May God bless you, this year and next year, and all the years to come.
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?”
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.
Little Mouse Goes West (99 words)
Once upon a whisker, there was a cowboy who bumped into luck and fell down hard. It was the kind of fall you don’t get up from easily. Mouse, who had followed the cowboy’s dust for miles, didn’t like it at all.
Goblin Child (1286 Words)
Jacob watched as Ray climbed through the window. He made it look so easy, like climbing from the second floor was the easiest thing in the world. But Jacob had been practicing. This time he was ready to go. As soon as the goblin disappeared, he slipped out of bed and looked down.
Ray was nowhere to be seen.
Jacob’s heart pounded as he climbed over the sill. He stretched for the elm branch. Everything looked so different in the dark, less certain, more dangerous. For a moment he thought maybe he should go back. But he reached out anyway and felt the elm tree’s rough bark.
“What are you doing?”
Heroes Never Die (628 Words)
Thor flinched. He knew that voice too well. He turned restlessly, trying to force it out of his head. But it was there, always there, in his heart.
Thor’s elbow hit the TV tray. He cursed, throwing a plastic plate across the room.
“Get out!” he shouted. “Go away. Just leave me.”
He didn’t mean it. Not really. But he was tired and the pain was no easier. Loki, that cursed son of an ice giant. He saw him hanging from Thanos’s hand, fighting for air, for life. He heard his brother’s hoarse voice:
“You—will never be—a god.”
His death was too sudden. Thanos had thrown his body at Thor’s feet, so still and broken in a way that Loki was never broken, never finished. It was pretend. It had to be. Thor had bowed beside his brother, praying for some trick, some miracle.
No, Thanos was not a god. Neither were they.
Selkie Mom (99 Words)
Annie always wondered why great-grandmother never insisted on the truth. She wondered why the old woman allowed the legend to persist, when the twists to the story were often so lurid.
Then one day as she sat listening to her husband talk to their little daughter, she realized.
True Life (46 Words)
Pictures on the wall my stand
Day and month and year
No picture ever yet can catch
The memories we hold dear
Fire Arrows (331 Words)
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Sir Pedder raised his head. “Tell you?” he questioned, slowly.
“Tell me that you knew my father.”
The knight held the young woman’s gaze steadily. “I did not know him well,” he said. “But I remember him. He was a brave man. It was a loss to all of us, when he died. My duties kept me mostly at the castle, but when I was able I journeyed with him and his men, and was glad to fight beside him.”