Window Watcher

The cat chattered, clacking her teeth, fur rising.

His gut clenched.

‘Elsie, come away,’ Fear made his song-song tone brittle. He half-crouched toward the window.

Elsie smacked the glass with a velvet paw.

‘Come here, sweetie.’

She chirped once, then hopped down from the windowsill.

He cradled her against his chest. Her purrs were so loud, he could almost ignore the moans of the shuffling horde outside.

It wasn’t easy to have a housecat in the zombie apocalypse.

Image by StockSnap, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Churchyard Meeting

She’d heard that on a certain day, at a certain time, you could meet your own ghost haunting the graveyard at St Mary’s.

In the hour before dawn, she stood beside the church’s yew tree, hands tucked under her armpits, cloudy breath mixing with the pre-dawn mist. Her gaze hovered uncertainly on every shadow and shifting light.

When at last the ghost appeared, it was as a being of trailing fog with eyes like fire, but a familiar face.

‘I’m sorry,’ the girl whispered. ‘I didn’t know — I needed someone to –‘

Gently, the ghost embraced her, one spectral hand stroking her hair, the other gripping her shoulder.… Read more

The Royal

Every day, she saw them out of the corner of her eye. A person, crowned, in robes of sweeping gold.

Sitting in the empty chair in her office, leaning in the kitchen doorway, standing in the cinema aisle. Always vanishing on a closer look.

She feared the royal, at first. They made a question of her sanity, or else of her safety.

But one week passed, then two, then ten. They became familiar. A company felt even when unseen.

At last, returning home with tears on her cheeks and a black feeling in her chest, she whispered to her empty home: ‘Are you there, royal?’

She thought she heard a whisper, but could not make out the words.… Read more

The Pattern

The knitters were delighted to see a young woman at the craft.

She looked to them for advice and techniques, watching and solemnly repeating.

She spoke little but listened much. To their triumphs and disappointments, their loves and their tragedies.

Quietly, she would knit a chance meeting, or purl a healed heartbreak. When she dropped a stitch for an unwanted memory, the old women would tut.

When they passed, she would add a new colour to the pattern of the world.

Image by SaskiaAleida, used under CC0.… Read more

Crowdfunding for Broke Writers: Survey Results

I’m planning on crowdfunding to publish my already written and finished novel, Books & Bone. I’m not the kind of person who likes to jump into big decisions without really examining them, and I’m also extremely broke, so crowdfunding has a lot of risks for me.

So! I made a survey with a goal of a small sample size of 100 respondents (which is ambitious for me, since I have a very small network). I wanted it to be applicable to other writers in the same situation, so I kept the questions general.

You can view the results here but I’m going to break them down a bit anyway.

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The Girl With Chickenfeet

A longer microfiction for Mastodon.

People were cruel to the girl with chickenfeet. ‘She’s hideous!’ they would cackle in her face.

‘The poor, ugly thing,’ others would whisper behind her back.

She bore it all with hunched shoulders and a leaden heart.

At night, she would stare at her feet and flex the long, scaly toes with their talons, and she would try to picture them smooth and bland and ordinary.

Every time she did, she grew a little smaller, choked by silence and shame.

She could pluck her feathers and hide her arms in long sleeves, but nothing could disguise her chickenfeet.… Read more

Terrifying, Beautiful

‘I love winter,’ she would say as the wind chapped her cheeks.

She loved winter when she had to wade through snow and she loved winter when she came home soaked through with rain.

She loved winter when she cuddled under a blanket and when the steam from her hot chocolate fogged her glasses.

People would question that she loved winter when it broke the electrics in her car or froze her pipes, and she would laugh.

‘Love doesn’t have to be easy,’ she’d say. ‘I love winter even then.’

When she opened her door to a figure in a flurry of snow, she paused.… Read more

Looking

Another microfiction for Mastodon.

She pricked her finger on the crooked needle and let the blood drip and swirl into the bowl below.

It clouded pink, then cleared.

She gripped the sides of the bowl with tight hands as an image resolved. A tatter-eared dog trotted through fields of smoke beneath a white sky, then paused and sniffed the air. It looked right at her, and barked, ears coming forward.

‘I miss you,’ she whispered.

Then came shouts and shuffling feet. She overturned the bowl and fled.

Image by Yuri_B, used under CC0.… Read more