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Very Short Stories for the Toy Soldier Saga

Challenge Accepted! Stories for October 2021

As seen in Starseeds: Stories from the Toy Soldier Saga


The starfaring engine #stuttered in the gravity well of the nearby #moon.
"Yep!" Grimmauld Stormhammer told the prospector.
"Well done! Guess we didn't need mercenaries after all."
"Wait until we get planetside," said Grimmauld. "Yer not the only interested party."


The elf in #shadow watched as the orc hunting party searched in the tall grass.
"The boar went this way!" said Champion Frostbane, warlord of a small clan. He'd led an attack on an elf colony. No survivors.
"Now, a different kind of #hunt," whispered Shaundar, taking aim.


The elven marine stood at parade rest in the #cemetery by the freshly-dug graves. His hands, clasped behind his back, were white-knuckled.
The new widow approached to lay down her flowers and her tears. "Were you a friend?"
The marine turned. There was still #blood on his face.


"Storm coming, sir," the young warrior fretted.
"'Wait patiently for your moment, and you will triumph in the tempest,'" Champion Bloodfist quoted from Elatha.
A cold #wind tore the shrouding #mist away from the battlefield.
"Enemy sighted, sir!"
The Champion grinned. "Fire."


Narissa didn't intend to go to their favourite #hollow, but here she was, standing under the willow.
She stared up at the broken branch, remembering how Shaundar and Yathar had wrestled until Yathar had fallen.
Looking down, she watched #autumn leaves swirl.
How she missed them.


Shaundar marveled at how the fire's #glow brought out the embers in Y'Anid's hair as she slept.
His heart ached. How he loved her! But she was an orc, and to an orc, he was just a "twig," a "#dandelion" - an elf.
She must never know.


Narissa #staggered at the tiny #grave. Her fingers traced the name on the headstone - Selene Elkshorn Sunfall.
Her daughter, born too early.
Was it her fault?
She wondered which was worse: her grief, or Shaundar's tragedy, that he had never even known of his daughter.


A #blackbird called soothingly from the #stone wall of the courtyard. But Korin was not soothed. His clan had never been in more danger.
He needed to strengthen their alliances.
"Ready my ship," he said to his goblin aide. "We're making a visit to the Rageclaw clan."


Spears of #ice shone #silver and surreal. In impossible juxtaposition, they seemed to attack each other.
Yathar felt this reflected his mind and heart well.
He ran a hand through his hair, sweat beading despite the cold.
Could he keep doing this?
Maybe not, he decided.


The Dark Sisters met deep in the #woods, beneath the Mother-Tree. The eldest cast the runes.
"It is as we feared. The High Chief must die."
"But who shall kill him?"
The Grandmother clutched the #rune in a red-lacquered claw but she didn't look at it. She already knew.


The #Heron hit the gravity well of Freebooter's Rock. She listed - ignored the signals, adrift.
Tug-Pilots boarded before the ship crashed the docks. They rushed the helm.
Half a skeleton turned empty sockets to them and crumpled to #bones.
The Heron's Pilot had brought her home.


#Tangled in the flotsam and jetsam, the #rotting husks of two starfaring ships floated, dead in the Void.
"Ahoy," signaled the lone survivor of one - a Rach - to the lone survivor of the other. "Happy Year's-End."
"Thank you," signaled the elf, grateful for his enemy's company.


In the eye of the hurricane, #fireflies came out to dance. Shaundar watched them with his arm around Y'Anid's shoulders, both their eyes filled with wonder.
But the #wild winds were already lashing waves again. He could hear them in the distance.
This was just a reprieve.


The elven veteran haunted the #river like a #ghast. He left his camp just long enough to steal dinner in the dark. Rippled with muscle, riddled with scars, he hunched over his fire, sometimes drinking, sometimes staring into flames. Everyone watched him; no one approached.


Darkness #ebbed, taking his nightmares with it.
Shaundar shook off the ghosts. He was no longer being drowned by his interrogator, starving in prison, or sheltering from the storm.
He made a fishhook from the #fang of a snake that almost killed him last night.
Life went on.


When was the last time he remembered just having #fun?
Watching Y'Anid #dance. She with the women, twirling her hips, hair like a banner, face aglow. He with the men, hands thumping his drum, laughing.
On the canvas of a tarp, while the crew danced, his hands found rhythm again.


Shaundar stripped off his orcish armour. Without it, he felt like a #turtle out of its shell. He #shivered.
"But you're not an orc," he told the mirror firmly, "and that part of your life is over."
He slammed the armour into his star-chest and locked it, along with his own heart.


The medic dreamed of the wreck of two fleets. Bodies of orcs and elves in space. A grim #harvest for the Old Man of the Void.
#Stranger still, the dead orc, who'd neither been dead, nor an orc. They still haunted him, that elf's eyes. Void-dark.
It was only his body they'd saved.


Shimmering #crimson blood dribbled from the cut on his enemy's neck. But in his eyes, Shaundar saw only a frightened boy.
He #hesitated.
He remembered what it was like, to be just a frightened boy.
He took the knife away from the boy's throat. "Go, run," he said.


Goibnu caught a #scent he #trusted. His tail wagged. It came from someone he didn't recognize, but his nose was a better guide.
The elven spy flinched, but the varg licked his face.
He smiled. "Goibnu! Good boy."
Then his face fell. Behind the varg came the people he'd betrayed.


The captain squinted into the veil obscuring the stars. "What's with the all #dust here? Where's the planet?"
Someone gulped. Someone else groaned. She turned to look. Selene sobbed into her brother's chest.
Suddenly the captain knew what it #signified.
Their homeworld. Gone.


A single candle illuminated his table in the #café. Perfect.
He read the note: "Orders: kill the Champion of Clan Bloodfist."
The spy smiled. He touched the note to the candle #flame and let it burn up in the ashtray.
The Bloodfists had killed his best friend. At last, revenge.


The Post-Captain made his granddaughter drink a blue potion, then sprinkled her with blue mushroom #spores.
His son nodded. That would protect her from radiation, if the gravitational weapon got too close.
"Fairy dust!" she cried.
The Captain smiled, and envied her #innocence.


Yathar stared into the maw of the gravitational weapon. He had never imagined anything could #radiate darkness. Aptly named, this #Dark Star.
His breath hitched. Here goes nothing.
He thrust his mithril arm into the engines at its heart.
The event horizon swallowed him.


Y'Anid loved lying with Bolvi like this. His fingers danced on the curve of her hip; such a tender, #intimate gesture. Half-asleep, smiling, his brow untroubled by the nightmares that plagued him alone, there could be no doubt. He loved her.
If only her #heart would believe it.


A #shiver rippled over the deck. That was the only warning the ship had before a gravity wave rent its beam and keel like a frayed hawser. Flak exploded into space. A sinister red ice fog crystalized.
The spindizzy engine had failed to harmonize.
All this, just an #accident.


Korin had never expected such a goblin's #blade, despite his caution. The Bloodaxe clan was powerful and had many allies, but for his own wife to #betray him? To spy on him?
That was something he had not foreseen.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, but tears escaped anyway.


The ancient crystal tower was a #ruin. Broken blocks shifted #treacherous angles. Quartz dust sparkled in the air, coating its base in glitter-dunes.
At the center was a scoured statue - once the mage who'd given their life to protect it.
Even elves suffer the ravages of time.


A varg licked his #hurt paw. The blood he cleaned away was mostly not his own, but the bed of one #claw was bleeding.
He eyed the dead orc with satisfaction.
Someday they'll remember that vargar are not slaves, he thought.


#Shadow-wraiths appeared like silhouettes of Void. There was nowhere to #flee on the deck. One by one the crew risked life-drain to break their curse.
"Free my people," said Nimolin to the Void.
*What will you trade?*
"Good feelings?"
Then the Void was in her heart.


The young starhand was #spooked, it was plain to see.
"It was a ghost, I'm telling you!" she insisted.
"There's no one around here within light years!" the lieutenant scoffed.
But the crew looked one to the other. The LT was young and green.
They knew the Void had its secrets.
Don't forget that you can click on the blue compass on the left to access the Table of Contents at any time!
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What is #VSS365? Fun daily prompts for tiny stories that fit in tweets. The # is the prompt of the day.

Challenge Accepted!

I saw ShyRedFox's article in the World Anvil Daily Featured Articles, where she has created several Twitter-post length short stories to relate to her amazing series, The Liminal Chronicles. I thought, "What a lovely idea!" and I decided I would do the same for the Toy Soldier Saga. I thought I would start from the beginning of October 2021, following the prompts. Let's see if I can keep it up for a year!  
Very Short Stories for Liminal Chronicles
Generic article | Nov 30, 2021

Twitter length stories that relate to my book series

"Today's" story can be found by scrolling down to the bottom, and looking for the highlighted red text box. If there is none, we're working on stories for a different month

Next Month's Stories

Very Short Stories for the Toy Soldier Saga -- November 2021
Generic article | Nov 28, 2021

Twitter-post sized drabbles for the Toy Soldier Saga for November 2021


Please Login in order to comment!
18 Oct, 2021 02:18

Oh you are doing such awesome ones! Yay for challenge acceptance!

Author of Rise: Liminal Chronicles |
27 Oct, 2021 19:40

Thanks for giving me the incentive on this. It's a lot of fun, and a great exercise for me, since I tend to be a wordy writer. :D

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
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