• Keir Alekseii


Friday is officially #promptday!

To keep the wheels greased, my writing group - in addition to weekly workshopping - responds to a prompt every Friday. I have a particular love for TFR's prompts and we've been picking prompts from her every week since this started. This particular piece comes from Prompt Number Three.

"Yes, but last week a dragon almost set my hair on fire, so it's your turn to negotiate." Sephala said, running her hands over her dark hair and patting its bun in satisfaction. I opened my mouth in mock outrage, then closed it. She was right, and I did owe her for that one. Dragons are a rare species and my method of "negotiation" wasn't conducive to the Boss' order of "bring it in alive." This time, our only orders were to "bring the child back."

"Okay," I said "catch the kid."

"Wait, wha--"

Before Sephala could finish her sentence I turned away and strode confidently toward the ogres. Shoulders back and chin tilted at a jaunty angle, I made sure they all focused on me. That was the trick for dealing with ogres, appear unafraid and in control. There were five of them, and the leader was standing at the front of an arrow-head formation, trying his best to look menacing. His ugly, vaguely-human face was contorted in displeasure and his beady eyes were carefully studying me as we all ignored the screaming child, dangling by his ankle in the ogre's grip.

"I am Agent Helen Verma from the Paranormal Control Bureau. Are you prepared to negotiate with me on the surrender of Jackson Dawson, eldest son of the Dawson Warlocks?" The ogre nodded and grunted out an affirmative. "Good. I challenge you to a duel of all skills. Do you accept?"

The ogre burst out laughing and in a voice that sounded like an avalanche he said, "Yes human, I accept." and I nodded.

Three heartbeats later, in the loud, ringing silence that followed the sound of my gun, Sephala materialized by my side and caught the child, who fell after being loosed of the ogre's grip by his surprise at two chest shots. The leader of the ogre pack, my final bullet lodged deeply in his skull, tilted over slowly until he fell like lumber and scattered the pack's formation.

"Does anyone challenge my victory?" I asked the rest of the pack. They answered by running as quickly as their tree trunk leg would take them.

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