Tagged: fantasy

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Wolf Band

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 19

Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the forest towards her grandmother’s cottage when she saw a wolf coming the other way along the path. Her mother had warned her to be careful of wolves, and so she stepped off the trail and hid in the shade of a sturdy conifer.

But evidently she did not step quickly enough, for the wolf called out: “Who’s there? Are you the Big Bad Wolf?”

This seemed a very strange question indeed, and since she had been spotted anyway Little Red Riding Hood returned to the path.

“No,” she said. “I thought you were—the Big Bad Wolf, I mean.”

“Oh!” the wolf laughed. “No, though people get us mixed up all the time. I’m the Big Band Wolf, you see, and this is my Big Wolf Band.” Continue reading

Advertisements

The Oracle

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 18

Challenge  #8: Produce a story in collaboration with two other writers. Each section of the collaboration must focus primarily on a different sense and, optionally, the story must take the form of a 369er.

This story was produced in collaboration with squanpie and snickiedude.

It was an honour to tend the Oracle. To stand beneath its gaze, even merely to sweep the floor. To look upon the opulence of its temple, even merely to dust those gilded relics. Were he tending the house of a merchant, Johann would have resented days wasted indoors. But here, he enjoyed being hidden from the world: the three eyes of the Oracle the only eyes upon him.

***

The forlorn human stood alone before the Oracle, heart racing and blood roaring through her ears of flesh. When she spoke, her voice cracked as she begged for guidance. And the Oracle was kind, its crackling voice delivering the wooden yet sweet music of her heart’s desire to Amory’s ears, the clicks of its jaw like ancient rhythms. Amory’s breath hitched, and thuds echoed when knees met the floor.

***

Seated high in the gallery, Hester raised her hand as the supplicant crawled forwards. On the temple floor below, the Oracle mirrored her movement.

The supplicant held the Oracle’s hand and kissed its fingers. All Hester felt was the tightness of her rings controlling those invisible puppet strings.

Only Hester noticed the tears trickling down her cheeks in well worn tracks as far below, the Oracle bowed its head.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

A Wretched Hive of Scum and Pedantry

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 15

“This is the ship that did the Sselek run in less than twelve parsecs.”

“Isn’t a parsec a unit of distance rather than time?”

“Come now, Buke,” put in Ken Benobi. “I’m sure that what this dashing space-rogue means is that he managed to take a particularly dangerous shortcut, and that completing the journey without needing to travel any farther is a demonstration of his skill.”

“Okay, but even if you take that to be the case, isn’t it kind of weird for the pilot of an interstellar spacecraft to boast about a twelve-parsec journey? Twelve parsecs wouldn’t get you beyond the closest handful of stars. I mean, we say we want him to take us to the other side of the country, and his response is ‘I can drive to the corner shop really, really fast.’ Are we sure we want to hire this guy?”

“I’m sure he’s quite capable of—”

“Also he’s wearing an unwashed pair of Y-fronts on his head.”

Ken Benobi took a moment to study the cantina patron’s curious choice of headgear before turning to Buke Skytalker. “Okay, you know what? Maybe we should ask around. I mean, it never hurts to have options…”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Refusing the Call

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 14

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Her name was Bolba Biggins and she was very annoyed because just this week she had been obliged to answer the door for one wizard, thirteen dwarves, and sixty-seven RSVPs to some old geezer’s eleventy-first birthday party. Fortunately, the sixty-eigth item of post to come to her door was the paperwork necessary to change her name by deed poll.

She trusted that “Harrie Pottar” would not have to put up with any unwanted letters of this sort.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

The Wizard and the Sundry Others

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 12

Long ago in a land far distant, there lived a travelling wizard sworn to serve all creatures. One day, this wizard came to hear of a troll beneath a bridge who was threatening travellers out of their coin. And so he resolved to find this troll, and see if he might be made to reconsider his wicked ways.

“Great troll,” he began. “Much have I been told of your violent ways: let the people of these lands pass by in peace, or I shall use my magic to banish you.”

But “Whoah, woah, woah,” said the Troll. “I’m not the bad guy here: this bridge was built by the trolls of Trollheim. I’m just collecting the toll on behalf of our king.”

So the wizard resolved to travel to Trollheim, in the hopes that the king might be made to reconsider his greedy ways. Continue reading

Wrong End of the Stick

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 3

“So there I was,” said Girth, “choking the chicken in the middle of the cathedral, when suddenly this fancy church guy walks in!”

“That must have been awkward,” observed Sekhmet.

“It was – but how was I supposed to know it was his pet? If you’re going to get attached to an animal that edible you should at least put a bell on it or something. Anyway, he gets all indignant and starts whacking me with his rod.”

“At which point you decide to bash the bishop?”

“Yeah, it sounds bad when you put it like that but I didn’t have a lot of choice but to beat him off. The thing is, it turns out that the bishop didn’t just keep chickens because the moment I hit him, this capuchin drops from the ceiling and just starts screeching and biting me. Naturally it had to be punished?”

“So…you spanked it? You spanked the monkey?”

Girth nodded. “I was tough but fair.”

“I’ve gotta tell you,” said Sekhmet, “your whole day sounds gross.”

“Yeah, well what have you been doing all this time?”

“Me? I’ve been right here, just flicking the bean.” She placed it on the table in front of her, lined up her shot, then pinged it into an upturned hat on the other side of the room. “I’m getting pretty good.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Draw Nine

Draw Nine is now available on itch.io! This is the same game I submitted for IntroComp last year, but with a complete story and a brand new look. The cards you see here were produced by Joe Wright, who I highly recommend following – he writes excellent fiction as well as producing excellent art.

If you haven’t tried out the early version already (which included the complete story, but none of the visual flair), the game sees you take on the role of a magician who uses enchanted cards to cast spells. However, you’re given just nine cards at the beginning of the game and these must see you through to the end. The selection is random, so it’s up to you to choose the path through the world that makes the best use of what you’ve drawn. There may be a significant element of trial-and-error involved, but not to worry: there are many paths to try and several different endings to find. Continue reading

An Early Look at Draw Nine

I’ve been working Draw Nine lately – this game was my entry for IntroComp last year – and am now ready to share my first draft. Originally this was just a perk for subscribers to my newsletter, but I figure they’ve had long enough to take a look so I’m opening it up to everyone!

You can play the game by following this link and clicking “Download (356KB).” The HTML file will run in your web browser with no problems at all.

The story is complete but I’m open to making changes. I may also tweak the way certain elements of the game function, just for balance, but I’ll hold off until I’ve heard what people make of its current incarnation. I’m also planning to add a considerable level of visual flair – I’ve already got some great artwork from Joe Wright – but it seems prudent to tackle the actual content of the game first which is why you’re stuck with plain black text for now.

Play it, (hopefully!) enjoy it, and let me know what you think! You can comment on this post without needing an account or even an email address.

Exponential Adventure at EGX Rezzed

Good news for fans of the Dungeon Lord: Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be making an appearance at EGX Rezzed on the 4th of April!

More specifically, a live reading of Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be taking place as part of the brand new EGX Rezzed Fringe Theatre. For anybody unfamiliar with the story, it’s a massively interactive fantasy parody that plays out sort of like a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, but typically involves much, much more booze. I’ll read a chunk out loud (probably with funny voices – it gets hard to tell who’s who otherwise), announce the options available to the audience, and then whichever one gets the loudest cheer decides how the story will continue.

This is essentially what I’ve been doing at open mics for the past couple of years, but instead of taking place in a dingy pub somewhere, it’ll be at London’s largest games event.

If you’d like to come and get involved, Exponential Adventure will be running Thursday 4th of April at 2pm, and go on for about 45 minutes. This should allow time for at least three readings, but could stretch to as many as four or five depending on how things go on the day. We’ll be on the ground floor of the Tobacco Dock, which is probably the second most dungeon-y venue I’ve ever had for this.

Tickets are very reasonably priced for an event of this size. If you’re already near London, twenty quid gets you in all day Thursday which will let you see my show and still have a go at plenty of games. If you’re coming from farther afield, a Super Pass for the full three days is just £44.

Also, not to pile on the pressure or anything, but if nobody turns up then I will literally be standing on stage doing nothing because interactive fiction does not work without an audience. So please do share this around!

Announcing Wolf at the Door

Back in May I set up Codename Caerus: a game project bringing a team of people together to make something better than any of us could have produced individually. That something is still in the works – it’ll take more than a couple of months to see it through to the end – but we’ve made great progress and Codename Caerus now has a title: Wolf at the Door.

Our efforts so far have been focused on getting a demo prepared for submission to AdventureX. At this stage, it’s not in good enough shape to share – this one’s just to demonstrate that we have the bare bones of a working game – but it can be played start to finish and most of the gameplay that’ll appear in the finished version is already present in some form or another. In some ways it’s already more ambitious than what I first planned, as we’ve got in-game sound: something I wasn’t even sure was possible to do in Twine back when I organised this! Continue reading