Greg's working the holiday rush when he comes down with a swelling case of dragon pox. Mature.
There were only two hours left in the Christmas Eve shift, but Greg was fading fast. Every sniffle he made was thick and glorpy, and he could feel the pressure sloshing around in his sinuses, squeezed against his forehead. If he'd felt like this when he woke up, he would have just called in sick. Now he was dreaming of collapsing on the couch with a big cup of hot cocoa as soon as he got home.
Between customers, he ducked beneath the register, rummaging for another tissue, but the box was empty. When he stood back up, his head throbbed from the sudden change of altitude. He leaned against the counter and glanced around behind the lanes. No sign of his shift manager.
Greg sniffed. His nose tickled. He screwed up his face, trying to hold the sneeze at bay. He sucked in a small breath, then a deeper one, then even deeper, twisting aside at the last moment to keep himself from sneezing directly on the conveyor belt.
With a great sproing a long yellow horn popped from his forehead. It snapped out straight and narrow then bounced back, curling its tip and spreading out thick at the base. The horn was about as long as his forearm and encircled along its length with small ridges. With the weight of his head suddenly canted to one side, he staggered to the left, bumped up against the divider behind him. Another sneeze was brewing, too quickly to do anything to stifle it.
A horn sprung from the other side of his head and smacked against his skull as it rebounded. Greg let out an unsteady groan and rubbed his hand across his forehead, massaging the broad bases of his horns where they'd pushed the skin aside, and his swollen brow, bulging thick and protruding from all of the pent-up pressure. The weight of his horns was just one more source of dull throbbing for his head.
"Bless you," a woman said, setting her things out on the conveyor belt. Greg just wanted to go home, but he smiled politely and said, "Thanks," then began to scan her things. Two sweaters, a bottle of sparkling cider, cheddar cheese, club crackers, salami. Grab the receipt, stick it in the bag. "Happy holidays." Try not to sniffle in front of the customer.
December 30, 2018
The Dragons Womb
An adventurer becomes host to a parasitic worm that turns her into an egg-laying dragon-insect hybrid. Explicit.
Talia walked through the ribcage of a dragon. Ten feet above her, its spine jutted from the rock ceiling. Its ribs were like curled pillars embedded in the rock walls. A tiny stream ran down the middle of the floor, fed by the trickle of water dripping over the ancient bones. With one eye on the floor and another ahead of her, she followed the slow incline of the tunnel. Up. Up to the mines, and then up out of the Dragons' Tomb.
A bag of drake scales rustled inside her pack. She'd plucked them fresh off a centipede drake's hide: her prize for braving the Tomb. Eline had said it wasn't worth the risk, but a suit of scale armor was a precious thing to have. Talia had found enough scales to make gloves for her roguish friend, too.
Her torch cast a flickering light over the damp. It lit her body: her banded steel armor, her short, dark hair, her young but stern face, and the muddy grit smeared on her cheeks. The centipede drake was still fresh in her mind; wet chittering, hundreds of scuttling claws, and a head that bulged with far too many eyes. She had only nearly bested it.
A flicker of movement caught her eye, shifting in the shadow beyond her torch. Her heart quickened. She gripped her mace. Torch low, she advanced step by step.
June 15, 2016
College girls on a road trip have a run-in with alien parasites. Explicit, mild gore.
"We're gonna see if there's anything to do in this dump. You wanna come with us?"
Jessie cracked her toes. She stretched them out after tugging off her sneakers. She could see a sliver of the ass of Emily's jeans through the open bathroom door.
"Nah, I'll stay here. I'm pretty tired from the driving, so I'll probably sleep soon," Jessie said.
A lazy stroke of lipstick rested across Emily's lips when she came back into the motel room.
"Fine, be a recluse if you want. Not like we came to hang out with friends," Emily said.
A grin flashed across Emily's face. Jessie returned her friend's look with a small smile of her own. Emily crossed the room to grab her purse, then continued on toward the door.
"I'll see you later," Jessie said.