193 words (1 minute)
"There's going to be a gathering," the rumors said, "of the lady vampires who prey on this city." They pointed to a speakeasy in the warehouse district on the weekend of a new moon. Those who didn't dismiss the rumor out of hand vowed to stay away.
But not you, of course.
209 words (1 minute)
I hobble into the shop, barely in time for my appointment. My gears grind noisily inside me with the effort of opening the door myself, and I feel a spring twisting too far.
383 words (2 minutes)
An oracle writhes on the platform prepared for her, gripped by vision and sensation from beyond the Door. Words dribble helplessly from parted lips that move without conscious thought, punctuated by pained moans or gasps hissed through clenched teeth.
655 words (3 minutes)
Month by month, my ability to function degrades. Something in my knee pops, every step summoning an agonizing grinding noise. One hand twitches violently whenever I do not concentrate on keeping it still. Noise creeps in at the edges of my vision.
I am running out of hope.