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!

Welcome to Hawthorn & Ash! Our new online blog series that we hope will be successful and enjoyable for readers.

We hope to post new stories weekly every Saturday.

Please feel free to submit to this series. You can find the submission details here!