Cinderella, At the Ball

Light seeps in around the edges of the door. Not enough to see by, but enough to know it’s daytime and I should stop sleeping now. I pick at the hole near the baseboard of the closet. Insulation pokes out and makes my hands itch, but I ignore it. I focus on making the hole…

The Path Not Followed

It was raining hard. The wipers on my car thwapped back and forth, as fast as they could go, and still I couldn’t see much of anything out there. My hands, wrinkled and liver-spotted, gripped the wheel so hard my knuckles went white. Lights from the city flashed by in a blur. Not a soul…

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…

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…

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.”…

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…