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 a jabberwock named Daisy to guard his treasure, given a silver flute to summon her, they return to his tower on a spire of rocks, going through a tunnel to the top of the cliffs, and he gives her two of the three keys required to unlock a chest with his most important treasures.



Several weeks later, Magnus realized he hadn’t caught so much of a glimpse of his new guard, and so he circled his tower, strode through the tunnels, and paused at the base of the cliffs, frowning because he hadn’t spotted her anywhere.

Something nudged him from behind.

Magnus froze, and slowly, carefully, looked over his shoulder. Stretching on the ground behind him, weaving between rocks, and hardly visible except for the end that twitched in the air next to him was a long fine-scaled tail.

And crouched in a circle of boulders, a coating of dust dulling the gleam of her brown and green hide, looking remarkably like a stone, was the Jabberwock. Her head poked out over the top of a boulder, and she chortled, then ducked back out of view.

Magnus could only imagine the surprise on some thief’s face when she rose up from those boulders, wings spread. In fact, he was almost looking forward to it.

*    *    *


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.

26 responses »

  1. Sarah W says:

    Playful Jabberwock is playful! And deadly! And flirty! And awesome! 😀

    Caitlin . . . what bribe could i offer to get you to send me this entire story?

  2. Frank Fisher says:

    A thief would be no doubt surprised by her presence! No wonder Magnus wants to see it. Very nice work again with the details of the scenery. Good snippet!

  3. The Jabberwock is playing hide and seek. What a sense of humor you have to write this delicious story. Thanks, Caitlin.

  4. I LOVE the Jabberwock. She’s an excellent character and I enjoy how many surprises you’ve given us already with regard to her. Excellent excerpt!

    • caitlinstern says:

      This is the kind of story where I asked a bunch of ‘what if’ questions, and went with whatever answers I liked.

      Part of the reason I love fantasy so much is that the answers can be extremely weird, and that’s okay.

  5. Millie Burns says:

    Daisy is so flippin’ awesome! I think the first paragraph could be tightened and show his frustration maybe with shorter sentences, rather than the run on. It would feel more clipped and make him seem frustrated. I dunno, just my humble opinion. But, I love this story, and I can’t wait to see a thief take a chance too!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Oh, yes–assume most of these sentences are two or even three in the original draft, and you’ll be right more often than not.

      Creative punctuation is at work, here. 😉

  6. Okay, I’m imagining less of a Jabberwock and more of a frightening/flying/serpentine housecat. This is hilarious! 🙂

  7. Aw, Daisy is the best! Camouflaged and playful, though I’m sure a thief will find her less amusing. Enjoying the crap out of this story!

  8. Love the comic suspense, details and surprise. Daisy is a wonderful character

  9. Carrie-Anne says:

    That’s some great camouflage! The Jabberwock is such a fun character.

    • caitlinstern says:

      When you’re as big as a boulder… a couple of branches aren’t going to do the trick to hide you.

      Also, I suspect there’s magic involved. Daisy does get paid in magical items, after all–and this isn’t her first job.

  10. LOVE IT! Daisy has a sense of humour;). Fabulous 8!

  11. Gemma Parkes says:

    Great imagery and upbeat snippet!

  12. Alexis Duran says:

    I can see Daisy so clearly now, you’ve done an amazing job of bringing her to life and giving her a charming personality. Though I doubt if a thief would find her very charming.

    • caitlinstern says:

      She’s more than a little terrifying. But I don’t think being an enormous, carnivorous, winged creature with massive claws and sharp teeth means you can’t have a sense of humor.

      It just probably means most of the laughter you get is very nervous. 😉

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