A matched pair

Red light gleamed from the dark hollows of her eyes. Her skin grew aged and leathery as parchment. She bared cruelly pointed teeth.

‘This is what I am,’ she said. ‘This is what the hunger does to me. And I have been alone such a long time …’

He took a deep breath. ‘So have I.’ His pale shape flickered, like an image losing signal. ‘But I’m willing to try, if you are.’

‘Try,’ she said. She put her hand on his, and it didn’t pass through. ‘Yes, we could try.’

Image by Rondell Melling 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

Watcher

He opened his eyes and there, white-smiled and wide-eyed in the midnight gloom, was the creature.

It hung back against the wall: long arms, long body, round head. Hairy, but in the way a shadow is hairy. A thing knit of night itself.

Before, he had closed his eyes and given in to fitful sleep. But now he gathered his courage and spoke: ‘What are you doing here?’

–Watching over you– Its voice was muffled and warped. –Rest now. You’re safe.–

After a moment, he did.

A microfiction with thanks to Quiet Rain for tipping on Ko-Fi. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… 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

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

A better player

She played late into the night and then later still, ignorant of the shadows pressing in on all sides, uncaring of the heaviness of her limbs or the life set to resume in a few hours.

For her, there was only the quest, only the character on the screen, only the voices of her guildmates, intense in her ears.

The shadows crowded closer as her eyelids drooped, their inky hands reaching for the keyboard.

When her head hung and a snore rose up in her throat, they gently nudged her aside and finished the raid.

‘Yes!’ a player crowed in her ear.… Read more

5 Types of Household Ghosts

In support of the kickstarter for BOOKS & BONE (which funded! EEK!) I did a series of faux non-fiction toots on Mastodon detailing ghost research. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it!

 

5 Types of Household Ghosts

1. When you sneeze and nobody is there to say ‘bless you’, this ghost appears. It is a small, shy ghost that jumps at loud noises. It likes to play with your cat, who can see it, and it tickles your dog while they sleep.

It doesn’t usually remain for more than a few hours, but will usually tidy something away before it goes.

 

2.… Read more

Spooky-Sweet Encounters (The Exchange)

In support of the kickstarter for BOOKS & BONE, I played a game on Mastodon where people could name a plant to me, and in exchange I would write a toot-sized (or tweet-sized) spooky-sweet encounter. The encounter was not necessarily related to the plant.

Here are the results. I hope you enjoy them!

Image by Sunflair, under Pixabay License.

Campsis Radicans

You try the door handle, but something pricks your fingertip. You hold up your hand as blood wells, strangely thick and dark.

There is no sign of what hurt you, and you enter easily.

Blood drips on the table as you set down your keys; it splashes and spreads into a plate-sized plane of red.… Read more

Churchyard Meeting

She’d heard that on a certain day, at a certain time, you could meet your own ghost haunting the graveyard at St Mary’s.

In the hour before dawn, she stood beside the church’s yew tree, hands tucked under her armpits, cloudy breath mixing with the pre-dawn mist. Her gaze hovered uncertainly on every shadow and shifting light.

When at last the ghost appeared, it was as a being of trailing fog with eyes like fire, but a familiar face.

‘I’m sorry,’ the girl whispered. ‘I didn’t know — I needed someone to –‘

Gently, the ghost embraced her, one spectral hand stroking her hair, the other gripping her shoulder.… Read more

The Royal

Every day, she saw them out of the corner of her eye. A person, crowned, in robes of sweeping gold.

Sitting in the empty chair in her office, leaning in the kitchen doorway, standing in the cinema aisle. Always vanishing on a closer look.

She feared the royal, at first. They made a question of her sanity, or else of her safety.

But one week passed, then two, then ten. They became familiar. A company felt even when unseen.

At last, returning home with tears on her cheeks and a black feeling in her chest, she whispered to her empty home: ‘Are you there, royal?’

She thought she heard a whisper, but could not make out the words.… Read more