The Dale of Five Worlds (Part 1)

By Christian Laforet

“I can’t believe it’s been a year already,” Dale muttered as he pulled into the Fresh Choppers parking lot.

The events of the previous year were still very fresh in his mind. When a freak lightning strike coincided with a magical spell gone awry, the result was ten thousand miniature versions of himself. The tiny terrors ran amok through the store, killing many of his fellow co-workers. Only with the complete annihilation of the building, was Dale able to destroy them.

Once the dust settled, Dale was heralded as a hero. The mayor even presented him with a gently used 2003 Dodge Dakota and fancy box cutter with a blade that was guaranteed to never dull.

Even after his fifteen minutes of fame ended, Dale considered himself lucky that, at least, the Fresh Choppers had been reduced to a gaping hole in the earth. And then they rebuilt the damned place. Dale resisted returning to work there, but relented. It wasn’t cheap keeping a beast like a Dodge Dakota on the road.

The store looked exactly as it had before. The produce department led through to meat which connected to dairy and then on to the grocery department, which took up the bulk of the space.

As Dale made his way through the grocery section of the store, he ran into Felicia and Robi Jo. The cashiers were setting up a ladder in the middle of aisle one. Continue reading

In Flight – Part 1

By Michael Drakich

Dyoran could feel the harsh edges of the pebbles and stones strewn across the road through the worn soles of his sandals, each step pounding down hard on those lowly objects as he ran. The dampness he felt between his toes was not one of perspiration, but a painful result of determination.

I will not be caught again!

The breaths were coming ragged now, his lungs laboring against his young chest. With his small bundle of stolen foods under his left arm, the other continued to work through the motions of thrusting forward with the matching cadence of his left leg in an effort to maximize his speed.

How long have I been running? It seems like forever, but only now does the sun dip below the horizon. It was well past mid-afternoon when I hit the slave master with my shovel. It cannot be more than three or four leagues. They will be after me with horses by now. I must find somewhere to hide and catch my breath.

The ancient stone marker by the roadside loomed ahead. Rising some ten or more hands above him, the olden carved-in runes were barely visible in the twilight. He reached for the monolith using the last of his strength, as if finishing a race, and collapsed against the weather worn granite in submission to the toll upon his body.

Night descended as he lay crumpled against the stone. Finding no strength left to stand, he crawled around to the backside of the marker in an attempt to hide from view of the road. With night would come the colder weather. Dyoran huddled close to the stone in an effort to avoid the chill wind scouring the countryside. Many avoided the roadside monoliths as they were believed to be cursed. Some thought they were alive with evil spirits. Unlike normal rock, these were warm to the touch, but the chilling thing, when in contact; a dark sound filled the mind, like some demon chanting to steal one’s soul. Continue reading

The Last Witch – Part 1

By Christian Laforet

The whine of repulsor engines drifted through the frozen city. Buildings, which once defied the horizon, were now crooked tombstones with ice and snow clinging to their exteriors. The endless winter blew whistling through gaping windows – snow-drifts as big as small buildings leaned against the bases of sky scrapers.

As the shuttle descended through the tumult of angry clouds, eddies of white powder swirled along the rooftops of the ruined buildings. The transport was only the second sign of life Toronto had seen in nearly five hundred years. The craft landed with a soft thump at the edge of the city.

Marcus unbuckled the harness securing him to the pilot’s seat. Continue reading