Queen Niyami

“Well, I’ve heard that sharks can never stop moving or they’ll die. And they don’t sleep as we do. I have a story that might explain why, but…”

Lia pretended to hesitate as she gauged the children’s reactions. The oldest looked curious but skeptical. The middle one started to grin at the mention of sharks. And the youngest cocked her head in such a way that the lamp light cast a twinkle in her eye.

“You know what?” Lia said. “I’m actually not sure I should tell you this one. I don’t want to give you nightmares.”

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The Final Monster I Fight

The final monster I fight. It won’t be long now.

Curses and cures. Curses and cures.

I’ve tried everything. Like most people in my position.

Everything reasonable that is. I didn’t think I’d run out of options this soon. I only started seeing the signs a couple of weeks ago. Of course I’ve known it was coming, but I also hoped…I might be one of the exceptions.

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A Crown of Moonbeams

“She did so come riding down out of the sky on a flying horse!”

Carmen glanced around at the rest of her friends, daring anyone else to disagree.  But no else did.  She settled her gaze on the one who had interrupted her. 

Kavita crossed her arms and peered ahead with her cool dark eyes.

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The Why Winter Challenge

“Why does there have to be winter?”

The asker was my little niece, all bundled up in black-and-silver fleece blankets.  Her favorite colors.  She didn’t ask the question just out of curiosity.  She was frowning slightly.  Winter had swallowed up her favorite season, autumn.  (The season to which her only objection was, “why does there have to be so much orange?”).

I smiled.  “Do you want the scientific explanation or the non-scientific explanation?”

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The Monstrous Men of the Moors

“The only gift you ever ask for is a story, the same story, year after year.”

Nisha grinned at her uncle.  “Well, I like the story, especially the way you tell it.”

“You, dearest niece, do not need flattery to win my heart.  But I like the sound of it nevertheless.  You shall have the story, of course.  But I’ve brought you something else this year as well.” He pulled the basket he’d set on the table closer.  Nisha had thought the basket was meant for one of her siblings.  He lifted the top.  “A gift,” he said, “as well as a burden.”

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Sam and The Sequence

Sometimes a thing isn’t good or evil in itself. The sequence is a thing like this. It becomes good or evil when you touch it. If you are good, it becomes good. If you are evil, it becomes evil. But we humans…we are both. What happens when we touch it?

Sam lay her fingers on the page where those words were written. The man who’d written them had been dead for almost a century.

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