demon lord scrambled up the cliff.
Trifindil followed close behind.
At the top, Zelrafe stood and turned to face the elf lord.
to the Crystal, Zelrafe!” Trifindil called above the roar of the wind. “Your
kind does not belong in this world!”
elfling! You mortals will all bow down to Lord Zelrafe!”
demon extended a finger and a fountain of flame shot toward Trifindil.
elf held his sword, Evilbane, in front of him. The ancient blade’s enchantment deflected the hell-fire.
screeched in rage. He stretched open his black wings and shot into the sky like
put his fingers to his lips and blew a long whistle. A few seconds passed and he heard a whinny of greeting. It was Silver-Hoof, his winged horse
elf lord leapt off the cliff and onto the horse’s back, then he turned his face
up to the sky.
cannot win, Zelrafe! I will follow you to the edge of the world, and beyond!”
end - Part Three of The Cloud Elf Saga
by Lance Eaglethorne.
Nibley leaned back in his chair, grabbed a bag of Cheeseyos and popped them one
at a time into his mouth.
Evilbane? Too ambiguous, could mean anything. Demonbane? Been done before.
How about Handy-to-have-in-a-fight-with-a-demon-blade?
was getting a headache. Think, he
told himself: evil, bad, malevolent, dark, sneaky, dark. That’s it, Darkbane.
tossed the bag onto his desk, licked the cheesy goodness off his fingers, and
dried them on his pants leg.
searched for all instances of Evilbane, replaced them with Darkbane, saved and
closed the document.
for some fun,” he muttered.
clicked on an icon that took him directly to BATTLEWORLD. There, he chose his favorite character,
Dolgorath, a 64th level dwarf shaman.
he checked his companion list. Oh
goody, Clitora, the fey sorceress was online.
sent her a message.
bb wats up
hitched up his badger-skin loincloth and used an earth travel spell to reach
Clitora’s jungle lair.
pulse quickened when she greeted him in front of her grass hut. Her ebony skin glistened in the
torchlight. Her copper hair was
just long enough to cover her bare breasts. An iridescent snakeskin thong was just big enough to let the
game keep an M for Mature rating.
In her thigh high spike heel boots, Clitora towered over the stumpy
dwarf who only came up to her waist.
took two steps forward and Clitora’s swelling thong filled the computer screen.
popped open a Blue Boar and took a drink.
Be cool, he told himself, just be cool.
shwinnnnng!!!! He sent with a drooling smiley.
lol, and a blushing smilie came back.
they went to fight the Toad People, uncover a relic, and win sacks of booty.
put a hand under her hair and massaged her breasts.
make me horny!!!
coughed a Cheeseyo through his nose.
was about to respond when another avatar appeared on screen.
It was Garreck the knight, shining armor, billowing blond hair and all!
OFF!!! Dexter typed.
sent a blushing, giggly smiley
I will KILL YOUR ASS u don leave now!!!
U!!! Garreck typed back and vanished.
caught his breath.
2 go? he typed.
time, Clitora responded.
clicked on the VIP Members icon and entered their passwords.
accepted, the two avatars stripped off their clothes. Clitora removed her thong panty and brushed her hair back to
reveal her unnaturally large breasts.
She kept her spike-heel boots on, however.
an extra monthly fee of $9. 95, BATTLEWORLD members over the age of consent in
their jurisdictions can become VIP Members. One of the privileges allows players to get naked, talk
dirty, and simulate sex acts, which are limited only by the game programmers’
removed his loincloth and his penis sprang to a size that violated the laws of
anatomy and physics.
sucked down his Blue Boar and lowered his pants and shorts down to his ankles.
opened her closet revealing a collection of whips, chains, paddles and other
instruments of pain and pleasure.
they engaged in their debauchery, Dexter hit the function keys preprogrammed
with phrases he used in the VIP section so he could type with one hand.
yeah. . . . Yes baby, more. . . Take it, bitch!
it was over, Dexter felt spent and the rush faded.
typed noncommittal grunts while Clitora asked if he liked it, what could she do
better, what was his favorite part, and did he think her avatar was fat.
studied his lap. In his frenzy, he
kicked the desk and the bag of Cheeseyos fell over, spilling crumbs onto his
sticky right hand and genitals.
looked like there was a puddle of bright orange, radioactive mud between his
kind of superhero would this create? he wondered.
two lovers parted. No sooner had
he logged off than he heard a brief knock and his door opened.
dinner’s ready. . .”
Don’t come in!”
I’m just. . .”
part of the plot, Ma. Can’t
explain. Don’t disturb me!”
honey.” Dexter’s mom slowly closed
the door. “It’s roast chicken
minutes, ten tops, Ma.”
looked at his desk littered with snack food bags and caffeinated drink
cans. He looked at his sticky,
orange crotch. He looked at his
pants around his ankles.
mind raced with thoughts and images of windy mountaintops, flying horses, and
sexually enthusiastic sorceresses.
can’t that be real life?
Chapter 2 -
kissed the exhausted mailroom clerk, Tommy, on the forehead.
it all right for you sweetie?”
yes, Ms. Gallagher. You are awesome!”
know what to do, hon?”
thing, Ms. Gallagher. When the architect’s drawings arrive, I
deliver them to your office first.”
nodded, satisfied. She checked her
face in her compact, adjusted her skirt and strode out of the mailroom. She added some extra sashay for Tommy's
the drawings for the new building arrive, Jasmine will be able to examine them
first. Then she will hand them
back to her new puppet, Tommy.
Tommy will repackage the drawings and deliver them to their rightful
owner, Katherine, who will be none the wiser.
will give Jasmine plenty of time to come up with objections to Katherine’s
precious project and derail it at the next managers meeting. Teach that bitch to steal her ideas!
she walked down the crowded corridor to her humble cubicle, she felt a little
sorry for the other interns bustling around her.
was about to move up. Some of them
will undoubtedly be working for her soon.
was mentally decorating her corner office when she walked into her cubicle and
saw him sitting at her desk.
gasped. He turned around and
looked at her. Damn those blue
eyes! Her recent self-confidence
started to drain through the floor, but she caught herself.
may I help you Mr. Andersen?” She
forced a smile.
Mr. Andersen stood. Jasmine ignored his broad shoulders,
his sandy blond hair, and his musky cologne.
would like to see you in the conference room Ms. Hill, now.”
he led the way to the nearby conference room, Jasmine kept her eyes above his
waist and ignored his tight slacks.
turned away, pretending to not be interested. One wise guy, a recent college grad who thought he was on
the fast track, made eye contact and slowly drew a forefinger across his
Andersen opened the door and held it for her as she entered. The instant the door clicked shut she
whirled on him.
I’m sorry about last weekend.”
most men tell me they are single, Bob, they don’t show up at a party with their
wife on their arm!”
held up his hands. “We’ve been
divorced for two months now. I
moved into a friend’s place.
Angela didn’t have an escort.
She thought it would be awkward to arrive at the party alone.”
cocked her head and tried to arch an eyebrow.
Jasmine, I wish I could have given you a heads up. My ex-wife and I are still friends. Not every divorce has to end in a blood
you fuck her?”
I put her in a cab and went back inside, but you were gone.”
of the guys wanted to go on a pub crawl.
But I didn’t fuck them, Bob, because I thought I’d be fucking you.”
put a hand on her shoulder. She
flinched, but didn’t pull away.
I can make it up to you,” Bob said.
“I’m being sent to a two week conference this October in Jamaica. I’m going to need an assistant.”
shoulders relaxed. “Two weeks?”
smiled and nodded. “Two weeks.”
two weeks in Jamaica.”
She took hold of his tie and pulled him close. “I think, Mr. Andersen,” she breathed
into his ear, “that could go a long way toward cementing our professional
Chapt. 4, Intern in the Boardroom, CEO in
the Bedroom, by Jessica Stillwell.
skimmed through what she had just written. Wise guy? No
one says that anymore. Wiseass?
That sounds dated, too. What works
with ass? Smart-ass. That’s better. She deleted wise guy and renamed the
recent college grad a smart ass.
saved her document and closed it.
picked up a bottle of scotch and filled a shot glass. She leaned back in her chair and tossed it back. As the burn traveled down her throat
she closed her eyes and tried to forget who she was and where she was.
opened her eyes and noticed she set the bottle down on a folder with a legal
firm’s letterhead. It contained
divorce papers for her to sign and a letter requesting she stay more than five
hundred feet from her husband.
took a pack of cigarettes from a desk drawer and fished one out. She walked over to her studio
apartment’s only window and lit up.
sooner had she inhaled than she heard quick steps on the outside staircase and
a rap on her door followed by, “Hello?”
blew the smoke out the window and yelled, “Don’t come in, Dad! I’m dressing.”
father yelled back, “Just letting you know dinner’s ready, honey. Are you smoking?”
Dad, the neighbor’s bar-be-cuing.
I think he burned the burgers.”
K., come on down when you’re ready.
You might want to gargle first.
You know how your mother feels about cigarettes.”
wooden stairs creaked again as her father walked back down.
saw her reflection in the mirror hanging on the open bathroom door. She was hunched over the window,
blowing smoke out of it like a college kid sneaking a joint in her dorm room.
saw the bottle of scotch on her desk, the bottle of vodka on the floor by her
bed, and the ramen noodle packages scattered over her kitchenette counter.
took another drag and thought of blue-eyed men with broad shoulders and Jamaica
can’t real life be like that?
3 - Cyril
Masterson tilted his head back for a last dusting of powder. He grabbed a hand mirror, checked his
face and hair, and practiced his smile.
He nodded to the assistant standing behind him.
Masterson is ready to begin,” the assistant said to the reporter and camera
operator waiting patiently a few feet away.
camera operator adjusted the camera on his shoulder and said “Three, two, one.”
reporter put on her perky face and said, “I’m speaking today to Cyril
Masterson, President of Athenian dot com.”
reporter turned to her subject and put on her friendly face.
Masterson, both the electronics and publishing worlds were rocked yesterday
when you announced you were slashing the price of your new electronic book
readers in half. Surely, sir, that
is unprofitable even for a promotion.”
steepled his fingers and smiled back.
you know, Angela, the publishing industry hasn’t been profitable for some
time. Paper is going the way of
the horse and buggy. If we don’t
get twenty-first century reading tools into the public’s hands soon, book
publishing will be dead.”
reporter put on her concerned face.
that’s an exaggeration, Mr. Masterson?”
no, Angela. You see, sales have
been flat for the last five years.
Meanwhile inflation has increased a total of fourteen percent. Quite frankly, history is marching on
and the book industry is standing still.”
how does your e-book reader fit into this?” The reporter cocked her head and
changed to an interested face.
going to place a twenty-first century reading device into every reader’s
hands. Yes, it will cost me money
in the short term, but Angela, if the public continues to lose interest in
books, it really won’t matter. I’m
interested in making money ten years from now, not just the next fiscal
can you afford to wait that long, Mr. Masterson?”
removed his glasses, leaned forward and put on his sincere face. “Angela, I’m both a reader and a
patriot. I’m horrified at the
state of literacy in this great nation.
If I can give future generations the pleasure of reading Tom Sawyer or The Grapes of Wrath, then my entire net worth will be well spent.”
reporter’s eyes got misty. The
interview moved on to lightweight fluff such as his favorite books and
celebrity gossip in which Masterson laughed at rumors of his dating some
starlet or other.
the end of the interview, makeup was removed, hands were shaken and promises of
“Keep in touch,” were made.
the elevator, the assistant started to speak, but Masterson held up his hand
and shook his head.
the back of the limo on the way to Athenian headquarters, he made himself a cup
of tea, took a sip and said, “We can talk now.”
focus group observing the interview found you to be sincere and sympathetic.”
did they believe me?” he asked.
we can’t come right out and ask our participants, ‘Did you believe him?’ the
implication being that you, um. . .”
yes, I get it.”
assistant flipped through some pages on her clipboard.
on the McCloskey-Shinberg scale, you are fifty-one percent trustworthy in
general and seventy-three percent trustworthy on this particular subject.”
relaxed into the leather upholstery and took another sip. Seventy-three percent trustworthiness,
that’s better than the president.