Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
Featured Image: Catching a Dragon, by Jan Ditlev
She eyes the toggle switch on the small antique box. “It doesn’t hurt,” Clare assures. Alice flicks it, and a wave of changes leave the women kangaroos still dressed in their human clothes. “My grandma’s old switcheroo,” Clare grins, poking her pouch. “Neat, huh?” “Did the Rapid Roofers fix the leak?” “Yes, you just missed them.” “Did they, replace our slate with peanut brittle?” “Oh, RAPID! I thought you said SAPID! I called Confectionery Construction, sorry.” “Remind me why we moved to the fairytale quarter again…” He levels his sword at it. The great beast looms large in the enormous cave. “It is my quest to slay what lairs here!” Its voice is a rumble. “You’re too late, Sir Knight. I slayed the dragon.” “You are the dragon!” “Yes, the curse and penance for my crime.” “Not a grand start to our journey,” the barbarian said. The librarian-sorceress swam holding on to the desk. “At least this carrel floats!” “Your teleport was way off the mark.” “I blame your vigorous hands, my willing flesh, and a cramped, hushed library!” …houses dragged off foundations or dropped from height above 30’. 1920 census tallied 257 inhabitants. None found. No bodies. Evidence of activity on hill overlooking village. Following message found scrawled in bonfire ash: “Tonight the Zephyrnaut comes.” “This is why I discouraged you from studying that statue of Wenet!” “What is it? Lycanthropy?” he asks in the moonlight. “No, she’s a hare goddess. It’s Laganthropy.” “I’m a, were-hare?” She becomes leporine and rabbit-headed. “It’s a manageable condition.” “89 seconds before the refugees can spacefold,” the AI says. “We are the last escort.” “Seconds to the enemy fighters intercepting them?” “75.” “Intercept time if we interdict and force them to destroy us?” “95 seconds.” “Hard to port, Ship. Do it.”