Short Story: The Last Witness

In which the author shares an apocalypse.

 The view from a cell.
The view from a cell...

Dear Reader,

Last week I decided to enter Vocal Media's Fantasy Prologue challenge. Contestants had the opportunity to submit a 500 to 5000 word story starting with the required sentence:

There weren't always dragons in the Valley.

If you recall my newsletter, "Let Us Speak of Dragons," you may remember I've done some reflection on the topic of dragons this year. The thoughts in that newsletter – and the conversations I had with readers – certainly played a significant role in how I approached the story prompt.

So, please consider yourself invited to come and read the story that I wrote, "The Last Witness," at Vocal Media!

Here are the first few paragraphs:

There weren’t always dragons in the Valley, but all sanctuaries must fail as the end draws near. I told the guard as much when he shared the news with me.
Despite how increasingly dire matters grow, it is still possible to find those who tell our leaders that there is yet hope for their dreams, that there is some weapon, some hero, some intervention that will yet preserve this frail thread of our survival. Some even rave of reclaiming the world!
But I have not the comfort of such delusions, nor the opportunity to utter such sweet-sounding falsehoods. No, I have the uncomfortable duty of telling the truth. And ushering in the final annihilation of our race and all its hubris.

If you know anyone who might be interested in reading the story, please share around! (And, just as a note, reader engagement is the metric the judges at Vocal use for tiebreakers if they can't decide what the best story is.)

Best regards,


PS: That link again:

Want more words, Traveller? Come visit my website at, or take the direct route to the blog.

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Perilous Realms

Well met, Traveller into Perilous Realms. I am your guide Bryan Rye, Game Master and Author. Stay awhile and let us speak of many things.

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