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Classified Ads

When not laboring in his secret identity as a mild-mannered software developer, Elliotte Rusty Harold lives in a secret mountaintop laboratory on a large island off the East Coast of the United States with his wife Beth and dog Thor. He's an avid birder and entomology enthusiast. His most recent books are Java Network Programming, 4th edition, and the JavaMail API, both from O'Reilly. Follow him as @elharo on Twitter or at elharo.com/blog.

Magical and Professional Services
Diagnosed with demonic possession? You may be eligible to participate in a study of cutting edge exorcism techniques. Qualified participants between 12 and 200 will receive room, board, magical care, and may be compensated for time and travel. (Not liable for pre-existing damnation.) Contact Fr. Wirrhenius at St. Stephen's Temple, Priestly Quarter.
John's Resurrection Services and Funeral Home. If we can't raise 'em, we'll bury 'em.
Business partner cheated you? City watchman won't stay bribed? Neighbor visited your wife while you were off questing? The Assassin's Guild can help. For contact, put white X in window at midnight.
Temple of Cybelle. Specializing in forgiveness of sins. Conveniently located between Wild Bill's Casino and Hala's House of Eros.
Help Wanted
Henchmen needed for lookout work, casing, and light violence. Excellent toadying skills a must. Evil cackle a plus. Contact S. Villane, 13 Secret Hideout Road, Thieves Quarter.
Overwhelmed by debt? Want a new start? Sell yourself into slavery on our modern war galleys. First step to a fresh start! See Mr. Goldtooth at Pier 19.
Join the City Guard! Be part of the thin mailed line protecting the peace of Empire City. Training provided. Regular meals, clean barracks, funeral benefits, and fringe bribes. Ask for Officer Reilly at East Barracks.
Learn blacksmithing! Apprentice to a master smith at Wilf's Smithy. Learn to shoe a horse, hone a sword, and mend chain mail. Build your muscles while you learn a useful trade in a mere seven backbreaking years! Orphan preferred.
Virgins wanted for unicorn hunts and occasional sacrifice duty. Inquire at Temple of Vesta.
Governess needed to teach two small children of the widower Johnson. (Completely exonerated in wife's death.) Apply, the mansion next to the graveyard. Come alone.
For Sale
Dragon season is almost here, and music can soothe the savage beast. Visit Godfrey's Pipes and Bells for the finest in musical magic, lascivious lyres, and dramatic drumming.
You've just come back from a hard quest to present the king with the gorgon's head. Are you going before him dressed in sweaty leather armor and dusty boots? Of course not! Visit Tanelorn Tuxedos for the latest court fashions. The king should be terrified of the gorgon's head, not your own.
One set of dragon-proof plate mail; slight burn marks; see the Widow Godfrey at 32 Roonhoafers Str.
Singing Sword; good for parties; endless entertainment. Amaze your friends and confuse your enemies. Knows many tunes including 99 Bottles of Mead on the Wall, Barnacle Bill the Barbarian, Row Row Row Your Trireme, The Bugbear Went Over the Mountain, Twinkle Twinkle Little Dragon, and The Twelve Days of Solstice. Nathan's Novelties, Town Square.
Black Cat Kittens, two for a copper. Excellent in potions, spells, and stews. Jenny's Pet Shop and Charcuterie.
X-Ray Spectacles. See what's behind the dungeon door before you open it! Make sure that buxom slave girl isn't packing a little something extra. Look a gift hippogriff in the mouth from a safe distance.
Bald? Alice the Apothecary's wonderful; new formula guaranteed to return hair to your pate! Lifetime guarantee. (Life not guaranteed. Guarantee not collectible by heirs.)
Real Estate
Room for rent in three-bedroom hovel. Share with plucky young lad with good prospects and wizened old crone. Private chamberpot. No familiars.
Castle for sale, 30,000 square feet; moat; great location between the Barbarian Steppes and the Valley of Fires; slight dragon damage.
Why rent? For just a few gold pieces more, you can own your own cottage in the Barbarian Steppes! Just a short 6-day trek from the town square. Regular caravans! Daily self-defense practice!
Lost and Found
Lost: One ring of power, gold. No identifying marks but will not melt in fire and may display writing in strange script in same. If found, please return to D. Lord, Wastelands. Substantial reward including gold, slaves, and immortality as undead captain in my armies.
Found: One talking frog. Claims to be royalty. If he belongs to you, please collect at Princess Pearl's Fish & Chips by Sunday noon. Sunday dinner special: frog legs.
You: young, redheaded princess being carried in litter by four brawny slaves on Palace Street Tuesday. Me: young man driving the dung collection wagon. You smiled at me when we passed. Let's meet for coffee and see where it takes us.
Strapping barbarian warrior seeks faithful boon companion for adventures, travel, and cuddling by the campfire.
Rich Eastern merchant expanding his harem. Allowance, room, and board. Opportunities for blondes, brunettes, and redheads. Please enclose recent painting.
Erectile dysfunction! Potions may be dangerous to your health. Free book by wizard reveals what the potion companies don't want you to know. Maester Horatio H. Hornswoggle will mail the first 31 men who respond to this ad a free copy of his new 20 GP book "A Wizard's Guide to Erectile Dysfunction." He's so sure this book will change your life, he'll even pay for raven and handling. If the popular potions don't work for you, regardless of your age or magical history, (including gout and prostate plague) you owe it to yourself, your wife, and your harem to read this book.
Unplanned pregnancy? Knocked up by a god? Consider Adoption an Alternative.
Are you a 98-pound weakling? Do wizards kick sand in your face? Hector Hercules can develop real muscle and make you a master gladiator. Make women swoon and opponents cower! Send self-addressed homing pigeon for free pamphlet.
Long-lived multiply published wizard will help you polish your spellbooks for professional submission/self-casting. Gandore@aol.com.
In dungeon? Need to get out? Honest Abe's Bribe Bonds can loan you the money your guards require for a trifling 10% tithe (payable biweekly).
Multi-family Yard sale. Friday 11/6, Withers Way, 7:00 AM till. Clothes, memorabilia, familiars, small children, magic mirrors, elderly relatives, jewelry, etc.
Barbarian Pickup Training. Learn the caveman method: the only surefire way to meet and mate with fine young wenches. Must supply own club.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, March 21st, 2016

Author Comments

I was reading the classified ads section in a magazine that shall rename nameless, and realized they were more amusing than many of the stories. This piece is the result.

- Elliotte Rusty Harold
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