Excavating the Archives: A Fairy Price To Pay

The following piece of flash was extended and included in One Turn of the Wheel, my first collection of tiny tales, published by Three Drops Press in 2018.One Turn of The Wheel

I wandered a year and a day in the wildlands, never meeting another living soul on my travels.

Through the wastelands I journeyed; an unforgiving land that told me those who ventured to be there were closer to the world of Spirit, for I could not see any other merit in it. I saw evidence of their existence, these strange people, but never once did I see them.

After that I came to the land of water. Streams, rivers, ditches, ponds, lakes, meres…all manner of watercourses bisected the land. It was treacherous, travelling through these parts, for it was never completely steady beneath your feet.

When the boggy ground became more firm, I reached the open land between the water and the forest. It took many days to reach the woodlands edge, but when I did so, what I found disturbed me more than anything I had yet encountered and its discovery would have lasting consequences.

I had been walking beneath the tree canopy, day having started its slow descent into night many hours before, when up ahead I saw the twinkling of lights through the branches. I was eager to see people, to talk, to have human company, if only for a matter of minutes, so I proceeded recklessly. My isolation had made me drop my guard.

Brazenly, without caution or fear, I pushed my way through the undergrowth and that’s when I saw them, dancing in circles, laughing and singing as they spun round and round. I don’t know how long had passed with my just standing there, mouth agape. I knew what was before me. A company of the Fair-Folk, making merry in the woods in the moonlight.

I should have moved on, crept away while there was still a chance, but I stood there, motionless, transfixed.

As one they noticed an outsider in their midst. I knew the penalty of intruding upon the secret rites of the Fair Folk. I knew what they did to those not invited, who lay their eyes upon their Fairy Rings.

The music stopped. The lights went out. An ominous, unnatural silence sprung up in the forest. I was seized before I could even turn around to run.

In those brief moments, thoughts of my family, my home, my village, filled my mind whilst an ache beyond anything I thought I could bare ripped through my heart. I knew I would never see any of them again; I would never be allowed to return. I was going to spend the rest of my days, however many they may be, in the land of the Fey…in a land of magic.

This was originally posted on this site in October 2014. You can find that post here.

Excavating the Archives: The Legacy Of A Missed Opportunity

This is the first instalment of a three-part drabble serial…

She knew she had done the wrong thing, said the wrong words, but it was too late now.  Such an opportunity would never come her way again.  It was gone.  She had missed her chance.

Her mistake lingered, tormenting her, driving her to return to the woods day after day.  In the dark of the forest, she screamed at the top of her voice.

‘I’m sorry!  Please forgive me!’

She wanted to explain but there was no one there to listen or care.

She was alone now.  The Spirits of the Forest were silent.  The Fae had departed.

You can read part two here.

This was originally posted on this site in September 2015. You can find that post here.

A Little Fairy Magic…

I think I might be a little late to the prompt for this one, but hopefully I managed to just sneak it in under the deadline…I can’t resist anything fae or moon-related!

Three haiku inspired by “Fairy” prompt over at Eugi’ Causerie – thanks so much for the inspiration, Eugenia! 🙂

Silver moon backdrop
To night-time fae enchantment
A world of wishes
Listen by night to
The whispers of stars and moon
Dream away the day
Timing is crucial
When the night falls and day flees
Magic by moonlight

“A Chance Encounter” in “The Moon Garden”

I’ve been lucky enough to have two of my short stories selected for “Best of 2019” anthologies from two separate publishers…A big thank you to the editors / compilers of each book for considering and including my work…

A Chance Encounter

I submitted A Chance Encounter back in late Summer last year, to Hawthorn and Ash from Iron Faerie Publishing, thinking it would only make it onto their website.  But, the format then changed to include the possibility of an ebook and print book, for which I was super excited. That was in the autumn, I think.  Hawthorn and Ash (volume 1) was released in December 2019. Then, while I was on holiday in December, I got the notification that this little story of mine had been selected for Iron Faerie’s “Best of” anthology for 2019.  It was such great news to return home to!  And isn’t that cover stunning!

So what’s the story about? As the title suggests, a chance encounter.  With what? A fairy…


The Moon Garden


I’ve spoken about The Moon Garden on this blog before (see here), when the anthology it was selected for, Gardens of Enchantment from Fantasia Divinity, was released. To learn it was selected for inclusion in their “Best of” anthology, “Ghosts of The Past 2019”, put a great big smile on my face.  Every writer has a handful of stories that they’re really proud of, and this is one of mine…

The Moon Garden focuses on Alexa Harrison, who has just moved into a new house.  However, there’s a discrepancy between the maps of the property and what can actually be seen.  It’s a mystery Alexa can’t let go of, but there’s a price to pay for learning the truth…


Thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend!

In the damp and dark…

This is for the Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge, that Kiwinana is hosting over at Ramblings of a Writer.  Below is my effort for week 3; the words are “under” and “growth”.  The prompt can be found here.  Go and check it out!

In the damp and dark

Fairy houses are hidden

In the undergrowth

The Evergreen Fairy


Always dressed in forest green

A crown of winter berries upon her head

Around her neck ice pearls shimmer

Through raven hair weaves silver thread

This was written for Day 3 of “The 12 Days of Winter” writing challenge.  See this page here for more details and a list of prompts.

“Fairy Magic” in The Lost Door


The Lost Door is a Zimbell House Publishing anthology released in August 2016, and I’m extremely excited to say that my short story, Fairy Magic, is in it, alongside the stories of a great many talented authors.


About Fairy Magic

Fairy Magic tells the tale of Violet – known as Aunty Vi to her young niece, Amy.  Violet’s been going through a tough time, and so goes off to stay with her sister and her family.  As she tries her hardest to solve the problems she is facing – the grown up way – little Amy is doing her best to help her aunt in the only way she knows how…magic.

You can learn more about the anthology over at the publisher’s website.

Excavating the Archives: A Midsummer Mischief

mitchells foldI walked around the stones that were sticking out of the ground like monstrous teeth.  No one else was about.  Not many people knew this place existed; if they did once, they seem to have forgotten it now.  I was alone as I explored the standing stones in the darkness.

It was Midsummer’s Eve, and the moon above was full and bright, bathing both stone and grass in silver light.  As I looked about, I wondered why I came.  It wasn’t to celebrate the solstice or anything like that; I was neither druid nor witch.  I wasn’t a pagan.

Nevertheless, I was here, though I had no reason to be.

I went and sat on the horizontal stone in the centre of the circle.  It looked like it had fallen over eons ago; patches of lichen dappled its surface, the moonlight making it stand out, luminous in the dark.

The air was warm; I wondered if it would rain.  Of course, I would have gone home by then.  I wasn’t planning on staying long, just long enough to…to what?  Perplexed, I wrinkled my brow and rubbed my temples.  At any rate, I would be home before it rained.  I wouldn’t be here much longer.  A few more minutes, and then I would be on my way…

I awoke to the sound of laughter.  As I opened my eyes, something darted between the menhirs in front of me.  I scrambled backwards in fright, only to fall heavily on to the damp grass beside my stone bed.

How I had managed to fall asleep, out here, on an ancient slab of stone, I couldn’t begin to understand.  My mind was dizzy with confusion.

Slowly, I peered up over the edge of the fallen stone at the centre of the circle, and looked about.  I saw nothing.

‘Of course,’ I said to myself, ‘I had imagined it.  Waking up in a strange, unfamiliar place will do that to you.’  I shook my head.  Why was I being so silly when I was usually so sensible?

I quietly laughed at myself in embarrassment.  Didn’t I feel foolish, sitting there on the grass, hiding from some imaginary creature behind a huge lump of stone.  I rolled on to my knees, stiff from sleeping on the hard slab of granite, and made to stand when –

‘Ow!’ I exclaimed, rubbing the back of my head furiously.  A small stone lay on the ground by my feet.

Again I looked about, but saw nothing.  But I heard them, giggling in delicate, high-pitched voices.

‘Excuse me!’ I called out, trying to get their attention.  The laughing suddenly stopped.  ‘Excuse me!’ I called again, only louder this time.

But the stone circle remained silent.  I waited for a few moments, wondering what to do.  Then I marched over to the standing stone from which I guessed the last lot of laughing came.  Just as I reached it, two flashes of sparkly light whooshed past me.

I spun round to see where they went, amazed by what I was seeing.  ‘Come back here!’ I shouted, rather belatedly, but they paid me no heed as they vanished behind one of the stones on the opposite side of the circle.  I tried following them, but when I got too close, they fled to a different stone, laughing as they went.

Eventually, exhausted, I sat back down on the central stone to get my breath back.  What was going on?  My head was spinning as I tried to get a handle on the situation.  The lights flitted past me again, moving back and forth, each time daring to come a little closer to me.  I was starting to feel quite annoyed, but an idea was beginning to form in my mind.

I took off my cardigan, and judging my aim carefully, I threw it, stopping one of the creatures as they moved across the circle.  The other one continued on, leaving the other one to struggle beneath the weight of the garment, huffing and puffing as it did so.

I approached warily.  When I was close enough, I gathered up the edges of the fabric and scooped the creature up.  I had to hold it at arms length, because it was angrily punching and kicking to try and break free.

‘Stop that at once!’ I said, in the most forceful, school-teacher voice I could muster.

‘Let me out!  Let me out!’ the voice cried from within.

‘No, I won’t.  You threw a stone at my head!’ I exclaimed, cross.  ‘Now.  Where is the other one?’  I said, turning round in a circle slowly.  ‘Why don’t you come over here so we can have a little chat?’

‘No, don’t do it!  Don’t do it!’ the voice from inside the cardigan shouted.

‘Be quiet!’ I snapped.  ‘I am not going to hurt either of you.  I am nice and kind and gentle, and nothing like you two, who were more than happy to throw a sharp stone at the back of my head and laugh about it, knowing that you had hurt me.’

The bundle went limp.  The circle was very quiet.  I let the stillness continue for a few minutes longer, before simply saying, ‘I just want to know what is going on.’

‘Will you let my brother go?’ a quiet voice whispered from behind the central stone.  I could see the sparkly light coming from the other creature as it peered around its side.

‘Of course, I will.  But first tell me what is going on.’

‘How do I know I can trust you?’ came the little voice.

‘I give you my word.’

‘How about you let my brother go and then we tell you?’

‘How do I know that you both won’t just disappear into the ether?’

‘You don’t trust us any more than we trust you, it seems.’

‘You threw a stone at my head – I have every right not to trust you.  Now start explaining.’

‘It’s Midsummer’s Eve.’

‘I know.’

‘Then why ask.’

‘I asked for an explanation.  That wasn’t one.’

‘Yes it was.  It’s Midsummer’s Eve.’

‘And?  There must be more to say.’

‘We’re fairies.  It’s Midsummer’s Eve.  There isn’t anything more to say.’

‘Fairies!’ I exclaimed, feeling even more confused.

‘Yes, fairies.  Haven’t you ever seen a fairy before?’

‘Of course, I haven’t,’ I snapped before taking a big deep breath in steady myself.  Fairies.  Fairies.

All of a sudden there was a flash of light.  I fell to the floor, dropping my cardigan and what it contained.  Instinctively, my hands flew in front of my face, to protect my eyes from the brightness.

When I opened them again, I was all alone and the stone circle was silent.  Gingerly touching the back of my head, I felt a rather large bump forming.

Something had happened to me that night at the small stone circle, though I wasn’t sure exactly what.  After all, I had taken a knock to the head, and the only explanation I had for it was the mischief of fairies.  Who was going to believe that?

Magical Mystical Moonbeams (a poem)

And now…time for a little whimsy…(and no, the picture doesn’t have anything to do with the poem, but it is a favourite)


Love Among the Ruins by Edward Burne-Jones (picture credit: Wikipedia)

Magical mystical moonbeams
Descend into decadent daydreams
Enter the radiant slipstream
Smile, enchanted, the world gleams

Stunningly sparkling starlight
Fairy circles, silver bright
Fae fantastic, feather in flight
Lost to the charm and a night of delight

This poem was inspired by a friend who ended one of her blog posts with “Magical Mystical Moonbeams”.  Thanks Sindy 🙂