Hawthorn & Ash #7

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Welcome to this week’s installment of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below is a tiny tale about the element of wind and the mischief of faeries.

Play Date

“You need to apologize to Mistress Wind.”

“She tricked me one time too many.” Dyrfri lay sprawled beneath a cluster of snapdragons and daisies.

“We’re going to shrivel into dried husks if she doesn’t break this heat. You make her laugh. Please, Dyrfri,” pleaded a pixie with wings the color of breaking dawn.

Grumbling, he hauled himself upright using the nearest green stem.

“I’m sorry, Mistress. Please come out and play,” he beseeched.

Wind tickled the flowers, making their petals dance. Cries of joy turned to howls of outrage as she whipped the pixies into the air like dandelion fluff.

When not daydreaming about plot lines and characters Andra Dill practices yoga, reads voraciously, and drinks too much coffee. She loves road trips and going off on wild tangents. Andra writes in multiple genres—including but not limited to—urban fantasy, steamy romance, paranormal romance, and horror.

Follow her on Twitter @aedill, on Instagram andradillauthor, and  www.facebook.com/andradillauthor

 

Hawthorn & Ash #6

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Welcome to this week’s installment of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below puts a new spin on the element of fire, giving it life in an unexpected way.

Catching Fire

The gasoline can is heavy in my hands as I lug it into the abandoned house on Scott Street. No one’s lived here since I was a little girl. My best friend and I used to sneak in and bum cigarettes from the squatters who sought refuge within these walls.

It’s the perfect place for what I need to do.

Wading through a sea of broken beer bottles and discarded drug paraphernalia, I make my way to a room in the back. An old piss-stained mattress lies half hidden beneath a mound of fetid trash.

I pop off the gas cap and douse the bed with a generous amount of its contents. The strong, heady odor of gasoline invades my nostrils and I suck it in greedily. I feel the pull of the tough, leathery skin around my mouth as a smile stretches my face. Giddy with excitement, I twirl in circles, the sharp fumes intoxicating.

It’s been six months since I last saw him in the fire that ravaged my flesh. Six long months of lying in the hospital, dreaming of his fiery touch.

From my pocket come the matches, and with one smooth strike, I light three. Tossing them on the bed, I’m at once rewarded with a large whoosh of heat as it ignites.

My heart pounds with anticipation as the fire expands, crawls across the moldy floor. It licks the legs of a rickety armoire, likes the taste, and devours it. Leaping flames caress the walls, leaving sooty black kisses behind.

Feasting hungrily, smoke fills the room, burning my throat and lungs. My stinging eyes scan the flames in desperate search of the Fire Man.

In my hospital delirium, I cried for him often, the man I’d summoned with the strike of a match. I’d tried so long, setting fire after fire, with nothing to show for it but smoke. It was when I learned the secret that he finally showed himself to me. When I offered myself to the flames I created; when I let myself burn.

Now, the fire roars before me, and I drop to my knees, coughing on acrid smoke. Outside, I hear the dreaded wail of sirens in the street.

No! They can’t take him away from me again!

I look about wildly, gasping for breath, and – there! – I see him, taking shape. He materializes slowly; tall, muscular body shifting with the movement of flame. His eyes burn red like two hot coals, while flames flicker on his head in place of hair.

Spellbound, I watch as his naked form solidifies. Fiery. Bright. Magnificent.

I climb to my feet, and like the Red Sea, the fire parts between us. He opens his arms and I run and leap, the flames crowding us in. My sizzling skin smokes beneath his touch while his lava tongue melts my lips. Clinging to him, my body sparks, then rapidly ignites.

And together, we merge into a single bright flame and disappear in the lusty fire.

Amber M. Simpson is a nighttime fiction writer with a penchant for dark and fantasy.  She has had publications with Fantasia Divinity Magazine and Black Hare Press. She divides her creative time (when she’s not procrastinating) between writing a mystery/horror novel, working on a medieval fantasy series, and coming up with new ideas for short stories. Above all, she enjoys being a mom to her two greatest creations, Max and Liam, who keep her feet on the ground even while her head is in the clouds.

To learn more, visit: https://ambermsimpson.wordpress.com.

 

Hawthorn & Ash #5

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Welcome to this week’s installment of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below while drabble sized tells a story about internal struggles and Faeries.

Aelfwine

Aelfwine threw back her hood, and looked around in horror. The forest clearing was littered with corpses. Elves, faeries, dryads, and nymphs, broken and bent, mangled beyond recognition.

“Leave now, sister,” said Braelynn, standing amidst the carnage, and channelling the blood she had spilt. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Is this how far you’ve fallen?” said Faelynn, deflecting the bolt aimed at her heart as she stepped forward.

“We cannot let the demons win. There was no other way!”

“Yes,” said Faelynn, tears streaming down her cheeks as she decapitated her sister with a spell. “Yes, there was, Braelynn.”

Umair Mirxa lives and writes in Karachi, Pakistan. His first published story, ‘Awareness’, appeared on Spillwords Press. He has since had stories accepted for publication in anthologies from Zombie Pirate Publishing, Blood Song Books, Fantasia Divinity Magazine and Publishing, Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, and Clarendon House Publications. He is a massive J.R.R. Tolkien fan, and loves everything to do with fantasy and mythology. He enjoys football, history, music, movies, TV shows, and comic books, and wishes with all his heart that dragons were real.

Hawthorn & Ash #4

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Welcome to this week’s instalment of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below is a drabble sized retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

Briar Rose

Delicate vines of pink and white roses snaked their way over the casket.
The girl inside lay frozen, it was as if time had stopped still. She hadn’t aged a day in twenty-five years. And the faerie who had cursed the girl hadn’t been seen in just as many years.
Twenty-five down, seventy-five to go. One hundred years was a long time to lay as if dead while those around you went on living.
The King and Queen didn’t give up, they kept searching, perhaps in vain for the evil faerie who had cursed their only daughter.

Stacey Jaine McIntosh was born in Perth, Western Australia where she still resides with her husband and their four children.

Although her first love has always been writing, she once toyed with being a Cartographer and subsequently holds a Diploma in Spatial Information Services.

Since 2011, she has had over two dozen short stories, drabbles and poetry printed for online consumption and in various anthologies, both in print and forth coming.

Stacey is also the author of Solstice, MorrighanLost and she is currently working on several other projects simultaneously.

When not with her family or writing she enjoys reading, photography, genealogy, history, Arthurian myths and witchcraft.

You can find her online at http://www.staceyjainemcintosh.com

Hawthorn & Ash #3

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Welcome to the third of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below is 489 word fantasy piece about dark elves. Set in a forest, it hits the ground running and the ending doesn’t disappoint. Elves and archery, who can say no?

Misdirection

A dark elf materialized out of the forest, emerging onto the deer trail Aaryn followed. The elf hissed, seeming equally as startled by the unexpected confrontation. In the time it took for the creature to raise its bow and reach for an arrow, Aaryn bolted from the path into the cover of the surrounding trees.

A soft rush of air tickled at his left ear and a black-feathered arrow buried itself in the trunk of a nearby tree. Low hanging branches slapped and scratched at his face, tore at his clothing, as Aaryn continued his wild flight through the forest. He did not slow his pace. The elf would follow.

A second arrow whistled past, glancing off a sturdy sapling before sailing harmlessly into the distance.

Aaryn knew his luck wouldn’t last. Eventually one of the dark elf’s arrows would bring him down unless he found a way to lose his pursuer. He couldn’t simply outrun the elf, either. The hateful creatures were faster and had more endurance than most humans. His only hope was to mislead the elf; send it running after a distraction while he slipped away safely in the opposite direction.

As he fled, Aaryn reached the edge of a sudden downslope in the terrain. Too steep to risk traversing at the speed he was running, he veered to his left and continued along the rim of the incline. Although the ridge impeded his attempts at escape, it also gave him an idea. Slowing long enough to scoop up a rounded rock the size of a large melon, he stumbled forward searching for a place to hide.

A downed oak tree provided him the opportunity he sought.

Aaryn dropped the rock he carried, sending it careening wildly down the incline before he dove behind the trunk of the fallen tree. The rock tore noisily through brush and scrub on its way into the gulley below. Trying to slow his ragged breathing, Aaryn lay motionless. The sound of the elf’s footfalls reached the edge of the incline seconds later; mere feet from where its quarry lay hidden. The dark elf hesitated a moment, then continued into the ravine along the path the rolling stone had travelled.

When he could no longer hear the elf’s progress, Aaryn emerged from behind the tree and slunk away; moving as quickly and quietly as possible. Taking a circuitous route to be certain he was no longer being pursued, he returned to his campsite and to his three companions, who had become quite worried at his prolonged absence.

“You say the elf shot at you twice?” asked one man in disbelief after Aaryn had relayed his harrowing tale. “And missed both times?”

Aaryn nodded.

“Since when does a dark elf ever miss a target?”

As if in answer, the surrounding brush rustled, and five shadowy figures stepped into the small clearing.

The lead elf grinned with amusement.

“Who said that I missed?”

G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and has published over 60 short stories in Daily Science Fiction, Deep Magic, The Talisman, and other venues. He has released two short story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes. For more information about his writing, please visit his website at http://www.gallenwilbanks.com, or check out his weekly blog at http://www.DeepDarkThoughts.com.

Hawthorn & Ash #2

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Welcome to the second of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below is a blend of intrigue and magic that keeps you on your toes and guessing right to the end.

Unregistered

Sir Zane’s eyes narrowed as the man they were watching thrust his arms forward, and a gust of wind tore the house’s door from its hinges.

Ayleth asked, “Our thief is an unregistered magic user?”

“There’s no doubt about that.” A few minutes later, the thief left the house carrying an over-stuffed sack in one hand and eating a sandwich with the other. Zane gave his apprentice a sideways look. “And what have I taught you about untrained wizards?”

Ayleth grinned. “That they can’t use their magic with encumbered hands and a stuffed mouth.”

Zane nodded and drew his sword.

Eddie D. Moore travels extensively for work, and he spends much of that time listening to audio books. The rest of the time is spent dreaming of stories to write and he spends the weekends writing them. His stories have been published by Jouth Webzine, Kzine, Alien Dimensions, Theme of Absence, Devolution Z, and Fantasia Divinity Magazine. Find more on his blog: https://eddiedmoore.wordpress.com/.

Hawthorn & Ash #1

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Welcome to the first of what we hope to be many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The story below gives a glimpse into what lurks at the border between this world and Faerie.

The Gateway to Faerie

The forest shivered as Analia passed, trailing her fingers over lush bracken. Brightly coloured fungus climbed the ancient bark of the gnarled oaks, and fireflies danced in the growing darkness.
In the distance – a mournful howl.
“Save the princess!”
“The beast comes!”
“Open the Gateway!”
A cacophony of small, frightened voices sang. In answer, a bright, swirling portal materialised before Analia.
“Come, Analia! You must hurry.”
“Where does it lead?” she asked.
“To Faerie!”
The underbrush behind her stirred, red eyes gleaming from the shadows.
“No time!”
Shoved by an unseen force, Analia tripped through the door – and into Faerie.

Zoey Xolton is a published Australian Speculative Fiction author, with a particular penchant for the Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi and Horror genres. Her works have appeared in several themed anthologies, with many more due for publication! She is a proud mother of two, and is fortunate enough to be married to her soul mate. Outside of her family, writing remains her greatest passion. She is especially fond of short form fiction, and is working on releasing her own story collections in future; as well as a series of novelettes and novellas. To find out more, please visit: www.zoeyxolton.com!