The Long Walk (154 Words)
“Are we there yet?” said the littlest gnome.
There was no immediate answer. The gnomes walked much as they had walked for many months, slow and patient.
“No,” said the leader. “There are still miles to go yet.”
The littlest gnome stumbled. She was tired, so tired. “I don’t want to go on,” she said. She sat down. “I want to rest.”
Sailing Love Song (54 Words)
Fly away, fly away
Bird on the breeze
Bring him this message
My love on the seas—
Ribbons in his Hair (161 Words)
Emily knew the minute she went around the corner that she was about to get an earful.
“It’s that time of the year again!” said the elf. He sat as if he’d been waiting for her, his hands clenched on tree bark and his green eyes seething petulant fire. “I’m never going to get the ribbons out of my hair!”
Emily glanced at the elf’s tree. The connection between him and the tree was still a mystery to her, but like most things about wild folk, she didn’t bother questioning it.
Coming (133 Words)
She was going to do it. She had never been more terrified in her whole life.
Her old self-doubts came crowding around her. You can’t do this, you’re weak. You get tired running half a mile. Your stomach is like a rollercoaster, up and down. Think how sick you were this morning.
It’s true. She had been sick. But if she didn’t do this, no one else would.
All the Reward (254 Words)
Her hands shook. She scraped the tough skin from the root, then cut the inner meat into thin circles. The pot was already boiling when she added the root. It was one chance in a thousand, but they had tried everything else.
She watched the plant fibers melt and disperse. The steam smelled like an unusual kind of spice, sweet.
“You’re doing it, then?”
The Bell That Couldn’t Ring (192 Words)
One day they would have to ring the bell. It was inevitable. With the increasing attacks from the cave crawlers, it was only a matter of time before barbed and electric wire was breached and the town would be overcome. So there Peter stood in the hopes of saving at least a few of the townsfolk, ready to ring the bell.
A light voice made him turn. “You know they won’t come in the daytime. You can relax, silly.”
The Arrow and its Mark (289 Words)
She leaned on her elbows. It was a warm bright day with a cool wind ghosting the tops of the trees.
The water was blue under the sky. For a long time Kat watched, seeing the shapes of minnows like vague small shadows below. But then she saw it. It was a silver flash, sudden as direct sunlight. It was visible only for a moment, a long gleaming tail following a vague human shape.