Moonlight Encounter

The couple spotted the monstrously fluffy cat striding purposefully toward them across the moonlit street.

The first tapped his partner. ‘Cat!’

‘Yes, I see it.’ He sighed dramatically, but couldn’t quite hide his smile. He knelt down as the cat approached. ‘Here, kitty.’ He held out his hand.

At his movement, the cat veered away.

‘Uh … kitty?’

The cat stopped and flicked its tail. ‘Sorry,’ it yowled over its shoulder. ‘Thought you were somebody else.’

The couple looked at each other. ‘Full moon,’ said the first.

‘Must be new at it,’ said the second. ‘I haven’t shifted involuntarily in years now.’

The first leaned close and plucked at his jacket.… Read more

Freedom on land

‘And what are the wheels for?’ she asked, flipping her tail to sun the other side.

‘They’re so that I can get around on land.’ He wrung his hands in his lap, wondering if she would question and pry and judge.

She only raised herself higher out of the water and gave the wheel a tentative squeeze.

‘On land.’ She said the words like a prayer.

With effort, he stood up and stepped aside from his chair, though the pain made him grit his teeth. ‘Why don’t you try it?’

Another microfiction for Mastodon! Image by StockSnap from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Facing the Forest

She stilled, eyes locked with a sloth-like creature with mossy fur, claws like twisted roots, and a mushroom shell. It dangled from the tree, blinking first one bright green eye, then the other.

‘What are you?’ she asked, clutching her ragged shawl closer. She had encountered many creatures in the forest, not all of them kind.

‘What are you?’ it replied in a croaky imitation of her voice.

In spite of her fear, she leaned closer. ‘Can you talk, or just repeat?’

It tilted its head. ‘Can you talk?’

‘Are you friendly?’

It yawned, revealing pointed teeth. ‘Friendly?’

Already, she knew better than to fear something just because it might bite.… Read more

Queen’s Secret

Alice giggled as her girlfriend pulled her into a corner of the town gardens. ‘What’s the big secret?’

Her girlfriend smiled to one side, that irresistible quirk that had first drawn her to her. ‘It’s a big adventure.’

‘Yeah, but everything’s a secret with you,’ she said, a little breathlessly.

Her girlfriend’s smile widened. ‘Am I really so mysterious?’

She was. She was laughter on the wind and a smile in moonlight. She was perfume quickly whisked away.

But when Alice said everything was a secret with her girlfriend, it was only half-teasing. There was a shadow over her sometimes.… Read more

Survivor

The dragon landed in a flurry of snow and steam, black scales gleaming and red-seamed like hot coals.

They turned their burning eyes to the woman face-down in the snow. There were many other footprints around her, but no other humans for miles around.

They leaned forward and sniffed. No reek of death. They nudged her with their great muzzle.

The woman stirred at the touch, then scrambled to her feet.

‘I’m alive!’ she cried, drawing a dagger from her belt. ‘I survived them, and I’ll survive you too. So don’t even try it!’

The dragon considered her, small and cold, a barely-healed wound on her back and blood under her nails.… Read more

A creature of the moors

Curled on her side in the window-seat, she gazed out at the open moors. Tears made gentle tracks down her cheeks.

Outside, the clouds gathered, dark with empathy, heavy with the weight of their care for her. When the rain fell, the grass sighed its longing.

When at last she returned, the moor would welcome her with wild winds and dramatic skies.

Perhaps then they would both be whole, and she would remember, at last, what she truly was.

Microfiction! Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Running and Riding

His feet were sore and blistered in his shredded shoes. His shirt was bramble-torn and leaf-stained, his trousers dirty and frayed.

The river was a mirage-like solace, too good to be true. He knelt on the bank and lowered cupped hands into the cool water.

After he had drunk his fill, he turned to see a horse, fur as dark as the blackest mud, with rushes tangled in its mane.

‘I’ve heard of you,’ said the man. ‘I won’t ride you, no matter how sore I am.’

The horse snorted and struck its hoof on the ground. ‘You think I mean to drown you.’

‘That’s what you are, isn’t it?’

‘And what are you?’ asked the horse.… Read more

Wings Out

‘I don’t know if I can do it.’ The ground fell away mere inches from his feet, a chasm of rock walls and thorny brambles.

‘You can!’ she called from across the fall. ‘I know you can!’

‘How?’ His voice was hoarse.

She smiled and spread her wings, the feathers catching the light with an irridescent shine.

‘Because I didn’t think I could do it either.’

He shuffled his own wings on his back.

All there was left was to breathe in, wings out, and make a running a leap.

Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay, used under Pixabay license.… Read more

Memory and Sight

He adjusted his blindfold. ‘What do you think?’

Her eyes tracked the clouds as they rolled across the azure sky.

‘It’s beautiful,’ she replied. She shifted where she lay on the grass, disturbing her hair. It hissed and resettled, scales sliding against scales. ‘I mean … I remembered that it was beautiful, but in my head … it was like a painting. This is something else.’

‘What else would you like to see?’

She smiled, sharp-toothed and joyful. ‘Everything.’

Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by tatlin from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more

Attack Dog

He found it on a country lane. A beast of curling black fur and heavy paws. Its red eyes lit up its face in the dark; long muzzle, long tongue, long teeth.

‘It’s okay,’ he said gently. Lacking anything better, he offered it a ham sandwich, arm outstretched.

The beast growled, a sound of low menace that brought to mind the first rumble of an avalanche.

‘I won’t hurt you, I promise,’ he said. He laid the sandwich on the ground and took a step back. ‘Try it.’

The beast lunged forward and snapped up the sandwich. Its teeth clacked and its mouth smacked wetly.… Read more