One Ugly Dragon (155 Words)
A dragon was coming to town. Everyone knew the date, although the time wasn’t certain. A certain trader offered Joey two wooden figures guaranteed, like scarecrows, to frighten dragons away.
Joey believed him. But when his father, Maxie, saw them, he wasn’t pleased.
The White Seal (356 Words)
The moon shone bright between a web of clouds. No one visited the island on nights like that, when the sea was a silver mirror. Stories surrounded that patch of rough land that sent shivers around a campfire. And yet there was a fire burning , the barest glow of gold under the dappled sky.
The pirates huddled around their small fire. It had been a successful run, but even so their tempers were muted. Only one of them scorned his companions’ nervous looks and low voices.
Roses and Stone (193 Words)
It was all that he had left. All that he had left of a memory. For a moment he sat, turning the stone in his hands.
“This is ours, Ellan. Ours forever. Mrs. Coleman said she’d give me some cuttings from her rose and we’ll plant them out front. Can you imagine? Roses in our window, just like—”
Three Winks and a Wish (185 Words)
“So,” said the genie, smiling. “Which one do you choose?”
Patricia looked between the three glasses unwillingly. The genie’s smile was not pleasant, a mix of malice and pleasure.
“It isn’t fair,” she said. “No way this decides what kind of wish I can make. How does that work, anyway?”
Mad Dogs and Space Fights (753 Words)
Apparently Jack Colton didn’t believe in formalities or protocol. With a slam and a crash, he was in her office, a very flustered and indignant secretary stumbling and flailing after him like a bird caught in the path of a hurricane.
The young lieutenant had never looked so wild. Leaning over her desk, he thrust a sheet of paper at Hailie, inches short of her nose.
“Sign it,” he said. “I don’t have time to play twiddle-thumbs with you kids.”
She looked at him, as dispassionate as he was impassioned. “What is it?” she asked.
Finders Keepers (178 Words)
When Farmer Tye saw the dragon guarding a little brambly nest tucked under a bush, he knew what it meant. Baby dragons.
“You leave that nest alone, Farmer Tye,” said his neighbor and friend Jimmy Quinn. Jimmy was a carpenter and very conscious of his crucial role in the village’s upkeep, just as he was very conscious of Tye’s practical usefulness as well. To him, the stonemason was “Stonemason Tim,” the weaver was “Weaver Molly,” and the farmer was “Farmer Tye.”
Wood Watchers (99 Words)
Sometimes you are bathing in the forest. At other times, I am not at all certain that the forest is not bathing itself in you.
“Don’t look,” I said to Jack. “Keep playing. I think it likes you.”
Inside the Door (167 Words)
At the end of the road was a house. At the front of the house was a door.
For a moment Elle stood staring at the door. It was so familiar in memory that it was strange to see it in real life. Even the wreath was the same, although the flowers were certainly fresh.
The Patron (275 Words)
There was an artist who was known to paint one picture. Always it was the same, the same distant gray-green mountains and the dark, hilly plateau where the city had once stood. With only that one image to offer, people lost interest in the man’s art and his house would have fallen to ruin if it wasn’t for the attention of one customer.
She visited him every day to see how his new work was coming. Whenever he finished, she bought the piece, giving him a high price without waiting to hear what he asked for. No words were ever exchanged between them. That, like his art, was a ritual never forgotten, never changed. Who the woman was in her rich strange clothes, with her frightening piercing eyes, no one knew. They knew the artist, and knowing what he had lost and the disorder in his mind, they were afraid to ask him.
The Good Vampyre (522 Words)
‘You knew she was a vampire.’
‘I swear I didn’t.’
She met his wild glance with pain of her own.
‘Then why are you here?’ she asked. ‘Robin? What are you doing?’
‘I found out as you did. If I had known, could I have kept it from you? Have I hidden anything from you? Sissy?’