Grandmother and the Moon (413 Words)
There are many kinds of moons. There are red moons—blood moons—blue moons, orange moons, yellow moons, and sometimes even green moons. But there is something special about a silver moon. Not that the others aren’t special, too, in their various times and on any horizon. But a silver moon is a mad moon, a magical moon, and turns everything around it to the same liquid light as itself.
Once a great great many years ago, so my great-great-great grandmother said, there was a full moon like that. It was the night her husband (my great-great-great grandfather) was dying. The doctor had gone and she was left alone. It was a certain thing, the story went, that grandfather was going to die.
The Merman (315 Words)
It’s a fact that you don’t see many mermen. I wonder if it isn’t because the merwomen keep them hard at work in the weeds under the sea. Of course merpeople are real. There isn’t any question about that.
Perhaps mermen are shy. Maybe they would rather be tending coral or scrubbing manatees than spying on ships. I think they must be smooth-cheeked—otherwise their hair would always be floating up in their faces—or else, they must be careful to tie their beards down. I know for a fact that one of them was clean-shaven, because I saw him.
Before the White Peaks: A Gnoman March
“Are ye sure ’tis this way, Shane?”
“Aye, I’m sure. Keep up with me. Don’t drag your feet.”
There were five gnomes, the tallest in the lead and the smallest at the rear. It was the second who paused, scratching his head.
“Why mustn’t I be dragging my feet now, Shane?”
“Because,” said the first, “this marshy land is cursed. If any of us gets the mud from this marsh on the toes of their shoes—be ye warned—none of us will leave.”
The three smaller gnomes looked alarmed. The second was compelled to reassure them.
“But isn’t it the good Queen Aibreann who will save us, then?”
The Second Rainbow (128 Words)
Annie saw the two rainbows on her way home from school and knew what she had to do.
She ran as fast as she could to get to the end of one. She got there just as soon as it was going away.
“Oh no!” she said. “Don’t go! I need you!”
“What do you need me for?” asked the rainbow.
Annie hadn’t expected it to answer. “I want a pot of gold,” she said.
Magic Gold (154 Words)
She sat braiding her hair. In the morning light the strands shone rusty brown. The young woman’s agile fingers weaved in and around each other, but her mind was elsewhere. She remembered gathering chestnuts last fall, and the man who had offered to buy her basket.
“But, my lord! This is gold.”
“I am no one’s lord,” said the man. “And the real gold is what you carry.”
Fairy Leaf (198 Words)
“A teacup?” Edwina was surprised.
The fairy man watched her, shifting from first one foot to the other.
“It’s a very nice teacup,” said Edwina, trying to reassure him.
His iridescent wings quivered. “You like it?”
“Yes,” said Edwina. “I feel like Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast.”
The fairy man snorted.
The Artist Who Didn’t Like Silhouettes (166 Words)
It was a shame, because she specialized in them. She knew how to find that symmetry, that poise, that would bring out the art in any figure. But she told me one time when I was with her in her studio, that she didn’t like them. At the time she was working on the silhouette of a bird poised on a winter branch, a jagged, India-ink blackness over gray Bristol.
“But why not?” I said. “They’re wonderful.”
“Well,” she said. “I’ve been thinking. You know what they say about looking at things in black and white.”