The Waking (1019 Words)
He woke through stillness and cold. That waking was precarious, and came and went, like a lazy tide. But at last, consciousness impressed itself on him. He opened his eyes to the world again.
Eddie breathed deep. The heavy motion almost made him cry out. His hand went instinctively to the bandage around his middle.
“I wouldn’t.” Wurther’s voice was low but firm. “You are still healing.”
Mr. Rat and Lady Moth
Said Mr. Rat to Lady Moth
“My Lady Moth, pray don’t be wroth—
Well do I know I am below
Thy fair and free society—
Yet of your wingèd majesty
There is one thing I beg of thee;
One plea I tender for my life—
I beg that you will be my wife.”
The Odd (139 Words)
“I face odds well enough,” she said, “when they’re easy.”
“Ah,” said he. “And am I easy?”
“Are you odd?”
They glared at each other. It was a humored glare, the irritation and resistance mixed with a joining humor.
I Knew a Winter (130 Words)
I knew a winter in his spring.
Fair as freshly fallen snow
Quiet as contented woe
Stood apart with frozen face
Welcomed to himself, disgrace.
The Good Vampyre (522 Words)
‘You knew she was a vampire.’
‘I swear I didn’t.’
She met his wild glance with pain of her own.
‘Then why are you here?’ she asked. ‘Robin? What are you doing?’
‘I found out as you did. If I had known, could I have kept it from you? Have I hidden anything from you? Sissy?’
Faerie Grad (910 Words)
Amy had never been so pinched and pampered her whole life. The fairies washed her hair and scrubbed her face till her cheeks were sore and smarting. They dried her till she thought she might peel. And then they dressed her in gauzy fine things and tied lovely-smelling flowers in her braid, and turned her around so they could see her from every odd angle, and adjust her sash here, her bracelet there. Perhaps they meant to please, but it all made Amy rather hot and unhappy. She didn’t want to be rude, but she was tired of being treated like a doll, and missed the weight of her sword at her side.
“Where is my sword?” she asked. “I’m not going without Bear-Biter.”
Castles and Carpeting (99 Words)
The castle was different. The hanging weapons were taken from the walls and replaced with classical paintings. The dungeon was carpeted and clean. But ghosts are like fireweed, and I could see them in the eyes of my companion.
“Let’s go,” I said.
The Onyx Stone (99 Words)
The pendant reflected her face like the smooth surface of a midnight lake. She placed it in the snow, at the center of the forest clearing.
“You found it.”
She raised her eyes to see the man watching her. His appearance was mist-like, vaporous.
“Yes,” she said. “Here. It’s yours.”
Holding a Star (162 Words)
There are times when fairies steal humans away, either for the short term or forever. This visit, hasty as it was, had been planned for two years.
“Hold it tight,” said the fairy woman anxiously. “Don’t drop it!”
The man with her was already fumbling his star. Not for the first time, the bright beam of light slipped between his fingers.
The Shadow Maker (195 Words)
The Shadow Maker was thin and tall. You could tell he enjoyed his work from the way he smiled. His smile could be wide, but it wasn’t a sly smile like other long smiles can be. It was the smile of someone suited to his work.
But today, he wasn’t smiling.
“Put this on, duckling,” he said. “Hold out your arms.”
The child folded his arms. “Hmm-mm!”
The Shadow Maker held the sweater open. “You know you won’t go anywhere if you don’t put it on.”