Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015
Jenna was almost asleep when she felt the weight of a cat plop onto the end of her bed. She turned on the lamp on the bedside table and saw Katelynn, her aunt’s dirt-brown tabby, sitting on the bed’s patchwork comforter.
A tiny mouse hung by its tail from Katelynn’s mouth, twisting and squirming, desperate to get away.
Kipper placed her gray tabby paws on the metal orb. It felt smooth and cool against her paw pads. Jenny was explaining everything that she and the other otter scientists had learned about this particular, mysterious relic that they’d found in one of the deepest, most thoroughly locked and booby-trapped rooms in the ancient octopus base on Europa. Trugger sounded fascinated. But all Kipper wanted to do was touch it. She felt compelled, perhaps by feline curiosity. Perhaps by something intrinsic, something sinister about the orb.
Bark broke from the trunk of the sharillow trees in large, curved chunks, littering the forest floor along with their fallen leaves. Storakka sifted through the pieces at the base of the biggest tree she could find, her talons running over the slightly curved sheaves of wood, rough on one side and smooth on the other. Finally she found an oval one she liked, about the same size as a human face. Continue reading “The Dragon’s Mask”
1. I’ve consulted with the Oracle of Delphi and asked her whether you and I would ever be friends. She said we would be the best of friends, and Apollo would sing songs of our friendship on Mount Olympus. Hestia will smile, sweetly and secretly, as she stirs her hearth fires and thinks of our friendship. Bacchanals will be held in our friendship’s honor.
Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, July 2021
Smoke rose from Tzora’s flared nostrils. Gray and pungent and entirely lacking in flame. Not a single spark. Not enough heat to rewarm a cold dinner roll, let alone toast her doughy, unbaked wings. Tzora huffed in disappointment, hoping her frustration would translate into a glowing ember inside her scaly nose. But no luck. She was still too young to breathe fire like her older sisters. And that meant she was still too young to fly. No one else would toast her wings for her.
Originally published in Theme of Absence, January 2016
The salesman, Devin, shows me another junker — dented fender, bald tires, and a crack in the windshield.
“These cars look like death traps,” I say. “You don’t seriously expect anyone to buy them?”
Devin laughs, a hollow, plastic sound. “They’re all bargains!” He looks over his shoulder, back at the dealership building with a half-burned out neon sign, Bob Reaper’s Autos, over a window with venetian blinds. A gaunt man, probably Bob himself at a place this small, stares at us through the blinds. Continue reading “Dealership with the Devil”
Originally published in Kaleidotrope, September 2016
The letter was sealed and stamped but had never been sent. Amelie almost passed it over entirely while going through her aunt’s old boxes of science articles and research notes. It was addressed to a professor at the University of Crosshatch, Maryland. Amelie didn’t think her aunt had ever worked there, but Aunt Jill had traveled a lot. She’d studied giraffes in Africa and wild horses in the Gobi Desert. She’d worked her way across Europe studying the few remaining bison, all kept in zoos. It seemed like there was nowhere Aunt Jill hadn’t been, so Amelie couldn’t be sure. Continue reading “A Pearl for Amelie”
Originally published in Electric Spec, Vol.13, Issue 1, February 2018
The child with a malformed arm, bent like a bird’s folded wing, had passed through Troway Village a year ago. Now Dara was a traveler like he had been. Would her old village welcome her? A prodigal daughter returned? Or would she be hurried along like the child and his parents had been?
Dara and Iassandra had been the town’s truth-tellers together back then. When the villagers had come to them, not knowing what to think of the strange child traveling through their village, Dara had sung a song of gods’ blessings, how they bent the unborn child’s arm, marking him and setting him apart as he grew. She sang that he should be welcomed and taken in, a child touched by a god. Continue reading “Anger is a Porcupine, Sadness is a Fish”
Originally published in Empyreome, Volume 3: Issue 1, January 2019
The magic in the air whispered through Katelynn’s whiskers like a summer breeze, and the fat tabby purred. The ley line that ran under her owner’s house was perfectly aligned with the orientation of her brown stripes whenever she sat under the oak tree in the backyard and faced the hummingbird feeder hanging in the neighbor’s Japanese maple — as she was now. The rising sun glinted off the windows in both houses, giving them shining eyes in their architectural faces.
The lion cub hid among the rushes and narcissus flowers at the edge of the lake and watched her father, King of the Jungle, meet and talk with the shining white unicorn who presided over the deep dark woods adjacent to the lions’ sunny savanna home.
Sarah thought the unicorn’s forest looked more like a jungle than their savanna did, and she wanted to tell the unicorn that… but she’d promised her father to hide quietly during his meeting. He only brought one cub with him at a time to these meetings, and given her plethora of sisters, brothers, half-siblings, and cousins, Sarah’s turn to accompany her father didn’t turn up very often. She wanted to prove she could be a good little cub, so she stayed quiet as a mouse. Continue reading “Sarah Flowermane and the Unicorn”