Freedom

There was to be a hanging today. It was a strange sense of calm that had washed over the room as the sun rose, even though she knew what was coming. The gallows waited below, the final punishment for her crime. She stared down at it from her castle window, watching the soldiers secure the perimeter of the velvet ropes to keep her citizens close but far enough away that they didn’t interrupt anything. Everyone loved an execution; especially when it was the execution of the criminal princess. A slow smile slid over her dry lips. It was too bad her people would be disappointed today. Continue reading

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Twinkle, Little Star

It had become an obsession. It started out innocent enough, just using her magic to call down the stars to her, just to see if she could do it. As the star started to come down out of the sky, she was able to shape it, make it smaller, so that by the time it reached her, the little star landed perfectly in her outstretched hand. It was warm, but not as vibrantly scorching as Liv had expected, and she enjoyed the way that it glowed. Liv sat on the old wooden swing outside an abandoned school, alone in the inky dark of the night, her bare feet sifting through the sand, the small pebbles dirtying the bottom of her soft rose ball gown, and cradled the star ever so gently in her pale hands.

“Oh, you are lovely,” Liv told the star in her lilting voice. “I think you’d be happier here, you and I could keep each other company. I’m quite lonely, you see, all of my friends have gone off and disappeared. I’d really like it if you’d stay.” Getting no response from the little glowing rock in her hand, Liv giggled lightly and held the star aloft so that it would light her way home.  Continue reading

Matrimony

So far, the day had been a disaster. What was supposed to be the best day of Gretchen’s life hadn’t gone so great, and she was starting to dread the rest of it. The three layer lemon and vanilla cake hadn’t turned up yet, one of the groomsmen had food poisoning and looked positively green, and Gretchen was starting to have a cramp in her belly that felt like her monthly was on its way. This didn’t bode well. And she still hadn’t put the dress on.  Continue reading

Wendigo

Wendigos. Why the hell did it have to be Wendigos? Of all the creatures that Tess had ever met, the Wendigo was the most fierce, the one that held the most fear in her heart. And there was the irony, she couldn’t act on any of that fear. Any trace of fear or sadness, and the damned thing would steal your soul. Happy thoughts, loving thoughts were the way to stun it, until the beast could be slashed down with a sword. They usually didn’t travel in groups, but she was lucky tonight. There had been three, all together. The first had transformed its elongated, emaciated body into a vision of her father, his white hair flowing down his back, orange eyes burning with ferocity. It even had the detail of the man’s armor down. It would have been convincing, if she didn’t already know that her father was at home, weeks away on horse, protecting the lands of Raili. Tess had taken him down easily, keeping him contained with memories of her father teaching her the art of his sword, of him taking her and her mother on picnics near the lake, of drifting off to sleep carried by the sound of his voice. The moment her father’s form was still, Tess lunged forward and thrust through thin skin and cracked through bone, destroying the heart of the beast. Or whatever it had in place of a heart. Continue reading

The Taste of Betrayal

It wasn’t the taste of apples and honey that was offensive. In fact, Piper quite liked the two together. Every once in a while, she would get that craving, and would find herself drizzling honey over a crisp apple… it always ended in regret. There were too many memories, too many emotions. How could one fruit turn a mercenary like Piper Lancaster into a sniveling ball of mush? If any of her enemies knew…well, the chances that Piper would continue to exist were slim. Continue reading