What the researchers discovered was that magic came not from humans, but from animals. Or rather, from the relationship with them.
Those who gave their cats warm affection developed magic of shadow and illusion.
Those who played and pranced with their dogs developed the ability to heal and energise.
Those who sat quietly with their snakes became powerful diviners, and those who were kind to their mice could teleport.
But, the studies showed, more animals didn’t necessarily mean more magic. What mattered was that you loved them, and spent time with them.
And to be cruel or neglectful for the sake of your magic would twist you in horrible ways.… Read more
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
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.’… Read more
This week’s microfiction from Mastodon, all in one cozy update!
THE OCEAN AND THE SUN
She was drawn by light rippling on the water’s surface.
She breached slowly, a creature of scales and slime, with oil-pool eyes and hair of curling tentacles.
There, a woman of flame hovered. The water below her kicked and steamed, and her fire was a gentle roar.
Their eyes met. Slowly, they reached for each other, only to pull away in a hiss of flame and burning scales.
Each day, they met again. To look, to talk, but never to touch.
Something drew him into the forest.… Read more