The Woman in the Deep

There is a woman drifting in the deep.

Her eyes are closed, her limbs loose and floating. Fish dart in and out of her hair. Many-armed things probe her face with curious curls.

When she feels the sunlight rippling across her face, she is weary because it is about to begin again.

She will be fished from the water and forced to glare and bare her teeth for their pleasure. They will scour the scales from her skin and rip the coral from her scalp.

They think because they found her, that she belongs to them.

When she lunges for the ocean, they will hold her tight.… Read more

First the Flame, Second the Bell.

Their eyes meet across the burning glade. Fire still trails from the hands of the first, and the flames dance in her sad eyes.

The second is covered in ash. She hugs a cat to her chest. It buries its face under her arm.

‘I know you,’ says the second, as if in a daze. Her gaze sharpens. ‘Did you do this?’

The first recoils. The flames in her hands flicker; the fire around her dims, then brightens. ‘I didn’t mean to. It just … happens.’

‘Just happens?’ She coughs. Her eyes narrow. ‘A fine way to shirk the blame, when you’ve been caught flame-handed.’ The cat in her arms squirms, then resettles.… Read more

The River Ghost, Lovely

‘I think … I think maybe I’m in love with a ghost,’ he told his sister one morning.

They’d met at a café for breakfast, as they often did. His eyes were low. She watched him, her mouth twisting to one side. ‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘I didn’t think ghosts existed.’

‘She’s … I don’t know how to explain it.’ He ruffled his hair. ‘I only get glimpses of her. Long hair. An impression of a shape. She only appears at the river, at night.’

She folded her hands in her lap and tried to keep her expression smooth. She never wanted her brother to think he couldn’t talk to her.… Read more

Never the Sky

I wrote a serial toot fiction for mastodon written in 1 toot a day for every day of October (or that was the plan, anyway!) It was a labour of love, so I wanted to share it here before it disappears into the archives of social media. I hope you like it.

1

I stepped out of the door and into heavy rain. Crushed leaves slushed the streets and the grass was still brittle with the memory of summer.

My boots skidded and slipped on the doorstep. I caught myself and examined the floor.

The culprit was a small blue card, bright against the cement.… Read more

Digital Destiny

The creature was a mismatched thing of many parts, sitting alone at the edge of the lake. Dragon wings hugged its sides while bird wings hung drably behind it. A thick tail, lizard-like, twitched across the grass. The rest of it was something between a rabbit and a dragon, all fluff and teeth and serpentine eyes.

It stared at its clawed toes, hanging over the still black water. Its head was bowed.

She approached it cautiously, wonderingly.

She’d never thought to see such a fantastical creature outside a story, or a cartoon. This was an encounter for a little girl, not a woman grown and tired.… Read more