The Tea Reader

‘Can I get you anything?’ he asked. ‘A cup of tea?’

‘No, thank you.’

‘I insist.’

Reid found himself sipping gingerly at a cup of tea a few minutes later. He thought: I just won’t finish it. That’s all.

But the conversation was good and when he next looked down, the cup was dry and scattered with black.

He sighed dramatically.

‘Is something wrong?’

‘No,’ he said, setting aside his cup and its heart-shaped residue. ‘Are you, um, doing anything later?’

 

A microfiction for Mastodon. Image by dungthuyvunguyen from Pixabay.… Read more

Love Transcends

Some loves transcend death, and so it was Lola.

Every day, she waited in the window for her human, her tail clacking against the windowsill.

When she heard a car pull up, she would clatter down from the sill, then run for the front door with a sound like a dull xylophone.

She would greet them by twining her ribcage around their legs.

And when she settled on their lap, she would knead a little too spikily, but in a different way than she had in life.

Image by isfara from Pixabay.… Read more

Appropriate Human Behaviour

The cat turned its back to him and started grooming. After a pause, he pinched the end of its tail.

It hissed and spun, swiping at the empty air where his hand had been.

‘Ellanas!’

He looked guiltily at his mentor.

‘Tail pulling is not an appropriate human behaviour.’

He sulked and crossed his arms. ‘Tail pulling is not an appropriate human behaviour.’

‘Neither is mimicry.’

He groaned and flopped back on the ground. ‘Can I go back to being a crow now?’

 

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay.… Read more

An unusual ranger

When her mother cut down the green jelly beast, she’d watched its remains ooze into the earth.

‘Keep back,’ her mother warned.

But later, when a small chunk of green bounced toward her through the grass, she tossed it a strip of bread and watched it absorb it hungrily.

When she built up the courage to touch it, it didn’t burn as she feared; it was cool, and purred slimily at her touch.

One day she would be infamous for her (mostly) tame Gelatinous Cube.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.… Read more

RSVP to Save the World

‘We await your response by sparrow?’ I murmured, reading the letter again. Something about destiny, the fate of many, and ‘answering the call’ …

I turned it over and looked at the wax seal, now broken; it looked like a penny had been pressed into the wax.

The letter weighed on my mind, however. When I left for work the next morning, I stopped by the gently chittering hedge on the street.

A little brown head poked through the leaves, followed by four more.

They stared at me with their button-black eyes, then launched into the air in a cheeping flock.… Read more

The Champion

The fox’s fur shimmered in the streetlights — not copper, but gold. Its disconcertingly blue eyes were fixed on his face. Its tail swept aside, revealing a bracelet of golden stars and heart gemstones.

‘Where did you get this?’ he asked. He should go home but there was something about the bracelet …

He picked it up and clasped it around his wrist. It fit perfectly, strangely warm against his skin.

He held it up to catch the light.

‘Finally!’ The fox sighed.

His eyes flew to the fox. ‘Holy shit –‘ Before he could fully register his shock, the wind picked up.… Read more

Ritual of Paint

The ritual began with paint.

Smeared across the eyes, across the lips, exaggerating the features, exaggerating the magic.

Then a nose to draw the eye: look here. Look at me. A mind-snare, but with a gentle purpose.

The rest varied: there might be hair, feather-fine and rainbow-hued. There might be shoes like flippers for land, to give the agility to fall *just* so.

But always, the paint and the nose.

Look at me.

It was a spell to fill a heart with laughter.

Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay.… Read more

Wishing to the rain

It’s dark. Rain rolls and bounces through the forest canopy and chimes against the windows of their little hut.

They don their coat and hood, fill their pockets with pebbles, and trudge out into the wet.

As they walk, they whisper. Each whisper goes with a pebble: lodged in the roots of an old tree; dropped in a puddle, newly formed; buried in the dirt with muddy fingers.

Each pebble is a wish, and when lightning cracks the sky, they’ll know that one has been granted.

A microfiction for Mastodon! Even micro-er than usual. ^_^

Image by cpphotographies from Pixabay.… Read more

The Golden Queen & the Crimson Scourge

The red dragon crumpled to the ground, her wings snapped, her heart bared and beating with a weak volcanic glow.

The knight limped up to that hulking, steaming body. His armour was scorched in places, and ripped free in others. With his bare arm –burned and wrapped in rags — he hefted a sword.

‘Time to put an end to this,’ he said, and drew back to strike.

He was knocked over by a whoosh of air from behind, the sword clattering across the floor.

‘Stop!’

The knight scrambled to bow. ‘Your Majesty.’

Her gaze was fixed on the fallen dragon.… Read more

Her Loving Shadow

She’d found him tied to a fence at the side of the road, a noose around his neck and no collar to be found. A large black dog with a thick ruff, long teeth, and eyes that gleamed red when they caught the light.

He’d gone with her meekly enough. Let her bathe him, feed him. Brush the tangles from his fur.

She never told anyone about the blood around his mouth — whatever he’d had to do to survive, she didn’t blame him.

He became her shadow, always at her heels, or watching over her shoulder while she played. If his eyes sometimes followed things she couldn’t see, then that was fine.

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