• Jabe Stafford

One Page Worlds - Vaken's Greatest Act

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 push the plunger on the syringe until nectar drips from the needle. Then I slide it into the demigoddesses’s forearm as the hospital-bound ambulance veers around a corner, sirens screeching.

Her epidermis parts at the touch of the fluid on the sharp point, but the needle jams against her vein and stops cold.

“Don’t you. Know how to. Treat. A demigoddesses? Vaken?” the patient gasps, choking on a tangle of her ink-black hair. She reeks of gasoline and flame, but isn’t bleeding. She still remembers my name. That’s fortunate. I remember hers.

Forcing a smile, I grasp her wrist and depress the plunger a millimeter or two. More nectar seeps into the area around the vein. The needle slips inside. Injecting all the amber nectar makes the hard muscle of her arm loosen and relax.

She sucks in the first full breath she’s taken since we loaded her into my ambulance. Two breaths. Three. Four. “I shouldn’t have come that close to death. Thank Aio you showed up.”

I shake my head and rap against the divider between me and the driver with the syringe still gripped tight. “It was a rollover accident in a convertible with no roll bar. If the size of your arms are any indication, you’ve trained to fight through worse in the Captivity Clash. You’re Aio’s daughter. I’d thought you could handle more.”

The sirens cut into silence and I refill the syringe, alternating between a nectar bottle and a thicker liquid I’d brought along at the start of the shift.

“Riana,” she breathes. “Riano’s twin sister.” When I continue filling the syringe and don’t respond, she adds, “That’s my name. Who I am. Isn’t it customary for a person to introduce themselves to their rescuer? I’ve read the stories.”

“So have I. They were not specific on a certain topic. I apologize for any discomfort my improvisation causes.”

I flick the air bubble between the nectar and the thick substance in the syringe.

“Vaken?” She says, eyes wide and darting from rear window to needle and back.

I begin the injection.

The ambulance does not stop at the emergency room.

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