Tag Archive: fantasy fiction

Mini adventures. Mini Sci-Fi. Mini History. Mini Fantasy. Mini-escapes. What you can expect from the…

“Five-Minute Escape”

short adventure story.



TIME: Before Recorded History. PLACE: The Great Desert Wastes

 Copyright Terofil Gizelbach, 2013


She stood boldly in the campfire’s glow, surrounded by the chieftain and his band.

“Do I look like a child that you can dazzle with your lies, Tandor?” she asked. “Pig! You sent him to die!”

Tandor smiled, and offered up his palms. “You wrong me, girl. The Tsoggoth slew him; or he slew himself by going. I had no hand in it. He made his choice.”

“You goaded him into facing the Tsoggoth! You knew he would fight if you challenged his pride!”

Tandor shook his head with mock sympathy. “Amanth always did think well of himself. It was his undoing, I think. But he cut the creature ere he died, slashed its wing. You should sing his praises to the gods, girl. He died a hero.”

“Aye, and his death, Tandor, made you chieftain.”

Tandor laughed and fingered his scimitar. “That,” he said, grinning, “cannot be helped. Choose one of us, Selena. Pick me. You will make a beautiful companion; I’ve thought so ever since you straggled in half-dead from the Wastes. Choose me, girl, and I will drape your pretty curves with jewels looted from the finest caravans from Zantibar.”

Selena hissed through her teeth. “I would kill you first, pig,” she said, the firelight playing off her red hair as she raised her bow. “And I will kill you now if you make a step towards me. Verily, I will skewer any fool here who moves to touch me!”

She stared at them, the lone woman in a nomadic raiding party. Swarthy, bearded faces, ugly with lust, stared back at her. But not one among them moved.

“Cowards!” she spat. “Amanth was worth ten of you! He was a man. Kind. Strong. Decent. You wait here for the Tsoggoth to prey upon you one at a time. I go to avenge his death!”

She backed slowly away from the men—her bow string taut—until she reached the edge of the light. Then she turned and strode rapidly into the darkness.

“Such waste,” she heard Tandor call after her. “A pity you must die…”




She stood alone, on rock stained by Amanth’s blood, her slim figure outlined by stars in the plateau’s cold, wind-swept darkness.

You should have listened to me, Amanth. I begged you not to go…

Drawing the robe tight over her mail against the cold, Selena looked to the red campfire flickering in the Wastes far below. How foolish Tandor was to light a blaze on a night when the Tsoggoth took wing.

“Ah,” she whispered to herself, “but he expects that I will be its prey. You misjudge me, Tandor; I will not die. I’ve not the strength to match a Tsoggoth, but my bow arm will be ready. And I will fight!”

The hour was late when at last the Tsoggoth appeared from the stars. Ten times the length of a man, it soared across the moon and blotted away its light in an endless flow of fangs, scale, and claw.  It wheeled effortlessly, turning on green leathery wings, golden eyes aflame. With a piercing screech, it dove: armored scales glittering with moon glow; pinions folded close to its ribbon body; its talons distended, quivering.

Selena dropped to a knee as it swept in shadow overhead. Pulling the bowstring to her ear, she unleashed an arrow that melted into the thing’s belly. It turned, flew directly upward and then paused, silhouetted against the night sky, impossibly huge, its wings spread in a cross. It bellowed in anger, its roar clapping the plateau like a thunder roll.

It is a storm, she thought. And like a storm it cannot be defeated. But I must defeat you, storm creature, and you will die—for Amanth. Or I must die trying.

It dove again, its giant wings beating against the night. It grew, until it seemed that the entire world was a Tsoggoth and that it must crush her. Selena resisted the urge to flee, to cower against the earth. Drawing her bowstring, she prayed and let another arrow fly. A claw tore her mail, bloodied her skin. She cried out, staggered to a knee. The Tsoggoth roared overhead, staring with its ancient golden eyes.

Like a pin prick to an oliphant, she thought, nocking another arrow and wincing from her torn shoulder. I must slay it quickly ere it slays me…but how? Where is its weakness?

 The creature hove to, wings pounding like kettle drums, the vibration coursing through Selena’s sandals, causing her legs to shake. It lunged, a vision of teeth: razor-edged, white; jaws: snapping; and golden eyes—toad like, glaring—

Eyes! Its golden eye!

The Tsoggoth caught her in its talons as she drew. Selena aimed and released, her shaft blinding the thing’s golden eye.  The creature stiffened, roared. She gasped as talons dug into her mail. Coiling its neck moonward, its jaws snapped convulsively, sending blood splatters flying. It keeled over, limbs flailing; crashed heavily to the ground in a cloud of dust. Selena, caught in its talons, was slammed to the rock. In a daze, she fought free as the Tsoggoth writhed its death throes.

“For you, Amanth,” she said as it died. “I killed it for you.”




She stood just beyond the campfire’s glow and threw the bloody Tsoggoth’s claw into their midst.  In a rattle of scimitars, the startled raiders glanced up from their circle.

“Is that you, girl?” Tandor asked, looking to the shadows. “Speak!”

Selena spoke. “It is dead, pig. I slew it. And you were wrong, Tandor; I am still very much alive.”

Tandor grinned into the darkness. “Then come into the firelight, girl. Come hither and claim your prize.”

The men laughed.

Selena, invisible in her black robes, remained very still. “Nay, I think I will stay where I am, Tandor. I have my bow; it is dark and you will not find me. And I will kill you—any of you—if you move beyond the campfire’s light,” she said in a quiet voice. “By Amanth’s spilled blood, I swear you will drop before you take two steps.”

Tandor frowned, less sure of himself. “So I stay. But for how long? Until dawn perhaps? You cannot kill us all, Selena. Not if we can see you. We have bows too.”

It was Selena’s turn to laugh. “I have not long to wait, nor have you. It is coming. My hearing always was better than yours, Tandor.”

“What is coming, Selena? The sun? The Tsoggoth is dead. You killed it!”

“Fool! I killed a Tsoggoth, Tandor…not the Tsoggoth. It had no slash on its wing, the thing that died. That which I slew must have been its mate. It seems well, does it not? It killed my mate, I slew its mate. Now it comes to kill you. In my black robe the Tsoggoth will not notice me, but it will mark you well in the firelight. And after you are slain, I shall kill it…and the circle will be complete.”

“Listen, Tandor,” she said. “Is it coming? Do you hear? Do you hear?”

From the cold stars, the men heard the beating of leathery wings…

“Listen well, Tandor, listen well! ’Tis the sound of…vengeance!”




For more information about dragons, please click the following fascinating link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon


ABOUT THIS BLOG… Each “Five-Minute Escape short adventure story in this blog series will be kept under 1500 words; most will clock in at about 500. The “Five-Minute Escape” short adventure story will allow you to log on, take a fast trip, and get back quick to what you should have been doing in the first place…though hopefully the experience will stay with you long after you have moved on to something else. Subscribe to the blog and take a weekly…”Five-Minute Escape!” “Five-Minute Escape short adventure story copyrighted Terofil Gizelbach, 2013


Mini adventures. Mini Sci-Fi. Mini History. Mini Fantasy. Mini-escapes. That’s what you can expect from the “Five-Minute Escape” short-short story!

TIME: Before. PLACE: Far Away


Copyright Terofil Gizelbach 2013

“Prepare to be terminated, TX17!”

The cyborg Zarg advanced slowly, looking for an opening. TX17 waited, the ‘bot’s body crouching, menacing, poised for a swing.

Zarg struck first, landing a glancing jab on TX17’s shoulder. Shrugging off the blow, the ‘bot laughed. “I would have expected better of you Zarg. You’ve grown weak since our last encounter. Perhaps you rely too much on the other?”

“Just limbering up,” said Zarg. “I will not be defeated this time, TX17. The fate of my people is in my fists. I must win: they have told me so.”

TX17 laughed again. “Your people? They care nothing for you, Zarg! You are expendable. You exist only for this contest. After I break you, your people will abandon you, fool! You are nothing to them. Nothing!”

Zarg snarled, feeling the pain, the truth of TX17’s words. Mindlessly, he waded forward, opening himself to attack in his rage. TX17 swung, clipping Zarg in the chest. Zarg grunted, feeling the shock in his composites. In a haze, he fired back a counter jab blindly. Missed. Retreated. Was hammered as he back-peddled.

“You grow careless, Zarg,” TX17 said, his voice menacing in its calm. “You let your anger direct you. In the end—now—it will defeat you.”

TX17 slid forward, smiling. A fist powered forward, connected, crashed. Stunned, Zarg wobbled. His right arm dangled uselessly. In desperation, he jabbed again. Missed again. Felt a punishing blow slam his forehead.

“Goodbye, Zarg,” he heard TX17 say. Then Zarg swung. He struck with all the strength remaining to him. He struck, his fear, his rage giving him extra strength. He struck for the controller who had already abandoned him, convinced of his defeat.

And connected.

With a joy that was almost religious in its fervor, Zarg watched as TX17’s red head popped up from his body.

He hoped the controller would be happy.




“Hey! What a gyp! How did you do that? You didn’t even have your hands on the joysticks!”

Bobby Espiranto stared down at the “Battlin’ ‘Bot’s” toy boxing ring and frowned. “I didn’t do anything, Johnny,” he said. “It must have popped a spring or something and clocked your ‘Bot by accident. Anyway, I won. I knocked your Bot’s block off.”

“Yeah, you cheated you mean,” said Johnny Franzen. “You taking your hands off the joysticks was just a way to make me drop my guard! I know a gyp when I see one!”

“Honest, I didn’t, Johnny-Boy. The crummy thing must be busted.”

“Well…all right. But don’t take your hands off next time till after I knock your block off, OK?”

“Deal,” said Bobby. “Say…you don’t suppose maybe it did it somehow? I mean, maybe it didn’t wanna lose, or something.”

Johnny laughed. “It’s a toy, dummy! Next you’ll be tellin’ me they have feelings. C’mon, dopey, lets go outside and play with something else.”

“Yeah, OK,” said Bobby. “Let’s go. Who needs this junky thing anyhow?”



For a really “Boss” clip showing the “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot” toy in action, please visit the following site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV7cx4cQOuU



Each “Five-Minute Escape short-short story in this blog series will be kept under 1500 words; most will clock in at about 500. The “Five-Minute Escape” short-short story will allow you to log on, take a fast trip, and get back quick to what you should have been doing in the first place…though hopefully the experience will stay with you long after you have moved on to something else. Subscribe to the blog and take a weekly…”Five-Minute Escape!”

The “Five-Minute Escape” short-short story is copyrighted Terofil Gizelbach, 2013

Now that I’ve taken the plunge, it’s time I told you a little about me…

Overall, I’m probably pretty much like you. I always pick the wrong lanes on the highway or the slowest moving checkout line. I’d rather eat a good hamburger and fries than a whole bucket of escargot. I don’t like wearing shoes. I yell at the TV when my football team loses. I like the “Andy Griffith Show” and “Star Trek” and “Cheers.” I have a budget and have to watch what I spend. I stay up too late, and I don’t get as much sleep as I might like. I have days where I think getting out of bed was a mistake, and others I wish would never end. And I still have a boss that makes me crazy, only these days it happens to be my conscience. Which brings me to my work…

I’m a writer of Science Fiction and Children’s Literature. Wow, super glamour, right? I mean, dictating your latest potboiler into a digital recorder while your secretary transcribes your meanderings into the next bestseller…

Unfortunately, the reality is somewhat different. Despite how it is portrayed by the media, writing isn’t usually a particularly glamorous profession. For you aspiring writers, be aware that, at times, it can be a very frustrating job—one of hammering away at a sentence that just won’t pop, or at an idea that just won’t jell. It can be pretty lonely too. And the hours are long. And it doesn’t pay particularly well, unless of course you are a Stephan King. But ultimately I wouldn’t choose to be anything else. I feel very fortunate to be a writer; it is what I was meant to do. I’ve done everything from rolling egg rolls and throwing boxes into a truck, to running a major city’s budget. All have had their moments; all have made me happy at times. But when my writing rocks, there is nothing else that gives me such a high, such a feeling of raw accomplishment. That is what drove me during the late nights when my writing was my second job, and that is what still drives me now. I believe every artist is driven to create; just as every writer feels the need to write. We do it because we must.

Besides, grandmother was a professional artist. Mom liked to paint watercolrs and design clothes…

I guess it’s just in my DNA.




Another blog. Hoo boy. Seems like everyone has one these days, doesn’t it? It’s now possible to read in sublime detail about Aunt Brenda’s cat’s sixth toe, or another mindless celebrity’s latest stint in rehab, or the doings of people you would normally go out of your way to avoid. Not that there is anything wrong with blogging. To quote the statue from the movie “Animal House,” “Knowledge is Good,” and every one of us has something positive to offer—some life-enriching nugget to share. The trick is sharing something that people actually want to read. To give them something that will move them, or shake them, or make ‘em laugh—or even cry. Kinda like writing fiction or painting or art in general, I guess…

Unfortunately, I can’t always promise to “move” you here. But I will do my best to entertain you, and to share my world view with you—and, when possible, bring a little something to put a smile on your face, or put a silly or startling thought into your head. Science Fiction and Children’s literature at its finest excels at prodding the imagination. I hope my blog does too. And maybe even once in a while I might actually throw out something that will make you think about the world a little bit differently. Now that would make me happy.

Then again, maybe Aunt Brenda’s cat’s sixth toe has already changed your world view… I know I’m going back to revisit her blog.

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