What’s the world coming to?

Back in June 2012  I took part in a regular monthly fun competition on the SF & F Chronicles forums. The rules are simple, in 75 words or less write a story in the genre of science fiction or fantasy genre with a theme of innocence (the genre and theme changes each month). This was the first public viewing of a pair of charcaters that had been rumbling around in my head for years.

Since then, their life and the world they live in, has expanded to include a partly completed piece of work with them as the surprise heroes, together with ideas for another two unrelated pieces.

Here’s the first airing.


What’s the world coming to …

“We’re out of them?”

The cowed minion’s forehead smacked the floor as he fervently nodded in acknowledgment.

“Surely not?”

Another nod, another thump.

“What’s the world coming to. This drop in moral standards is a disgrace!”

An unsure pause, then another bob and bump.

“So no innocent sacrificial virgins then; what will the other Dark Lords think. Fine what have you got me instead?”

An arm whipped out and proffered a box.

“Inflatable Ingrid?”


Here’s a tweaked version for a few more words.


What is the world coming to?

“We’re out of them?”

From beneath the voluminous mound of velvet that made up the Minion came a hand. It was the only piece of flesh that the Minion ever allowed to be exposed yet it was all that was ever needed. Fingers wiggled in a complicated series of what you’d expect to be meaningless gestures but in fact weren’t.

“Surely not?”

The voice came from the only other in the Great Hall. Sitting deep in shadows, upon an ebony throne that looked to have been carved by a deranged blind artist and best left undiscussed in polite or any other company was where you’d expect him to be. The fact that he was lounging in a battered leather armchair by the window said much about this eighth incarnation. He was still clothed in abyssal black silk though; after all he was the Dark Lord and certain standards had to be kept.

A solitary thumb up from the Minion.

The Dark Lord slapped the arm of the chair in anger. “What is the world coming to? This drop in moral standards is a disgrace! I blame the parents.”

An unsure pause and then somewhere beneath the Minion’s robes something that could have been shoulders shrugged.

“So there’s no innocent virgin’s left to sacrifice at all in the realm?”

The thumb had remained out just in case, so the Minion gave it another hoick.

“We’ll be the laughing stock at the next Dire Brethren meeting you know that don’t you.”

Hand betraying his concern, the Minion launched into another bout of prestidigitation.

“Who’s Eureka and what have they got to do with your idea?” The Dark Lord snorted in annoyance as he saw the hand about to leap into motion. “Forget I asked, come on, what have you got instead?”

The Minion’s hand disappeared, his robe billowing as it rummaged around before whipping back out to proffer a box.

The Dark Lord sat up to get a better view at the gaudy lid. “What’s a Blow-up Betty?”

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