Online Fiction


He was a clumsy bard, inept at the complex fingerings that made eduldamer strings hum so sweetly in a master musician’s hands. His musical deficiency owed much to the fact that his right hand was made entirely out of polished black stone, carved in perfect replication of a human hand, so detailed that one could see the slight reliefwork of veins and moles, the knolls of knuckles, even peeling cuticles captured in the hard glossy rock. Most of the fine hairs had snapped from the delicately rendered diamond-shaped pores, but you could feel where they had been, like adamantine stubble. His left hand was more dexterous than most, and his calloused fingers hammered the strings as best they could to make up for the other hand’s disability; but his rock-solid right hand was good for nothing more than brutal strumming and whacking. He couldn’t pinch a plectrum. The soundbox was scarred and showed the signs of much abuse, the thin wood having been patched many times over. Read More


“I like this place not,” said Spar.

“I can’t imagine why,” said Gorlen. “It looks like a gargoyle’s graveyard.” Read More


“I have my limits,” said Gorlen Vizenfirthe, hooking a full mug of cheap brew toward him with one of the petrified fingers of his stony right hand. A coarse black strand of beard-hair poked up from the foamy head like a sick fern’s frond. “And you, sir, are quickly approaching several of them at the same time.”

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Encounter on a Lonely Mountain Website

–Well, well, what have we here? Looks like one a them mainstream writers done gone and wrote himself a fantasy novel! What do you think about that, Clem?

–I think we’re gonna have some fun with this one.

–Boy, I believe you’re right. Jest lookit him. Does he look ascared to you? A mite…apprehensive? Well you done strayed right into genre territory, feller. And we don’t take lightly to you literrary types a-poachin in our woods.

–That’s right, we don’t. The last one we found in our traps, we learned him real good. He ain’t never coming out of Conjunctions again if he knows what good fer him.

–What’s wrong, feller? Science fiction too rigger-us, so you figger you’ll tackle something where nobody can call you on your horseshit? But that’s what they got them there post-apocalypse novels for, don’t they? So you can jest write your reglar stories you were gonna write, except no cars or telephones? So what is it I wonder makes you think you can come in here with your big words and your psychological realism and not knowin nothing about fantasy except that Lev Grossman wrote some and didn’t get kicked outta Time?

–You know, I think I seen this feller before…

–Why Clemuel, I believe you’re right. I seem to recall quite a few denigrating comments about Dungeons and Dragons emanating from the vicinity of his piehole, back in the ol’ halls of Ackadeem! Remember that, Clem? And here he is now, all fancied up with a sword and a wand and a hand-drawn map. Thinks he’s gonna show us how it’s done. Well let me tell you something, feller. The word “twee” still means something round these parts. And them lady elves, I can assure you they don’t warm to no antiheroes with erectile dysfunction, if you catch my drift.

–And speaking of the ladies, don’t be castin looks over at our fans now…they aren’t gonna be giving YOU any loving. Fact, if we were to throw you to em, there wouldn’t be enough of you left to throw in a remainder bin…nothing but maybe just a scrawny old spine…

–Watch it, he’s nearly bit through his foot! Settle back there, you.

–Why, don’t tell me you’re wanting to be away already? But you were so eager to be here! Not quite what you expected, hm?  Well, I sure hope you’re good with them there social networks, cause you’re gonna need em if you ever get out of here…and there’s no point calling for help cuz nobody can hear you except the New York Times. And I don’t need to tell you, feller, you’re a long way from New York now.

–That’s right…and you’re about to get a whole lot longer.

–Clem, damn it! Oh my gawd…why’d you go and say that fer?

–What? What’d I do?

–You went and gave him a sequel! You gave him an out! He’s got clean clear of us now.

–Well, won’t nothing come of it. He won’t have a clue what to do with a sequel. Weren’t never a literry writer worth his salt ever wrote a one o them.