Day after day, fair maidens flocked to the unicorn, pouches full of oats and juicy carrots. They brushed him from head to hoof, combed and braided his mane. But he wouldn’t let anyone near his silvery horn.
One night, strange noises woke the unicorn. A rope looped around his horn.
“You are no maiden,” the unicorn cried out. “Your arms are hairy, your dress ill-fitting.”
“Your horn is mine,” the intruder’s coarse voice sounded. A serrated blade flashed in the moonlight.
“Fine, keep it!” The false horn fell into the thief’s greedy hands as the horse pulled free and ran.
Author’s Note: What if a unicorn was just a horse in disguise?
The dragon puffed wisps of smoke into the fireplace, followed by a large ball of black goo. Fire wasn’t happening today. She picked up a codex bound in human skin and searched for a remedy.
Ah, brimstone tea.
She summoned a servant and gave him the order. But what was that smell? She sniffed the man, her steam breath scalding his neck.
Menthol? So soothing and oddly cool…
The dragon’s nostrils flared. “Atchoo!”
Flames engulfed the man, burning him to a crisp—and lit the firewood ablaze.
A cosy fire and a delicious snack? The dragon felt much better.
Author’s Note: What if a dragon caught a cold?
Space is a lonely place for my kind. I’m the last vampire, but I can’t even call myself the last on earth, since the blue planet is no more.
For weeks, I’ve been floating past lifeless rocks and uninhabited planets in the endless darkness. I’ve had a lot of time to mourn, to think, and to regret.
Is that a fleet of survivors? I can almost smell their sweet, sweet blood. I’m starving…
But I know how it ends if I feed. I would soon go hungry again. No. Let them have their chance and repopulate.
I can wait.
Author’s Note: I had this image in my head of a vampire floating in space, the last survivor after Earth has been destroyed.
Meredith pulled on her favourite cashmere sweater, but it barely covered her belly button.
“House robot!” she yelled.
The titanium appliance wheeled to the doorway. “Yes, Madam?”
“You’ve ruined my sweater! Didn’t you check the label? Hand-wash only.”
“I washed it exactly the way you would wash things, Madam. I inserted single colour into the machine and ran program one. I even allowed the laundry ample time to crease on the line before folding it carelessly into your dresser. Are you not pleased?”
Was that sarcasm in the robot’s voice? Meredith bit her lip. “Next time … follow the label.”
Author’s Note: One shouldn’t be too quick to point fingers when a robot does something wrong.
All Tim’s life, two shadows had followed him. Most days, the dark silhouettes walked in harmony side by side, but on good days, one shadow could be seen skipping beside the other.
People attributed his two shadows to the number of light sources in the room, and outdoors, they were quick to point at street lamps, neon signs, and even the moon.
One day, while looking through old pictures, Tim discovered a document in the attic: he had a twin brother who had died at birth.
Tim extended his trembling arms into the air. His two shadows embraced each other.
Author’s Note: I just started writing about a man with two shadows. What could be the cause of it?
Sharon watched her life being packed away in charity boxes.
“What an ugly thing,” a man in overalls said, holding a purple vase. “Oops.” It shattered on the floor.
How dare you! I loved that vase.
An icy breeze blew into the room. The lights flickered. The shutters opened and closed. The man’s eyes filled with terror, and his face turned ashen.
Sharon slumped and stopped. What was she doing? She didn’t want to be that kind of ghost.
But didn’t she deserve a little fun?
She pulled out every plate off the shelves, cackling and moaning, and yelled, “Oops.”
Author’s Note: I had an idea about a ghost watching her apartment being emptied and not being happy about it.
Hannah sneaked up on the vibrant green bottles cooling on the back porch. They glowed unlike any lemonade she’d seen. She took a sip, savouring the mysterious flavour–and started shrinking.
“Hannah!” Grandmother shrieked as she stepped outside, staring at her granddaughter’s changed form. She raised the bottle to assess how much was gone. “Oh dear. Looks like you’ll be a frog for a while.”
Grandmother scooped Hannah up in her palms and set her in the fenced garden pond where another bright green frog was waiting.
It was the first time Hannah met her missing Grandfather face to face.
Author’s Note: The flower fertiliser solution that I mix into empty bottles makes them look like magic potions. What would happen if someone took a sip?
Lila flicked her wand and a golden sandal appeared. Another flick resulted in a bunny slipper. Half an hour later, she owned a mountain of shoes, but only for the left foot.
She stormed off to Ted’s Magic Repairs and explained the problem.
Ted examined the wand. “Come with me.”
In the backroom, Lila stumbled over a pile of shoes–all for the right foot.
Ted pulled out a wand and blushed. “Looks like I’ve got the other half.”
“We should go out,” Lila joked, and he turned even redder.
Many magical dates followed, conjuring things that matched together perfectly.
Author’s Note: What if a magic wand could only conjure useless things such as… left foot shoes? After that idea the story wrote itself.