Have you ever seen a swarm of sprites, in a murderous rage, who were just released from a servitude into which they were tricked?
If your answer is “no,” and especially if you then crinkled your brow in mild and concerned disapproval, then I imagine you’re one of the wise ones, at least when it comes to encounters with fairy folk.
My answer is “yes.” But it’s not what you think.
I’m not the reckless fool who tricked them.
Nor am I reckless fool who freed them.
I just happened to be around when it all happened.
Read More The Swindler and the Sprites
When the sixth child was born, they were horrified to see that it was a boy. Others told them that they were foolish to fear the curse that they feared would fall upon their son. All did seem well for a while, and they hoped that they were indeed foolish. But in his thirteenth year of life, Adrian began to show signs of transformation.
Read More The Wolf and His Circle of Sisters
“So it’s agreed, if we see a cat—any cat—we flee.” The brown rat with the black spot upon her pink nose nodded at her two partners.
The black rat with the long swishing tail nodded his head in return. The rat with fur the color of storm clouds twitched her whiskers.
All three boarded the little ship made of twig and stone, bound by fibers, sealed with resin, and thrice-blessed by their elders.
The ship was named for what its crew desired to be, Invisible.
Read More The Lake of the Nightmare Cat
Two young lovers there were of humble origin. Caihong, who was more brilliant to her lover than the rainbow. Jin, who was more precious to his lover than gold.
Though young, they were sensible, and had already made their plans for the lives they would live together—the number of children they would have, the color of the roof on their house, the trading of places for the scholarship each sought to pursue, one in medicine and one in art.
Late in the morning, they strode along the road one day, each bearing baskets from early errands. They were so enchanted with each other that the vibrant energies of their love pulsed far and wide, and far, far above. Those energies attracted the attention of an unusual creature, a great bird with ten heads that lived in the forbidding depths of the mountains that bordered their country.
Read More The Ten Terrible Heads of Shi Xin Niao
One foggy morning, on a farm, there was born to a sandy-haired cow, a calf with small ears, a black pelt, and red eyes. He was delivered by the wife of the farmer, who was not herself a farmer, but still wanting of a trade of her own.
The farmer was troubled by the calf’s strange appearance and declared that he would sell it, but his wife entreated him to keep it. She told him that this calf may have come to her to teach her what trade she might take up. The couple were beloved of each other, so despite his nervousness, the farmer yielded.
Read More Glormadarck
“Do not speak his name!”
The cry came from across the way, from the man who leaned beneath the shade of a great palm.
The woman he’d called to turned away from the little girl by her side, to whom she’d been speaking, and turned to the man. When she saw who it was, she smirked.
“Why not?” she asked. “He’s long dead. Are you afraid he’ll come for your other arm?”
She approached him, for it was him she had come seeking.
He did not move, but his eyes did, dropping to peer at the girl.
The girl’s own eyes were seeing him.
And seeing beyond him.
Read More Isle of the Immortal Crab
The canary sang to the high stone wall, as if it were the maiden-bird he’d been courting. She perched nearby, of course, hoping that his golden voice would loosen the locks to a vault full of golden treasure.
One of the most prosperous beasts in the world had died, an heir to a vast and uncounted fortune. News spread that he had a vault that could be opened by a single magical utterance. The utterance was known, but the magic was in how it was uttered. No one knew how it must be done. So all were welcomed to try.
So it was that the beasts of the world made their way to the vault of the fortunate heir.
Read More Vault of the Fortunate Heir