Due to technical difficulties with his website, Jeff Carlson asked us to post his post to our ongoing story here. He’ll have it on his site once things get straightened out.
If you’re here for Part 10, scroll down!
“Holy crap!” the elf cried, forgetting himself and speaking out loud.
The elf was long on aggression but short on self-control. He was short on inches, too, which partly explained his brash nature. He liked to fight because he saw the world as one big bully. He’d always been on the short end of the stick so he had a short fuse. Short jokes especially pissed him off, and he’d heard 9,451 such mockeries, puns, and gags since he’d started counting at the tiny age of six. It hadn’t helped that his own mother had a tall list of pet names for him like “little big man” or “baby love” which he’d then heard echoed by humans, orcs, centaurs, and androids throughout his short life. (He was only twenty-two.) They called him “small fry.” They called him “pipsqueak.’
He was just glad he wasn’t a dwarf.
The good news was he’d trained for combat with Great Master Derek himself. He was whip-fast with his sword and his throwing knives and the mini crossbow strapped to his left wrist. He knew kung fu. He also had a few spells up his leather sleeves.
Because he was a miniature target, weighed nothing, and what he did weigh consisted of lean elf muscle and hard elf bones (plus of course the good cold steel of his blades, his light armor, and his beaten copper engraving of his lost true love, Princess Zyx, which he carried faithfully in a secret pouch on inside the sheath for his favorite knife alongside two capsules of poison, four packets of antidote, a gold doubloon for emergencies, and a carefully folded scroll with the words of a charm of dubious powerful given to him by a chubby blind old human mage who lived in the beige pine forests of the elfin kingdoms), he had more speed and more stamina than a run-on sentence.
“You hideous bitch!” he cried. “I know you!”
Before anyone else could speak, he aimed his mini bow at the beast-tender while shouting to the lawyer and the android:
“Get back! Way back! Farther! Super far back! Her name isn’t Gratzgia Snulgrithn! It’s Snolthrign Giatztarg and she’s really a hair snake! I should have realized we were hunting an imposter!!!”
Get the next part of the story right here from A.E. Marling. Hop around for a few sections of the tale, and then, come back here as Jeff Carlson picks the story back up with part 10.
(Trust us, you don’t want to miss the other sections before reading on below!)
The troll clobbered the supervisor droid with one meaty, hammer-like blow, squashing the droid’s round head into its square chest. The troll was so angry, he hadn’t noticed the elf. Popping out of the cube had been orgasmic. It had been transcendental. He was free!
“GLAAARRAAGGHSLLTHAAA!” he roared, turning on the pink bunny androids.
Mashing them, bashing them, kicking and crushing them, the troll displayed the unrelenting fury of a natural-born bully who faced humiliation and defeat with all the grace of a veteran drunk messing his pants.
“Squee!” the bunny droids screamed. “Squee!”
“GRAARRRLRLTHGH!” the troll roared. He slapped them. He punted them. He folded, spindled, and mutilated them.
Meanwhile, the elf sprinted off through the chaotic steel maze of the foundry. He easily could have shot a bolt into the back of the troll’s idiot skull, but he figured the troll would better serve him as a distraction or possibly a lethal obstacle to the lawyer and the lawyer’s android if they dared to follow him.
In the elf’s opinion, it would also serve the citizens of Assembly right if the troll’s rampage caused them to miss their production quotas and brought down the wrath of the Assembly General, the half-orc, half-robot, half-fish monster who ruled this miserable world where the scurvy-ridden flesh overseers of the droids used their mechanical servants in the same lurid manner in which the bad guys used Katherine Ross in William Goldman’s superb 1975 script of “The Stepford Wives.”
Yes, they were evil and perverted. They were depraved flesh overseers with hot droid slave lovers and the elf detested them, especially the General, who truly was one-and-a-half persons.
Half orc. Half robot. Half fish.
The General was a conglomeration of dark, poisoned, multi-environmental mayhem who’d bested the elf and his true love. That was why the elf had come to Assembly. The elf needed the bounty money he’d expected to earn helping the lawyer secure Gratzgia Snulgrithn, but if he was going to jail himself, first he needed to settle the score with the General at last even if he wasn’t fully prepared for this fight.
Unfortunately, as he rounded the cinematic shower of sparks from an automated welding station, he was confronted with a leering, dancing shadow in the shape of a giant eggplant…