A little bit long today. I could either have a plot or a description, and neither was very satisfying alone. Hopefully you don't mind the extra 50 words.
The pit was smooth, like the inside of a bowl.
"So's to keep it from getting a grip," said the barker. "What'll ye wager, lad? If ye can give it something it can't eat, you win." He flashed a handful of coin.
Cort looked at the wooden plank that listed the most notable offerings. "Burning lamp." "Pigshit 100lbs." "My grandfather's sword, damn your conman's gizzard." He peered over the edge.
A rough sphere, like a leather ball, lay at the nadir of the pit. It split as he watched, revealing endless rows of teeth and a dark throat that pulsed like hunger itself. He glanced back to the carny-man.
"You should feed it better," Cort said. He flipped his coin up, over the showman's frantic reach and into the pit. A tongue like a whale's liver flicked out and snatched the coin from the air to a deep, satisfying crunch.
The Best of Clarkesworld 2013
1 hour ago