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 Flying Elephant (198 Words)
They say that elephants have a long memory. Daffy had the shortest memory I’ve ever seen.
When we found her as a baby, premature and weak, Ehan dedicated himself to that baby elephant’s care like no fairy I know. The hours he spent mixing gallons of nourishing drink from our secret ingredients, patting her with mud to make sure the flies didn’t bother her.
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.
Carving Green (1061 Words)
“I know that I have wronged you.”
The prelude. The introduction. I have wronged you, he would say, and then—you have wronged me, too. We have both of us been like strangers to each other, when we are bound with a union that should have changed our sense to one.
That was the truth. It was a little late, for truth. If all was practical in love as it was in signing a lease or paying a bill, they would both confess, and understand, and be done with it. But it was Eddie who confessed. It was Eddie, who could not understand, and yet wanted that and needed it.
“I have been selfish,” he said, “I have not tried, even a little, to accept you. Perhaps a little. Not nearly enough. I see that; I know it. And I am sorry, Kate. I am so sorry.”
When Winter Comes (133 Words)
When spring comes, it’s abrupt. One moment, the world is gray and biting wind, and the next the green starts to show and the birds are singing again. It’s such a curious and immediate change that it leaves me scratching my head. Where were all the birds in the winter? What were the leaves waiting for before they started showing?
Roses and Stone (193 Words)
It was all that he had left. All that he had left of a memory. For a moment he sat, turning the stone in his hands.
“This is ours, Ellan. Ours forever. Mrs. Coleman said she’d give me some cuttings from her rose and we’ll plant them out front. Can you imagine? Roses in our window, just like—”