Tag Archives: flash fiction

The Askinar Towers: Flash Fiction No. 5

Once again I am sharing some flash fiction that I wrote featuring a new character and taking place in book 2, “Sibling Rivalry”. If this were an actual part of the story it would take place towards the end of chapter 9. Enjoy and, as always, comments are welcomed!

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Edna’s Day Out

Edna Carlisle gathered up her things as she prepared to go down to the Askinar Towers Postal Service on Floor 10 in the Tower of Air. Her husband, Lester, was watering the plants in the apartment and then he was headed up to the Floor 68 Public Park to play checkers with his friend.

“Lester, are you sure you don’t want to come with me?” she asked him.

“Stand in line for an hour just to deliver two letters? No thank you,” he replied.

“The service is getting better. I was only in line for forty-five minutes last time.”

“A whole fifteen minutes less? I’ll call the radio station and have them broadcast it.”

“You don’t need to be snippy with me. I’d rather have someone to talk to while I’m waiting.”

“And I was your first choice? I’m flattered!” said Lester.

“Actually none of the ladies were available; I’ve already asked. You’re my last resort.”

“Isn’t that what you said on our wedding day?” he mumbled as he entered the kitchen.

“I didn’t hear what you said,” said Edna.

“Have a great day, my love!” he called out.

She left the apartment, walked down the hallway, and pressed the down button at the elevator. She only had to wait a couple of minutes before the doors open. She heard a door slam further down the hall as she got on board and a voice called out,

“Hold the elevator, please!”

Edna held the doors opened as a man in a white doctor’s coat appeared and entered the car.

“Thank you,” he said as he pushed the button for ‘16’. “What floor please?”

“Floor 10, the Askinar Tower Postal Service,” she replied looking at the young man. He pushed a button, the doors closed and the elevator descended.

“Are you by chance a doctor?” Edna asked.

doctor-medulla

“Yes. Dr. Medulla at your service,” he said with a graceful bow. “I was making a house call on one Petunia Mayfair. She’s been suffering great headaches.”

“Poor little thing,” said Edna. “She’s tried everything to get rid of the pain. What did you prescribe?”

“Nothing. I simply removed the Altairian Brain Eater from the back of her head. She couldn’t see it because it was half burrowed into her skull. Its skin matched the color of her hair.”

“Brain eater? Oh, doctor your putting me on!”

Dr. Medulla appeared as if he going to correct her but decided it would be simpler not to tell her the truth.

“You’re right,” he said, “just a little doctor humor. I simply gave her a neck adjustment and the pain went away.”

The elevator arrived at Floor 16 and the doctor hurried off. The doors closed and resumed its travel to Floor 8.

“A brain eater? Land sakes, what these quack doctors will say to get more money out of you.” Edna was unaware that she was going to the wrong floor.

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At Floor 8 the doors opened to the Celestial Post Office on Space Station Minerva. Edna slowly stepped off the elevator assuming she was on the right floor. ‘They must have redecorated recently,’ she thought.

She stood in line behind a couple of people waiting to talk to a large creature covered in blue fur. For some reason she could smell pine cones but didn’t know why. To the left she noticed a young couple at the complaints window talking to a man in a three-piece suit. Everything seemed normal to her except for the blue creature.

“Next,” called the creature.

She looked over to her right and saw a bar called the Cosmic Parlor.

“Next,” called the creature.

Edna shook her head in disapproval. ‘Drawing the younger crowd to the post office with the allure of drink. I’ll have a word with the manager about this!’

“NEXT!” the creature bellowed.

Edna looked and saw no one in front of her. She walked briskly up to the blue creature behind the counter. She was about to protest when she realized the pine cone smell was coming off him, her, it. Edna placed the two letters on the counter. The creature snatched them into his paws and looked them over.

“These need to be processed through the Askinar Towers Postal Service,” he said. “Next!” The smell of pine cones became stronger.

“Just a minute, young man or whatever you are. I am in the Askinar Towers Postal Service and I want to you take care of these for me.”

“This is the Celestial Post Office on Floor 8 and although we process letters for the Askinar Towers, we can’t process these. You’ll have to take them up to Floor 10. Next!”

“What do you mean this is Floor 8? I asked the doctor to push Floor 10, that is what he did, and this is supposed to be the Askinar Towers Postal Service,” said Edna.

“Floor 8 is where you are. I don’t know any doctor who would push the wrong floor for you. You have to go up to Floor 10.”

“All of this is giving me a headache,” said Edna as she became lightheaded.

“You must have an Altairian Brain Eater attached. Come here!” He reached for her but Edna screamed, grabbed her letters, and then ran to the elevator.

Once inside she pushed the button for Floor 10, the doors closed, and the car ascended. She pulled out a small paper fan and frantically waved it in front of her.

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At Floor 10 the doors opened and she carefully entered the Askinar Towers Postal Service. A woman attired in pants suit walked up to her. “Good afternoon, do you need those letters processed?”

“What? Oh, yes!” Edna unclutched her hand and gave them to the woman. “Sorry about their condition, I just had a horrible experience.”

“You went to Floor 8 by mistake?” asked the woman.

“Yes, but how did you know?” asked Edna.

“You smell like pine cones. My husband, Larry, wears that cologne.”

“Your…husband?”

The doors behind her opened and the blue creature lumbered off towards Edna and the woman.

“Hi Honey, ready for lunch?’ He bent down and gave her a kiss as Edna crumpled to the floor in a faint.

 

            I hope you enjoyed today’s bit of flash fiction. Don’t forget to check out my trilogy, The Askinar Towers where stories like this take place.

 Until next time,

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

Flash Fiction No. 4

Good Monday morning! For your reading pleasure I bring to you another Flash Fiction story inspired by my trilogy, The Askinar Towers. This story would take place in book 2, Sibling Rivalry.

Devan and Galadar: The Final Conflict

“So long Cow Face,” said Devan sadly.

“Good-bye Shoeless Freak!” replied Manitoba.

As Devan returned to the elevators, he waved to Talbot and Mercedes mouthing the words, Good luck.  Once on board, he thought back to the many years he worked as a member of the now disbanded adventuring group. Although Roland would be expecting him, he was anxious to get back to Furfoot and see his mother and brothers first. He also hoped to see Sierra; provided she wanted to see him. Last time they were together, he abruptly left for adventure and certain things were left unsaid. Devan spoke a silent vow that he would make everything right this time.

He turned left towards the walkway to the Tower of Earth and then proceeded right to then next walkway and on to the Tower of Air. As he waited for disc ’54’ to arrive, he made another vow to quit adventuring for the time and make sure his family, friends, and loved ones were cared for first. It would be great to see everyone again. He also hoped that he wouldn’t have to contend with the giants from Panzington, especially Galadar.

Giant Wins

Galadar, the giant defeats the clueless halfling, Devan.

Yes, the famed children’s story of Devan and Galadar was about him and his confrontation with the giant. However, it was the giant’s version that got the most circulation; when Devan hit Galadar in the head with a small, smooth stone; the giant pounded the halfling into ground. The halfling version had Devan defeat the giant and was supposed to be a source of encouragement to shorter races to always stand up the bully regardless of size. Hardly a copy of the halfling version is even seen. Even in other halfling villages, he always found the giant’s version. From that version, all halflings are taught never to go up against a giant with just a stone.

At Floor 54, he got off the disc and opened the lone door. It came out of a tree in the woods near the village of Furfoot. Immediately, he heard cries for help and a sinister laugh that could only come from one person.

“Galadar!” His mother’s house was on the other side of the village, the last one before the road to Panzington. That meant they were the first house to encounter any giant coming in, which is also why Devan was bullied the most. That, and the fact that he stood up to Galadar each time. “This time, I’m making sure he doesn’t bother this village again!”

Devan stayed to the trees and skirted the village over to his mother’s home. He spied a bush shaking and quickly investigated.

“Oh, Master Ambercrombie!” a halfling peered out from behind the bush. “I’m so glad it’s you!”

“Morrie? Is that you?”

The bush nodded in response. “Galadar arrived this morning looking for you. He’s taken your mother and three brothers to the lake near Panzington Mountain.”

“Aloysius, Gremble, Tonkin, and Mother Lily,” said Devan under his breath.

The bush nodded in agreement. “He said that he wanted to end this fairytale nonsense once and for all.”

“What does he care?” asked Devan. “All copies of that story that exist are with the giant winning.”

The bush shook in disagreement. “Not true. All copies with the halfling being victorious are in Panzington. They know of no other version.”

“No other version? That’s it!” Devan instantly knew what he must do to maintain peace in the village of Furfoot. He ran back to the center of town and rang the bell of the church. The ringing brought everyone in the village to the church knowing that it was one of distress.

As the halflings gathered many were surprised to see Devan back in town. Some attempted to welcome him home but he stood up on the steps of the church to get everyone’s attention.

“Please, please! Yes, I am very grateful to see all of you as well but there is a more urgent problem affecting us. It appears that Galadar the giant has kidnapped my mother and brothers in an attempt to have a final encounter with me.”

Many of the halflings seemed uninterested in that the encounters with Galadar were always with Devan and his family. They expressed their opinions in that fashion.

“Yes, I do realize that he is the only giant from Panzington who comes down here to Furfoot and yes, I do realize that I am the only halfling that he encounters. But who’s to say that he will be the last and, if my family and I aren’t here, who will stop the others?”

“That’s only if any of the other giants come down here,” said a halfling who extracted himself from the crowd. He was dressed in more authoritative clothing that the other.

“Mayor Furfoot, I was informed that all of the fairytale stories of Devan and Galadar that exist in the town of Panzington are the ones where the halfling is victorious. If all of the giants read that version of the story, there is no stopping them if they should come down here.”

This bit of information alarmed the villagers. Many were in a state of panic as Mayor Furfoot ascended the steps to address the town.

“Now now, calm yourselves,” he said. “We can hold our own against the giants if need be. We have several who are trained in battle skills and can meet any opposition that comes our way.”

“If it pleases thee, Mayor Furfoot, I have a suggestion that could avoid any unnecessary confrontation and bloodshed,” Devan said.

“Say on, Master Devan,” Furfoot replied.

“If we were to gather all copies of the fairytale where the giant is victorious and trade them for the copies where the halfling is victorious, we can end this peacefully.”

“That is a capital idea! But who among us will take on this task?”

“I will, of course,” Devan said. “But I can’t do it alone. Do I have any volunteers to assist me in that endeavor?”

Many of the halflings looked away and mumbled in fear and disinterest. One young halfling bravely stepped forward.

“I’ll go with you,” Morrie said as he brushed off twigs and leaves from his clothes.

Devan smiled knowing that he might just be one of the braver halflings in all of Furfoot. “Thank you, Morrie. I knew I could count on you.” He turned to the rest. “Please return to your homes and collect every copy of the fairytale that you have and bring them here. Time is of the essence!”

The villagers dispersed to their homes. The mayor and another halfling went to the library and returned with four copies of the fairytale. Soon others arrived with copies of the story and the total amount was fifty. Morrie drove up in a horse and wagon and the copies were loaded in the bed.

“I’ll take these to Galadar and offer an exchange of the books for my family and, if possible, their copies of the fairytale as well. Wish me luck!” Devan climbed aboard the wagon and they sped off while the villagers waved goodbye.

On the far side of the lake the giant, Galadar, had his captives tied around an Acacia tree. He had a fire going and was cooking a wild boar.

“You’re not going to win,” said Tonkin, the youngest brother. “Our brother, Devan, will be here soon.”

The giant laughed heartily. “I do hope so for your sakes. I heard the bell ringing in Furfoot and I’m guessing he’s return and knows I have the four of you.”

“Galadar, why must you always fight with Devan?” asked Mother Lily.

Halfling Wins

Devan, the brave halfling defeats the bungling giant, Galadar.

“It’s because of that stupid fairytale! All I ever heard was Devan the halfling defeating the mighty giant, Galadar. It’s so annoying! I will prove to my people in Panzington that giants always prevail.”

“Devan wins?” Gremble asked. “All we ever hear about is Galadar winning over Devan.”

“You speak lies! You just want to trick me into thinking that this is true so I will let you go.”

“But it is true,” said Mother Lily.

“She’s right,” said Devan as he came around the lake with Morrie as his side. He held a copy of the fairytale story up to show the giant. “See for yourself. Every copy of this story in Furfoot has the giant winning over the halfling.

“Let me see!” He walked over to Devan and snatched the book from his hand. Morrie quickly hid behind Devan.

Galadar thumbed through the whole story and seemed unimpressed. Then when he got to the last two pages his face lit up and he smiled from ear to ear and then laughed out loud.

“I love it, this is great!”

“You see, Galadar, the halflings have only heard one version of the story and my friend, Morrie here, told me that Panzington has copies of the other version. I have fifty copies of that book in my wagon on the other side of the lake. Let’s make a trade. Free my mother and brothers and you can have those copies of the fairytale.”

Galadar appeared to be thinking it over as he looked at the book and then over at the halflings tied to the tree. “It’s a trade!” He stood up and let the halflings loose. Devan went to hug his family as Morrie looked on. “Now take me to those books.”

“Follow me!” Devan led the way around the lake to the wagon. His brothers and mother all talked at once wanting to know about his travels and what brought him back to Furfoot.

Once they reached the wagon Devan turned to Galadar.

“As a sign of good faith, I’m allowing you to take this wagon full of books back to Panzington. I hope that this will end any confrontation that you and I have and that we might become friends.”

“Friends with a halfling? Not likely.” He climbed into the wagon and then drove off toward the mountains.

“How could you let him take the wagon?” Aloysius asked.

“A small loss to keep the peace between the two races,” Devan replied with a shrug.

“Will you two become friends?” Mother Lily inquired.

“That’s up to Galadar. I kept my end of the bargain as did he. I even went one step further allowing him to drive the wagon home. If I know Galadar, he’ll realize that I’m one up on him in favors and he’ll want to return to make us even.”

“He might give us their copies of the fairytale,” Morrie suggested.

“That’s what I’m thinking,” Devan agreed. “For now, let’s return home and celebrate!”

“By the way, Son, Sierra has been asking about you,” Mother Lily said.

The End

Thank you for stopping by and as always comments are appreciated!

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

Floor 17 Cafe project Entry-12

Good Monday Morning! Here’s another entry from Chuck’s Blog. Chuck is a waiter at the Floor 17 Cafe located in the Tower of Water of The Askinar Towers. Please enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Gestures Girl

 

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Johano, a co-worker of mine. He’s writing today’s entry.

Hello fans of Chuck! Johano here and I’ve been asked to give my view of things in the café at the moment. Don’t worry; this isn’t a hijack like what Gretchen did last week. Chuck is sitting right here with me, but he wanted me to talk about Gretchen and what she was like before she became a waitress for the Floor 17 Café.

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Gretchen.

I started with the café a few years ago and about a month before Gretchen did. At that time it was only the Stonefist Twins that were regulars in the café. I was given the tables next to the Realm Doors as I like to call them and so I got to know the dwarfs very well. And, as you know, that has been my station ever since.

gestures 01

“I approve of your presence and am happy to be here!”

One day this beautiful brunette entered the café and was seated by Maurice at a table in the center and I was assigned to serve her. I was taken in by her beauty and hoped that she would become a regular and I would have the pleasure to serve her each time she visited. I introduced myself to her and she seemed to be enraptured by my handsome physique, as she was unable to speak to me. Instead she gives me a ‘thumbs up’ as if to say, “I approve of your presence and am happy to be here!”

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She pointed at everything she wanted to order off the menu and pointed at me whenever she needed my attention. And before she left she gave me the universal ‘Call me’ gesture. But she never gave me her phone number. Thus I nicknamed her ‘Gestures Girl’.

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A couple of weeks later she came in wearing this funky hat and, for just a moment, I thought it was someone else until she pointed with her finger at the menu and then I realized it was Gretchen or rather, ‘Gestures Girl’. She managed to give me her name and phone number this time adding the ‘Call me’ gesture again and I did and we talked for a short while.

It was then that I suggested she become a waitress as the café need help and then we could see each other every single day. She loved the idea and a couple days later she applied for the job, and then was hired a week later. Her first customer was a grumpy giant and, fortunately for the café, she managed to get over her shyness and actually speak to the customer.

Gretchen juice

Unfortunately, her speech consisted of only one word at a time and when the giant asked what she recommended to drink, she thrust a glass in his face and said, “Juice!” Then she sneezed and tossed the whole contents in the giant’s lap. He got up and stormed out but she gave everyone the “thumbs up” sign to assure them everything was okay. There you have it, Gretchen was once known as ‘Gestures Girl’. I am now returning the blog back to Chuck.

Thank Johano! Excuse me a minute friends, I’m still wiping the tears from laughing so hard. I never would have believed his story had it not been for the pictures that he took! Oh don’t worry, Gretchen has taken the weekend off and I’m sure she won’t be reading this. That is, not until Monday or so.

One final bit of news before I put this entry to bed. Maurice has spoken to the owner of the Floor 17 Café and she has agreed to the idea of celebrating Diadios. She is supposed to meet with Denbar Karma and Roland Haberdasher this weekend so hopefully I can give you an update early next week. I did recall Gretchen mention some holiday called Christmas but she said it’s only for one day. Maurice seemed more interested in the Festival of the Gods as it took place for two weeks.

Well friends, it’s been a hilarious time with Johano. I need to go and get something to eat and drink and get my breath back. Until next time!

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Happy to serve,

Chuck.

Hope you enjoyed this entry! Next week you will meet the cast of characters from the Floor 17 Cafe and I’ll share a cover reveal for the book to come out in early Fall. Don’t forget my posts on Thursdays known as Diary of a Bard.

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

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The Floor 17 Cafe Blog–entry 3

Good Monday morning to you. I received a lot of “likes” (though no comments) on last week’s post.  I’m sharing another entry from Chuck’s blog this week as well. These are inspired by the Floor 17 Cafe found in the Tower of Water of my trilogy, The Askinar Towers. Please enjoy!

Power Lunch Bunch

Hello, Chuck here!

It’s been a week now since I’ve been hired on as a waiter here at the Floor 17 Café. I’m still getting used to the different, uh, life forms that come in to eat but I am adjusting quicker than some of the others. At least that’s what Johano said. He and Gretchen are two of the staff that I’ve become good friends with in this last week. Here’s what they look like…

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Gretchen, she’s very cute but can be annoying at times.

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This is Johano. He does use the umbrella as it sometimes rains along the walls of the cafe.

Before I tell you about my new customers, let me describe the café itself. When you come in off the elevator here in the Tower of Water, you cross a small foyer and enter what you would normally think of as a restaurant. That’s right it doesn’t really look like a café at all. The tables are all covered in a rich fabric, and the carpet is an ocean blue. I guess that’s to remind us that were in the Tower of Water. No need for reminding as the entire atmosphere is damp. I was told that there are three other towers but I haven’t seen them yet.

Anyways Gretchen took ill over the weekend and so I offered to take her tables in addition to my own. Since Destiny’s Six has been on an extended adventure I only have a couple other tables to tend to. One of her regular customers are the businessmen that she dubbed as the Power Lunch Bunch. It didn’t take much to persuade Maurice to take her tables. He knows that the businessmen are important clients and that they tip very well. So yesterday I served them for the first time!

Busniess Men

All three of them entered off of the elevator and, walking single file, make a beeline straight to their table. It’s considered their table, as no one else would dare sit there. It happened only once that someone was seated at their table and the businessmen had them promptly fired! That’s right, FIRED! Don’t know how it happened but after a couple of phone calls were made, the person seated at their table soon learned he was unemployed. Of course, that’s another good reason to consider them as important clients of the café.

I did my utmost to keep the three of them happy; keeping their service prompt and courteous. Once their meal was over all they said to me was, “You’re no Gretchen, but you’ll suffice.” Then they walked off. I didn’t know whether to be insulted or relieved. Johano suggested that I feel the latter as six members of the staff were fired since they started coming here. Something about Gretchen though had pacified them and no one has been fired since she began as a waitress. I guess whatever I did to make them happy, they’ll consider me as an alternative should she be absent again.

Maurice was very happy for this as well and gave me a 50-credit bonus as thanks and to encourage me to give them the same good service each time. He also assured me that this had nothing to do with being family so he presented it to me in front of the other staff. Everyone else was proud of me, everyone that is except for Manuel. Nothing seems to be good enough for him.

This afternoon I was expecting the Power Lunch Bunch to arrive when Gretchen appeared in the kitchen to say she had returned to work. I assumed that she was going to take care of the businessmen but then she informed me that they had arrived and specifically asked for me. I looked at her in case she might be angry by it but she showed indifference.

As I walked out I was greeted to a scene of a Minotaur, an Elf and a Halfling all in business attire and talking away on bananas pretending they were phones. I laughed and was afraid at the same time. Laughing, because Manitoba and the guys looked utterly ridiculous and, afraid that if the businessmen showed up they would do something to them. As it was, the rest of the adventuring party was at their normal table laughing as well.

Then they walked in. Silence filled the air except for Manitoba and the guys still chatting away on their bananas. The businessmen looked very cross and demanded their table. Manitoba rose to his impressive 7-foot stature and said, “No.” Before he even got to the ‘o’ part, all three were on their phones. The Minotaur simply laughed and asked whom they were going to call.

“You’re boss,” said one.

“We’re unemployed,” Manitoba replied.

“Your leader then,” said a second.

“That would be me,” he added with a chuckled.

Locan and Devan also stood hoping for a fight. The three businessmen simply sat down at a different table. I looked over at Gretchen, who was viewing this all from the kitchen, and motioned her to take care of them.

Fortunately the businessmen had a good lunch and tipped well but gave a glare to the entire adventuring party before they left. The group celebrated with an extra pitcher of ale as if they conquered an evil foe. But there are times when I wonder who the real foe was in that scenario.

Happy to Serve,

Chuck.

Chuck

It’s me Chuck! Though, now I have red hair.

Don’t forget my other Flash Fiction serial, Diary of a Bard, written every Thursday on this blog. Next Monday you’ll get a bonus entry from “Diary” as the guys give their first performance of their Bards at Large tour.

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

The Floor 17 Café Blog Project

Three years ago I began a new project which was to coincide with the publication my trilogy, The Askinar Towers. As each book came out, the entries in the new blog I created were to follow along with the stories. However, after six months or so, I lost the motivation to write on the blog plus my books had to be self-published as the company I was associated with couldn’t fulfill their end of the contract.

            Anyways I recently found myself rereading all thirty of the entries that I originally wrote for the blog project and decided to write a new set of entries to complete the project. This finished work will be a new book and will serve as a supplemental item for the Askinar Towers trilogy.

            In book 1, Nexus of the Worlds, I introduced a little café on Floor 17 of the Tower of Water. Conveniently enough, it was called the Floor 17 Café. I brought about a handful of characters including, Chuck the waiter and Maurice the Maître D. The café somewhat became a base of operations for my main characters, Sara and Erika, as they visited it often. That and I loved the idea of this unusual café.

            Having completed the trilogy I thought about doing an additional story from Chuck’s point-of-view of what life is like as a waiter in this interesting setting. I added some extra characters and Chuck’s Blog was born. Below you will read his very first entry and in future weeks, I’ll share additional entries. I hope to have the whole project finished by the end of September.

Please enjoy this post and, as always, comments are very welcomed!

 

Chuck’s First Customers

Chuck

It’s me Chuck! Though, now I have red hair.

Hi I’m Chuck! I just got hired on as a waiter here at the Floor 17 Café. My uncle, Maurice, is the head Maître D and I’m his favorite nephew. Ok, his only nephew. We have a good relationship as family and a fairly decent one at work but he makes sure he doesn’t show favoritism towards me which is why he’s always yelling at me in French. I can understand French perfectly but can’t speak it very well. I sound like a vulgar tourist from another country.

Maurice

Uncle Maurice, head Maitre D for the cafe.

Anyway to prove he doesn’t show favoritism towards me, my first customers were this rowdy group of adventurers called Destiny’s Six. They seemed to be in here more often than not but that’s primarily because of the time change in the different realms. We’re located here in on Floor 17 of the Tower of Water and this group comes and goes mostly by the elevator out in the hallway. I was told the last time they left they were gone for an hour, according to the café clock but for them it was two weeks!

This group consists of a Minotaur, a Giant, two Halflings, and two Elves. Only one female in the group, the elf named Sarinna and she’s the ranger. She gave me this look like she can see into my soul. I’ve heard this about Elves though maybe it was just my imagination. But as you might tell, I look forward to her…sorry, I meant their arrival again.

I also learned that their order is always the same which is another reason Uncle Maurice gave them to me as my first customers. The Minotaur orders a whole chicken, grilled and served with garlic; the two Halflings share a large basket of chili cheese fries and each has a double thick chocolate shake; the male Elf, Locan orders Tower Deluxe hamburger and then apologizes to Manitoba (that’s the Minotaur) after every bite. If you didn’t already know, Minotaurs look a little bit like a cow and so Locan pretends he’s eating one of Manitoba’s own kind. This is the kind of humor that goes on within the group.

Sarinna

Sarinna, the Elf Ranger. What a looker!

My girlfriend Sarinna eats a sensible salad, plenty of vegetables and nuts on it, but she covers it in chocolate syrup for some reason. I was going to ask but Maurice told me not to; if I cared to continue breathing. Not sure if he would make good on that threat of if she would. I chose not to pursue it. Finally Baruch, the Giant, orders a super deluxe pizza and two orders of hot wings. He washes it down with tea and never ale. Speaking of ale, the whole group orders between 3 to 6 pitchers of ale with their meal. The number is depends on the success of their current adventure.

Since they all order the same item each time, I was instructed to keep a premade order on hand in one of my apron pockets but I am to take their order every time they come in. I was told by a fellow waiter that once in a great while they will change their order to see if the waiter is paying attention or just drawing conclusions from previous visits. Although all of the food here is free, and they don’t have to worry about paying, they do tip. The size of the tip depends on whether the order was taken correctly and the timeliness of the waiter and service.

That’s pretty much all in regards to my first customers. I took their order as given, keep their bread baskets full, (the Halflings and Elves love the bread), and made sure pitchers of ale were restocked when needed. At the end of the day (they came in three times) I earned one hundred gold pieces which transfers into 500 credits on my Tower Card. It’s a personal credit card and it’s how we pay for things on different floors of the Tower of Water. I also get an employee discount in the gift shop on Floor 5 but more on that later. After their last departure, Sarinna ran over to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. It’s great to be alive! After they left, Uncle Maurice gave me a twenty minute lecture on fraternizing with the patrons of the café, and yes, it was all in French!

Happy to Serve,

Chuck.

Hope you enjoyed this entry. Don’t forget on Thursdays I’m posting a new Flash Fiction serial called, Diary of a Bard.

Until then, Happy Adventuring!

Chris

Flash Fiction #3: Cheesecake of the Apocalypse

Here’s another entry of flash fiction that I wrote inspired by scenes in my Askinar Towers trilogy. This scene would take place in book 2, “Sibling Rivalry”. If this were an actual part of the story it would take place in the middle of chapter 17. Enjoy!

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Cheesecake of the Apocalypse

The elevator arrived at Floor 86 in the Tower of Water and two guys got off. They look to their left and then to their right.

“So many doors to choose from eh, Peter?” said the first.

“I’ve noticed, Chris, that the hallways seem to go beyond the limits of the tower wall itself,” Peter replied.

“Magic, of course! After all, behind most of these doors is actually a realm and not just a room.”

“Where are we headed?” Peter asked.

“A town called Pleasington. The guy in the gift shop said floor 86, turn left off the elevator and it’s the seventh door on the right.”

“Lead the way, my friend.”

Chris turned left and counted seven doors on the right side of the hallway.

“Here we are,” he said.

Peter opened the door and the pair entered the realm. They immediately realized that they were not properly dressed for cold temperatures. They jumped up and down in place trying to keep warm and find a place to get out of the cold.

“Chris, you didn’t tell me it would be cold,” Peter said.

“I didn’t know it would be cold. That’s the trouble with traveling through The Askinar Towers; you never know what realm or weather you’ll end up in. I wish there was some kind of guidebook.”

“Hey, there’s a diner. We can get warm in there and perhaps something to eat,” said Peter.

“Good idea! Lead the way.”

The two of them hustled across the cold, hard ground towards the diner. They passed a church and noticed a large retail store at the bottom of a hill.

“What town is this again?” asked Peter.

“The guy in the gift shop said, ‘Pleasington’. You wanted to see a small town and he said this was the best example of one.

“It’s a charming town, to say the least.”

“Any idea what year this is?” Chris asked

“There’s a newspaper machine near the front door,” Peter replied.

As they arrived, they noticed that the date on the newspaper read Friday November 27, 1992.

“It’s Black Friday,” said Chris.

“What’s so black about it? The sky is fairly clear.”

“No, Peter. It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. They call it ‘Black Friday’ because all of the businesses have a huge sale which starts the Christmas season.”

“Interesting! Let’s get inside before it starts to snow.”

Sunset Diner

Once inside, they each ordered a cup of coffee. No one else was in the diner except a waitress and the cook. The smell of cornbread stuffing and turkey filled the air. They sat at the counter and ordered coffee.

“For a post-Thanksgiving event like Black Friday, this town seems rather quiet,” Chris said.

“Folks around here don’t rush for anything,” the waitress replied.

As they were served their coffee, each picked up the mug to warm their hands. They took in the aroma of a freshly brewed pot. In the distance, they could hear a PA system announce something.

‘What was that?” asked Chris.

“Big Bob’s Bargain Bin is having a ‘Black Friday’ sale. Now, can I get you boys anything to eat?” asked the waitress.

“How about some cheesecake?” Peter asked.

“Cheesecake? It’s still morning,” replied the waitress.

“Anytime is a good time for a slice of cheesecake,” said Chris.

“I can’t argue with you there. I’ve been known indulge in the morning myself.” The waitress walked over to the pie case and pulled out the cheesecake.

Chris turned to the windows and noticed that it got very dark out all of a sudden. He walked over to the front door. “Is there an eclipse going on here?”

“Not that I’m aware of, Hon,” replied the waitress.

“Gives the Black Friday idea validity,” said Peter.

Chris could hear the PA announcement again but only made out the words, ‘Free Gift’.

The ground trembled beneath their feet.

“Earthquake!” Chris said nervously.

“Ain’t been no earthquake here in over fifty years,” said the waitress.

Chris then saw the earth moving in various parts of the yard in front of the church. He noticed that shapes of people rose up from the earth and were shambling down the hill towards the store.

“Peter! The dead are rising from their graves and walking towards the Bargain Bin. We need to do something!”

“The cheesecake is ready, Chris. She even added strawberries!” said Peter.

“Awesome! You know what? The dead can wait.” He turned and walked back to the counter for his cheesecake.

 

I hope you enjoyed this bit of flash fiction. Starting this Thursday, and hopefully every Thursday, I plan to post new flash fiction every week featuring a brand new character who will be appearing in an upcoming series that I’m working on. You’ll meet Dell Chanter, Bard Extraordinaire as he makes journal entries of his travels with his show partner, Derek Banter. Please come back on Thursday for this new feature!

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

The Askinar Towers: Flash Fiction–2

Once again I am sharing some flash fiction that I wrote inspired by a character seen in Chapter 15 of book 2, “Sibling Rivalry”. If this were an actual part of the story it would take place towards the end of the book around chapter 26. Enjoy!

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Better With Bacon

Russ Richards and his family had just finished with Floor 91 when they wearily boarded the elevator to Floor 92. The baby strapped to Russ’ back was fussing.

“Can we stop and get something to eat?” asked Joanne, his sister. “I believe Jacob needs a fresh diaper and could do with some formula.”

“If there’s a place here on Floor 92, we’ll stop and eat. Maybe even get a little rest.”

“After the ogre tribes we countered on Floor 91, I’ll be happy to rest anywhere,” said Andy, his brother.

“Including a Roadside convenience store that smells like microwaved burritos,” added Steve, his uncle.

“We have just a few more floors to cover and then we’re done with the Tower of Water,” said Russ.

“True, but according to those girls we met, there are still three more towers,” said Andy.

“All in good time,” said Russ.

The elevator arrived at Floor 92 and the doors opened. Beach Boys music was heard as they stepped into a diner.  The décor was out of the 1950s with posters of music groups of that era. The metal top counter was shiny and clean as if it was never used. A couple were sharing a soda in a corner booth.

BWB Rick

A young man came out of the kitchen chomping on some bacon. He looked up at the people who’d just arrived. “Welcome to ‘Better With Bacon’! Every meal is served with a side of bacon!”

“Do you have a bathroom?” asked Joanne.

“Yes, just on over there by the front door. I’m Rick, by-the-way. Please seat yourself.”

Joanne took Jacob and went to the bathroom, while Russ, Andy and Steve took a seat at the counter. Rick came back around the counter and handed them each a menu. “Coffee?”

“Please,” said Russ. The other two nodded in agreement.

“First time to the diner?” asked Rick.

“Yes! We’re on a mission to create a guidebook for this tower. What all is on this floor?”

“Just this diner and a small park on the other side of the parking lot.

“What’s the special?” asked Steve. “I don’t see it on the menu.”

“Ah, well, today’s special is ‘I can’t Believe I’m not Dead Yet’.

“Sounds, uh, interesting,” said Andy. “What’s in it?”

“Bacon wrapped in bacon, dipped in bacon grease, deep fried, with crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.”

“Served with a side of bacon, right?” asked Joanne as she came out of the bathroom.

“That’s right!”

“I can feel my arteries hardening already,” said Andy.

“Oh, that’s tomorrow’s special. You should come back then,” replied Rick.

“Seriously?” asked Joanne.

“No, not really. Tomorrow’s special is Bacon wrapped Steak, dipped in bacon grease, deep fried and topped with crumbled bacon.”

“And served with a side of bacon,” said Joanne, Andy and Steve.

“What’s it called?” asked Russ.

“The Heart Stopper,” replied Rick with a smile. “It was called the Major Coronary, but the burger joint on Floor 93 tried to sue me for infringement because they had a burger of the same name.”

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“What’s the name of this burger joint?” asked Joanne.

“The Meat Grinder. Their special of the day today is, Cow Meets Grinder.”

“What’s in it?” asked Andy.

“How should I know? They’re my rival, after all. Of course, with the name, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that burger meat is in it.”

“Personally, I could do with a burger,” said Joanne.

“I agree,” added Steve, then turned to Rick. “No offense.”

Rick shrugged his shoulders. “To each his own, come back for breakfast when you can.”

“What’s the breakfast special?”

“Rick’s Scrambled Omelet,” he replied.

“Served with a side of bacon I assume,” said Joanne.

“No, it comes with sausage.”

“Really?” asked Andy.

“NO! Of course it comes with bacon. This is ‘Better with Bacon’, after all!” Rick stormed off into the back.

The group quickly got up, returned to the elevator, and went up to Floor 93. Russ jotted some quick notes about Floor 92 as he waited for the doors to open.

“Maybe we should have looked at the park,” said Steve.

“Why?” asked Russ. “A park is a park. I’m sure there was nothing spectacular about it. Besides, I really didn’t want to hear about bacon anymore.”

 

At Floor 93, the doors opened to reveal a small restaurant styled like a meat locker. As they came out of the elevator car, a young man came out of the kitchen.

Burger Rick

“Welcome to ‘The Meat Grinder’. I’m Rick, your host and owner.”

“Weren’t you just down in the diner of ‘Better with Bacon’?”

“Who me? No, that guy is so ten minutes ago. I am the future!”

The End

I hope you enjoyed this story. I hope to share more pieces of flash fiction in future blog postings. Eventually I’d like to put  them all together and create a book, but time will tell. Please share comments that you might have on this story. To buy copies of my trilogy, see my author page at Amazon.com. If you want other links, please state you interest in the comments section below.

 

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ll be sitting in the Red Chair for an interview this Saturday with Lucy Mitchell AKA The Blond Writer.