Showing posts from November, 2023

The Lure of the Fae

I stood in the middle of a circle.   I should have known better, for it was formed of mushrooms.   One moment passed to the next, and with it my vision of new trees and lemon-green changed to gnarled wood and dark forest.   A man with thin-tipped ears stood before me, his stance so light I could not be sure if he was floating. He paid me a courtly bow, then extended a hand of tapered fingers, each exquisitely beautiful.     But I was familiar with the Fae. I knew to let my heart leap into my throat, and feel my pulse beating in my hands. The clammy sweat that began to trickle down my back was appropriate. The tension in my gut, of palpitating fear, made sense.   I closed my eyes inside the faerie ring and froze for the count of ten.   When I flicked my eyes open, I was back.   I stepped quickly away from the mushrooms and let myself rest against a narrow tree, catching my breath. I tried not to think of the age-old forest that had greeted me—the one I now saw behind my

On Niceness

 Once upon a time there was a tired old woman who everyone hated. Oh, no one said they hated her. But they hated her all the same. You could tell because they were nice to her. Of course, nice sounds like a nice thing. They offered her platitudes with curt respectful nods. On occasion they carried her bags across the street. Those who were her relatives offered her money when government spending reached certain limitations that prohibited elder care. These were all nice things. But no one invited her to dinner. No one stopped in for a cuppa. No one brought her fresh baked bread, white and soft enough so as not to wreak havoc on the poor teeth that had yet to surrender to decay. No one was kind because no one did that kind of thing. In those days. As though age was a kind of disease that was catching. That, and the old woman said things. Thinking things. Things said without thought from years of thinking that made a body question or raise a brow. People thought she was a bit distaste

The Princess and the Spider

   Once upon a time there lived a princess.   She had glorious brown hair—really absolutely stunning—and ruby red lips—a bit unusual, and sometimes they tinted to a lovely rosebud pink.   But this is not a story about her hair or her lips or whether her skin was smooth as silk (it was, if you must know).   And that is because the most interesting thing about this princess had nothing to do with her beauty and everything to do with her rather all-consuming fascination with insects.    It was an obsession that was life long, beginning in her cradle years with the castle’s rather nasty infestation of ants.   While the servants about her scrambled to do the Queen’s bidding, and the King stood on a piece of furniture trying desperately not to shriek—a mammoth feat given that his most pressing fear involved a swarm of ants covering his body in one fell swoop and leaving behind nothing but bones—the princess, on the other hand, stood in her crib, clutching the bars with tiny chubby finger

The Mending

The holes in the fabric of the universe had always been there. I just had never noticed them before. It's easy not to notice something when not much troubles you. It's easy to have not much trouble you if you never pay attention. I never paid attention. But when the crack in the glass came sharp and jagged, a rent in time, I looked up. The trees were bare, the forest carpet leeched of life. The cityscape was curiously crooked. From my vantage point I could see the people, and they were bent. Practically broken. I shook my head, as if to wake up. But I was already awake. I was paying attention. The patching process was slow. It's always slow when the universe's outfit needs mending. It would have been better if I had seen the holes as they came, taken them one at a time. But I was out of time. I used bone needle from my own store. I use my own bones; it's easier that way. Mine grow back quickly. It's the thread that's hard to gather — moonbeams spun in castor