Treasure Maps and Puffins


Treasure Maps and Puffins (39 Words)

Birds are very good at reading maps and this pair of puffins was no different. They followed the treasure map to the illustrated cover without any trouble at all.

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Forgotten Frontier


Forgotten Frontier (199 Words)

A headline. A mystery. Here is the outline, the sketch of a story that is and cannot be solved. Secured for the private use of our elite, a Model-X spacecraft is stolen. The location was classified. But people talk. Others listen. I listened for years, a menial with secrets of my own. At last, it is done.

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Tournament of Tempers


Tournament of Tempers (536 words)

I would not submit and he knew it. The hard smile faded on Sperling’s lips, but his hand remained on my knee.

“It is yours, is it not?” he questioned again. “Come, speak. You’ve tongue enough for all the world.”

“It is mine, my lord,” I said.

“Then you confess it!” His eyes gleamed. “There are orders, I believe, forbidding you from keeping tokens as this on your person—let alone leaving them at table.”

A childish side of me, rather off topic, wished I would remark the displeasure of attending his table at all. I could not understand the aloofness of the man; his pride, pomp, and pretense left me cold as death and yet he laid it on thicker with me than with anyone.

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The Sea Monster’s Love


The Sea Monster’s Love (455 Words)

The young woman stepped into the surf. As her companion watched, the transformation came over her, shifting her shape to a monstrous serpent’s. Even though he knew her for a friend, the change made the man’s breath seize and his eyes widen. The serpent’s giant head swiveled, coming close to him.

“Do you still want me to show you?” asked Aradri.

With an effort, Dan nodded.

“Yes,” he said.

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Mermaid Makeover


Mermaid Makeover (194 Words)

“My tail’s drying out again! Cora, please!”

Dutifully, Cora emptied another bucket of salt water over her younger sister’s tail. The blue fish scales gleamed like jewels in the evening light.

“You know,” said Cora. “I really don’t think he cares about your hair.”

Anemone ignored her. She studied herself anxiously in the mirror. The looking glass was buried to its handle in sand, but it wouldn’t last when the tide came in. The mermaid struggled with her hair, her black curls stubborn with sea salt.

“How do I look?” she asked when she finished.

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Winter Child


Winter Child (488 Words)

There was a man who walked this road a very long time ago, when the ground here was all shrubs and long gray grass. Every morning, from early dawn to evening, he walked this way to work. And some time in his walking, he noticed a young girl.

She was a shabby little creature. She sat in her dirty brown dress with her knees pulled to her chin, watching the passersby. The first time he saw her, the man imagined her parents had told her to wait. The second time he knew she must be lost.

“Where are your parents?” he asked her.

The little girl stared at him. She had enormous eyes.

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Roses in the Window #writephoto


Roses in the Window

When you see a window like this, you want one of several things. If you’re particularly dreaming, you want a fairy or a ghost. A fairy or a ghost should definitely be looking in just such a window, with the medieval ironwork and the glazed glass. If you are a high school student unfortunate enough to be force-fed Shakespeare, perhaps you think unwillingly of Romeo and Juliette—because there is a rose or two and roses and lovers go together, don’t they, like laundry and detergent or coffee and cream.

But if you are me and your picture is larger than a few inches wide, you’d see that the wall the vine clings to is rude and shabby. You’d see the bicycle leaning in the weeds and the patchy lawn. And you’d see that the man trimming the dead leaves is dressed in jeans and a worn-out comfortable shirt, a slim and relaxed-looking man with none of the flare or knock-out beauty of a photograph.

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