Tomorrow’s Train Today

I felt my gut drop.

I can’t believe I did this. How did I do this?

I’d almost missed the train. Almost. But I’d made it.

I thought I’d made it.

But I’d missed my train after all.

I was late after all.

I was a whole day late.

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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 Waking of J

And then he woke up.

He huffed out a breath and gasped.  He was covered in sweat, even though the room was cool.  His eyes were still shut, but he felt the wetness gathered at the rims of his eyelids.  He squeezed and a tear rolled down from the corner of his eye and wet the outer rim of his ear.

Right away, he calmed.  The intensity of whatever emotion he’d been feeling that brought him to tears just vanished.

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How I Defeated the Devourer

It starts off dark, and all I hear is a low, subtle pulsing. Not as rhythmic and steady as a heartbeat, but more like, the whooshing and sloshing of a washing machine. Then I can make out the clicking. Click, click, click. Multiplied. Click, click, clickclickclickclickclickclick. I see myself. And I am myself at the same time. My shoulders are drooped. I can hardly keep my eyes open. My skin feels warm, too warm.  I see myself noticing the sound and raising his—my—head. My eyes move to the left and my head turns slightly, but then stops. I need to see. But I don’t want to see. 

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Alora and the Dream Sand

It figures, she thought.

One of the containers was full of sand. A kind of pretty black glittery sand. And not the crispy savory steamy dumplings that Alora had dreamt of since leaving work that evening with the smallest of coffee stains on her collar.

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The Dreaming Queen

“You know, your eyes are lovely. So blue. It’s like they’re made of sapphires.”

Clara smiled. “And my heart is made of diamond.”

The tavern-keeper leaned an elbow on the bar table and laughed. Likely he thought she was flirting back at him. She was not. Her heart was indeed made of diamond. A creature cursed she was. Like the king of myth whose touch turned all to gold, Clara could transform all to diamond. Though in many ways, her curse was more merciful than that of the king’s. She could only harm who and what she loved, and then only if her bare skin were to touch. She could still eat and drink, so long as she did not consume what she loved.

A curse afflicted half the members in her family, each in different ways. Her sister lay in eternal sleep. Her husband had been transformed into a bear. She had thus far failed to find the wicked creature who had cursed them.

Clara was weary from her hunting and heartsick from missing her family. Now that the first snows of winter had fallen, she was weary too from cold. She could not even enjoy a hot bowl of tomato soup with crusty bread, for she loved that meal and it would likely turn to diamond. So she settled for porridge and bitter ale. And she dreamed that the tavern’s beds were soft and warm, for it seemed sleep would be her only pleasure.

But as she ate, she’d heard people telling tales to each other, and she realized that a good tale was another pleasure she might enjoy. The keeper of the tavern seemed a fair storyteller. She’d heard the end of one he’d been telling a nearby group of mill-workers. And he seemed to want an excuse to linger by her “sapphire” eyes. So when he came to check if her ale cup needed filling, she asked for a story instead.

“A true story or a mystical one?”

Clara narrowed her eyes. “A bit of both.”

“Have you ever heard the tale of kingdom Callimoray and their queen?” the tavern-keeper asked.

Clara took a sip of ale and shook her head.

“Rumor has it she’s a dream-walker.”

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