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Jock and the Cowstalk[For easier reading, engage both the aA and Pilcrow (¶) symbols at the top right of the story.]Jock and the Cowstalk by Centauran
Once upon a time there was a boy called Jock who lived with his mother on a beanfarm, where they grew all sorts of beans except the broad ones. The farm was leased from the local king, for whom Jock's father had worked for many years until he died unexpectedly at the age of forty-one, after an accident involving a bicycle, a bucket and a bayonet but that's not really important.
Jock had always wanted to be friends with the king's son, but although the prince thought Jock was quite spiffy, his father was really stuck up and wouldn't hear of the two boys playing together, so that was that.
One day in late summer, after their crop had ripened under a warm, cloudless sky, Jock's mother sent him out to harvest the beans and take them into town, to market. Jock being a handsome, well-set young man nearly two metres tall and built like a bulldozer, found the reaping easy and in no time
Probe - oh no.I woke up with a 'what was that!' jerk, realising it had just been a dream, but this time, a useful one, because crazy though it had been, it'd given me a clue about the case I was working on. I was staying in this haunted house see, with six or seven other people and a couple of staff. We'd been trapped by the raging blizzard outside, all of us scared to death because one of us was a murderer.Probe - oh no. by Centauran
I got dressed as quick as I could, because it was cold enough to freeze the knackers off a brass monkey. I knew this from the little statue of the three wise monkeys on my mantelpiece, with their paws over their mouth, eyes and ears. I'd examined it closely and none of them had any knackers.
I'd only reached the castle yesterday night, having been delayed by the death of the pilot who was flying the jet I was traveling on. Apparently, he'd been one of the sixteen people who'd eaten the fish. They'd all died too of course, but at the time they weren't really important. I'd reluctantly held up my
Mandragora 1Tel Aviv. The crowd roared, bathed in halogen white by the arclights, and broadcast across the globe from the network blimps drifting above the track.
The pit crew buckled Kyle Dorne into the seat, and Brace the crew chief was saying something to him at the same time a network drone shoved a mic into his face, asking about "the biggest race of his career." He heard neither Brace nor the drone. Dorne's mind was on the steering wheel and the car two places ahead of him. That car had the pole position. It should have been his.
Yellow lights in his heads-up display turned to green, but he knew the car's reactor was at full capacity by the way it vibrated around him. He never needed the instruments or the implants or the four-million-dollar sponsored neural reflex webs that the other drivers carried in their spines. He needed neither the synthetic adrenaline nor the enhanced subdermal chassis.
He just knew. He knew when the turns came. He knew what the other drivers would do. He knew when t
Of Foolish Knightly DelusionSir Myrthwchlmycmed, the Lord Dragon Hunter, had never seen a dragon much less hunted one. The court knew him as either the Knight of the Unpronounceable Name or simply as Sir Myrth. His position accorded him a great deal of respect and not a little influence in the court of the king because everyone knows that a dragon hunter is both valiant and very hard to slay.
Sir Myrth felt he had stumbled on a pretty opportunity when the king appointed him Lord Dragon Hunter for life. His logic seemed flawless at first glance. You see, no dragons had been reported anywhere in the kingdom for many years. If dragons had ceased to be, life for the Knight of the Unpronounceable Name would be long, pampered and prosperous. So he allowed his beautiful breastplate to tarnish and left his broadsword to languish in its sheath in a dusty corner of his attic. He became a knight in silk and velvet, forsaking steel and leather. Eating and drinking and writing simpering love poems for ladies who thought him v