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 sorcerer hires jabberwock named Daisy to guard his treasure, given a silver flute to summon her, and with Daisy following, returns to his tower on a spire of rocks, going through a tunnel to the top of the cliffs (he keeps cattle up there to feed his guard eagles, which he will also give to Daisy.)
I skipped over some negotiating.
“I want you to monitor the caves, and patrol the base of the tower, and though you are welcome to hunt the woods, I will supply food, so long as it is reasonable,” Magnus surveyed the mass of tightly-packed muscle before him, wondering if the Jabberwock could fly, because then she likely burned a great deal of calories. “I will pay you every year, with bonuses for a job well done, in gold or gems or whatever you require.”
Daisy scraped the dirt in front of her smooth with the side of her long-fingered front foot, folded her claws until one protruded, and carefully dragged that talon through the dirt she had smoothed, forming a word slowly in the crumbling dirt.
Magnus blinked down at it, reading it again and again, disbelieving his eyes.
She’d written the name that magicians used, not one of the handful of nicknames commoners knew, for a powerful healing crystal, a long-lasting light crystal, one that created a burst of fire, and another that would rust any metal near it to dust within minutes.
“Those are… all obtainable…” Magnus said after a long moment, “We can negotiate the amounts at the end of a year, but I will pay you one of each of those, at the least, if that is acceptable.”
The Jabberwock nodded again, and raked her claws through the dirt, obliterating the words she’d written and leaving a space that looked similar to the patches around it, a random tumble of dirt.
* * *
Due to NaNoWriMo, I’ll probably be a little slower than usual, but I still value your feedback, frazzled as I am!