• Jabe Stafford

One Page Worlds - Monster, Butler, Slayer, Son

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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“There are monsters in the cellar, master Breden,” I murmur, lighting a lamp and two beeswax candles on the bedstand.

The boy pulls a hand out of the covers and waves my comment away like it was a pixie. “You’re saying that to scare me while Dad’s away.”

I cross the brick tower bedchamber, dusting the hat boxes and re-arranging the finery in the king’s son’s oaken wardrobe. “Precisely. Your father the king is away at war. As are his men. Which means a half-empty castle and emptier barracks.” Closing the wardrobe, I spin and unbutton my suit coat, then return to Breden’s bedside. “Why do you believe I carry these?”

Leaning between the bed’s four posts, I let the boy see the lamplight gleam off the knife handles in the belt rounding my waist.

His eyes widen. “Ranya. You’re Dad’s maid and he lets you carry those?”

“Butler,” I correct him, then meet his amber eyes. “And you take more issue with my armaments than my sex and my clothing?”

Breden shrugs and props himself up on his elbows. “A king always picks the best person for the job. That’s what I’d do if I was king.”

Sweet, oily smoke wafts from the bedstand. Unsmiling, I step toward the lamp and pull my too-red curls back into a tail. Then I hang my face over the lamp’s flame. “The cellar dwellers are getting angry about something. They could come right in here and gobble you up.”

He waves his hand again. “They’d have to get past you first.” He hesitates, then adds, “But it’s got to be bad if you’re wearing weapons when you tuck me in.”

A pounding at the chamber door.

Master Breden snorts. “You got one of the cooks to prank me with you.”

I face the door, drawing twin blades from the belt under the coat.

Now I smile, but not to demonstrate confidence.

The teeth I bare are a warning. “You may see why I am the best woman for the job tonight. Stay there.”

#Fables #Mystery #MiddleGrade #SciFiFantasy #Fantasy #HistoricalFiction #ShortStories