The Secret of Pithy Power

The rains pour down and I huddle underneath my cloak, hand firm upon the hilt of my Claymore. My gaze burns through the shadowed streets, ever searching for the minions of she who calls herself Enchanting Queen, Awesome Ruler of the World. I have already survived one attack. Thank goodness a goose splattered white filth upon the walk, alerting me in time to foil her perfidy, but unwary backs soon find a dagger thrust upon them.

A shuffling noise reaches my ears. I can tell by the sound it is my last loyal gremlin, member of a treacherous troop that switched sides, coming with intelligence of the one who offers with one hand whilst conspiring to take away with the other. “The Morpethroad begs clemency.”

A Mixed Bag has no favorites,” I reply with the countersign. “Report.”

Gremlin #19 snuffles and holds out his clawed hand. “Payment.”

The urge to strike grips, but instead of steel I draw out their ambrosia: apple juice concentrate. #19 snatches the box, slurping greedily. He uses his free hand to fan away stray drops that may dilute his precious nectar. I wait with the patience of benevolence until a loud belch signifies his completion. “She doesn’t give us anything but gruel. She is a cruel taskmaster.”

I nod. “Of course. I need to know what magic she possesses that would cause normally right-thinking beings to flock to her banner.”

#19’s head twists, worry about her spies making him cautious with his words. He motions me close and I kneel. His apple juice-sweetened breath lies heavy upon my cheek as he whispers, “Her tiara.”

My brow raises in shock and understanding. “It was right in front of me the whole time…” My hand finds #19’s shoulder in excitement. “Were you able to retrieve it?”

The slow shake of his head quells my burgeoning joy at the possibility of freedom. “I sent a cockroach in to recon and she killed it with a katana. WHO DOES THAT?”

We both wince at his shout and scurry deeper into the shadows. “Obviously she does,” I say, voice low and soothing. “We shall just have to think of something else.”

Pointed teeth glisten with rain as he grins. “What about an army of cockroaches?”

“An army of cockroaches? Hmmmm…”


A little bit of fun prompted by this post and this one, by the multi-talented Anja at Oh Pithy Me. She accepted a challenge to write a story using the words ‘juice’ and ‘fan’ from The Professor over at The Punchy Lands, so I decided to respond by doing the same 😉 If you don’t already follow those who are linked, I suggest giving them a click and checking out their site. They are a good group of people.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Chain Writing Game: Episode 20

chain story week 2

As the door swung open, a gunshot rang out and Dennis felt a kick in his abdomen. He clutched his stomach, his hands coated bright red when he pulled them away. He looked at Trixie, who stood there with a horrified look on her face. “Medicine…Helen…please,” he managed before he slumped to the ground.

Black-suited men burst out of the NSA building, pistols waving. Shouts chased the fading echo of the shot. “Shooter!”

“Get down!”

“Was that an AK-47?”

Trixie fell to her knees beside the man she had just met, searching for his wife’s life in his pockets.

Chain Writing game

I know, I know. But I figured Dennis needed some consequence for his actions. Besides, I shot him in the gut for a reason 😉 Will he live? Will he die? Will Trixie get Helen the medicine in time or is the world doomed to war and a dystopian future the subject of Chain Writing Game 3: The Chaining? Did you remember the mysterious Ak-47 fire from earlier? I did, but now I’m done, so it is up to YOU to decide what happens next! Join in the fun by heading over to Writing For Life and participating in one of the most fun experiences I’ve had 😀

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn



Chain Writing Game: Episode 24

“How’d they find us!” Mac yelled.

Agent Jones opened his mouth just as two gunshots boomed in the bedroom. Blood leaked out as the light fled from his eyes.

Mac whirled, grunting as a round pierced his shoulder. He slammed back against the heavy bed, his graying vision seeing three Agent Kents wavering. Smoke rose from the barrel of his Beretta. “That would be me,” Kent’s voice echoed from a deep well.

Mac heard Cindy scream as Kent grabbed her hair. “C’mon, Princess. We have a date to keep.”

Mac’s last vision was of Kent’s pistol-butt slicing toward his skull.


My last shot at Kerrie Salsac’s Chain Writing Game. Alas, poor Agent Jones, we hardly knew thee. Will Mac survive? Will Cindy’s nightmare ever end? What happened to all the other girls? That’s for YOU to decide. Join in with your continuation! I plead with you for a purely selfish reason: I don’t want to be left hanging!

Click the link to read the other entries and catch up on the twists and turns!



Trifextra #91-H.B. just don’t give a damn

The whispers are loud and strident. My arm twitches, wanting to attack, but I reel it back. I just walk, not caring.

That happens when you have a honey badger for an arm.

Word Count: 33

Trifextra Time again! This weeks prompt is based off Roald Dahl’s poem The Tummy Beast. The challenge: use 33 words in poem or prose to describe a beast in an unusual place. My entry is just a light bit of silliness with the Honey Badger meme. Hope you enjoy it. Head on over to Trifecta and read the other entries. Maybe enter your own and join the fun!