Friday’s are full of fun and fiction at Rhetoric Askew on Facebook. We challenge our members to tickle our senses in 500 words or less. This week the members challenged us in return. We had so many wonderful entries it was hard to choose the winners and honorable mentions go out to:

Tony Kohler

Josh James

Rob Saice

Kelly Clendenning

NOW the spotlight shifts to our winners, B.W. Martin and Samantha Beardon. Here are their winning entries:

B.W. Martin

Clasping his cloak tighter, the night’s chill seemed to cut through the clothing more this eve than the last. Not many were brave enough to walk through the east end of the Harbor District, better known as Pilfers Alley, alone unless they had no fears or were a fool.

“A coin fo… Oh sorry, Sir.” The haggler quickly lowered his hand and moved his view away from the cloaked figure. A cold shiver ran up the vagrant’s spine as the leather boots of the hooded figure came to a stop in front of himself. “Many apologies sir,” sputtered the ragged old man. “I didn’t realize that it was you my M’Lord, honest as the day is done!”

“Foolishness, there is no need to stammer about like a buffoon.” Turning, finally, to address the individual he is speaking to brought only more fear. The individual’s notoriety was well known throughout this town and beyond of dangerous conducts. The sound of a few coins clanking in the empty cup brought forth a concerned “Thank you, M’Lord.”

Watching the cloaked male venture further down the road, splashes of water and mud rising with nearly each step, the beggar counted his blessings he was still alive but worried about what favor the suspected Thieves Guild Master would ask of him. Those that call the city of Water Bell home tell of the Thieves Guild supposedly consisting of ten members with Niso as their supposed leader.
Nearing the end of Pilfers Alley, the light from Dragon’s Keep drew Niso inside. A nod of acknowledgment was given to the barkeep as Niso seated himself at the bar.

“Will it be business or pleasure my good Sir?” Spoke the older looking bartender, reaching his hand towards a stack of glasses and the usual liquor of Niso’s choice.

“Business I’m afraid my friend,” Niso said. He spoke with a chuckle in his tone as he sent a single coin into a spin on top of the bar before downing the liquid.

Niso’s booted feet find the floor once more, turning to face the door as a cool breeze was allowed to enter the establishment as a grungily dressed male walks in. Within a moment’s breath, Niso’s hand was on the shoulder of the worried individual directing him back out of the Dragon’s Keep.

“I’ll have it… have it tomorrow!” The pleading voice spoke up instantly.

“I’ve already given you an extra day Doc, “Niso’s tone was held in a mockingly happy sound. “If I started letting everyone have an extra day, people would think they could just walk over me. How much do you have?”

Nervously the mine worker spoke up, “Only half.” The coin purse was pulled out quickly.

“Day of grace and you still are missing ten gold?” Niso moved in the direction of a bench outside the tavern, forcing the male to have a seat next to him.

“I’ll get the rest to me tomorrow, I swear!”

“I’m afraid that will not do.” The dagger wasn’t even seen until three puncture wounds brought crimson fluid from the man’s chest and mouth, his other hand catching the coin purse before it landed on the ground.

B. W. Martin is a father, author, and regular contributor at Rhetoric Askew. He says that he loves to create worlds and believes that table-top role-playing games inspired his creative muse. You can follow him at Dragon Crest Designs.

Samantha Beardon

Surreal the scene, within my dream
A place of ghastly horror
A figure hanging in the sky
A stark magician’s tower.

Surreal the scene, is this a dream?
This place of dark morbidity
Or am I banished far away
For becoming a liability.

Surreal the scene, I need to scream
No life within my view
Is this a place of spectres
With hatred dark to spew.

Surreal the scene, was that a scream?
The hanging figure twists
How did I get into this place
No skills, to deal with this.

Surreal the scene, stark, sinister, scheme
Then a searing band of light
From the tower emanates
Illuminating a portal wide.

Surreal the scene, whose diabolic scheme?
Is this a horror fantasy?
What do I trust, in this farrago
I only have my vanity.

Surreal the scene, grey, drab, unforeseen
It’s meaning for me scary
I need to travel forwards
Trust my instincts, find sanctuary.


Samantha is a Writer and Silk Painter in England, United Kingdom. Loves to read History, historical novels, fantasy and some romance. Doing a fine arts course. Paints silk mostly wearable art. Loves games particularly Scrabble and word games, plays at every opportunity on line and at home. Interested in relationships and what makes people who they are in general. First novel Converging Lives, first poetry book Caught in Passion.

Web site which showcases poetry, relationship issues and progress with the novel.


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