The Bard: A Song

Ren wiped the sweat from his face and looked at the mountain road before him. So far, he thought to himself. Too far. He had been on this road for three days and in all that time he had yet to meet anyone. He examined the path and it was easy to see that grass had begun to reclaim part of the roadway. Oh, well. Not going to get there standing here, he mused.

He had left home a year before, and tried his hand at various occupations. His slender build, however, didn’t really suit the labouring jobs he tried at first. He then landed a position in a tavern. The hours were long, but he enjoyed the work. He in fact became a rather skilled barman. This too was short-lived, a fire in the wee hours had destroyed not only his place of employment, but nearly killed him as well.

As he took to the road again he began to hum to himself. Soon, he was belting out some of the songs of heroism he had heard in the tavern. One particular tune that he particularly liked had several lines that he didn’t understand. Despite this, there was something about the words that lifted his spirit and made him feel invincible.

He got caught up in the song and let his travel become automatic. Because of this he failed to notice the bugbear at the mouth of a grotto he was passing until her was nearly on top of it. When he did see it he was shocked to see the creature transfixed at his voice. He tried to decide whether he should flee or to proceed. Go on, he thought to himself. He took a few more steps and continued to sing. It was then that he got to the mysterious words. As he rang them out, the beast covered its ears and fled into the cave.

Surprised at his luck, but not wanting to take any chances, Ren repeated the same verse for the next thirty minutes. Then hoarse and a bit shaken he finally rested. “I have to find out what that song is about,” he said to himself.


The Corporation Girl


She thought she heard his voice in the hallway outside of her apartment, so she immediately changed out of her tracksuit into something ‘a little less comfortable.’ She had just finished putting on her long red wig when he began knocking on her door.

“Jerry darling, what a surprise she said giving him a passionate kiss. I wasn’t expecting to see you until Thursday.”

“I had a meeting on this side of town so thought I might give you a little visit. I hope that’s okay.”

“Of course it is,” she said with what seemed a sincere smile.

In reality it had caught her way off guard. She hadn’t had a chance to read the latest dossier from her handler yet, and new there was something she was supposed to include in the conversation to draw him out a bit.

“It’s a bit early to open a bottle of wine,” she said. “Should I put the kettle on?”

“I was thinking more about taking things off, if you know what I mean,” he said with a wink.

“Why don’t you go into the bedroom than and get comfortable. I will be in in just a minute,” she said giving him a kiss.

As he started loosening his tie and heading to the bedroom, she took a quick look at the file.

“Oh, I see,” she said to herself and grabbed a bottle of red and two glasses.

As she entered the bedroom she said, “Brought us a little something after all.”

Ten minutes later, after the drug took hold, she got the combination for his briefcase from the dossier and she quickly photographed the encloses design specifications. The folks back at the firm were going to love this, the whole project was in there.

“Sometimes you make this too easy, Jerry,” she said quietly giving him a kiss on his sleeping cheek. “But a girl has to do what a girl’s got to do.”



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“I’m really not sure about this,” Ryan said.

“Well, if we want to get in we can either try our luck at the main gate or sneak in this way.”

“But look at all that light, how are we going to ‘sneak.'”

“The light is all from the service tunnels. All the real security is above us in the compound. All we need to do is snorkel through the entry, stash our gear and put on the catering uniforms.”

“This is crazy. We change from wetsuits, to kitchen whites, then to eveningwear when we get into the grounds.”

“We have planned this for weeks. There is no need to second guess the plan now,” Tonya responded.

“It still sounds risky. One last question: what if we are seen coming out of the water?”

“Then we silence the threat.”

“That sounds a bit extreme,” Ryan replied.

“Well, it’s not my fault you threw the invitations away.”

“It was an accident, but wouldn’t it have been easier to just ask for another invite?”

“And sound pathetic,” Tonya said coldly.

“Okay, I surrender. But I do think you are enjoying this a bit too much.”



“I have my integrity to consider,” Liam said defensively.

“We aren’t asking you to compromise your integrity. All we want is for you to let us through the door.”

“But I was told not to let anyone in this way, and if I let you in just because you are my friends, I would be shirking my sworn duty.

“Liam, you aren’t guarding the Royal Mint, you are an usher at the cinema.”

“Duty is duty,” Liam responded.

Liam was found a hour later stiped to his underwear, gagged, and with his hands and feet bound by duck tape. He did, however, still have his integrity.


One Hundred Eleven

It was 5 p.m. on December 24th and the inventory was finally complete, and everyone could start getting ready for the long awaited holiday break.

“Stan, did you notice that on line one hundred eleven there are 6,420 units left.”

“And?” Stan replied.

“What exactly are the items on line one hundred eleven?”

“Um, I can’t say for certain.”

“Well you didn’t write it down and you need to find out so we can get this report in.”

“But how? There are 6000 different line items out there.”

“I guess you should get started then. Have a happy Christmas.”


The Tattler’s Wood

The road through the old eastern wood was seldom used as the bridge to Middleton had washed out years ago making it essentially a dead end. The wood, therefore, became a perfect place for shady dealings. While various low-level bandits made it a hideout, it offered little to serious highwaymen as there was insufficient wealth to be made there. Little did the criminal fraternity know, however, that the wood was the cause of many of their misfortunes. The wood served the baron and his sheriff’s purposes well, for right next to the old road was an ancient oak which was riddled with cavities which provided the perfect place for informants to leave messages for the authorities. It is because of this that the area became known among members of the watch as “Tattler’s Wood.”

Hyaan Ironman was one such tattler. He was the third son of a blacksmith, and being rather slight in build, he proved ill-equipped to follow in his father’s footsteps. He had tried his hand as street performer, but his voice was as week as his biceps. He eventually came to the Watch’s attention and was detained for panhandling. It was while in custody that he was recruited as an informant. His street act would be overlooked by the watchmen and he in turn would observe his less savoury fellows in the streets and provide written reports in the tattling tree. Little did he know what he was getting himself into.




Karen went ballistic when she found out that her husband, Kenneth, had gambled away their entire life’s savings.

“What were you thinking?” she yelled in a shrill tone.

“Well you remember when I asked you to marry me and you said, ‘Yes, I guess this is your lucky day’.”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Well, I was just trying to prove that you were right. So, in reality, it’s your fault.”



Reg had said his business in 215 wouldn’t take long, but that was over twenty minutes ago.

“Just keep a lookout,” he had said, but now Lily was starting to get worried. What was keeping him, and who exactly was she on the lookout for?

Just as she was tossing this through her mind, the motel manager started to make her way towards the rooms. Lily instinctively reached over and sounded the horn and a moment later Reg came bounding down the steps carrying a carry-all that she hadn’t seen before.

“What’s that?” Lily asked.

“Just something, I left behind before,” he explained.

If that wasn’t a satisfactory answer, what might she expect his explanation for his newly bloodied knuckles to be?

She was really starting to question her taste in men.



CCC 208

Sir George was confused. The baron had ordered him into the valley to rid it of a marauding dragon. He had checked all of the usual haunts: three caves and rocky overhang, but no evidence of a beast was found at any of them.

Was he losing his touch, he wondered. After all he was an expert in the dragon game. This perplexed him.

After checking the closest of the caves again, he tethered his horse to a pine and sat down on a log to consider his options. As he ran through the evidence he couldn’t shake the sensation of sulfur in the air. But where could it be coming from?



I walked into the only café that seemed to be open on the strip.  The place was a little over the top considering the seedy neighbourhood.  Why might a harbour district coffee shop need marble tabletops and a crystal chandelier?  The menu too was out of place with Eggs Benedict and French croissants on offer. All in all, it was a bit disappointing as all I wanted was a cup of coffee and a ring doughnut to dunk.