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. A man has entered a magic shop, looking for a monster guard for his treasures–the shopkeeper recommends a Jabberwock, or perhaps a dragon, troll, siren, or banshee.



“No fire-breathers, my treasure is flammable, and no one will respect me if I set a siren on my hoard, so I suppose I’ll take a Jabberwock.”

“Excellent choice,” the shopkeeper pulled out a beautifully embossed silver flute from a drawer behind his counter. Carrying it, he walked over to the shop’s single enormous window, and threw the shutters wide, the late afternoon sun streaming in brilliant swathes. “You play it thus,” he said, and blew three notes, slow and steady, twisting to show the sorcerer his finger placement.

The last note faded, and silence fell.

It stretched, and the sorcerer glanced at the shopkeeper, who was gazing out the shop’s window, fingers folded around the flute, content to watch the trees and wait.

So the sorcerer waited too.

After several long moments, something large made the trees toss as they were shoved aside, and a massive shadow loomed out of them before stepping into the light.

*    *    *

Due to NaNoWriMo, I’ll probably be a little slower than usual, but I still value your feedback, frazzled as I am!

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.

28 responses »

  1. Dynamite! How much do I love this eight? Let me count the ways. You are one helluva a storyteller.

  2. Sarah W says:

    Ooooh! I agree with Charmaine!

    More now, please! 🙂

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    I was staring out of the window with them, magic!

  4. Frank Fisher says:

    Very nice characters as well as an interesting story. You’ve got a knack for fantasy stories.

  5. This story is amazing amounts of fun…I think I’d be too intimidated to want a Jabberwock myself, based on your description of how it’s arriving! More, please…great 8!

  6. Alexis Duran says:

    Lovely- you set up the Jabberwock’s entrance perfectly. Can’t wait to see it.

  7. Poor sirens- they get no respect until it’s too late! I love how the Jabberwock is called. I can’t wait to see it. Loving this story!

    • caitlinstern says:

      I think a siren could be a very good guard for treasure, but you have to admit it’s not the same effect as something large like a dragon. This guy wants something flashy.

  8. Love it! Especially the comment about the Sirens. Poor things:). Well done.

  9. Carrie-Anne says:

    I can’t help but think of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The Jabberwock has a great entrance.

  10. chellecordero says:

    You paint a very visual and compelling picture with your words. Terrific story telling.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Thanks! I always thought the Jabberwock has some impressive presence to it.

      ” The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
      Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!” -Lewis Carroll

  11. I hope the flute controls as well as calls the jabberwock.

  12. Love the sorcerer here. Nice touch. I figured out the game this story reminds me of, “Might and Magic” it used to be available on Sega Genesis. I’ve got to look it up and see if it’s still available. Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is that I love your story! Fantastic!!!

  13. This made me smile….great 8!

  14. Evelyn Jules says:

    Every little detail in this scene is so finely tuned. The dialogue, the handling of the Jabberwock, the music, the silence afterward, and now the magic that’s unfolding outside. Can’t wait for more! Good luck with NaNo!

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