What would it be like if someone were trapped in their favorite video game as if it were real life?
Dina is about to find out…
He was beautiful. Not even a 75-inch OLED could have defined Arathiel like she was seeing him with her own eyes. His black hair fell around his shoulders in loose long waves. His olive skin was sculpted with light and shadow from the lowering sun, and his simple, loose clothes flattered the natural poise of the mer’s lithe body. Dina stretched her hand without thinking. She touched him, her fingers sliding across his cheek.
Arathiel’s eyes closed at her touch. He turned his face into her caress. His breath was warm on her wrist, as warm and light as a kiss.
“You’re not enchanting me, are you?” Dina asked.
A small smile quirked his mouth at her question. “What if I am?”
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.”
Retelling Sleeping Beauty (296 words)
Supposing when he met her, the prince didn’t kiss her, not at once. Suppose he sat down and thought about it.
That is what Prince Mark did when he found Sleeping Beauty. First he checked her pulse to make sure she was alive, and then he sat down, thinking. After all, she was very beautiful and a stranger. There was a lot for him to think about.
Goblin Summer Song (69 Words)
God is singing in the summer
Rolling out the leaves of green
Straightening the little weedlings
And spreading every songbird’s wing.
To Be A Fish (150 words)
Sometimes he wondered what it was like, to be a fish. It must be very peaceful. James could imagine the brown cool waters closing over his head, the water life swimming around him, a wealth of good food in green muck. He could also imagine a bigger fish, mouth gaping wide and coming for him with the speed of disaster.
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.”
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?”
The Festival (141 Words)
The Festival of Shadows was a memory. And like a memory, it could be frightening.
The girl watched the spectacle of dancing monsters, the giant, the scavenger, a man and a child, all theatrically presented in exaggerated flare. Aasfresser, that was the name for the scavenger. Sekr, the giant. She did not remember the man’s name.
The child was the Question.
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.