Table of Contents

Demons by L.T. Dalin
Endings and Beginnings by Robin Abess
Destined by : David A Ludwig
The Suspect by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Untitled by Sheilagh Lee
My Big Mouth by Laura
Evildoer by H.L. Pauff
Untitled by Megan E. Clark
Untitled by Siobhan Muir
Trusted Friend by NIck Johns
Angel by Mark Ethridge
Untitled by Ryan Strohman

Read all of this week's stories here


L. T. Dalin:
This is a take on sibling rivalry that I haven't really seen before. I have to wonder if my sister thought I was a demon when I was born. :)

Robin Abess:
I like this because it digs down and shows what we all do when we're trying to write. The frantic midnight typing that you don't remember in the morning, the drain from the story not talking to you. Scary thoughts if it actually happened.

Lisa McCourt Hollar:
This made me laugh. And it was a nice twist of gender bending to fit the modern day. Of course now I'm imagining Tim Curry in his butler outfit cackling at getting away with it while framing the pretty PI.

Sheilagh Lee:
This was tense. The mother's love but knowing that she had to do something to protect the greater good of humanity, even if it was to end the life of what she wanted all along.

A fairy, a werewolf and a dragon walk into a bar... Well, at least life wouldn't be so boring now that those creatures came out of the woodwork.

H.L. Pauff:
Nothing like a bad situation getting worse and all because of those innocent pretzels. Try to do a good deed and get jumped by the Secret Service. That and the president needed to chew his food more thoroughly.

Megan E. Clark:
This is a different twist to a government agency that terminated children. It tends to lead a bit of mystery as to why they ate children and what the dark purpose of the group is.

Siobhan Muir:
Oh yeah, give me some hot SEAL loving. *fans self* I'm all for rule breaking.

Ryan Strohman:
Oh wow. You try to be nice to the little old lady and she turns out to be some evil mastermind who trashes your place, steals your boyfriend and tries to extort money from you. And instead of a white cat, it's a yorkie. Why can't they bring back the little old lady as a Bond villain?

Honorable Mentions

Nick Johns:
Short and sweet but it leads up to what is pretty prophetic. I like the mention at the end about the teeth being more for biting than smiling. Julius Caesar is one of my favorite plays to read.

Mark Ethridge:
This one hit a spot because I'm a cat person and there have been times when a person feels down there is nothing quite like the cat coming up and giving you kitty kisses and listening to the rumbling purr vibrate a small furry body. When things go bad, there is always someone there to let you know that it's okay.


[Judges comment:  I love the imagery in the piece of how the sweet, innocent Princess is the terror that could end the world. The force of the Guardians or knights being the final defense and giving it their all to make sure that she doesn't destroy the human race and the sacrifice that isn't recognized.]

by David A. Ludwig

We never imagined the one we swore to protect would be our greatest enemy. How could we? Legends get muddied with retelling, and now I see just how easy it is to lose critical information. Contrary to the story pieced together from crumbling scrolls, the five Guardians weren’t created to protect the Heavenly Princess from the world—but rather exactly the opposite.

The truth is, when the princess’s dire purpose was revealed I think we were all surprised—even the first time around. None of us remember our past lives, so I’m just guessing, but I know in my soul that then as now she was our friend.

My blood has caked around the vines suspending me helplessly in their thorny net—the rose petals now a more vital crimson than my spilt essence. I don’t have the strength to summon my armor now, even if I thought she’d let it through. At least I got the civilians out before she lost it completely. At least I was able to take the whole of her fury for now.

Too weak to fight anymore, I’m trapped in a web of my own thoughts. It isn’t the Princess’s magic keeping me here; it’s my own impotence. Princess? I’m not the one who calls her that, to me she’ll always just be… Why can’t I remember her name? Three years I’ve protected her, watched her mature into a strong, confident woman. She’s like a little sister to me, and now I can only think of her as the Heavenly Princess?

That was a past life. We’re different people now. All of us. In a modern world we Guardians are super heroes, celebrated and idolized for saving the world from forces beyond human understanding. Powers drawn to the Heavenly Princess. The Destined Child.

Overnight we were rejected by the world we’d saved so many times—reviled for protecting a genocidal monster from soldiers incapable of harming her, let alone helping her back to sanity. But that’s how it all started in the first place. I promised I would protect her.

I won’t break my promise.

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