Elyse (502 Words)
“Dear heart, why do you hide yourself?”
He cradled her gloved hand in both his own, his sharp face earnest. The wrappings beside him stirred in sudden discomfort, and the hand he held strained momentarily to free itself.
“I don’t know,” said Elyse.
“Sweet one, tell me. Or better still, let me see and understand.”
His insistence coupled with his choice of words alerted her to the possibility that he was not quite so ignorant after all. The bundle jerked emphatically from him.
The Proposal (909 Words)
“Give it back!”
They fell together on the grass in an awkward tangle of limbs and laughter. Mairi caught the pendant from Ham’s fingers. She fastened it again around her neck, breathless and trying hard to be angry.
“How could you?” she said. “Sneak thief!”
The House that Wouldn’t Let Go (193 Words)
They sincerely tried to escape the house. But when the wheel popped clean off of Grandpa’s carefully maintained car—a car that had outlived countless relatives and was taken care of with all the tenderness of a baby—they knew they weren’t going anywhere.
“Dad’s going to kill me,” said Mr. Hanes gloomily, examining the dislocated wheel.
Mrs. Hanes, in the driver’s seat, offered no comment. Their two kids, Amy and Mike, looked at each other uneasily.
Mermaids and Ceiling Fans (160 Words)
The ceiling fan wasn’t working and Jake was telling one of his interminable stories. There was no doubt he’d done a lot of traveling and adventuring in his day, but I’d never seen anyone so eager to flaunt it in the most unbelievable way.
“With all that seaweed wrapped up in our propellers,” he said. “We couldn’t go anywhere. We stuck there, with nothing at the bottom of the sea. You might say we were stuck.”
Dancing on a High Wire (144 Words)
Maybe it was a mistake. But Chloe had been walking on a tightrope her whole life. Her parents’ kingdom prized that kind of elegant toe-stepping, and of all her siblings Chloe was the most skilled. Now she was walking that familiar “wire” again to familiar music. But it wasn’t all the same.
Saving the World to Lose It (688 Words)
They said he asked for me often; that his prayers were full of my name, the mock self-portrait I had given crumpled at his heart. He wept often—it was his weakness, the illness. He cried for me, but it was the pain coupled with fever that directed the cry, and when he was aware he was silent and asked for no one.
News of my adventures affected him unpredictably. He expressed no gladness that I was still alive, nor enthusiasm at any chance of success. Sometimes he was calmed by talk of me and would listen quietly and attentively, as if he were a child and his nurse a storyteller. Then he was afforded a moment’s peace and stillness. Equally often he shed silent tears as he bade the speaker tell on, his countenance so stricken that it seemed he could not live on however promising the account.
Princess Rex (123 Words)
One of the ducklings was under the henhouse. Jasper knew it was Little Yeller when the Border Collie saw Yeller’s rabbit friend, Hoppie, close by. Dutifully, Jasper walked over and sat down.
“Yeller,” he said. “What is it this time?”
“Go ’way,” came the tiny voice.