• Jabe Stafford

One Page Worlds - Pale Ale Revenant

A whole world on a single page!

The short story morsels of One Page Worlds are flash fiction adventures of all flavors. Every Wednesday will feature a complete story in one page, or the first page of what could be a novel or novelette.

Sharing the fun and geekery is the best part of writing! Please tweet or comment with your guesses on what genre, character, and job is central to each tale. Enjoy touring new universes each week with One Page Worlds!

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I swigged the swill an employee handed me and shuddered, sliding closer to the middle of the tour group.

“Everyone loves a brewmaster,” a woman ahead of me slurred. She craned her sorority girl’s face up over the line of the living. Her hair product didn’t drown the odor of culpability foaming off the thief she laid eyes on. Jony. The bearded douche-in-a-hat stood taller and winked at the tipsy woman before throwing grand gestures at the vats around us.

Brewmaster Jony’s voice boomed, “JJ’s ships the best selling formula of lager across the country, so we need the biggest vats. New, state of the art and patented. No pictures please.”

Jony’s rat eyes slid right over me and onto the drunk’s tittering friend. Thank rot those college women wore so much makeup. I tugged my JJ’s baseball cap low, moldy ponytail swinging. Slamming more pisswater, I said, “Those don’t look like what I seen on other tours.”

Jony lifted his hat brim and squinted at the sunlight pouring down from rectangular windows in the factory wall overhead. His bullshit-improv move. He blinked at both women in front of me and pumped a fist in front of him, flexing. “Our rock star engineers are obsessed with brewing better beer. They feed that obsession and make people’s lives better all at once.”

Miss flammable hair giggled and staggered into me, stamping hard on my foot. “Science and genuinity. Mmmh, so hot.”

She fanned herself with her half-buttoned blouse and moved forward. The group followed.

I crept among them, watching Jony’s eyes watching the woman’s feet.

One memory. One blow. All that’s left.

I shoved the woman to the ground and rasped, “He don’t want pictures ‘cause he killed me for the designs, makin’ my pale ale into poison.”

His eyes ballooned when he heard my dry, dead accent and saw me charging him. “Jan?”

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