Riddle Heart (470 words)
“You know what you have to do,” said Jack.
Philadelphia hesitated. He was right, she did know what she had to be. It was just too incredible. A fairy’s arbitrary favor and blessing, cursed prince turned outlaw, and a quest through a fantastic maze Philadelphia would never have believed existed, all ended here.
“You’re not scared, are you?” asked Jack. “I may be cursed, but I won’t curse you if you set me free. I promise.”
Story Time (99 Words)
“Were you ’fraid, Tilly?” Noel sounded as tiny as he was, looking up into Mr. Caddy’s face with the wide open eyes of a six-year-old.
“Wisht, no,” said Mr. Caddy. He challenged his audience with mischievous eyes. “D’ye know why I wasn’t afraid? Well I’ll tell you. I knew, sure I knew, that Hattie would save me.”
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.
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.
Seasons and Morning Mist (203 words)
She remembered standing on that ridge overlooking that moorland. It had been a morning like this a little over a year ago. The sky had been that pale, cool pink softening towards a rainy afternoon chill. She remembered huddling under her cloak, trying to keep the rain out as they continued the long road to the false king’s castle.
A silly girl, that’s what she had been. A silly girl with big ideas and a bundle of arguments that meant nothing to an iron tyrant.
It was traditional, not to say required, to be married before the stones. The people of the fields and drops of Little Boulding had kept to this tradition, not at all a requirement, since before anyone could remember. So of course it was expected that if they were to be married, even a goblin and a man ought to be married before the stones.
On this day, the happiest day, Gnarlas was trying to decide why the man wanted to marry her at all.
The moon is shining in the sky
The stars are twinkling down
The frost is glistening on the grass
And on the rooftops ’round
And I am sitting in my bed
And thinking of the way
One night turned all nights upside down
And made this Christmas Day.
The Right Gift (119 Words)
No, not flowers. He liked flowers, but it didn’t seem right.
She sat, looking down at the quiet ground that was so unlike him. Davy had never been quiet. He had never stood still. Even in sleep, he was always tossing and stealing the blankets for himself. Peg’s mouth crooked in a smile. Darn it, she missed him.
But he wasn’t here.
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.
Evening Mischief (117 Words)
“Psst! Come on!”
She couldn’t resist. Edna could never resist those dancing black eyes, Miguel’s hand light on her arm.
“If my parents miss me,” she said, “we could both be in serious trouble!”