New Hobby

They unfurled a tentacle, blinking their many eyes, and pointed at the brightly coloured rack behind the woman.

She gawped a moment, then regained her composure. ‘You’re here for yarn?’

They bobbed their bulbous, cephalpodal head, then pointed to the rack to her left.

‘Needles, too?’

They nodded again.

In spite of herself, she smiled. ‘Well, it’s always exciting when someone joins the craft. I’ll see if I can find something waterproof for you …’

They curled all their tentacles up and slitted their eyes in delight.

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.… Read more

Enduring Friendship

The tour group moved on. He glanced around as the display room emptied.

When he was certain that it was just him and a lit case of bones, he took a screwdriver from his coat pocket and cracked the lid of the case.

He slid his hand inside to stroke the little feline skeleton there, worn smooth by years of handling. It shuddered under his touch, the bolts and wires holding it together pinging free to bounce from the glass.

The skeleton yawned silently, then turned empty orbs toward him.

He smiled. ‘I knew I would find you again eventually.’

The cat braced its paws against the glass and he complied to its silent request, lifting it free of the case and letting it snuggle into his coat.… Read more

Coffee

It pulled itself from the mud and grit, a man-sized, amphibious thing of slimy skin, narrow teeth, and dark, cold eyes.

‘Stay away,’ it hissed, holding out webbed hands tipped with heavy claws. ‘I will fight you if I must!’

The human set aside their backpack and knelt. ‘I didn’t mean to startle you,’ they said. ‘My name’s Eden. I won’t hurt you.’

It lowered its claws. ‘You won’t hurt me?’

‘I won’t.’ They paused. ‘Do you like coffee?’

‘Coffee?’

‘I’ll be right back.’… Read more

It was as simple as clicking a few boxes on their site.

‘Internet’s Mail-Order Magic Letters: Bring some magic into your life!’

They didn’t ask for an address, or payment details. It seemed harmless enough.

Then came the letters.

The first opened in a spray of glitter that dissipated into the air. ‘CONFIDENCE!’ it read. She negotiated a promotion that day.

The next unfolded itself in her hands, and crooned bedtime stories from a small illustrated mouth. She got her first full night’s sleep in weeks.

Then the next held ‘good luck’ coins. She gave them to a beggar, who hugged her on the street the next day, their fortunes turned.… Read more

Boss Monster

‘It’ll be simple,’ he said, voice barely shaking. ‘Run in, grab the treasure, run out.’

‘What about the monsters?’ she replied. ‘What about the dragon?’

‘Well … we’ll move too fast for them, thanks to this.’ He hefted his newly purchased spellbook. ‘And you have the sword if anything goes wrong.’

‘I do not feel confident I could take on a dragon!’

‘We won’t have to!’

They clasped hands and he cast the spell, again and again. Walls crumbled before them to reform behind them.

All manner of twisted beasts and grasping undead howled at them, but they were gone each time before anything could be done.… Read more

Vigilant

A high-pitched howl woke her before dawn. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, as the desperate cries continued.

‘Mara, darling?’ she called.

The howls stopped. They were followed by short meow.

She sighed, and climbed out of bed. As she shuffled into the other room, she rubbed the sleep dust from her eyes.

There, bathed in silver light from the window, was a cat-like creature of enormous size, tabby fur, and an oddly human shape.

The creature turned wide eyes toward the human.

‘Did you see another cat, darling?’

Mara nodded, then looked back out the window.

The woman smiled tiredly and came to stand beside her.… Read more

Spirited

golden energy in darkness titled Spirited
This is a serial fiction posted in one toot daily (ish) during October on Mastodon. It was unplanned and experimental, and I’m pretty happy with the result. I hope you enjoy it. (original format)

I’m a ghost but I never died, or at least I don’t remember it. Memory and shape are both unfixed concepts to me. The only time I ever feel real is when someone sees me.

I have no power over who can see me or what they’ll see when they do. Human minds do something with my aether, project onto it, give it a form it doesn’t really have.

Read more

A Fearsome Guardian (+ illustration!)

The dragon lowered a rainbow-hued head to sniff the small, furry morsel. To her surprise, it hissed and puffed up, and swiped at her with surprising aggression.

Perhaps it was more dangerous than it looked. She withdrew, curling her tail around her pile of gold.

The small creature stared at her, yellow eyes wide and suspicious.

Later, she found it batting at a stray piece of gold. She tried to take it back, and was again met with a hiss and a swipe.

In the night, she woke to something rumbling on her back. The creature again, now asleep and curled up in complete, purring contentment.… Read more

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