The Cat That Haunted the Mouse

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Rinidra’s ears went flat and her tail went stiff.  The mottled blur moving toward her was fast, too fast.  If she had heard it a fraction of a heartbeat later, she wouldn’t have even seen it.

Her heartbeat.  It was hammering now.  A surge of raw force filled her chest.  In an instant, her body unfroze.  Her legs sprung beneath her.  They swept her to the side.  The mottled blur zoomed past her.  She felt its whiskers brush her side. Continue reading

The Reptilian Vaudevillians

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The Reptilian Vaudevillians arrived every ninth full moon, and their performances were so mesmerizing that beasts and creatures of every ilk would come and gather by the swampy stage to watch, to be awed, to laugh, and buzz, and hiss, and rattle.

Waiting nine full moons was not a trying task for some, like the turtles.  But for my kind…we didn’t live long enough to see a second performance.  We are but mayflies.  We are not meant to laugh or buzz or hiss or rattle. Continue reading

What the Tiger Remembered

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Again, residents are warned to stay indoors, keep your kids and pets indoors, and if you’ve got loved ones coming home from work, just be vigilant when you’re making that trek from your vehicle to your front door.  Bob?  Anything to add?

The news anchor turned to her co-anchor, who pressed his lips together, faced the camera with a serious expression and repeated his colleague’s warning.

“But I’m still confused,” Sally said, as she wiped crumbles of pie crust off the counter.  “What exactly is it that escaped?” Continue reading

The Swallow Who Was a Willow

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The swallow was a happy bird, but also somewhat superior.  Nothing brought her joy the way flying did.  Slicing through the clouds and flicking the air with the perfect points of her tail.  She believed that birds were the supreme creatures of the world.  Because they could fly.  Some insects could fly as well, of course.  But birds could fly higher, faster, and farther than any insect. Continue reading

Starling and Leveret

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“Is it true that you once beat Hare in a foot race?  It can’t be true.  But is it true?”

Tortoise sighed.

He continued walking along as the little black bird flapped around him.  She landed on a nearby branch.

“I’ve heard that you’ve seen the world from above as a bird does when she’s flying.  Is that true?  How did you do it?  It can’t be true.  But is it true?”

Tortoise sighed again.  But he also smiled.

Starling was young and eager.  But she was also persistent.  And she was also perceptive.   She noted the smile on Tortoise’s face.  She understood what it meant.  He had expected her to grow tired of asking him the same questions day after day.  But she had done so for five days now.  Perhaps he would deem her worthy enough to deserve some answers to her questions. Continue reading

The Moonbroch

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The starry-eyed youth named Carson cast his gaze at the full moon.  His father had just cursed it, or rather, he had cursed those who dwelt upon it.

“A storm is coming,” his father said, gazing up at the low and looming clouds.  “A storm with high winds.”

Yet another storm, the fourth one in as many days.

“Soon it will storm day and night,” his father said.  And then he raised a fist to the full bright moon and shook it.  Continue reading

The Frog Who Foiled the Fantasticator

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Rare are they who can by their very presence bring about the emergence of the fantastic from the most common of things and the most mundane of people.

So rare indeed, that most towns only had one such person, only one whose speech inspired the emergence of energy from lethargy, whose gaze transformed ugliness to beauty, and whose touch could change a blunder into a wonder.

Feodora was one such person.

A person known throughout the realm as a fantasticator.

*** Continue reading