Story One - 75 words
Man vs. Man
Another day, another datalog
“What do we have here?”
“Another dead one. Same as the others. Body bloated, face scarred, thumbs missing”
“Same murder weapon?”
“Looks to be a laser pistol that killed him, and a jagged blade for the scarring and thumb removal”
“So thats a yes. Did they finally screw up?”
“Great. Go crack the victim’s skull open, ID our killer from the datalogs, and I’ll put this mad dog down just like all the rest”
Story Two - 150 words
Man vs. Self
Reflecting on the Past
“I command you, begone!” He held the symbol high “Begone demon!”
The man laughed “Attacking me won’t make the truth go away”
“I command you!”
“Do you know what you did?”
“You killed her. You grabbed her throat, and you squeezed, and you squeezed-”
“I banish you!”
“-Until she stopped thrashing. You felt the life drain out of her, and then you let go. But you weren’t done yet. You breathed life back into her lungs-”
“Your words have no power over me demon!”
The man just kept talking, eyes glinting crazily.
“-And then when she woke up, you started again. Choke the life out of her, bring her back, again until her throat was just a mass of bruises and the grooves from your fingers-”
“I said begone!”
“-And then you buried her. Your own wife”
Silence, broken by the exorcist’s tears and his reflection’s laughter.
Story Three - 300 words
“The Power of Hope”
Someday She’ll Love Me...
Every time she swings me, I feel so alive. When we cleave through our foes together, oh, its a heady sensation. Orcs, elves, goblins, trolls, it doesn’t matter. It makes me feel alive, more alive than any other time.
Its her touch really, her attention. The fact that she is actually, well, holding me. Because the rest of the time I wonder if she even knows that I exist. Someone challenges her, and I’m needed. I’m the first one she goes to, every time. Its because I’m always there. No questions. If she needs help, I fight.
But, then the battle will be over. There is that brief moment when she holds me close, looks me over, makes sure that I haven’t been hurt, and then rubs me down until all the blood comes off. But then I’m put aside again, left to languish.
To be sitting on her chair, or thrown on the ground in a corner. I can see her flirting with others. I can see her put her hand on their arm, and maybe wink at them. And I know that that will never be me.
She just doesn’t see me that way.
But still I hope. I hope that someday when she grabs me and we charge into battle together, that she will look at my beautiful, perfect form, and realize that she feels something more for me. At first she’ll hesitate, but then love will win out.
But its all just idle fantasy. I know it can’t happen.
Yet when she grasps my hilt, and my blade bites into the flesh of our foes I can’t help but tingle at her touch. And just because it has never happened before does not mean that a woman can’t fall in love with her sword.