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…

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…

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…

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…