My first idea for the “creative writing” side of this year’s project centered on drabbles. Forty drabbles, how hard could that be?

Take a moment to get the laughing fit out of your system. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

At any rate, what follows here is probably the length of story scene snippet you should expect.

Upon arrival, the adventurers found themselves in a field of green grasses and colorful wildflowers under a dazzling blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds. A trade road cut a mostly straight, somewhat smooth path through the valley, while leafy trees offered occasional shade some distance away on either side. From behind a modest hill nearly to the horizon they could see a blue-tiled conical roof capping a tall spire.

Lynn sighed heavily. “Standard issue magical land?”

“So I’m informed, yes. European-feudal template, Latin-adjacent language. Specifically Variant N34.”

“I hope the people are relatively cosmopolitan.”

“We won’t know until we find out!” Adam declared cheerfully.

Lynn muttered something under her breath.

“What’s that? You’re glad you came and you’re certain that we’ll have a wonderful time? I agree!”

In a thoroughly dulcet timbre Lynn stated, “I am a professional. I came here to do a job and I shall do it well, as always. However. If you persist in needling me,” she continued after summoning a rapier to hand, “I shall find out how many holes one must make in the body of an African demigod to shut. Him. Up.” The last few words were punctuated by the faint whistle of a thin blade slashing the air.

Adam laughed. “Fine, fine. I’ll behave. For now. Not that I’d mind a sparring match.”

Lynn made to return the rapier to its component atoms, then thought better of it and summoned a sheath with belt instead.

“Just in case?” Adam asked, most politely.

As Lynn buckled the sheath into place and slid the rapier home, she replied, “Prudence suggests that while the tall friendly man with the dazzling smile might make inroads without resorting to violence, the slight and…” she paused to select a word, “disgruntled woman might need to assert herself via other means.”

“We’re here to help a child, Lynn.”

“Yes. And if someone tries to prevent that, I will have the option of giving them something else to worry about than how badly they want to interfere with our work.”

“Always the pragmatist, I see.”

“I am in what my revered and beloved instructor might call ‘a stabby mood.'”

“You don’t say,” Adam retorted. “Well then. Shall we?” Grinning merrily, he gestured toward the road.