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Care to share a 'slice of life' moment?

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
In 200 words or less, offer up a slice of life. A break from the action in your story. A moment with the character (or characters), as they experience their world around them.

I'll start. Pulled this from my upcoming story collection:
[Now this is more like it. Plenty of time to set up. . . perfect vantage point. . . up-slope wind should hold steady 'till sunset; invisible to their noses 'till then. Wearing her combat goggles, Raylan watched the dry river bed of the east fork for movement.

A distant, familiar noise caught Raylan's attention. She set her goggles to maximum zoom and looked in that direction. Sure enough, it was a locust trawler, many klicks away. Smaller than some that she'd seen, this airship was descending. Filled with the fat, juicy insects, the trawler's net had become too heavy to carry, a good day for the crew. Still, the crew risked a hard landing, and breaking their net on impact, as they continued to gather more from the swarm.

Raylan checked the wind direction. Swarm's not headed this way, bummer. She pulled a strip of jerked rotter from her pack and stuck it in her mouth like a lollypop.]

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Baron Tredegar

Master of Forgotten Lore
Prince Hylen, watched the ships coming into the atmosphere. He looked over the capitol city of Nova Aeternum from his balcony. The Leagues navy had been crushed, and the Shogun forces were now landing in his city. Even now he could hear the clash of swords and the sounds of rifles being discharged. A missile hit one of the palace towers, the balcony shook as Hylen looked with indifference at the coming death of his civilization. A Tavarian captain ran to his side. "What are your orders, my prince?"
"Prepare my personal evacuation shuttle. The planet has fallen and I will not die with it."


Antelope-Addicted Hyena
...Went to the fridge and took some milk. Then walked up to the window and looked around wistfully.

“200 words?... Bah! This ain’t gonna fit, no way in hell. A thousand, maybe that would do. Maybe. Why even bother in that case.”

Went back to the fridge, put the milk back in and took a beer instead.



Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
Eh, 230 words is close enough to the goal right?
Context: Faline and her fishy acquaintance are trying to get across a dystopian city to see the ocean.


There was a certain charm to the fresh scent of iron and sulfur hitting your nose in the early cracks of dawn, Faline would have happily inhaled it in earnest if not for the metal contraption covering her muzzle. The burn in her lungs and the humid sting of the air reminded her that it was indeed summer...and with summer came the acid rains that plagued her city since who knows how long. The fur adjusts for the most part, providing layer upon layer and giving no more than a mild itch here and there that most citizens try and fail not to scratch in public. The eyes and lungs are a different matter though, requiring specialized breathing masks not unlike her aquatic acquaintance.

"How do you wear this thing all the time?" The hybrid groaned, readjusting the glorified muzzle for the umpteenth time as the viperfish chuckled. A muffled, breathy sound that hardly resembled a laugh, but his eyes gave him away. As they often did.

"How do you breathe out here?" The fish waved his arm expectantly; he nearly bumped into a Tiger crossing their path due to his fascination with the tainted sky. "Don't be dense!" A clawed hand shoved the fish to the side in time to avoid the brute, Fal's confused expression hinting his lack of awareness even more. "If you keep looking to the fake water we'll never get to the real stuff!"

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
Boardwalk planks thump under my oversized sneakers as I run along pier that slithers along the Italian coast. I’ve got rhythm, running, like drummer pounding out notes solo on SoHo on a summer evening. The rhythm is regular and relentless. I’m keeping pace in a race with my own expectations and limitations at this age, trying to maintain the momentum from my early days on the force, to early retirement, into this new life far from New York. In the deepest part of myself, I know I don’t just run to keep up with who I want to be, but run from who I don’t want to be.

The me who lost his step.

Granddad once told me that you can lose a lot of things in life, almost everything in life, but never lose yourself. You could never lose hope, too, but hope is a consolation prize, the bitterest one.

On cue, I realize my rhythm is slowing, the beats drifting further from each other on the boardwalk. I stop short, as best I can, rather than slow down slowly.

Better to break off a run than do it half-assed.

There is a tempting bench nearby the boardwalk, with a nice view of the setting sun, no doubt, but I stay standing. Resting right away is how you ruin the results of a run.

Instead, I turn toward the bay and watch the sunset with sailing ships sliding serenely before it, catching my breath, collecting myself for the run’s remainder. Sweat drips from my black palms onto the boardwalk wood, staining it from tan to dark brown.

I remember when I was in the academy, after a drill run, the guys commented why I was the one not sweating. I could’ve got with the badass narrative and said I wasn’t whipped at all, but I showed my massive palms and told that gorillas have sweat glands their hands and feet.

My honesty got rewarded by running partner, a sweat saturated horse named Ed, who said, “So you don’t need lube with Jill?”

I chuckle at the long ago, far away memory, mindless of the other pedestrians padding along the pier. A near brush with an asshole bicyclist pulls me back to reality.

Done with the daydreaming, I begin to bound down the boardwalk again.

(Partly did this for Hazel, since I said I'd tag them in for any furry writing I did and because it's been fun writing with them.)


Daedric Prince of Secrets
Sure, why not? Sounds fun! 200 words is a bit of a difficult cap to tell too much with, but what is life without adversity?

This one’s a novelized character study of an anthropomorphic cheetah who adopts the cartoonish persona of a pirate he used to play as a children’s performer in a theme park before the fall of the world. This is done as a denial method of coping with the end of his life as he used to know it.


With eyes wide he drew the sabre at his hip and swung it upon his shoulder, trudging jauntily toward the makeshift wire “greenhouse.” His tattoo-like grin frozen firmly in place as he slid open both deadbolts on the exterior of the heavy metal door. Once inside he turned his back to the soil with an absence of mind to what lied within it that no other living man or beast could ever dare. He took the heavy padlock off the nightstand he dragged in the week before and clamped the door shut. The paint on both the door where the lock hanged and on the lock itself was worn down from the repeated tradition. Turning now to survey the soil he lowered the blade to his hip again, though still firmly in hand as he advanced towards the vegetation meekly sprouting forth towards him.



Antelope-Addicted Hyena
Alright, now on more serious side! While, as said in other threads, I have trouble making a logically connected story of any appreciable length, those disjointed scenes force themselves into my mind regardless. And one of them would fit this thread perfectly - except, try as I might, there's no way to get it under 200 words without making it meaningless. After quite heavy cutting, 350 must do.

- Alright, that’s the last one! - Wanda marked the crate of medications with the number 211 and put it away.
- Oh, thank you, dear. What would I do without you? There was so much of all this today - not waiting for an answer, Miss Roza pushed a box into Wanda’s hand. - A little reward for all your effort. Genuine cod liver oil, rare stuff these days. Will make your fur nice and soft.
- You don’t have to, really… - Wanda was used to others thinking her stiff brown hyena fur to be unhealthy.
- Nonsense. You’re overworking yourself, child, that’s what – the elderly tigress was unchanged in her opinions. - Now go and have your rest!

Wanda left the storage room and got onto her bicycle parked behind the building. The daylight looked strange and she soon found out why. Around a corner, the sight she encountered made her stop and watch. The solar swarm had one of its bad alignment days. The partially obscured sun, not quite setting yet, looked like a dim burning ember, covered with black splotches. Some distance away in the sky, the correspondingly weak crescent moon was visible, colored red and glittering with its own orbital debris.

Wanda proceeded along a row of wooden houses, forcing herself to keep her eyes on the road. Cold wind was rising. “Twig must be busy with her Dark Sun Ritual now”, she thought, “I wonder if that squirrel Karen from two houses away is going to have problems with it again”.

Indeed, already at a distance she was greeted by the simple yet hypnotizing, undulating rhythm of congas. Wanda’s doe flatmate was sitting on the grass in front of the house, eyes closed, surrounded with her tribal paraphernalia, drumming away constantly. A couple of intrigued kids gathered on the pavement; at least the Karen was nowhere to be seen.

In the kitchen, evidently placed in the open so that she wouldn’t miss it, an envelope was lying on the table. Addressed to Wanda. In a hindsight, she would have never anticipated the surprise...

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Sure, why not? Sounds fun! 200 words is a bit of a difficult cap to tell too much with, but what is life without adversity?

. . .

Very nice! Yes, 200 words aren't much to work with, but it is fun to find what's possible within those limits.
Alright, now on more serious side! While, as said in other threads, I have trouble making a logically connected story of any appreciable length, those disjointed scenes force themselves into my mind regardless. And one of them would fit this thread perfectly - except, try as I might, there's no way to get it under 200 words without making it meaningless. After quite heavy cutting, 350 must do.

. . .
Heck, I'd rather folks share their work. As this thread originated with a 'doing more with less' vibe, it would be great to see some more short ones.

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Some of you may recognize this slice:

[After The Crew passed, the woman gathered up her few belongings and trudged down to her favorite alley. The bakery had just tossed out all of its unsold stuff and there was little competition these days. She grabbed a loaf of sourdough for later and a few hard doughnuts for breakfast. No coffee; practically all of the food kitchens had closed due to reduction in use.

The woman began her rounds. She picked her way along the river, near the empty office building where she had once worked as building manager. She found no salvage worth holding for barter. The river was already running low; it was drying up for the season. Rooted along what used to be the high-water banks of the river, the older trees were all dead or dying. A few, younger saplings struggled along within the more recently exposed river bed. The woman feared that those trees may not make it in the long run, either. She would miss them. Life, in all forms, seemed to be leaving the city.]

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
From an earlier story, and a different world:

Jim woke one morning, earlier than was typical for him. The hatchlings had wedged their bodies between Blue and him, as usual. Joy was sleeping on the floor nearby, also as usual. She had abandoned her bed some time ago. There were no odd sounds or other outward signs of a problem, yet something was different. There was a new scent in the room. The scent was pleasant, but not immediately identifiable. Eventually it dawned on him that the scent was ttraco. With two sniffs, he traced it to the one lying next to him. Blue had told him that this would happen. The return of her personal scent signaled the time when the hatchlings could begin to venture out with supervision. It also signaled the time when Blue would become receptive to physical intimacy again. He touched his nose to hers, and she nuzzled him in return.

Yes,” sent Blue without opening her eyes, “but not yet. You’re not ready. Go back to sleep or just lay here with me. I want to feel you next to me a little longer.”

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
Snug in its arm sleeve against my fur, my Blackberry vibrates for attention. I slow down to a shamble while painstakingly fishing the tiny phone out the arm sleeve. The Blackberry almost slips out my sweaty hand before I get a better grip on it. I squint at the screen, which glows in the descending darkness.

It’s Art, on Duo.

I press Accept on the little ass screen with my black big ass finger, barely avoid hitting Decline. They don’t make these phones for gorilla hands and Art is too cheap to order an oversized for me.

Art’s brown usrine mug springs up on the screen, frowning, as much as a bear can. Which basically in his face’s resting state.

My hopes for a short and sweet social call sink.

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
Gazing deadpan at the Blackberry in my hand, I drawl disinterestedly, “To what do I owe the pleasure, Art?”

I’m tempted to act like I’m focused on something offscreen taking up my actual attention, but I worked under Art long enough to know that when he asks you to do something, he doesn’t give a shit what you’re doing because you’re going to be doing what he wants, if you want your next check to clear.

“Me, for keeping your bum ass on the payroll,” Art snaps, though his frown wrinkles into smirk, softening his face. He runs massive paw over his muzzle as if trying to physically pull out the words he is trying to say. “I know you’re off the clock, Miles, but I’ve got a rush job for you.” Something gives in my face and he adds,“Just came up.”

I look up from the phone, scanning the boardwalk. A lone baboon in a black wetsuit strolls whistling toward the marina, scuba gears tuck under one long arm. Two raccoons in tropical shirts and short stand over by boardwalk banister, chatting and casting lines into the water below. Another bench beckons to me and I’m tempted to sit if Art is going to be awhile. I drag my focus back on the phone and Art.

“Did I catch you at a bad time?” Art asks apologetically. Whatever the job is, it’s bad enough for Art to tactful for a change.

“You know Friday evenings are sacred to me, Art,” I state plainly. It’ll be better to rip the Band-Aid right off. “But what’s the job?”

Art’s bulk sags back into his reinforced ergonomic chair. “There’s been a mishap at the docks I need you to look into while things there are fresh,” Art sighs, exasperated, distractedly pawing a button open on his white shirt. Nervously, maybe. “A crane by the port failed and dropped a light shipping container one of the dock workers. The poor ape lost an arm.” He makes slow, slashing motion across his neck with his thick arm, couple with sawing noise from sucking his teeth. “Cut it clean off.”

“That container doesn’t sound light, then,” I quip. That means a bloody scene, since the cops, assuming they’re even done processing the scene, probably aren’t going to be able the crime scene cleaners out here for a day at least, if they’re feeling productive.

Most days they’re not productive.

“Is he going make it?” I ask partly because I don’t generally, with some strong exceptions, don’t like people dying and partly because if that dock worker dies, the job and the insurance payout will be even fucking worse.

No wonder Art wants me to do overtime.

“He’s a silverback,” Art says a little more dismissively than I like. “Y’all are tanks. He’ll make it.”

“Yeah,” I snark, mock breezily. “Good thing we have two arms; you have a spare if something happens to one.”

Art flinches at that. “I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to be insensitive.” He hold up his paws placatingly.

“No offense taken,” I lie, slightly. I glance at the setting sun. A decent jog would probably get me to the loading dock while the sun was still in the sky. “We’re burning daylight, Art. What do you want me to do, exactly?”

“Nothing you’re not paid to do.” Art has a talent for meaning two thing at once. “I just want you to take a look at the scene and make sure everything is on the up and up. Find out if the client was holding up the terms of the policy. See what the damage is. If everything checks out, we pay out, according to the policy.”

Translation: Take magnifying glass to scene of that accident and make sure there is nothing there that could void the client’s insurance policy with us. Find out if the client engaged any fraudulent conduct or made any false statements relating to their insurance that we can use as an excuse to void their policy with us. See exactly what the damage so we can itemize it for a precise payout that isn’t a euro more than necessary. If everything checks out, we’ll pay out only what we’re contractually obligated to.

“Gotcha,” I reply noncommittally, wanting to wrap this up. I’m already walking toward the port, ready to resume running when we break off the call.

Bellissimo.” Art beams, baring his sharp teeth, looking predatory. Then his smile shrinks to something more pensive. “Hey, Miles. I know your going out of your way for this, so if you wrap this up nicely, there’s a bonus and time off at the end of this for you.”

At bedrock, this is why I like Art and, more importantly, work for him. He is firm, but fair, which rare in a friend, more so a boss.

“I appreciate that, Art. I’ll bring this one home.”

“I know you will,” Art agrees, his voice full of faith I’ve trained myself to ignore. “You’re my closer.”

“Thanks. Bye.” I click off the call and slip the Blackberry back in my arm sleeve before breaking into a run for the port.


Well-Known Member
Clara turned her head towards him and cast only a cursory glance over his massive figure. "I've been a werewolf long enough to get used to the whole nudity thing," she said, wrapping both hands around her mug.

Sammy almost asked her how long she had been a werewolf, but bit his tongue and just nodded before making his way past her and into the kitchen, his claws clack-clacking on the linoleum floor. He pulled out a glass, chocolate syrup, and almond milk. Like most born werewolves, he had a very slight lactose intolerance. Not as bad as, say, Elizabeth's, but just enough to add to the list he kept in his head of things to be self-conscious about. That slice of pizza had been one roll of the dice, and he wasn't going to press his luck again. The recent rise in popularity of milk substitutes had been a huge boon to their kind. He stirred his drink together and topped it with a straw. A werewolf drinking from a straw looked silly, but lapping dog-style from a glass was somehow even less dignified.

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Some two weeks later, in the dark of the evening, Jeans and Steen boarded a small VTOL aircraft, outside of a human village along the borderlands.

Master and Babe had departed two days earlier. Master had left with a smile, saying, "I couldn't leave all we've built here in better hands than yours."

Having just secured a deal with the local village elders, Jeans was in a good mood. As of today's treaty agreement, her sub-house controlled just under nineteen-million contiguous hectares of unincorporated land.

As the aircraft lifted off, Jeans turned to face the one waiting inside; a male lemuroid with an extensive background in civil engineering. "Phoeniceus, have the construction teams get those cisterns installed before the rain comes. Better add twenty percent capacity to their sewage treatment system. Their village is growing into a trade hub."

Phoeniceus, the Interior Secretary replied, "Patrón, you are House Manager. You must leave these details to others. Your time is limited and too valuable. There are many issues that require your attention."

Slightly annoyed, Jeans said, "I can live with people referring to me as 'it', but if you're going to use that title, I prefer 'Patrona'.