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

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

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

First the Flame, Second the Bell.

Their eyes meet across the burning glade. Fire still trails from the hands of the first, and the flames dance in her sad eyes.

The second is covered in ash. She hugs a cat to her chest. It buries its face under her arm.

‘I know you,’ says the second, as if in a daze. Her gaze sharpens. ‘Did you do this?’

The first recoils. The flames in her hands flicker; the fire around her dims, then brightens. ‘I didn’t mean to. It just … happens.’

‘Just happens?’ She coughs. Her eyes narrow. ‘A fine way to shirk the blame, when you’ve been caught flame-handed.’ The cat in her arms squirms, then resettles.… Read more

Lost

They met at twilight: a woman, scratched and sore, and a fox with mauled ears and eyes like reflected stars.

The fox had one leg lifted, poised to flee. The woman pulled her tattered coat tighter about her as she sat among the leaf-litter.

‘I’m lost,’ said the woman. ‘But I can’t go back. I won’t.’

The fox tilted its head to one side, yipped, and picked up a careful pace.

And through trees and darkening light and desperate hope, it led the woman to her new home.

Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by n4pgw, used under Pixabay License.… Read more