The three masters, each clad distinctively, strode forward with calm precision. The challenger coughed nervously, tossing the small burlap pouch the old woman had given him up and down in one hand gently.
After sunset they released the angry worms. Soon the soil below the castle would be full of them.
Every time they looked at the back of the cards there was a different scene. A fish on a bicycle. A honeycomb full of hair. A severed finger in a flower bed. A drunken hummingbird darting around a human ear.
In the Second Era, citizens were required to wear the feathers of penitents until they passed the examinations of the True Doctrine.
The screaming, rutting creatures threatened to destroy the entire settlement. They were as big as battleships and would copulate for weeks.
When the ice melted, they gathered around the remains, sure that with the right invectives he would fly again.
Dishes cluttered rooftops like mushrooms, opening up in the early mornings to take in the sweet signal.
Singing settled into the valley. Over time the voices washed away the houses and hamlets.
“It’s important to keep the outside of the vats moist,” he said, “otherwise the phenomenon will collapse.”
Sunlight illuminated the floor of the river, but all he could hear was metal.
Old Man told us everything, one story for each hair of his beard, one tale for each brick in the house he built with his very own hands.
Shipments from over the mountain always arrived in crates made of leather, with little rusty zippers on each side.
The leaves rustled into a shape, first a murder, then a demigod, then her.
The old, collapsing farmhouse had spawned huge clapboard nests. Delicious for the ants.
Wind and rain inundated the remote cabin. They whittled articulated legs from pine. In the morning they would try to get off the mountain.