Volume 33, Number 3

A Collection of Drabbles

Ken Poyner

A drabble is a full story told in exactly 100 words, not including the title in the word count. Hyphenated words count as one word. Punctuation has no effect on the count. It has to be more than a scene, more than a character study, more than an observation. It has to start, hum a little, stop.

First Date

Perhaps you should have rescued a different maiden. One into swords and sorcery, who believes dragons have a differential pay scale. A maiden whose gratitude goes directly from first kiss to happily ever after, without annoying romantic realities or pheromones. A maiden having waited eons for exactly the right hero: you. You kissing first the hand and only the lips teasingly after proper recognition, the acceptance of both your and her roles, with at eye level an implied permission contract. Perhaps. But I am not that maiden. You are not that hero. And I am not in need of rescue.

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From the Mother's Side

The master of the house has a young pretty daughter who seems most of the time to be sick. What the sickness is, no one knows. It may vary. The kitchen maid is constantly preparing therapeutic meals and trudging them up the service staircase. The kitchen maid’s son is as healthy and strong as a worshiped ox. The boy lives unnoticed in an abandoned coal shed well away from the master’s mansion. His mother leaves kitchen scraps and the boy sometimes hunts at the estate’s edge, bare handed. Strange that these two children are so different, having the same father.

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Love at Distance

Quibble fell for a girl who loved painting. Quibble knew nothing about painting. He denuded the library and could quite soon distinguish Impressionism from Renaissance Italian from Cubism. He grew impressed with his knowledge and believed that once he met this girl he had distantly admired, he could engage in salon conversation for hours. His chance would soon come, as she was engaged by his neighbor across the street and one door down. He would birth an excuse to approach after she set out her brushes and buckets, arranged her border tape, took her first ladder down from the truck.