Passing Time

She dug her toes into the dirt and raised her arms.

As the wind struck her, she shivered; skin whorled and hardened into bark. Fingers lengthened and fractured into branches. Hair bloomed into narrow silver leaves.

She grew and twisted and changed, shifting from a girl into a narrow white-barked tree.

And thus, she let the seasons pass, and woke again in better times.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.… 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

The Curses We Leave Behind

She stared hard into the enchanted pool, trying to recognise these new features. Smooth skin and tumbling curls, wide eyes with long lashes. A human face she had yearned for for long years.

But it had been her goat face that had laughed with friends. Been lion hands that first clasped Janna’s tightly. It had been her serpent tail that had saved her from the cruel knight.

That body had been pain. It had been torturous. A curse she had never wanted or deserved. But it had been all she had known for so long.

As her tears fell into the pool, she felt hands at her shoulder, at her arm, taking her hand.… Read more

Terror by Moonlight

Every full moon, they locked their doors and shuttered windows. They barricaded, they barred, they held their children tight.

And listened for the crystalline ringing of silver hooves.

In the morning, they would always find the unfortunates gored through the heart by a long silver spike.

Nobody looked at their daughter too closely, because everyone knew that a unicorn wasn’t born from nothing.

First, there was a maiden with murder in her heart.

This microfiction in response to the microfiction poll winner: ‘evil unicorns’. Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay.… Read more

He Reads the Birds

There is a boy who can read the birds.

He throws crumbs to the town pigeons and in the pattern of their pecking, sees illness coming to his school.

He spreads seed across the garden and watches garden birds flit in and away, and sees that his mother will get a promotion.

He watches a plume of rooks rise from the trees below and sees that though folk think he is strange now, the world will one day have need of him.

It is good that the birds taught him kindness as well.

 

Image by Free-Photos 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

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

Fairytale Kiss

It was a kiss with teeth, all hunger and bloody mouths as the rain soaked them to the bone.

The elf leaned back, pressing a finger to her wounded lip. The goblin’s answering smile was razor-sharp.

‘This isn’t how this story usually goes,’ said the goblin. She ran her hands down the elf’s sodden, wind-tangled hair, her every touch feather-light.

‘Then someone has been telling it wrong,’ the elf replied. ‘For you and me, this couldn’t have gone any other way.’

Microfiction! Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.… 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