Marigold pushed the blankets off herself, careful not to make a sound. Slowly, she sat up in bed and put her bare feet on the rough wooden floor. Then she stood, wincing as the floorboard creaked under her weight. She froze, and her heart pounded as she waited to see if the sound had woken her stepsister sleeping in the bed next to hers.
Nothing. All Marigold heard was the hooting of an owl and the sound of the wind rustling the trees outside. Her stepsister, Saffron, hadn’t stirred.
Relaxing, Marigold dressed clumsily in the darkness and groped under her bed until she found the bag she’d packed earlier in the day. Food, water, matches, rope—she hoped she hadn’t forgotten anything, but she didn’t have the first clue what was needed to rescue a prince from an evil wizard. Probably, she’d fail no matter she brought.
But she had to try. She couldn’t forget him and move on, no matter what anyone else said.
We all have our monsters. Sometimes, we feel ashamed by them, but we shouldn’t let that stop us from asking for help fighting them.
That’s the concept behind The Monster with Many Eyes, which is also a story about two girls beating the crap out of a monster. It appears in the Winter 2019 issue of the speculative fiction magazine The Colored Lens, and you can read it now by clicking this link or the image below.
I’m going to be a witch this Halloween. I’ve got the hat and the black dress, and I just need to figure out my makeup.
Witches have always been one my favorite paranormal beings. Maybe it’s the spells and potions or the feminist undertones. It could also be a side-effect of growing up reading Harry Potter. Or maybe it’s just the aesthetic.
Addison found the box one Sunday afternoon when her mom asked her to clean out the closet in the guest bedroom. It was a dusty old cardboard thing, and inside, she found a few notebooks with her late grandma’s name on the front and a beautiful silver necklace with a jeweled rose pendant.
“Look what I found,” she said, bringing the box to her mom.
Her mom turned from her computer, and her eyes widened. “I remember that. I kept it just in case…”
“In case what?”
Addison pestered (She was good at pestering) until her mom heaved a sigh and sat her down for a Serious Talk.
Dave set their suitcases on the dresser and stretched, still stiff from the flight. He surveyed the cozy bedroom, taking a moment to appreciate the view of the mountains out the window.
“This is nice,” he said to Val.
“I need to have it redecorated,” she called back from the bathroom, where she was touching up her make-up before their dinner reservation. “Everything’s horribly out of date—which I guess I should’ve expected. I haven’t used this place in years.”
Dave was just happy to visit one of her properties on a vacation and not as a safehouse to hide in while someone was trying to kill them. He pulled off his watch, wanting to wear a nicer one for dinner, and opened the top draw of the nightstand to put it in.
Ever wonder how the wise old mentor character puts up with the whiny, annoying hero he’s training? Then have I got the tale for you.
My short story, A Magical Education, follows a group of aging mentors drinking mead and venting about the next generation of heroes they’re trying to educate. It’s a humorous fantasy short, and you can find it in Issue 81 of Swords and Sorcery Magazinehere or by clicking the image below.
Check out the magazine’s archives while you’re there. It’s full of entertaining and adventurous sword and sorcery fiction. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any short fiction on my blog, so here’s a little something from The White Knight & Black Valentine Series. Enjoy!
How to Stop Trains (A Guide for Superheroes)
An excerpt from White Knight’s lecture at the Academy on April 15, 2002.
Remember the acronym TAD: Time and Distance. You may be strong enough to stop a runaway train in a split second, but if you bring a train moving a hundred miles per hour to a sudden stop, the passengers are going to keep moving forward at a hundred miles per hour. They’d have a better chance of survival if you threw them headfirst into a brick wall. Continue reading Short Story: How to Stop Trains (A Guide for Superheroes)