This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

“Jabberwock Keys” is a complete just-for-fun short story that could use some polishing.



“The Jabberwock are deadly creatures, vicious and cunning, and perfect for guardians of treasure,” the shopkeeper said.

The sorcerer considered, staring thoughtfully around the magic shop. He’d already browsed before he came to the counter and summoned the shopkeeper to ask for his available hoard-guards. So he’d seen all the crystals glimmering in the dim light, the murky potions swirling in glass stoppered jars, dry and yellowing bones, herbs hanging from the rafters, and odd objects lurking in shadowy corners, but he studied them all again.

“I don’t know,” he said finally, “aren’t the Jabberwock a little… old-fashioned?”

“Jabberwock have never gone out of style, sir,” the shopkeeper said. “But if they don’t suit your needs… we have dragons, trolls, and ogres. And for the subtle shopper… sirens, basilisks, and banshees.”

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

29 responses »

  1. Chuckled about the banshee being subtle. Great snippet 🙂

  2. I snickered all the way through this. Love the line about the Jabberwock being old-fashioned. I agree with the shopkeeper-some great monsters never go out of style! Definitely want to read more of this.

  3. Love the visual writing. I can see the shop and all it’s details and snickered about the old-fashioned puns. Great opening.

  4. Millie Burns says:

    Oh a Jabberwock with eyes aflame…that can never go out of style! I want to take a trip to this shop.

  5. What a laugh. Caitlin, you’ve got it all with this eight. I’m going to the shop with Millie. Where in this world is it?

    • caitlinstern says:

      I bet it’s well-hidden behind layers of spells and booby-traps, but if I ever figure it out, we can organize a shopping trip! It’s probably safer in a group, anyway, so the merchandise doesn’t eat you.

  6. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’d love to visit that magic shop! Who wouldn’t want to purchase a fantasy creature?

    • caitlinstern says:

      Tragically realistic people. 🙂

      Rent a siren to liven up your pool party! Hire a minotaur to escort guests around your corporate offices! You’ll be the talk of the town!

  7. Gemma Parkes says:

    Wow, great shop! Colourful snippet full of character.

  8. Alexis Duran says:

    I’d like to see something in an affordable dragon, please. Love the description- very engaging snippet!

    • caitlinstern says:

      All sorts of young dragons looking to build their gold stocks are available for reasonable rates. Please remember that short-changing your dragon will end in a fiery death.

  9. Sarah W says:

    Snicker-snack, baby! 😀

    Would they happen to sell a solar-powered phoenix? Our last one had a wonky resurrection cycle because the battery wouldn’t take a charge. 😀

  10. I want to SHOP here. Please? Loved the snippet, tweeted it Just enchanting LOL.

  11. What, no stuffed alligator?

  12. bethmatthewsbooks says:

    Nice scene setting with this. It seems like a fun world. 🙂

  13. Evelyn Jules says:

    Love the whimsy throughout this excerpt. The title is fabulously clever too! Great job, Caitlin!

    • caitlinstern says:

      The whole idea came from an app that generates sentences from your FB statuses. Most end up gibberish, but one of mine was something like “The Jabberwock, with key returned.”

      And I thought–I could make a story out of that…

  14. Haha… love this! It made me chuckle, and I totally want to read the entirety of the short. If you post the entire thing let us know!

    “Jabberwock have never gone out of style, sir,”… too funny!

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