The Merman

blueflower

The Merman (315 Words)

It’s a fact that you don’t see many mermen. I wonder if it isn’t because the merwomen keep them hard at work in the weeds under the sea. Of course merpeople are real. There isn’t any question about that.

Perhaps mermen are shy. Maybe they would rather be tending coral or scrubbing manatees than spying on ships. I think they must be smooth-cheeked—otherwise their hair would always be floating up in their faces—or else, they must be careful to tie their beards down. I know for a fact that one of them was clean-shaven, because I saw him.

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Magic Gold

orangerose

Magic Gold (154 Words)

She sat braiding her hair. In the morning light the strands shone rusty brown. The young woman’s agile fingers weaved in and around each other, but her mind was elsewhere. She remembered gathering chestnuts last fall, and the man who had offered to buy her basket.

“But, my lord! This is gold.”

“I am no one’s lord,” said the man. “And the real gold is what you carry.”

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The Artist Who Didn’t Like Silhouettes #writephoto

crow

The Artist Who Didn’t Like Silhouettes (166 Words)

It was a shame, because she specialized in them. She knew how to find that symmetry, that poise, that would bring out the art in any figure. But she told me one time when I was with her in her studio, that she didn’t like them. At the time she was working on the silhouette of a bird poised on a winter branch, a jagged, India-ink blackness over gray Bristol.

“But why not?” I said. “They’re wonderful.”

“Well,” she said. “I’ve been thinking. You know what they say about looking at things in black and white.”

“Maybe…”

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A Harp and a Ghost

redflower

For today’s Daily Prompt, “Entertain,” Wallie and I offer another snippet from a work-in-progress–a story in which a little girl is helped solving a crime by the ghost of a detective. The ghost is summoned to help her when Maddie plays a harp she found in the attic room. This is a scene in which he explains the harp to her.

***

A Harp and a Ghost

‘Do you want to know the story of my harp?’ he asked.

I couldn’t care less. But it was his delicate asking, and the way he pulled the chair to my bedside, that interested me.

“It was during a case,” said Mr. Ingham. “I was murdered. Death is fearful enough on its own, but I’ll tell you what made it worse was my wife. She sat at the bedside long after the doctors had given me over and held my hands and warmed them, never asking if she could ease me for she knew she couldn’t. We said our words, we two, and it made me cry to see her there and feel so poorly. I didn’t want to leave her. But she kissed me like a parent would see, like this”—he kissed his hand and put it to his forehead—”and told me it would come out right. I was dying, but I’ll tell you the way she said that put a chill in me like living again.”

I raised my head from the pillow. “Did she save you?”

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Goblin Tree

tree

Goblin Tree (158 Words)

Once, a goblin stole whatever he could from a human village, jewels, apples, and buttons. He was lean-limbed with fierce gold eyes, but his hands, though slender, were like talons.

His one weakness was a human woman. When their love became known, the village threatened her if he did not surrender himself. He surrendered. I can’t tell you how many different ways they tried to kill him, but nothing harmed him. So they buried him alive. Some say these gnarly roots evoke the goblin’s reaching hands, clawing for escape.

“Ugh. Mommy.”

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Unwanted Goblins and a Mostly-Blind Elf

redflower

Because you can’t be much more forlorn than that, can you? It was Wallie’s idea to post this. It is a little something from a larger project we are working on.

***

The King-Goblin was  astonished. When he heard of Prince Ham’s capture, he had idealized their meeting as a clash of similar wills, the inevitable plea for mercy, and then a quick, clean beheading. What he discovered was something very different. A young elf-prince certainly, dressed not in the robes of his people but a close-cut suit and lace, and all around him the castaway children and elderly cripples of the king’s own goblin-kind. The elf stood with them, and they with the elf, as if it were not he on trial but all as one.

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I Never Heard a Man Called Winsome

redflower

For today’s Daily Prompt, “Winsome,” I wanted to write something with a man who might be called winsome and a young woman who is definitely not. Wallie was bored with it. Wallie is not a winsome imp.

***

‘Are you given to imagination?’

‘Why, yes.’ I puff my chest out with pride.

Eddy snorts. ‘Indeed. I suppose you regard yourself as quite the romantic.’

This is too fine an opportunity, and I cannot resist batting my lashes with all the excess of perfect femininity. I know I am being absurd, but there is something in the batting of eyes that has always worked with men, and it has become a habit with me. ‘Oh, yes, if you like.’

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