Just a pigeon

‘It’s just a pigeon,’ said the girl. ‘Let it die.’

The boy lifted it with gentle hands. It was too weak to struggle. He could feel its heartbeat against his fingertips. ‘It just needs help, that’s all.’

He nursed it day and night. Warmed it by a lamp, cleaned its wounds. Fed it from his hand. Every day it grew stronger. And larger.

After a week, it was the size of a cat. A month, a dog. It gazed at him with adoring eyes. And one day, it would carry him into the sky.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moonlight Dog

Her dog was a creature of moonlight and chill wind.

It lived on the hill behind her house, in the ruins of the old stable. She’d been up there to get … away, when she heard whimpering.

It was a timid thing, thin-boned and silver-furred, all eyes flashing in the dark and tail vanishing into shadow.

Given time, she earned its trust.

It would lean against her side and she would run her hands through its icy fur. She brought it treats that it would never take, but when she called, it came. But only at night.

‘Who left you here?’ she would wonder as it bowed and bounded in play.… Read more