Karoline felt the ache in her back radiate around to her front, the pressure increasing. She breathed deeply, willing her belly to unclench. Thinking herself safe to hike alone, she’d fled her family, their sole skill for processing grief in quarreling.
“You’re certain this will work?” The charm, clasped in Anna’s smooth young hand, was redolent of rose hips, cinnamon, and sweet basil…and something exotic from the far southern lands. Eyes shining with hopeful, as yet unshed tears, she clasped the woven bag to her breast.
“What does she want?” the ocean wonders. “Is she here as supplicant, queen, or warrior?” Continue reading “A Desperate Balance”
Sophie gazed down the long oaken table, half-light of a dozen candle sticks melted to shining copper holder. She squinted to blur the face drooping at table’s end. Continue reading “Runner”
Her face, cupped by the flickering glow of a night fire shared against a greater darkness.
Her hands, rolling thin-shaved bark around crumbles of tobacco, mushroom, moss, bone-white shards… Continue reading “Testimony and Sacrifice”
Crystal bottles stood before her, hip shot in relaxed groups. Scented soldiers, they had no expectation they’d be called to order; Treena preferred sweatpants to skinny jeans, books to bodies grinding on a dance floor. Continue reading “Cure for Cabin Fever”
She swore, smacking her forehead with her fist, once, twice, a third time. This couldn’t happen, not when perfect delivery was so critical. Continue reading “Safety in Snailmail”
The wildfire reared and roared, wrapping blistering arms around the rare bambinus aqueous. They steamed and chittered, unable to fully transition to their aquatic form and reach the river. Continue reading “Not on My Watch”