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: A Spring Enchantment

Fera had been looking forward to the Spring Fair since the end of the Winter Market.  Beneath clear blue skies, the sun shone bright and strong, making it feel unseasonably warm for this time of year, but who was going to complain that the weather was better than it should have been?

As Fera moved in and around the crowd, she couldn’t help but smile; she was mesmerised by the noise and bustle of activity wherever she looked.  Then, above the calls of traders and the chattering of gossips, she heard it, soft and distant at first, but as she pushed her way through the throng, it became louder and louder until suddenly she found herself at the front of semi circle of people.  Before her a man a few years older than herself was strumming on a harp.

It was as if the world had stopped.  There was nothing except the music, nothing except the musician’s fingers strumming the harp strings.  Time faded away, lost all importance.

Was this magic? she wondered, before the very thought disappeared, chased away by the enchanting melody.

When the music finally stopped, she realised she was the only one still there with the musician.  The market traders had packed away and gone, the crowd too, though they would no doubt return for the evening entertain.  But just as that thought crossed her mind, she noticed that it was dark, day having given way to night many hours before.

Naturally, the young woman began to feel self-conscious.  Why should she remain when others had not?  Instead, all she could ask was, ‘Why did you stop playing?’

The musician smiled.  ‘Because the spell is at an end.  The charm is cast.  There is no more music left to play.’


This post was first shared on this site in March 2018. You can find the original post here.

Excavating the Archives: The Love Spell

Michelle dabbed some of the rosewater she had been brewing for nine days – whose petals had been gathered beneath the light of the last full moon – behind her ears.  Looking in the mirror next to the kitchen door, she adjusted the rose quartz charm at her throat.  What was that fleeting look she had just seen; nerves?

She frowned.  Then, cross with herself for doing so, she stretched the skin of her forehead with her fingers, trying to smooth out the damage.  That’s better.

The timer on the stove chimed, followed a few seconds later by the oven.  Soon the table was laid – the centrepiece, a homemade apple pie.  She had read somewhere that apples were sacred to Aphrodite.  Next to the pie dish sat a tarot card: The Lovers.  Michelle reached over and picked it up.

Holding it in her hand, she thought over the lengths she had gone to get things right.  No, not right.  Perfect.  Damn, she’d even found an astrologist online to check the alignment of the stars, just to see if they would be in her favour.  This had to work.  Thoughts of him were driving her to distraction.

Not that James had any idea what she had been planning.  He thought he was coming over to complete a report for work.  If she had her way, the office would be the last thing either of them would be thinking about, she mused, grinning mischievously.

For a heartbeat, she wondered if she was doing the right thing.  If she was being fair to him.  Hearts in love, she pondered, were not really concerned with “free will” and “do no harm”.  After all, wasn’t there that saying…”the heart wants what the heart wants?”  Anyway, it was love.  There was nothing evil or dangerous in that.  It’s not like I’m planning to bury a knife in his chest…

Pushing away the remainder of her misgivings, she placed the tarot card over her heart and whispered the incantation one more time.

You’ll be mine.

You’ll be mine.

You’ll be mine.

Now all she had to do was wait…


This was originally posted in May 2017.  You can find the original post here.

A Samhain Summoning – Publication News

One of my stories, A Samhain Summoning, was published in an anthology on Halloween…very fitting for a collection of stories inspired by witches and magic.

The anthology is “Hexed”, from Iron Faerie Publishing.  My thanks to the Stacey Jaine McIntosh for including my story. Here’s the book description:

Magic, mayhem and mystery.

Cloaked in magic and surrounded by darkness witches have captured our imagination for millennia and fascinate us more than ever today.

From the wise old crone, witches can be healers and protectors, keepers of the old ways or possessed with supernatural abilities, used for good or evil.

Enter the world of witches – whatever the guise – and enjoy these wicked and wonderful short tales sure to delight!

You can find out more about the anthology, or get yourself a copy, by heading over to Amazon.

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

Excavating the Archives: Ode to a Geode

Unbroken

You hold the promise

Of all or nothing

The sparkling crystal interior

Of vibrant dreams

In rainbow shades

That glimmer in fairy light

or

Stone, plain stone

Smashed for no reason

But to see if

Like the rest of us

You are more magical

On the inside

Than on the out

A divine spark

Concealed within a

Skin of stone


This was originally posted in August 2015.  You can find the original post here.

Dream-Weaving

This is Part 5 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”.  To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.  In this instalment we learn a little more about what it means to be an enchanter…


I was dreaming. Of a time before. Of a time of after. I couldn’t yet tell…

The world was shiny, like the metallic gloss of a bird’s feather. Shimmering. Glimmering. Glistening.

Dreams were magic. They held power. As an Enchanter, I knew that. Knew how to read them, manipulate them. Weave magic into and out of them, through them and around them. The dream held the spell, the spell held my will, and the world changed, transformed by my intention.

No wonder so many people feared Enchanters. The innate power they – we – possessed was terrifying.

But this didn’t feel like one of my dreams. Who did it belong to? It was the wrong question. “What” always came before “Who”.

Metal…lots of metal…a workshop, maybe? Magic was worked in the forge: iron was bent, remoulded, reshaped, to the metalsmith’s will.

Then I understood. I was the iron.  I was being used. Someone was trying to influence me; bend me to their will. But why? And for what purpose?


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #5 – I’ve gone a little over the 150 word limit this week.  Oops!