I was sitting in a corner of the tavern, indulging in a hot and rich meal, and a lusty drink, when someone—as happens once in a while—noticed something worthy of notice about the quiet stranger sitting in the corner. And as happens once in a while, this person was bold enough to approach.
I hadn’t decided how I would respond until she was but a footstep away from me.
“If you’re wanting a night of passion, lass, look elsewhere,” I said. I glanced directly at her eyes and gave a nod of respect to let her know I meant no offense, and wanted no trouble.
Read More Thorn, Sword, and Teardrop
Romy climbed up the steps to the stage of the outdoor amphitheater, holding the megaphone in her right hand. The late afternoon was overcast but mild. She’d already checked to make sure that the snacks and drinks had been delivered, and the ice, and the t-shirts that read, “I Summoned the Stork with a Handstand.”
Her parents were there, one of them openly proud, the other one trying not to look terrified on Romy’s behalf. Her friends had all told her not to be nervous, or to focus on them if she got nervous, or to picture the audience in their underwear, or other advice that she appreciated but didn’t need.
Romy was not nervous.
Read More The Stork That Drank the Stars
When Beth found him, he was pushing against a freestanding concrete wall. She watched him struggle a bit before she spoke.
“Last time I checked, pigeons don’t have super-strength,” she said.
Startled, Sam turned around. He immediately recovered himself, took the hands-on-hips pose, and said, “Hello, good citizen. What can I do for you?”
Sam was dressed in a pigeon costume.
Being that he was a pretty tall guy, he made for a very large pigeon.
Read More The Plentiful Powers of Pigeons
“The waters are rising,” said the god of corners. “Either your king will die. Or you will.”
Her many tails rippled behind her, vanishing first. The rainfall that soaked the rats scurrying about in preparation to save their king did not touch her gleaming black fur, or drip from her long silver whiskers.
Her head vanished last, lips still curled in a curious smile. She had not gone. She was only invisible.
She would stay and watch.
Read More No Kings Among Rats
“I can pick it up?” Marcella asked, gazing down at the little statue standing directly on the clean bench top.
Leo smiled and straightened his back. “Go ahead.” As his sister gently picked up the stone-carved statue of a snake wrapped around and resting in the thick leaves of a succulent, he explained. “This is one of the flawed replicas, so Doctor Valdez talked someone into letting us have it—or at least borrow it. They probably won’t use it in the exhibit.”
Marcella held the statue up and peered into the snake’s glassy blue eyes. She slowly turned it one way and then the other, studying the shapes and details of the painted leaves. She no doubt was wondering what species of snake it was, and what variety of succulent. One of the leaves still had thorns and little bulb-like protrusions along the edge. But most of those delicate details had fallen off the original carvings.
Read More The Serpent and the Succulent
There was a very rich lady, very rich indeed. And one day she saw a spider pulling her egg sack into a corner so that dozens, even hundreds, of her progeny could split forth from it. This lady, envious and desirous, thought she already had a few children of her own, decided she would have as many children as the spider had. Her husband was sowing his seed in whatever earth would have him. She too would make her own seed to sow, even more and farther.
She sent forth her minions to find a great inventor, one who could build and one who could birth.
Read More The Black Pomegranate Seeds
“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