Ella arrived back home just before midnight. The golden carriage’d been delayed—unexpected maintenance—so she’d had to find her own way. Skirts rain-soaked, glass slippers…well, slippery…she shucked the gown and ran home in her chemise, dropping one slipper in the mud. Continue reading “After Midnight”
Janina sat on the stone wall of the spring-fed pool. Behind her, her father’s castle clashed with loud music, shattering glass, and women’s high-pitched giggles. Her fourteenth birthday; she was sick of it all. Continue reading “Growing Pains”
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”
Stepping back, Nora tipped her head, listening to the bright voices within the subterranean waterfall. They wove in and out, considering the words and images she’d already painted on the cave’s rock wall, and stopped on a questioning note, awaiting further input. Continue reading “Noteworthy Collaboration”
We come down the winding stone stairs in two groups of three, hands cupped to steady the splash and flicker of fragrant oil lamps. The deeper we go, the louder the rush and roll of the underground river flowing through the apothecary. Here is where the souls of the Mothers slow for the earthly; here is where appeals to heal scars from ill deeds are most likely granted.
Peter pulled boots over calves lengthened and strengthened by his transition from boy to youth, and seasoned by grief over his sister’s death. Four years ago she’d been found in the depths of the Dark Wood, her cat pressed against her cold belly, hissing at all who approached. Continue reading “The Journey Back”
Lilimor gazed across the field of wild strawberries into the Great Wood. She didn’t have enough berries to fill her basket, but the fiddle called her to the waterfall within. Its song enticed, one she almost recognized and had to sing. Continue reading “Lilimor and the Fiddler”
Nora crouched at the edge of Fischer’s Gorge and pulled a braid of human hair from inside her jacket. Each strand in this braid had been woven together from the remainders of uncounted childhood games, battles fought and forgiven, and secrets shared among four friends, over nearly two decades. She pressed it to her face and breathed in their memories, then began the unraveling. Continue reading “Nora’s Mistake”