drabble

The Cunning Slip

A 100-word story, commonly known as a drabble.

*****

Everyone was always waiting for him to slip.

Even if they didn’t think they were, even if they didn’t know it, they were waiting. Waiting, with predatory hearts and minds. Now his loyal court, they could and would turn the instant they felt a weakness.

And of course he would slip. There was no avoiding mistakes; there was only disguising them.

The thief lord smiled and held out a scrap of meat to the stray cat who sat, sniffing arrogantly in post-tumble mortification.

“I know,” he whispered as it licked his fingers. “It’s all part of the plan, isn’t it?”

*****

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Part Ten: A Mortal Lover

The final 100-word chapter of a 1,000 word story. Part one here.

******

She looked so tired. Had he kept her up too late? She must say if he did. She burst into tears, then, and he knew.

Very tired. I know. Come here, love. Hush. You’re only human, it’s natural that you should feel tired. I know. You need to rest.

Sobbing, she begged a song and a kiss, and he gave her both. Shh. Shh. She was sorry she couldn’t—couldn’t stop crying, she was trying—

It’s alright. Shh. It’s alright, my love. Everything will be fine.

Sobs faded into silence.

Better?

Silence.

D-dear one?

Silence.

And his aching heart broke.

*****

The end.

The whole story can be found on the short story page of my website.

Part Eight: Always Fine

A 100-word chapter of a 1,000-word story. Part one here.

*****

He must be more than man, she thought. His voice was more fitting of sunbirds and divine courtyards than of minstrel man walking common earth.

And more; his age, his youth—how many years had he walked this earth, and still so fresh of face?

You’ll outlive me, shan’t you?”

In all likelihood. It happens,” he said, in lightly flaming lilt.

To you?”

Yes.”

And you’re fine?”

Yes.”

And you’ll be fine…?”

Of course. I’m always fine,” he said. Face flashing with sorrow, he took up his lute and played a cheerful tune.

*****

To be continued.

Part Seven: Naught but the Greatest

A 100-word chapter of a 1,000 word story.

*****

He wondered at the quality of her gaze.

What do you see, when you look at me?” the minstrel asked, strumming a counterpoint to his words.

She smiled. “You.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Me? Most look at me and seem to see…”

Naught but the greatest musician in all the lands?” she suggested, lips twitching.

No, naught more.” His cheeky tone snagged on the hurt in his eyes.

You are far more,” she whispered.

Of course – I’m just glad somebody else finally sees it!” His cheeky tone caught on the softness of his smile.

*****

To be continued.

Part Six: Indefinitely

A 100 word chapter of a 1,000 word story.

*****

How long will this go on?” in hope, in fear, she asked at last.

Will what go on?”

Her hand closed over his. “The two of us, like this.”

As lovers? Oh, indefinitely.”

She swallowed. No answer, then. Live and love as before, day by day, trying not to cling in fear. She loosened her hold on his hand.

I’d say forever,” he went on, “but you’re bound to die sometime.”

He pressed her fingers to his lips, and a laugh built within her. “I suppose I must,” she said solemnly, then the laugh broke out, and she kissed him.

*****

To be continued.

Part Five: A Tip of the Hat

A 100 chapter of a 1,000 word story. Here’s part one.

*****

He flew just above the ground, his feet barely remembering to brush the surface.

I tip my hat to nature’s law – I do not pay its tax,” he told her as he bounded through branches too thin to hold him.

He was forever being impossible. He slept too little, he danced too long. He leaped too high, floated for impossible moments against the sky, descended too lightly to the earth.

She asked how he managed to fly in the face of reality.

The trick is to be above such trivialities as truth,” he said, with a tip of the hat.

*****

To be continued.

Part four: A Minstrel Lover

A 100 chapter of a 1,000 word story. Here’s part one.

*****

As the lutestrings stilled, the love song faded. The minstrel set his instrument on the grass, and his eyes, still bright with music, flicked up to the girl that knelt before him.

And now the song must end, for I need my arms for you,” he said in a voice of golden bells, and drew the girl to him.

He cradled her as he had his lute; with sensual care, and pressed his mouth to hers. His slim fingers ran over her body, plucking chords that set her trembling.

As the lute sat by in silence, the love song swelled.

*****