Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

The Luckiest of Colors

The Luckiest of Colors

Katrin glowered at the two messy braids trailing down either side of her shoulders. Their coppery tones were even more bright with the fire casting its orange glow on them.

“It is your fault I’m out here,” she muttered.

She was the only child in her village with red hair, and that’s why her parents didn’t like her. Her mother would look at her, sigh, and tell her that they should have used black tea and sage to darken her hair before anyone saw her flaming locks. Her father thought she was bad luck and would blame every accident or ill fortune the family had on her. If Katrin caught a cold, it was because she was redheaded. If her brother fell and scraped his knee while playing with her, it was because of her hair. If a storm blew through and blew the shingles off the roof, if the crops didn’t grow well, if foxes came for their hens, it was all because of Katrin’s red hair.

And that’s why Katrin had to run away. She knew she was too young to be on her own—only eight—but she couldn’t stand anymore disgusted looks from her father and pitying ones from her mother. She would prove that she wasn’t “bad luck.” She would live on her own for a few days, and when no illness befell her, no trees fell on her, and nothing else happened that could be blamed on her hair, then that would prove that it must be someone else bringing the bad luck.

Katrin pulled a leaf from one of her tangled braids. She threw it into the fire, hoping it would give it a little more life, but the dying flame hardly seemed to notice Katrin’s offering.

“This is bad luck,” Katrin whispered to herself. She desperately searched the ground within the fire’s ring of dim light, but didn’t see any twigs she could add. Katrin gave a nervous glace at the shadowy trees around her, beyond the firelight. Her eyes played tricks on her, making the darkness wriggle and slide in way that made her sure something was out there, watching her.

As much as she didn’t want her only light to fizzle out, she was terrified of going out there to gather more firewood.

Katrin hadn’t been scared when she left her house before dawn, or while following a deer trial through the woods, or even as the sun began to set as she gathered firewood. But now that the moon was just a sliver in the sky and the sparks from the fire the only stars, she wished more than anything that she hadn’t left her house.

She may not have been allowed to throw wood in the fire (because her father thought her bad luck might cause the house to burn down), but at least there was a fire.

She wished she had gathered more branches, but hadn’t expected the wood to burn so quickly. She had been so proud when she lite the fire with the matches she took from the house, just like her brother showed her when her father wasn’t around. She had watched the flames leap unto the branches she collected and wished her parents could see her now. He father couldn’t say she was bad luck. She started a fire and nothing bad happened!

Katrin curled up in a ball and squeezed her eyes shut. She should go to sleep before the fire went out. Then she couldn’t be afraid of the dark because it was dark when she slept anyway. But Katrin didn’t feel any safer with her eyes closed. She kept imagining shapeshifting animals from the stories coming for her. They would start as tiny bunnies coming out from the shadows, then they would morph into wolves that howled and snarled.

When the sun rose, she would go straight back to her house. Being left out of every game the other village children played and having adults scowl at her when she walked by was better than being eaten by shapeshifting bunny-wolves.

Katrin bolted upright as an owl called out. She loved listening to owls from her bedroom at night, but out here they sounded menacing, like they were calling her to step out beyond the fire’s light so they would swoop down on her.

“Forget sleeping,” Katrin said. She made herself stand and inched toward the edge of the fire’s light. She froze. Did something move out there?

She listened, but didn’t hear any rustling.

Katrin took a deep breath, like she was about to dunk her head in the creek, as she moved from the fire’s small ring of orange light.

She squinted at the dark ground and let out a breath of relief when she found a stick. She swooped on it and kept looking.”

“One, two, thr—” Katrin let out a yelp.

Two silver eyes peered from the darkness just a few feet from the stick she was about to grab. She withdrew her hand and clutched her two sticks to her chest like they could shield her from whatever it was the eyes belonged to. A raccoon? A wolf?

There was the soft rustle and the eyes began to move. Towards her.

Katrin held the sticks out, one in each hand.

“Don’t come near me or I’ll hit you!” she said, even though she knew animals didn’t understand words.

The eyes kept moving.

“Ahh!” Katrin yelled and thrashed the sticks through the air, hoping to scare the animal. It stopped coming towards her, but it didn’t go away. Now that it was standing just in front of her, she could see that it wasn’t a very big animal. Bigger than a raccoon, but much smaller than a wolf. It hardly came to her knees. She could make out a slim body, pointed ears, a slender snout, and a long fluffy tail.

“A fox?” she asked. The silver eyes blinked at her. It’s tail twitched and Katrin thought it might pounce, but that isn’t what it did at all. Instead, it stayed where it was at, but it was definitely still moving.

The shadowy figure of a fox began to waver, dark shapes bubbled and morphed in the darkness in front of her.

Katrin walked backwards until she was back by the fire, still holding the sticks out. It was a shapeshifter. She was sure of it. Maybe the little fox was about to turn into a bear.

Her heart was beating so hard that she heard it in her ears. She was about to run, when a boy stepped into firelight.

He was about her height and looked to be eight like her. His hair and eyes were silver.

“You have red hair,” the boy said.

Katrin forgot to be scared. “Red hair? You’re a fox who just turned into a boy, and that’s what you are worried about? My red hair!”

“I’m a boy who turns into a fox.”

“I know that!” Katrin sputtered, still miffed that he pointed out her hair right away. Apparently, even forest animals didn’t like girls with red hair.

“You said that I’m a fox who turns into a boy, but I’m a boy who can turn into a fox. There’s a difference.” The boy smirked like he said something clever.

“Great. But you are still a fox boy. That’s weirder than having red hair.”

“I didn’t say your hair was weird.”

Katrin was about to say, “Yes, you did,” but then she realized that he actually didn’t say that. “Why did you say I have red hair then?”

“Because you do.”

“You have silver hair,” Katrin shot back, still not sure if this boy was insulting her or not.

“Yep.” The boy looked very pleased with himself.

And silver eyes,” Katrin said as if that would get to him.

The boy clapped his hands slowly. “You know your colors. Good for you. Or at least red and silver. What about the color of that tree over there.” He pointed to the darkness beyond the fire.

Katrin clenched her teeth, trying to think of something to say back. Oh, this will make him mad. “I see why you are a fox. I bet no one likes you when you are a boy.”

“I bet no one likes you either.”

Katrin smacked his shoulder with one of her sticks. “Go away!”

He held his hands up. “I didn’t mean that they shouldn’t not like you. I just meant that they don’t. Because of your red hair and everything.”

Katrin could feel tears prickling eyes. Even out here in the woods, she couldn’t escape people who teased her because of her hair.

The boy’s silver eyes widened a bit, then darted to the fire. He looked uncomfortable. Katrin wondered if he saw that she was about to cry. “I didn’t mean…I meant that people don’t understand us.”

“Us?” Katrin’s voice came out wavery.

“Yeah. Us shapeshifters.”

“I didn’t know they were people,” Katrin said. In the stories, they were always animals who turned into bigger, scarier animals.

The boy’s sliver eyes blinked and he cocked his head to one side. “Aren’t you a shapeshifter?”

“Of course not. Why would you think I am a shapeshifter?”

“Because you have red hair,” he said at the same time.

“What does that have to do with it?” She, frowning.

“People with red hair turn into red foxes. Just like people with sliver hair,” he pointed at himself, “turn into silver foxes.”

Katrin wished she could turn into a fox. Then she wouldn’t be afraid of being in the forest at night.

“I can’t turn into a fox,” Katrin said, shaking her head.

“How old are you?” the boy asked, tilting his head in thought.


“Yeah, you have plenty of time before your awakening.”

“What is an awakening?”

“It’s when a shapeshifter first turns into their animal. It happens around eight, nine, or ten.”

Katrin wanted it to be true. If she could be a fox, then the woods could be her home, and she wouldn’t have to go back to her parents. Weather she was bad luck or not.

“Someone would have told me if I was a shapeshifter,” Katrin said. “My parents never told me that one day I would turn into a fox.”

He shook his head. “They wouldn’t. Normal people are afraid of us.

“They aren’t afraid.” Katrin sighed. “They’re just mean.”

“Nah, they act mean because they are afraid of what you can do.”

“I can’t do anything.”

“Yet.” The boy gave a her a smile.

Katrin shook he head. “I need to go back home. Can you take me there?” The woods would be a lot less scary with a fox boy beside her.

“I can. Or I can take you to our village.” He turned and stared walking.

“Wait.” Katrin didn’t want to be alone again, but she wasn’t sure she should follow him. “What village?”

“The one all of the shapeshifters live in.”

“But I’m not a—”

He turned back around and rolled his eyes at her. “If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be out here.”

Katrin hesitated. Maybe she was a shapeshifter, and that was why everyone acted so strange around her. They were scared she would one day turn into a fox, right in front of their faces.

But maybe she wasn’t a shapeshifter. She could get him to take her home and then tell everyone that she’d survived a night in the woods without anything bad happening. That might be enough to prove that she wasn’t unlucky.

“Can you take me back home?” she asked.

He shrugged. “If that’s what you want.”

She smiled at the thought of going back to a big warm fire and a bed and all her dolls.

She frowned. Back to her mother’s disappointed looks and her father’s blaming of her for everything that went wrong.

Katrin stepped up beside him. “Let’s go to your village.”

The boy grinned and his silver eyes glinted in the dying firelight. “Are you going to keep those sticks the whole way.”

“Yeah,” she grinned and whispered, “There are foxes in these woods, you know.”

“Yep. Two of them.”

Katrin liked the sound of that. She wasn’t the only one with an odd hair color anymore.

Katrin put both sticks in the single flame left of the fire and watched them light. She handed one to the boy.

As they walked into the darkness, flaming sticks held high, Katrin looked down at her messy braids. They reflected the flame’s orange light.

She smiled. You’re the reason I’m on my way to a new home.  

As Katrin skittered through the shadows, listening to the boy describe her new home, she thought of something that she’d never thought of before. Maybe red hair was the luckiest of colors.


The Song

She was innocently beautiful.  Her hair was a golden waterfall cascading over her slender shoulders and falling to her waist.   Long lashes framed sapphire eyes and her lips were like a soft pink petal.  She had a quiet, smooth way of moving that should have made her invisible, but instead brought every eye to her.  Daron wondered if she was quiet because she was too modest to want attention or because she thought herself so above everyone that she didn’t care if she was noticed by them of not.  Her face held no trace of scorn, but neither signs of bashfulness.  She was as impassive as a marble statue as her willowy form walked through the city at his side.  Perhaps that was what drew the stares—the mystery that lingered beneath her serene gaze.

Daron knew her secret.  She looked years younger than him, fifteen or sixteen at the most, but she had lived thousands of years.  She was one of the Old Ones.  The ones who lived since the beginning of the world and were gifted with ancient wisdom that humans did not have.

The Old Ones once lived among them and shared their wisdom, and the land was prosperous under their watch.  But that time passed long ago.  The Old Ones journeyed across the sea to a land they could make their own after mankind refused to practice their ways and heed their guidance. Mankind declared they didn’t need the Old Ones.

Only they did.  Thousands of years after the departure of the Old Ones, drought and famine plagued the land.  It was why Daron left on an impossible mission to cross the sea and find an Old One who was willing to come back with him and help their dying land—to sing the ancient songs that would call down rain for their withered crops.

Daron looked at the Old One beside him and thought how lucky he was to find her. He was warned that not all the Old Ones would be helpful. There were some who resented humans for their arrogant ways. Their disdain for humans festered inside of them and blossomed into a hate so strong it changed them.  These Old Ones grew cruel and vain.  They were so intoxicated with their power and eaten with thoughts of revenge that they were sent away from their own kind. If Daron had stumbled on one of them, it would have meant death.

But the danger and uncertainty of that journey had passed.  Daron would soon present the Old One to the King as proof he had succeeded in his mission.


They stood on the steps of the front of the castle, looking into the courtyard filled with hopeful faces.  The bright-haired girl stood in the center with the king standing to the right and Daron to her left. She didn’t address the crowd but closed her eyes and hummed. It was so low that Daron could scarcely hear it even at only a few feet away.  It didn’t change in pitch but grew in volume.  Then her soft, girlish lips opened and a melody of words drifted past them and filled the courtyard.  Daron didn’t understand the words.  She sang in an ancient language that the Old Ones alone had mastered.  Even without the knowledge of the meaning of the song it was entrancing.  The song rose and fell in somber minor notes.  Her voice softening, then swelling to portray first sorrow, then urgency.

Daron thought that he would be watching the sky during the Old One’s summons for rain, but he couldn’t look away from the girl.  From his peripheral vision, he saw that the others were equally entranced with the golden-haired singer.   Her eyes remained closed and her face focused as her silky voice bounced off the courtyard walls.  Small pricks ran up Daron’s arms.  As the song went on, he almost forgot why they were gathered or the reason for the song.  There was nothing in Daron’s mind but the captivating melody spinning sorrow and hope.  He shook himself when a shadow passed over him.  Rain!  Rain clouds were forming and blocking the sun.

He looked up and was confused.  Something was blocking the sun, but it wasn’t rain clouds—not unless rainclouds were ebony black and moved as one shimmering mass.  Wait.  That wasn’t shimmering.  It was flapping.  Thousands of crows filled the sky.  Gasps and whispers filled the courtyard.

“What’s going on?” demanded the King, but the girl continued singing.

Daron tried to get her attention. “Old One, the skies are filled with crows.”

She didn’t acknowledge him.

“Thousands of them,” he continued.  “They’re coming at us.  Take them away!”

Her chilling song mingled with the people’s confused cries.

“Is this some trick?”  The King asked, red faced.  Daron was sure it wasn’t a trick, but a mistake.  Maybe the Old Ones forgot how to call down rain.  Maybe in all their years of isolation, they lost their skill.  Or maybe this particular Old One didn’t know how to call rain.

The sky was getting darker.  The birds would land soon and what little crops they had left would be destroyed.

Daron strode forward to shake the girl out of her trance.

As his fingertips touched her shoulders, a shock went through his bones and he staggered back.  The girl’s blue eyes opened.

“Don’t touch me human snake!”  It was her voice, but it didn’t come from her lips which were still forming the words to the ominous song filling the air.

Confused, Daron tried to form words.  “The crows will eat our crops.”

Her laugh filled his head.  The harsh sound didn’t match the softness of the girl before him.

“The crows aren’t going to eat your crops.  They are going to eat you.”

He must have heard her wrong.  An Old One wouldn’t speak such words.

“You, the humans who destroyed the land and drove the Old Ones out with your erroneous ways.

In an instant, Daron understood who the girl was.  Not an Old One, understanding and willing to help mankind like the Old Ones thousands of years ago, but one of the wayward Old Ones he was warned about.  She pretended to help them so she could destroy them.

Before he could call out a warning to the others, the crows fell on them.  Shrieks mingled with the incessant cries of thousands of crows.  People ran or fell to the ground and covered their face as the winged terrors swarmed them.

Daron ran, but there was nowhere to go that wasn’t already filled with crows.  Sharp beaks picked at his arm and shoulders.  They pulled his hair and bit the tender skin on his neck. He kept his arms in front of his face but their sharp beaks jabbed at his chin and cheeks.  He wanted to cry out, but was afraid they would poke their nasty little beaks into his mouth and rip his tongue to shreds too.

He tried to keep moving, hoping he could find a door that would bring him into the safety of the castle, but the crows were so thick and so many wild thrashing bodies kept jostling him that he didn’t know if he were moving at all.

He fell. He didn’t know if he tripped from the crows gathered around his feet or if his legs gave out from the panic that snared him.

He laid in a huddle, feeling wet, sticky blood run down his back and arms.  He was screaming now.  His mouth pressed to the ground and his tongue tasted dirt.

He was ready for death.  Anything to stop feeling hundreds of holes being dug into his body.

Everything began to fade, until one last sound remained.  A haunting melody sung by a sweet, smooth voice.

I hope you enjoyed my spooky story! If you want to go on a dark adventure–keeping with the Halloween mood– check out Zorok, the story of a murderous pirate who may not be as invincible as he thinks.

Happy Halloween!

Join me for tons more fun, writing tips, and a glimpse into the daily life of a writer!

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Zorok pulled his sword from the child’s body and watched it crumple to the ground, wondering if he had ever been so frail and easy to kill. He was sure that he was impossible to kill now. There was nothing good aim and gun powder couldn’t protect him from.

He stepped over the bodies that littered the ground and paid no notice to the gruesome details illuminated by the flaming huts: tanned torsos with bloody bullet holes, looks of fear frozen on women’s faces, glazed-over eyes reflecting orange flames. His boots tread on an arrow, breaking it in half.  It amused him that these villagers thought they could defend themselves against his attack with such primitive weapons.  Bows and spears did little against pistols and gun powder.

The flickering orange light from the burning huts deepened the shadows in his hardened face making it look even more ominous. The top half of his dark, shoulder-length hair was pulled back showing a small hoop of gold in his right ear and the scar at his temple.

“It is time we claim what we came here for.”  Zorok’s deep voice rumbled as he reached his gathered men.  They cheered in agreement.

Zorok and his men grabbed torches from the pile they left in the cover of the trees on the outskirts of the village.  They lit them with fire from the nearest hut and headed into the jungle, toward the cave.

It would have been easy to sneak into the cave.  He could have led his men straight there and bypassed the destruction of the village, but he had to prove a point; no one told Zorok, most feared pirate in the land, that he couldn’t do something.

When he arrived on the island, a group of men from the village told him—through one of his crewmen who knew the language—that the cave was an ancient place of worship, and only a select few from their tribe could enter.  They wouldn’t allow him to go in and tried to scare him away by telling him that their god lived there and would kill them if they went in.

Once they shot down the men, they used their swords on the women and children. There was no reason to waste gunpowder on something that posed so little threat.  Normally Zorok would have taken those who looked strong enough captive and sold them on the black-market, but if the legend were true, he wouldn’t have room for slaves.

He could hear his crewmen murmuring eagerly to each other as they reached the cave.  The villagers claimed that it was a sacred place, but Zorok knew the real reason they didn’t want anyone to go in: treasure.

The cave’s ceiling was low and Zorok had to crouch over as he led his men down the winding tunnels. The scuffles of their boots bounced around in the enclosed space, making the group of just a little over two dozen sound like an army.

In the orange glow of his torch, he could see markings covering the walls. They were all symbols he didn’t know the meaning of or words written in a language he didn’t understand, so he paid them little attention.  Not all his crew members shared his indifference.  He could hear Tom, the one who had a flare for languages, reading the words painted on the stone walls.

“’All those who value their lives should not enter.’”

“Like I haven’t heard that before,” laughed one of the men. Tom laughed with him then continued reading the rest of the writing, all of it warning those who entered the cave.

“’Take care not to disturb the great god of the island,’” Tom stopped to read, squinting in the torch light.

“Would you stop reading those,” called a man behind Tom, “You’re holding up the line.”  Tom moved up to fill the gap, then read another one of the inscriptions.

“’Great evil lies within.’” He paused to translate the words in his head. “’If stirred it will devour the souls of those who dared to waken it.’”

“At the rate you’re going, Tom, we’ll have the treasure loaded on the ship and be setting sail while you’re still standing in front of a cave wall,” the crewman directly behind Zorok said.  The men laughed.

“And you’ll have us stuck in here with you,” said one of the men in the line behind Tom.  Tom stopped reading and moved on.

Just as the whole line was moving steadily, Zorok stopped.  There was nothing but cave wall in front of him.  Someone from the back of the line cursed at Tom, thinking he was the one holding it up again.

“Well that ain’t no treasure,” said a crewman right behind Zorok.

“All this way for a wall,” grumbled another.

“Quit your whining,” Zorok said. “It doesn’t end here.”  He dropped to the ground and crawled forward into a hole that his men hadn’t noticed because they were too busy complaining.

Zorok expected to find himself in a claustrophobic tunnel, but instead his lone torch barely reached the shadows of the cavern in which he stood.  The center was filled with knee-high chests.  Zorok went to the nearest one and shot the lock.  He opened it.  Shining gold coins filled his gaze.

“This is it boys.” He grinned.  He turned around and the grin came off his face.  None of his crew were there.  He grumbled under his breath as he walked back to the hole.  Were the idiots scared or just too stupid to find the hole, or was it Tom and his walls of doom holding them up?

The hole was gone.  Zorok scowled and moved his torch along the cave wall, searching for the place where he came in.  It wasn’t there.  He called out to his men, but it remained eerily silent except for a trickling sound on the other side of the cavern.  He cursed at the wall. He knew he came in from this direction.

A small wind brushed against his cheek.  At first he thought it came from the hole he was looking for, but then realized that was impossible.  They had walked too far and took too many turns for wind to be coming through that hole.  There must be another, one that led directly outside.

Before he could follow it, the wind grew stronger, coming from all different directions including  the solid wall behind him.   The wind merged into one place in the center of the room and a mass of swirling black appeared.

The wind stopped as the black shaped itself into a seven-foot, human-shaped form covered in a black, hooded cloak.

Zorok drew his pistol.

“You can’t fight me,” said a raspy but deep voice from under the hood.

“Give me a reason why I can’t,” demanded Zorok.  Holes that disappeared, wind that came from solid walls, and hooded figures that appeared out of nowhere made Zorok uncomfortable, but blasting things with gun powder was something he could handle.

“Your time is up, Zorok.  You made a deal with my master, and he wants his payment,” the form said in an eerie dead-pan voice.

“I don’t make deals,” he said keeping his pistol up and his stance ready. “I do what I wish and crush those who oppose.”

“You made a deal,” said the hooded figure, “Now your soul belongs to my master.”

Zorok laughed dryly.  “What do I care for my soul?  Tell your master, whoever he is, he can have it.”

“He doesn’t need your permission,” said the figure moving forward.  Zorok was ready to hear some enchantment murmured that was supposed to take his soul, but the figure put his hand into his cloak.  He drew out a sword that glowed slightly, giving off a faint white light. The moment he did, Zorok fired. The bullet disappeared in his black torso.  A rumbling sound came from under the hood that could have been a laugh.

“You can’t kill me.” The glowing sword moved steadily toward him.  Zorok stepped back and drew his own sword. An feeling foreigh to Zorok began to make its way down his spine: cold fear.

“Who is this master you serve—the one who wants my soul?” he asked, hoping to stall so he could look for a way out of the cavern.  

“The devil.”  The figure brought his sword down.  Zorok already had his sword drawn, and blocked the blow.  He spun out of the thing’s reach.

“I made no deal with the devil,” said Zorok backing away slowly.

“That’s what they all say,” said the eerie voice.  “But you’ve made the deal early in life and confirmed it many times since.”  The thing didn’t move after him, so Zorok took the chance to look around for some way out.

“Every time you stabbed your sword into a woman, every time you shot a man, every time you ordered your men to kill the innocent, a deal was made.”  The figure thrust his glowing sword at Zorok. Their swords clanged against each other and locked.  The thing was strong, and Zorok had to use both hands. His torch flickered as it dropped, but it continued to burn as it hit the stone ground.  He didn’t need it anyway.  He’d found his way out.

“You can tell the devil,” he said, grunting, “that my soul is mine for today.”  He used all his strength to push the glowing sword off his own, and ran toward a glistening ribbon on the cave floor.

White blasts of light flew past him.  One of them hit his shoulder.  He faltered and cried out as hot pain filled it.  He looked back and saw that the blasts of white lights came from the tip of his sword.

He froze.  There was one coming at him. His sword was up as if it had moved on its own and somehow he managed to deflect the shot with its broad side.  It ricocheted off his sword and hit the figure’s arm, knocking the sword from its hand.

Zorok spun around and headed for the dark liquid ribbon behind him.  He was taking the chance that the river didn’t stay underwater for too long, but it was better than being trapped with an enemy that couldn’t die.

As he jumped, he heard the eerie voice call after him, “Your cannot keep your soul forever. Memento mori.”

Cold water merged over his head. He swam with the current hoping it would lead him out of the cave.  After a few seconds, he tried to come up.  He was met with hard stone.  He kept swimming and tried again, but he was still underground.  It made him angry to have escaped a demon, just to die by drowning. It wasn’t the way Zorok, most feared of the seas, should lose his life.

Just as he was sure the devil would get his soul tonight after all, his head burst out of the water and his lungs filled with air.   He could see the moon half hidden behind the jungle foliage.  He dragged himself to the bank and a wild laugh of relief came out of his mouth.  He was Zorok, the pirate who defeated the undefeatable.  He had beaten a demon.  He had tricked the devil.

His laughter died.  The last thing the hooded figure said to him stopped his little celebration.  He didn’t need Tom to understand what those last two words meant.

Remember that you will die.


This is a little bit darker and more gruesome than the little tales I usually post here, but it is fun to change things up a bit. Plus, my WIP, Blood Debt, has a tone similar to this (although my main character, Azrin, isn’t a bloodthirsty, treasure-seeking pirate).

I hope you enjoyed the story! 🙂

Join me for tons more fun, writing tips, and a glimpse into the daily life of a writer!

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The Wand in the Attic

Hey Epic Dreamers! I thought we could all use some fun in the form of flash fiction since we are stuck in quarantine. This little story is extra relatable since the main character is stuck at home with someone she doesn’t want to be. 😉

Enjoy the story!


The Wand in the Attic

I was hiding from my bratty stepsister in the attic when I found it. At first I thought it was just a strange stick—as long as a ruler and as thick as a pencil—then I found the book Beginner’s Guide for Wand Use. I flipped through the many spells listed on the pages, thinking the book was a joke. Then I tried one.

I held it out and said “time for magic” to activate it as the first page instructed. I jumped when the wand gave a slight tremor. I was sure that I’d imagined it, but just in case…. I pointed it at the first thing I saw—a wooden music box that no longer worked—and said “muveras” which is what the book said to say if you wanted something to move.

The wooden box shot off the crate it was sitting on and crashed to the floor. I jumped and drop the wand. I looked from the box to the wand at my feet, to the box again. I wasn’t sure if I was excited or scared. Magic only existed in fairytales. How was it in my attic?

“Sarah! Quit leaving your dirty clothes in the bathroom!” It was my stepsister. She was twelve like me, but because she was five months older she seemed to think she was my second mom or something. That’s why I was looking through old boxes in the attic instead of watching TV downstairs. With mom gone on a date with my stepdad, she was more whiny than usual.

“Hello? Sarah? I’m talking to you. Come clean up your stinky clothes.”

I rolled my eyes and started to climb down the attic ladder.

Then I had an idea.

I snatched the wand and hurried downstairs. My stepsister was standing beside the bathroom doorway with her arms crossed. She was still yelling for me, so she didn’t hear me coming. I ducked behind a table with a huge decorative vase and scooted so I could look into the bathroom.

She wanted me to move my clothes? I would move my clothes.

I pointed my wand at the pile on the floor and whispered, “muveras.” The clothes shot through the bathroom door like a cannonball from a cannon, and exploded into the hallway. My step sister shrieked so loud you would have thought it was an actual cannon.

She stood, frozen for a moment with my tank top over her left shoulder and my underwear on her head. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. Maybe staying home with my stepsister would be so bad after all.


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It was nearly the end of summer and Melody finally got to swim in the ocean. She waded farther out letting the waves hit her stomach and chest. She was sure she was a mermaid at heart, because there was nothing that made her feel more alive than the ocean. Which was why she was out here while the rest of her friends were still asleep. Melody wasn’t going to waste a minute sleeping on their last day. After today, it would be back to her cramped dorm room, traffic jams, and annoying customers who acted like it was her fault textbook prices were so high.

She looked over the waves and wished she could stay out here forever with the salty air on her face and the water hugging her body. No more burry-eyed mornings after staying up all night to work on a paper. No more nervousness twisting in her stomach before final exams. No more student loan debt growing like a monster in the shadows slowly getting bigger until the day it would leap out and jump on her, toppling all her hopes for the future.

Melody ran her hand through the water, finding the smoothness calming. The only thing she liked about college was the choir she got a scholarship with. It only paid her tuition, leaving her to cover the outrageously over-priced textbooks and on-campus living expenses, but she would have gone to the practices if the didn’t give her a cent. Two days a week, for a preciously short two hours, her mind came alive. All the numbness from endless hours of stuffing information into her brain was washed away but the sound of voices mingling in highs and lows to create a wave of sound that carried her to wonderful place.

If it weren’t for choir, she would stay here in the ocean. Her fingers would get shrively and her muscles tired, but at least she wouldn’t be stuck in that tiny dorm room.

Melody ducked her head under the water to drown the thought of school.


She must be going crazy. She couldn’t have heard someone say her name from under the water. All those late night cramming sessions must have finally gotten to her.

“Melody, open your eyes.”

For some reason, she did. Melody’s mouth nearly dropped, but she caught herself before swallowing a mouthful of water.

A girl’s face, surrounded by pink hair, was in front of hers. Not a girl. A mermaid. Her glittering pink and white scales led to hot pink fins at her tail. The mermaid spoke. “Today is your lucky day.” She clasped her hands in front of her making her look like a five-year-old on her birthday. “Today, you get to leave all your human troubles behind you. Today you become a mermaid.” She beamed.

“What? Me? I’m not a mermaid.”

“Of course not silly.” The mermaid giggled. “That’s why I have to make you one.”

“I can’t become a mermaid.” She had to go back to her classes, keep up her GPA, and spend the rest of her life in a cubicle.

“You already are becoming one.” The mermaid flashed a mischievous grin. “Otherwise your eyes would be stinging from the salt.” Melody blinked. After the shock of seeing the mermaid, she hadn’t realized her eyes didn’t sting a bit. “And if you were fully human, how are you talking?” The mermaid looked amused as Melody put a hand to her mouth. She had talked hadn’t she? In fact, she was breathing. Breathing underwater.

“You’ll have to give me permission to do the final bit though.”

“What’s that?” Melody asked.

“Your tail.”

Melody paused. Once she had a tail there was no going back.

“We sing,” the mermaid said.


“Mermaids love to sing.” She sang the words, doing a flip through the water. It was the most graceful flip Melody had seen.

Being surrounded by an ocean and song all day? What was there to think about. “I think I’d like a turquoise tail.”


 Hey Epic Dreamers! I hoped you enjoyed this Disney-ish story of mermaids and dreams coming true. I mean who wouldn’t want to ditch school and play in the ocean all day? 😉
The seeds of this story were planted by a prompt from the 13 Week Streak – Summer Flash Fiction Challenge.   There’s only one more week left! I can’t believe it’s almost over. 😦


Eating Bugs

Tally would never eat a bug. They were slimy, squishy, crunchy. Roaches were creepy; lurking in the shadows of her scattered toys and scurrying when a light came on.

Flies were pesky with their annoying buzzing sound. They whipped around her head then landed on her peanut butter sandwich like a rocket ship landing on the moon, claiming it as his own.

Beatles were clumsy with their heavy bodies and tipsy-turvy paths. They knocked into her like bullies shoving her out of the way in the lunch line.

Spiders were icky. They slinked and waited in their sticky webs with their crawly legs and made her skin tingle.

But ants were the worst. They weren’t like the other bugs that came alone. Ants made lines. Long lines that trailed from a crack in the window to the forgotten sucker under her bed. They scurried back and forth like one long body wriggling along her carpet. It was a skinny snake sliding beneath her bed, snatching up the Legos she’d hidden there so she wouldn’t have to put them away. If any more of them came, they could carry her away as she sat on her bed like a kidnapped princess in a litter.

The ants that had wings flew too close to her swimming pool and fell in. The water trapped them like the lint roller stuck tiny cat hairs to it. Talley would stand rigidly still as it floated by, struggling in vain to pull its wings from the water. If it touched her, all of its tiny ant anger would be unleashed to her. It would bite her for making it get caught in her pool. Then she would have a big, itchy bump on her arm.

There were the big black ants that scared her because she could see how their bodies connected like three black beads glued together, and she could see their tiny antennas moving around as if they were magic sensors that they used to find her.

Out off all the ants, it was the small red ones that were the worst. They made mounds of red dirt as traps for kids to step in. Even if she took her foot out so fast, they were still crawling all over her skin. Biting so hard that even the bravest kid cried. Tally would pull off her shoes and socks in a panic, watching them come alive with tiny crawling bodies. Her feet and legs would be covered in bites, already burning and itching and turning puffy and red.

Out off all the bugs to put in chocolate, why did it have to be an ant?

One of the boys brought chocolate-covered ants to lunch and dared everyone in the kindergarten class to eat one.

Tally stared at the tiny drop of chocolate on the table. She didn’t see an ant, but she could imagine it in the center of the chocolate, waiting for her to bit into it and release it from its prison. The moment it was loose, it would crawl around her mouth. It would bite her tongue and the inside of her cheeks. She wouldn’t be able to talk for days.

The other kids chanted her name, telling her to do eat it.

She picked it up. Once she swallowed it, the ant would scurry through her body. It would bite her lungs, and her stomach, and maybe even her brain. How would she scratch the bite when it was on the inside?

Tally closed her eyes and shoved it in her mouth. She bit down hard, hoping to kill the ant before it bit her insides.

There was no nasty crunch as the ant’s body was crushed. The ant didn’t run across her gums. There was nothing but sweet chocolate in her mouth.

Tally decided she liked eating bugs.

 Hey Epic Dreamers! This was yet another installment of the 13 Week Streak – Summer Flash Fiction Challenge.   There’s only two more weeks left! So I hope you’re enjoying these small stories, because we’re about to go back to regular posts. 😉

Sunflowers and Roses

“I wish the timing had been better,” I said. I looked at the roses he gave me. I preferred sunflowers.

“It’s not about the timing,” Sean said. “It’s about what’s right for us.” It had been a year since I’d seen him, but he still talked in that same convincing way that would have anyone ready to  believe what he said was true.

“I’m engaged,” I said. “I can’t just walk away from him.”

“Yes you can.”

“It’s not that simple.”

“Why not? Tell him you can’t marry him because you love someone else.”

“I do love him.”

“You said you loved me.”

“I did. But you were never there. Nathan was.”

He looked away and ran his fingers though his hair. “What does that mean for us then?”

I gave the roses back to him. “It means we can’t be together.”


Eight months prior

We’d always be together. That’s what I thought. But here I was laying in a hospital bed with nothing but his rushed emails to keep me company.  You’d think he’d write more since he was a journalist. But maybe he was tired of writing after doing it all day. He was probably suffering from jet lag when he wrote them. The travel magazine he worked for kept him going from place to place. Which is why he wasn’t with me during the surgery.

It all happened so fast. The test came back positive for cancer. The operation was scheduled to remove it.

The doctors said everything went well, and here I was resting in a hospital room alone until I fully recovered and could go home.

There was a knock on the door, and in came that man from this morning, Nathan. He wasn’t as tall as Sean, but his smile made him seem 6’2. It also chased away my gloomy thoughts.

“I brought you this,” Nathan said, producing a rose from behind his back.

“Oh, you didn’t have to,” I said, but I was touched he’d come all the back here to bring me the rose. This morning he’d come in with a sunflower and a small get-well-soon card. I thought he had the wrong room, but he explained that he passed out flowers and cards to people in the hospital on the weekends. He had cancer himself when he was a teen, and ever since then would bring people in the hospital flowers. As we talked, I mentioned that my favorite flowers were roses.

“Well a favorite flower cheers a person up double the amount of just any other flower,” Nathan said, slipping the rose in the glass jar beside the sunflower.

“Does this mean you’ll be taking the sunflower somewhere else?” I joked. I was smiling for the first time since he left this morning.

“I guess since you’re so pretty, you can have both.” He winked.

I blushed, but enjoyed the compliment. For the first time since Sean left, I didn’t feel alone. I looked at the two flowers setting beside each other in the jar. I was surprised to find myself liking the sunflower more. Maybe my favorites were changing.



 Hey Epic Dreamers! This was yet another installment of the 13 Week Streak – Summer Flash Fiction Challenge.     I hope you’re enjoying these small stories.

The Tooth Fairy’s Warning

The best part about going to the grocery store with Mommy was that I got a gumball when Mommy was finished shopping. I pushed my tongue against my loose tooth, wiggling as I waited in line beside Mommy. When it came out, I’d put it under my pillow and get a whole dollar from the Tooth Fairy. I could buy four gumballs with that.

“Can I get my gumball now?” I asked. This line was so long and boring. Blowing bubbles would make waiting more fun.

Mommy gave me a quarter and I ran to the gumball machine by the door, ponytail swishing. I looked into the glass orb that held brightly colored gumballs. I hoped I got a red one. Those were my favorite. I inserted the quarter and twisted the handle.

Something clattered from the glass orb and into the slot, but it didn’t sound like the clunking sound of a gumball. It was a tiny clinking sound.

I lifted the flap and put my hand in. My fingers wrapped around something small and hard with sharp angles. It definitely wasn’t a smooth round gumball. I turned my hand around and in my palm lay a tooth.

How did a tooth get in in with the gumballs? It was ugly. All yellow.

I opened the slot and stuck my hand in it again. I wanted a gumball, not a tooth. But there wasn’t anything in there.

I was about to run back to mommy and ask her for another quarter when something sizzled in the air in front of my face.

A tiny person with wings hovered in the air between me and the gumball machine. She was wearing a sparkly pink dress like the one I wore for Halloween, and she had silver wings. Her hair was in bouncy curls that made me want to pull one down just to watch it spring back up.

I was staring so hard my eyes hurt. She was a real live fairy!

“What are you doing?” the tiny fairy asked. Her voice was so small. She was like a talking doll. I wanted to hold her. “Do you want your teeth to look like that one?” She pointed at the yellow tooth in my hand with the wand she held. It had a glossy white tooth on the end of it. My eyes got even bigger. This wasn’t just any fairy. This was the Tooth Fairy. “If you keep eating candy like this, you’ll end up cavities, plaque, rotting teeth. And who do you think has to deal with your nasty teeth once you lose them?”

“You?” I asked.

“Yes me.” The Tooth Fairy gave a shake of her head, making her curls look like springs. “And I can’t use rotting teeth. Consider this a warning, little girl. If you ruin your teeth, you won’t be getting any money from me when you put them under your pillow.” Then she crossed her arms and disappeared.

I blinked, but it was just the gumball machine in front of me. It looked a little scary. Like all of the brightly colored balls were going to spill out and get into my mouth and make my teeth look yellow and nasty like the one in my hand.

I ran back to Mommy.

“Didn’t you get a gumball?” she asked.

I wiggled my tooth with my tongue. “I don’t want any this time.”