensive cup of coffee.

“I hate it when you do that.” Jen replied, “It is bad manners and we are supposed to act like them or they will notice the differences. You don’t blend in well at all.”

Suzy just made a snorting noise.

“Saying out loud what people are thinking is bad form. Don’t you remember what he told us, if you get us caught one more time we will be sent back down to babysit the rejects. And frankly it smells and they don’t have nice shoes in Hell so I want to stay here.”  Jen said, her voice going from imploring to almost whiney. She hadn’t intended on sounding like a teenage human child, but since she looked the part it was bound to happen.

Suzy just giggled and pointed across the street. Jen turned to see their mark striding away. Damn it she thought and started to move after him without drawing to much attention as to have him sense them. She hated that to his kind she and Suzy still had a slight sulfur scent.


“Look at you with your cupcakes, standing there all innocent like while that sweet frosting is just glistening in the sun. You, madam, are truly sly.”

“Not as sly as these cupcakes,” she retorted, “which you would know, if you ever actually tried one.”

“I don’t want to ruin the magic,” he explained. “Right now, they area glorious celebration of all that is decadent, a testament to all things sweet and delectable, and the way they taste in my mind is so amazing that I don’t want to ruin it with the real thing.”

“You can’t eat real food anymore, can you?” The question was simple, more direct than he was accustomed to, living among the courtiers for so long. He had forgotten what the Downwordlers could be like.

“Ah, Sweetness, let me keep my fantasy,” he begged.

“Do you remember food?” the baker asked, face creasing in serious inquiry. “I mean, is it a distant memory or can you still recall
the feel of sweet on your tongue, the sharp bite of bitter in your throat?”

He stopped smiling, the normally placid expression growing intense.

“You know the answer to that as well as I do,” he said. “The only thing I can remember now is the blood. You know how it has a way of taking over the senses.”

“How unfortunate,” she said, lifting a cupcake from the tray and slowly raising it to her lips. Her tognue dipped out, a quick flick, and she closed her eyes as she savored the sweetness of the frosting. When she opened her eyes, she saw that he had broken out into a bloodsweat, quite embarassing for the Lord’s nephew to have such a display in the marketplace. “You don’t even know what you are missing,” she teased, taking a bite and chewing slowly.

“I know that when I take you, madam, you will still taste like a confectionary delight, and while I drink in everything that is your essence, I will remember everything I need to.”

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ISG Writing Exercise 5 June 2014

On 5 June 2014, these four words were chosen:

  • Tease
  • Sleaze
  • Combat
  • Eyeball

And these blurbs were written within eight minutes….Enjoy!


Coming soon!


“Don’t be such a tease!” Ryan snapped, frustrated hands balling in his lap.
“I wouldn’t have to be,” Alison retorted, “if you weren’t always such a sleaze!” The barmaid continued on her path without bothering to glance in his direction, and Ryan followed her round bottom with a burning eyeball. It was their routine exchange.

It was always the same at these events. The people filled the inn, the early arrivals claiming the tables and the latecomers squeezing in the spaces between. He could see a pair of green cat eyes gleaming from under a table right near the edge of the arena, and he wondered idly if the people sitting at the table knew they shared the space. Probably not, but even if they did, they wouldn’t care. It wasn’t a night to fight with the neighbors.

There was far too much excitement already.  Tonight was a combat night.

Ryan spread his shoulders a bit, discouraging the big man sitting to his right from encroaching further on his small claim to the table’s surface. When the man gave him a pointed look, Ryan moved his hands from his lap to the table, casually spreading his fingers to reveal the large ring on his right hand, the crest of his lordship’s house shining in the firelight. The man sat back, immediately giving Ryan more room.

Ryan stretched, enjoying the freedom. There were some perks to being employed by the ruling family. At least, while that family still ruled. Ryan had two other rings stored safely in his pouch. Power tended to shift quickly, and he wasn’t a man to be caught unprepared. In fact, the matches tonight might be just the thing to send his lordship’s house into a freefall, leaving room for another family to fill the void.

He sipped his ale, taking in the crowd. It was almost time now, the spectators gathering close as the anticipatory hush fell over the room.


The corpse had one eyeball left, and it stared at Christopher forlornly from the ravaged face. Chris shuddered as he knelt beside it, trying to tease the book from the dead things clutching hands frozen in a death grip around it.

“Hurry up,” Mary told him, tapping her foot. “They’re going to come back.”

They were both dressed in camouflage suits and hiking boots. From a distance, anyone would mistake them for a soldier of one of the six Lords squabbling over the combat zone. Chris still didn’t know why; the sleaze that flowed from the mouths of each of the lords’ many aides, assistants and lieutenants was contradictory and nonsensical. And frankly, Chris hadn’t cared until Tom had disappeared. Mary nudged Chris’s shoulder and made his touch the flesh of the dead man. Sour rose up in his throat.

“Don’t do that!” he hissed at her, never moving his gaze from the book.

“Halt!” a voice with a Caltoryai accent said.

Chris froze. The stories from the prisoners of Caltoryai were by far the most grisly.

“What do I do?” Mary whispered, her fingers digging into his shoulder.

“What I brought you along for,” Chris said without looking up. “This book holds the answers to everything.”

“And where to find Tommy?” Mary said.

“I think so,” Chris said.


The fuzzing whistle of spellfire being shot too quickly for the eye to follow was followed the the thuds of three, four, five bodies hitting the ground. The next time Mary leaned on his shoulder, she was trembling and he looked up. With her other hand she wiped a sheen of sweat off her pale brow and gazed at him with big blue eyes.

“I bought us some time,” she said. “But more will follow.”

Chris gritted his teeth and ripped the the corpse’s hands form the book. The hands came away still clutching the book, but Chris gave it a firm shake and the extremities went flying. “Got it!” Spellfire started up again.


Shana teased her hair and covered it with Aquanet. She knew her first, and last, date was a tease so she thought it would be funny to scare him right off the bat with crazy 80’s hair. She giggled as she outlined her eyes in dark blue making her eyeballs stand out like beacons. After carefully pulling on the fishnets she got her trusty combat boots and slid them on. They were the one thing in her life that was a happy constant. No men ever stuck around, she hadn’t trusted one of them in years. No family was around to bother her. Shana just did what she wanted, when she wanted to Hell with everyone else.

And one thing Shana loved was to bring down the scum, the sleazeballs, the small dick mobsters who take advantage of the innocent, and not just us girls, and leave them scared in more ways than one. Yes, not only was Shana a half bread weretiger but she was also a scorned woman. The scar on her face was evidence enough of just some of the drama she had experienced and tonight, lovely Ricky Sepia was getting his. Probably in pieces too.

The door bell rung just as Shana finished putting on her fire engine red lipstick. She kissed a tissue and opened the door.

“Uh, hi. I’m here to see Shana?” a young man stood looking at her with a concerned frown. Shana looked him over in confusion.  He stumbled over this words.

“Are you Shana? I mean, did I come the wrong night? Are you going to an 80’s party?”

His brows were raised and he looked very worried. Shana was caught completely off guard and intrigued by his innocence.

“I’m Shana and you are?”


Jonathon or” Johnny” as he insisted the platoon call him, was a combat tease. As Marcus listened to the stories of triumph in battle he couldn’t help but wonder if “Johnny” realized that he was in a room with other soldiers who were actually in the battles and actually fought while Johnny hung back until the action was done.

A lot of the new recruits were eating up these stories and even getting that “hero envy” look on their face. Stealing a look to William, Marcus knew he wasn’t the only one who felt that way. With a nod to William he decided something must be done to arrest the “hero worship” before it got any soldiers killed attempting to replicate the sleazy  fictitious battle tactics being spewed here.

“Hey Johnny, can I see you outside” Marcus said and headed out of the tent assuming that Johnny knew what would happen if he didn’t follow.

Marcus was walking around the side of the tent as Johnny followed him out. When they were both in the shadow of the large tent, Marcus grabbed hold of Johnny; with a quick movement he spun him around holding him in a headlock with a knife just a hair away from his eyeball.

Before he began to speak Marcus looked up to see William and a few of the other guys from the unit round the side of the tent as well. It took only a look for Marcus to know they were there to see that what was needed to be done was done.

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