Comments Posted By henry sawdon-smith

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I can’t deal with it. He’s holding the full hand of cards, there must be about thirty of the damn things in those big palms, but he ain’t doing nothin’ with them but holdin’ them and that’s almost worse than anythin’ else he could be doin’. Note I said *could* be, but it ain’t, ’cause you don’t hang around this bar for long without learnin’ some creative applications fer gambling apparatus. I’m gonna have to make him a deal, else there’ll be a great deal o’ pain when he does deal the damn cards.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 12.01.2016 @ 5:27 am


They called it a haunt because they hung out there all the time, but also because it had a ghost. They’d never actually seen it, but they knew it was there from the banging noise it made in the walls and the times where it rattled the pipes. It had been scary, at first, but eventually they got used to it, and even started developing some affection for it. They left out little gifts which would be gone by the morning, and whispered even though they knew there was nobody to hear.

They were wrong, of course. There’s no such thing as a ghost.

What they had was a banshee.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 10.13.2016 @ 8:32 am


He was, as far as I could tell through the clouds of flour, handsome. It wasn’t in the way you usually thought of as handsome – no individual feature on his face could be called beautiful by itself – but somehow the sum of all the parts added up to much more. Perhaps it was the open honesty of his features, the straightforwardness of his clothes, the little blue tie behind his neck holding up his well-used apron, or the easy mess of his hair. He was nobody else but himself, and that was attractive as all hell.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.20.2016 @ 1:06 am


“This shirt, Balgruf, is not red.”

I held the offending item up to the flickering torchlight. If you squinted your eyes, and indeed only had one eye, myopia, and colour blindness, it could perhaps be called red. To everyone else, however, it was salmon pink.

Balgruf bore a hunted look, but tried defiance anyway. “It’s light red, Jarl. That’s a good colour, light red. It’s like, you know, blood and that.”

“The only creature that bleeds this sodding colour is a unicorn, Balgruf!”

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.19.2016 @ 12:36 am



My voice echoed down the length of the well. I could hear it bouncing from wall to wall until it reached the shallow pool at the bottom where my brother had fallen.

“Yeah, I’m here,” came the reply, faint and pained. “I’m…”

“Marty? Marty!” I hollered desperately down the shaft.

“Marty! Are you alright? Answer me! Marty!!”

But my cries went unanswered… until I heard a deep growl that almost make the ground shake.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.16.2016 @ 12:47 am


She was a pretty young thing; but then again, most of the social workers were. Awkwardly, I tried to reach past her to grab a file from the cabinet, but she shifted sideways and suddenly we were face to face.

“Where’s my money, Alan?” she hissed, and for just one second I felt a shiver run down my spine. She was short, slim, petite, or whatever adjective you liked to use to call her small, but I somehow got the impression she could do more damage to me than anyone else in that office.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.15.2016 @ 12:59 am


I’m absolutely exhausted this morning, so I suppose you could say the timing of this prompt is pretty poor. You could also say my timing is pretty poor too, since I’m the one who stayed up late. Although there’s not much else to say, I’m gonna keep typing because these prompts are always a good way to wake my brain up in the mornings.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.13.2016 @ 12:40 am


It’d been a quiet morning for the grave men. They were passing through an area without many burial halls, so the number of walkers was relatively low. That said, when you’ve a twitching, writhing statue in front of you, one seems like plenty enough. They knew the animated statue wasn’t really alive – it was just the random growth and shrinkage of cancer crystals through its stone body – but it was damn hard to keep that in mind when it’s the corpse of your grandfather dancing in front of you.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.12.2016 @ 12:51 am


We’d been digging for hours and hours, shovels hacking at the tough dirt and only just breaking through. Our hole was barely three feet deep when there was a loud, hollow thud. We’d hit something. Eagerly, our fatigue forgotten, we seized the handles and dragged it up onto the scrub. No lock; the lid was thrown back greedily. I dug through, tossing aside useless money and cursed Incan gold. And there, right at the bottom, my prize: Mr. Bunny. It had been so long since I’d held him…

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.08.2016 @ 12:28 am


We huddled close around the bulk of the iron oven, desperately trying to warm our extremities in the deep red glow of the flare. The snow had been falling for so long the oven itself was starting to fill up; only when we lit the flare and dropped it in the iron belly that it started to disappear.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.07.2016 @ 1:41 am


Jagged glass rimmed my view of the forest; it’d been a long time since that window had broken, but still nobody had bothered to repair it. Then again, neither had I. The pine trees stabbed up into the grey sky, more akin to teeth than anything else. There wasn’t much else, except… was that smoke, in the distance?

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.06.2016 @ 1:02 am


She really wasn’t sure about this whole facepainting business… a lot of the other kids had had them done, but wasn’t it depiction of animals in imagery? She was pretty sure that was forbidden. Or was it depictions of images on animals? She could never keep track of all these darn rules.

Screwing up her courage, she sat down. “Wolf, please,” she quavered. The painter gave her a toothy grin. “Good choice, my dear,” he growled. His teeth certainly were big…

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.02.2016 @ 5:54 am


It echoed through the trees, low and visceral and primal, a bellow from that deep and wild part of a man’s body that only expresses itself through noise and certainly doesn’t understand speech. In the dirt, the baby squalled in response.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 09.01.2016 @ 12:57 am


“Pick a card. Any card.” I hated that phrase. It was the first resort of amateurs and lazy magicians. He waved the fanned hand under my nose, infuriatingly. This man called himself a practitioner of the arts? I slipped a card from the middle of the fan and looked at it. Ace of spades. Funny.

“Have you memorised your card? Great! Now just slip it back in, anywhere will do… huh?” I vanished the card from my hand. He looked confused for a moment, then glanced back down. It was already back in the fan. Amateur.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.31.2016 @ 12:35 am


The chain had dangled from his belt for as long as anyone could remember. No matter the weather, no matter the outfit, no matter the time, that jangling length of keys would be sitting there. Rumour had it he slept with them attached to his pyjamas, too. Nobody knew what they opened, and nobody had ever found out, because he guarded them as jealously as a dog with a bone.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.30.2016 @ 1:37 am


There wasn’t much to see in the shabby little kitchen – a couple of rickety chairs, a splintering wooden table, and sat in the middle – a little present, wrapped in plain brown paper and tied with string.

She shrieked with utter delight and snatched it up. To her eyes, it might as well have been solid gold.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.26.2016 @ 12:44 am


She must have been in those woods for years and years by now. Maybe a decade, even. We hadn’t seen her for a while, but the first sighting was about 1990, and we’d seen the footprints. And the paintings, of course. She hadn’t stopped scrawling her beautiful designs of mud and dirt and twigs across the face of the trees.

The last one had been of me, with a label and all. I don’t know how she learned my name.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.23.2016 @ 1:03 am


We’ve been sitting in the back of Jimbo’s battered old van for about eighteen hours at that point, and the fumes were really starting to kick in. I had tried to tell the poor sod about the toxic effects of paint and the need for proper ventilation, but he was too busy thinking about the sick-nasty mermaid biker he was going to paint in there. It was when the walls started dancing that I knew things had reached a bad point.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.19.2016 @ 2:15 am


Karen had been bashing her head against the door for hours, occasionally literally. She wasn’t one to give up easily, but even she was starting to admit this one had her stumped. She’d tried everything she could think of – from jimmying the lock to forcing it with her shoulder to speaking passcodes – but not a single one had worked.

Then, slowly, with the inevitability of a ship sailing into an iceberg, she noticed the small notice marked ‘pull’ next to the handle.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.16.2016 @ 4:16 am


We’d been staring at the manual for about half an hour before we realised we were looking at the Swedish language part. Hurriedly, we flipped it around, trying to find the English – but to no avail. I struggled to remember my lessons from primary school. Why did we contract out our warp engines to Ikea?

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.09.2016 @ 12:41 am


We’d been struggling up that slope for sixteen hours before we realised our error. Preparation was everything in our line of work, but that didn’t matter if you were making the wrong kind of preparations. The compass had been correct; our surveying as crisp as when we’d graduated. But none of us had thought to bring a Geiger counter.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.08.2016 @ 5:14 am


The girls called it “carbon dating”. On a quiet night out, when the pubs were mostly empty, they’d find the oldest and most genial-looking chap they could and just sit with him. There were plenty of lonely old men in that town, and they thought it was a nice gesture to brighten up their evenings a bit. Besides, they found the name hilarious, as only a bunch of archaeologists could.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.05.2016 @ 12:37 am


It was an odd kind of party, full of stilettos and broken bottles. We couldn’t see anything outside of what the giant torch – I guess I should call it a spotlight – revealed as it swept over the dancefloor. Little moments were starkly illuminated for all to see. A couple kissing. Two men squaring up. A gangly young man, eyes closed, dancing jerkily with a wide smile on his face.

A torch in the darkness is a pretty horrible thing from the darkness’ perspective.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.04.2016 @ 8:15 am


The jury was out! Mostly, they were outside the pub door, although a few of them were hovering in the garden. A long day of judicial duty had given them a mighty thirst and the urge to dance, and only the cheapest nightclubs would do.

A jury of your peers will only convict you of the crimes they can imagine themselves.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.03.2016 @ 1:16 am


Steady as he goes, was the saying. I wondered why they never mentioned the steadiness of the steadiness of women. Were they not just as sea-worthy? In fact, they could float twice as well, for certain women, especially if laying on their back.

I wouldn’t ride a raft of people, but I’d watch a show about making it.

» Posted By henry sawdon-smith On 08.02.2016 @ 12:22 am

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