“Hey, boss,” Devon said knocking on Alec’s door.
“Slight problem. Your boyfriend is here.”
“…Which one?” Behind Alec slept his one of his other boyfriends. Devon thought he might have four?
“Alright… I’ll go talk to him; you keep Jono busy if he wakes.”
Snorting, Devon said, “Not on your life. He’s your boyfriend, you deal with him.”
Alec’s glare could kill the long dead. “I’m your boss.”
“And this isn’t in my job description.” Devon crossed his arms.
“Fine…” he grumbled, turning to go deal with Phoenix.
“And now I’ve got Bingo – love triangle.”
“Oh, fuck you.”
Author’s Note: Some people have a different lover in every city; Alec has a different lover in several different realities. It’s important to keep them separate because who wants to be in the middle of the fight when they find out about the others? In this case, Devon doesn’t seem to mind. [Editor: This is the sixth and last in a series. Check out all of Gabrielle’s stories for the rest of them.]
“Please!” The girl in the silk dress cried, throwing herself at Alec’s feet, “You have to help me! If you don’t, they’ll kill me!”
Alec backed up trying to avoid her grasping hands. “I…”
“I’ll do anything!”
“Yeah, alright.” He pulled her to her feet and dragged her in his office. Just as he shut the door a squad of men burst into the lobby.
The leader snarled, “Where is she?”
Five minutes later, with Devon’s help, he tossed the last of them out of the door.
“This doesn’t count as a princess in need of rescue,” Devon said.
Author’s Note: Damsels in distress are quite a common trope, of course. Of course Alec is going to help her if he can. In this case, the question is raised: if you put yourself into the “story” can you count it as part of the game? Devon thinks not. [Editor: This is the fifth in a series. Check out all of Gabrielle’s stories for the rest of them.]
“No. He doesn’t count,” Alec snapped, slapping his hand over Devon’s bingo card.
“And why the hell not?” Rhys asked, amusement dancing in his eyes. “I do believe I qualify as both mysterious stranger and cryptic mentor.”
“You just don’t want me to win bingo,” Devon countered.
“Yeah, but you’re a regular. You don’t even find people to mentor or be mysterious at here.”
“Really? I thought I mentored you some?”
“You’re my friend. That’s not mentoring,” Alec protested.
“You’re also always calling him a fucking mysterious bastard.”
“Fine. You can pick one.”
“Deal,” Devon said crossing off cryptic mentor.
Author’s Note: Rhys and Alec are long time friends, Alec often having played the Chosen One to Rhys’ Mysterious or Cryptic Mentor in various worlds they’ve visited. There’s nothing Rhys loves more than annoying Alec when he can. [Editor: This is the fourth in a series. Check out all of Gabrielle’s stories for the rest of them.]
Completely soaked, Dave hesitantly closed the door not believing what he saw. Never mind the Inn hadn’t been here the last time he’d driven down this road, but the man at the desk had pointy ears.
“Can I help you?” the man asked.
“Um… do you happen to have a phone? Mine died and my car died up the road.”
Smiling, the man said, “Of course. It’s down the hall to the left.”
Dave carefully skittered over to the pay phone.
As he did so Alec cheerfully crossed off “traveler from non-magical world finding magical inn” on his bingo card.
Author’s Note: This trope isn’t as common except in Urban Fantasies. I think there should be more of them. [Editor: This is the third in a series. Check out all of Gabrielle’s stories for the rest of them.]
Glancing at Devon, Alec asked, “Would you call that adventuring party gathers?”
His second frowned thoughtfully. The five people under consideration sat around a table listening intently to an older man who pointed to an old tattered map.
“Oh, come on, they’ve got the fighter, mage, rogue, cleric and ranger. It’s classic party gathers.”
“Yeah, but they all knew each other as kids. Obviously, it’s old friends reuniting for adventure.”
Smugly, Devon marked it off on his bingo card as Alec grumbled. Meanwhile, oblivious to the Inn’s owner’s discontent, the five friends made treasure hunting plans.
Author’s Note: Almost every D&D game seems to start in an Inn doesn’t it? [Editor: This is the second in a series. Check out all of Gabrielle’s stories for the rest of them.]
The door thumped open, wind blowing leaves through the lobby, letting in a man wearing a grey cloak. Dark eyes darted around the room as he warily took in everyone.
His eyes settled upon a man sitting in a corner of the restaurant and he strode imperiously over.
“Baleron, I have been looking for you.”
“I’ve no interest in your words.”
“It is time! Your people need you! Or would you see them burn?”
Fist clenching Baleron said, “Very well, if I must.”
At the front desk Alec checked off the “reluctant heir” box on his bingo card.
Author’s Note: The reluctant heir who refuses the call is a classic figure. Really it should be the free space. Mysterious Inns are a common trope in many fantasy stories. I imagine the owner, Alec in this case, and workers probably need to keep themselves entertained when they keep on seeing the same sorts of people come in all the time. [Editor: This is the first in a series. The rest of these fun pieces will appear over the next few days.]
The Gadgeteer finished his latest device, and laughed. He turned to his most trusted henchmen. “It is ready. We can once again rob banks with impunity. This device will disrupt the nerves and paralyze the security for us. Soon, we’ll be rich.”
The henchmen looked at it, quite impressed. “But, sir, why not make more of them and sell them? The police and military would pay a fortune for something like that.”
It took a bit of time to arrange production and settle the contracts, but once it was done the money came flooding in. They retired in Las Vegas.
Author’s Note: I have never understood why stock supervillains rob banks. Superpowers or amazing gadgets should make it easy to become rich without bothering with the trouble or needing to worry about superheroes.
“Did you get the phoenix?” Skullin asked, sharpening his knives.
The necromancer grinned. “Of course I did.”
“Well, let’s get to work.”
Skullin let the skinning knife fall. “No?”
The necromancer whipped the phoenix out of the folds of his robes. It blinked at the light and squawked.
“We can’t skin him, he’s so fluffy. I think I’ll call him Boo-Boo. And you know what the best thing is?”
Skullin shook his head.
The necromancer pulled off his glove and stroked the bird. It dropped dead in his hand. Soon, the feathers began to smoke.
“He always comes back!”
Author’s Note: Everybody needs a pet, even necromancers.
He started out trying to be a good guy. Used his powers to steal from some wealthy Wall Street crooks and gave the money to homeless people. But some of the people he helped ratted him out, and after being shot in the stomach and told to never show his face in New York again, I guess he decided helping others was overrated.
It’s not that he wants to hurt anyone; he’s a gentle guy, really.
But if you don’t hand over the money, I’ll have to call him over. He’ll be angry… and he’s not pleasant when he’s angry.
Author’s Note: He robs from the rich and gives to himself.
Thirty-seven stories. That seems like plenty. I step forward, my toes hanging over the edge. I whisper an apology to my wife before I take that final jump, diving head first, squealing with joy as I rush toward the pavement.
I am at peace for the first time in my life. I have always felt I was different, alone, alien, that I didn’t belong on this Earth. I’m tired of pretending. I hope Lisa understands.
And then I realize the pavement isn’t getting closer; no, I’m headed toward the clouds.
I can’t do anything right, not even suicide.
Author’s Note: I’m 98% convinced that I have the ability to fly. But what if the only way to activate this latent power is to place myself in mortal danger?