“He’s ready for you,” the receptionist said.
Jack, somewhat relieved, sunk into the soft leather armchair and smoothed out his navy dress robes as the candidate ahead of him went into the office. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, he thought, but it did little to calm his nerves. He looked around at the variety of people who had gathered.
A young man around his age was taking frenzied notes on a bit of parchment.
There was no way he could be listening in, Jack thought. He pointed a finger toward the door and concentrated, but his spell was easily deflected.
“Already tried that,” the young man said, not taking his eyes off of his parchment.
“No luck?” Jack asked … read more.
This wasn’t the summer Ellie had imagined it would be.
As she reached the top of the hill that overlooked the shadowed wood, she sighed and sat down on the grass.
A gentle breeze blew through her light-brown hair and green robes. She hugged herself. From way up here she could see far into the distance, past the forest that had been her home for the last few months. Autumn was well on its way and the forest was turning into a sea of red, orange, and gold.
She could see the small village just beyond the tree line bustling with activity, the gurgling stream that flowed out of the forest toward the nearby lake, and, beyond all that, a flock of sheep. At that point a cloud of billowing smoke choked out the idyllic view.
The tall, dark chimneystack from where the smoke came stood out like a sore thumb in the exact center of the forest … read more.
Charlotte Allard gawked as she stumbled through the engine room of the Aqua. Engineers hurried about trying to keep the pulse radiators from exploding and radiation from the engines contained, but still found time to salute as they passed Captain Garman.
Garman stepped a little further into the room, but held up an arm giving Charlotte a little pause.
“Wait here until I find Hank,” Garman said. “He should have some idea on how we can help you out and get you off my ship.”
“Aye,” Charlotte said automatically, her eyes focusing on a bank of monitors … read more.
Jack threw his controller down and buried his face into the sofa.
A string of muffled curses left his mouth. He pounded his fist on the seat and whimpered. Red eyes looked up from the cushion and to the television screen. Jack was laughing.
He sat back up feeling both bleary eyed and tired. He had been playing since the early morning and he was at his breaking point.
Jack was obsessed with Compatriots. He’d spent hundreds of dollars on the best gear for his character and had put in more time into the game that he would like to admit, although the time counter at the top-right of the game’s menu constantly reminded him of the time sink … read more.
Detective Kenneth Purdy pursed his lips as he looked over his notes. This was the fifth time this month Juliet had come into the precinct to see if there had been any developments with her mystery stalker.
The Internet sensation, Juliet Gamble, sat across from the detective with her hands clutched, and shaking very slightly. It had been a long week for her. She’d spent the past week living with a different friend each night, but she never stayed for much longer than that.
“We’ve had an officer posted outside of your apartment the past few nights,” Purdy said looking over some assignment notes. “There’s been no sign of anyone there, but if we do see someone we’ll make sure you’re the first to know.” … read more.
“Get up! GET UP! Goddamit… wait there and don’t move!”
An electric shock shot through the earpiece and into head of the man previously lying on the ground. He had shot up and started at a run knocking into someone.
“Get him!” the stricken man shouted regaining his footing. “Don’t let him get away!”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” the running man screamed as he pounded down the laminated hallways.
“Don’t stop running!” the voice over his earpiece yelled egging him on. “Take a left!” … read more.
James rubbed his eyes as input the last copy for the night. It had been a long shift and he’d have to get an early start to make deadline tomorrow.
He rifted through the stacks of paper on his desk. Among them were maps and notes from the game guide he was currently working on.
The developers had sent him a tonne of images to work with along with the team’s guide to the game, but it hadn’t made the process of writing the book any easier … read more.
“It’s great for cutting heads off,” Roc said hoisting up the axe onto the counter. “Magically enchanted, of course, can cut through bone and wood alike. Also comes with a one-year warranty for any nicks to the head or chips in the handle.”
“Not exactly pretty,” Daniel, the client, said closely examining the weapon on the counter. He’d been perusing weapons in the shop for the last two hours moving from blade to pike to cutlass to broadsword.
Roc’s patience with the boy was waning, but the clinks of his coin purse was enough for him to keep trying until he caved in and bought something for his quest. He scratched at his stubble … read more.
It’s Sunday afternoon and there’s nothing to do.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there’s a nice breeze wafting through the open window to your bedroom. It’s the perfect day, but you’ve decided to sulk indoors.
It’s summer and the dog days of the hazy months are starting to make you lazier than normal. After fidgeting in bed for a few minutes, you decide to check your email … read more.
For over three months, four days, and six hours, Joy had fought tooth and nail for this exact moment.
She stood at the counter of GamePlaza, a local video game store she’d been visiting since she was old enough to leave home on her own. Rob, the owner and her boss, smiled a little sheepishly as she inputted the pin for her debit card.
Rob had given her a pretty good discount, and she had earned it. Joy was one of his best employees after all … read more.
Josh slumped down onto the chair inside his apartment’s makeshift recording studio. The silence hugged him like a blanket. This was his safe haven.
The silent room was both calming and overwhelming at the same time, but he liked it that way. The noise-reducing foam he had used to line the walls created a vacuum that he dove into every night.
For hours, Josh and his friends live streamed video games to an audience of thousands. Their dedicated followers had made them a lot of money over the years and their stable of streamers grew all of the time … read more.