Sniffkins and Sandwiches (360 words)
—Do you know what those stones are? Why, they could be anything. Sentinels over a sacred place, forgotten long before the world remembers to forget you. They could be the guardians of some terrible or great secret. Or perhaps—they are the standing graves of the chieftains who have gone before us, kings and queens rotting under the earth—
“Now you’re being morbid,” said Molls wearily. She sat down next to one of the stones, letting her back rest. “We’re never going to find my sister or the others, not in this mist.”
The Singing (99 Words)
She liked to listen to them sing. The myyr always sang when the moon first showed its pale silver light over the Sleepless Sea. The little girl would sit on the pier, swinging her bare feet, and look out over the still black water.
Inith (1000 Words)
She stepped into the water. He rose to her, lifting from the deep, his long black hair clinging to his bare neck and shoulders. In the shallow water where she stood he turned on his back, unable to balance himself with the weight and length of his tail. His playfulness made Pat laugh. She knelt down and felt the warm water gather up to her chest. She reached out as Inith turned to go, and caught his hand.
The merman’s free arm braced in the sand. The fin at the back of his tail only just cleared the water. His eyes went to hers.
“Well, chi-uiris,” he said. “What are you going to do with me, now that you’ve caught me?”
Maybe you’ve wondered why Wallie and I were so silly as to announce our upcoming publication, Rozwal, when the publication date is all the way in October 2021. You’d be right to wonder.
Playing Pirates (99 words)
Two long boards made a very comfortable walk, and Tom appreciated the space to turn around, even though the boards were bendier than he liked. This was the moment he made his grand speech to the evil pirates before plunging into the watery depths of the sea.
The Wishing Pool (173 words)
Where the wishes went, no one knew. Silver pennies went up and down, disappearing into the bottomless black water.
“Shh, shh, don’t tell me what it is,” said the goblin. “Just let it go.”
That was an impossible thing—letting wishes go. Emmy looked down at the coin in her hand and dropped it into the water, a little girl’s wish going down, down, and down.
The Festival (141 Words)
The Festival of Shadows was a memory. And like a memory, it could be frightening.
The girl watched the spectacle of dancing monsters, the giant, the scavenger, a man and a child, all theatrically presented in exaggerated flare. Aasfresser, that was the name for the scavenger. Sekr, the giant. She did not remember the man’s name.
The child was the Question.
The Answer (99 words)
The note was carefully written, the bottle was firmly corked, and Andrea looked out over the blue water. The water was still and so clear that she felt she could see the bottom.
Whispering a prayer, she let the bottle go.
Sang-Col (595 Words)
It was on a cliff of stone and ice where they met, the goblin chieftain and the human king. So the goblins called the cliff and the field itself Sang-Col, which in their tongue means “Blood-Call.”
The goblin chieftain was Scrape, known to her people as a fair but unyielding ruler. In the days before goblin lords and the self-named goblin king, a goblin chieftain recognized no path but their own, and Scrape acknowledged no master of her actions but herself and the God whom the goblins named Ovallen. For this reason, against the advice of her kin, she had seen the human king’s youngest son Patrick and dared to love him.
The Choosing of Scoral and Lune (878 words)
Scoral was a handsome mer, graceful and strong, his long hair the color of ripe kelp and his scales the same fiery orange-gold. He was chosen by Lune for his fearlessness and wildness. All mer have that wild edge to their personality, but Scoral was known to test his elders almost to the limit. More than once he was threatened with banishment from the chorus. Although lone mer were not unheard of, in dangerous ocean waters these solitary-minded mer only rarely survived.
Scoral himself was not concerned. He swam alone frequently, relishing the freedom of his own path.
Lune was his own age, the daughter of a chieftain. She was quieter and more thoughtful in her ways than Scoral, and she knew he was far too reckless. She better than anyone understood that to say so would be useless. Others had told him and Scoral refused to listen. It was left to him, to decide what his fate would be.