It wasn’t his time!

“I told you it wasn’t his time yet, mate!” “You don’t get to decide that. I do. I am the Reaper.” “And I am his goddamned Guardian, and I am telling you, you made a mistake. It wasn’t his fucking time.” “Maybe you should’ve been paying better attention.” “Jesus, what am I going to do…

Spells & Poems, Part Two

Continued from Spells & Poems, Part One. My queen could not leave the palace or be seen meeting her Spider, but I could come and go, so I went in her stead. For a year and a day, I carried messages for them. My meetings with him were hardly meetings but crossings—on a bridge, in…

The Hanging Tree

The night pressed down heavy on the men traipsing through the dark forest. The forest was still, expectant. Their swords jostled at their sides. Their boots crunched on the leaves covering the forest floor. An occasional curse hovered in the air when a root rose up to trip one of them. It was a night…

All Together Now

The first thing Nomi did was kill the spider. Mara was going to be pissed, but it wasn’t like she could do anything about it now. What was the deal with the spiders, anyway? Nomi was pretty sure it had less to do with magic and more to do with pretension, which after all was…

My Bare Spool

The wind beats against my face as I survey the land below me from a tree limb. I don’t know how I got up here, but what’s stranger still is that I’m not afraid. My fear of heights should be causing havoc within me right now. Shortness of breath, dizziness, a stomach full of knots….

Terminally Cold

“How are you feeling today?” the nurse asks. She sits back in her chair. You think about it for a minute. You want to say: “Like hell froze over” or “like death” or even “like someone walked over my grave”, because in your day these would have been funny. They would have gotten you a…

The Arsonist

Aria shifts trying to lessen the pressure on her left shoulder. It doesn’t work. With her arms stretched back and her wrists tied behind the chair, it doesn’t matter which way she tries to rearrange her body, everything hurts. Her left eye is swollen shut. Her bottom lip split. She attempts a deep breath. “Shit.”…

Spells & Poems, Part One

Before the Spider was a magician, he’d been a youthful poet with dreaming eyes. And before Queen Mayberry was the queen, she was the young poet’s lover. But when she was made to marry King Grigori against her wishes, the poet renounced his poetry and turned to magic, which blackened his eyes and tarred his…

No Such Thing as Enough

We built the settlement in the woods. Each structure ordered, set in a grid, crowded close for protection against the ugly things that skittered in the trees at night. Jacob saw the ugly things, just like the rest of us. They glistened and grimaced against the light thrown from the torches perched over each doorway…

The Dreaming

Dusty cardboard boxes loomed over me in the attic of my late grandparents’ house. With a sigh I grabbed the nearest one and opened it. I hoped for treasure and instead found moth-eaten, ancient-looking nightgowns. A growl rumbled in my throat. This was useless. How did my mom ever expect me to find anything up…

When a Stranger Takes

The rickety screen door slaps shut behind me as I enter the party house. Although I could hear the music from the street, once inside, the bass line batters into me, muffling reality. I push against the waves of sound and people, trying to look cool, collected, purposeful. Eyes glaze over me, concluding I should…

Someone had to be First

Someone had to be the first, Kass thought as she wrapped her arm around her legs, tucking her knees in under her chin. The ring danced through her fingers, winking in the thin light that fell through the stairs above her. They’d fawned over Wolf since he first arrived, listening to every word that came…