Category Archives: Fiction

A-Z Challenge: Yclept

(A continuation of A-Z Challenge: Worn.)

It hadn’t taken long for her eyes to adjust to the constant darkness of the Wilds, but her heart raced just as fast as when she first stepped foot into the forest.

Everyone knew the stories about this place. Here, wild monsters lurk behind every shadow and time itself bleeds away. She had always hoped that they were just myths, but the crunch of nearby footsteps and uncertainty of the hour confirmed that it must be true.

She gathered all of her courage and pressed on, sword clenched tightly in her hand. She had to. She was her people’s last hope.

There were footsteps to her left, louder than any she had heard yet. She stopped and peered into the darkness. At first, she couldn’t see anything. Then, between the silhouette of trees, she made out a light. A torch was headed her way.

She gripped the hilt firmly with both hands now. Her mind raced. The torch and its bearer were getting closer now. Clearly, her presence was already known. There was no point in running, and even if she did, losing the path would mean the end of the quest and likely her own life.

Finally, the person stood within clear view, for a person indeed it was. The light bothered her eyes more than she expected, but she could plainly make out the man donning hunting gear.

“Who are you?” she asked, tightening her grip with her sweaty hands.

“Sorry, miss,” he replied with a bow. “Didn’t mean to scare you. I’m a hunter yclept Theron. Who are you?”

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A-Z Challenge: Worn

(Based on a writing prompt I found on Pinterest.)

She stared down at her worn boots nervously; she never thought her training would be used for this. The Wilds were the most dangerous place in the world. Like every princess, she had been trained with some combat and survival skills, but to survive in there? Alone?

“No one will follow you that way,” her father had said as he eased the full pack onto her shoulders. “They will expect you to take the East Road. You will reach the Well a full three days ahead of them. That is all that matters.”

That is all that matters. It was little comfort now that she stood on the edge of the dense forest covered in a thick canopy. Behind her, most of the city burned. Only the castle remained — with her parents and the few knights who were left in it. She was their only hope.

She drew her short sword and a deep breath before plunging into the darkness, one worn boot after the other.


A-Z Challenge: Negative

Negative. She sits on the stair, still holding the phone as the nurse’s words soak in. Her heart is bombarded with feelings that only come out as tears. After all this time… She takes a deep breath, wipes the tears away, and begins mustering hope for next month’s attempt.


A-Z Challenge: Kachina

The white kachina doll
sits amid pictures of canyons,
reminders of a family trip
taken long ago.
Days spent experiencing
ancient cultures still alive,
dust storms, tourist traps,
long stretches of abandoned road.
Days that I will never forget.


A-Z Challenge: Grande Latte (A Story)

Ana walked into the Starbucks alone with a pocket filled with scribbled drink orders. She didn’t understand what half of them meant, but it’s what the other girls at the make-up counter wanted.

She hadn’t intended on working there. Sure, she wore make-up, but not like these girls, with their penciled eyebrows and even cat eyes and vibrant lipstick. She felt out of place, but it was the only thing out there. For now.

When she reached the counter, she read off of her list, careful not to miss a single shot, non-fat whipped cream, or with almond milk. The words still felt foreign, even after a month. She wondered if she would ever understand the language. For herself, she just ordered a simple chai in the smallest size, whatever that was called.

“Tall,” the barista corrected.

She waited at the other end, wondering if the others would look at her funny today. They usually did. She figured she just wasn’t particularly pretty, but that was okay. Looks  wouldn’t matter that much when she finished her degree.

There was only one thing the other girls always seemed to obsess over: her eyebrows.

“You never have to fill them in?” they would ask her. “You don’t get them waxed? They just grow in like that?”

Ana always just shrugged. “Yeah.”

Then the others would chatter quietly to themselves, staring at her forehead. The only words she could ever make out were, “I can’t believe it.”

As she collected all of the drinks, she sighed. Two years of school left. Hopefully, that didn’t mean two more years at the make-up counter too.

Fact: This is inspired by a girl I saw while waiting in a Starbucks one day. She clearly worked at a make-up counter, but she looked very natural, even to her thick, perfectly shaped eyebrows. They had to be the envy of the store.


The Life of a Radish

What happens when you play with radishes while you cut them up? Funny little stories like this.

The life of a radish seems a simple thing. And it is simple for most radishes. They spend their lives growing in the ground, nestled into the moist warm soil. Then one day, soft fingers bury themselves into the dirt beside them and wiggle them back and forth until they come free.

The radishes lay in a basket until they’re brought inside. The light is dazzling. Only the prickly leaves have ever seen anything like it before, but they don’t get to enjoy it long before they are stripped off and thrown away. The rest of the radish is gently scrubbed until the dirt comes off and then set on a wooden counter to dry.

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After this, most of them are sliced and thrown into a salad, but not all of them look like the others.

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One slice, with mustache and eyes still intact, watches as the others are carefully cut and thrown into the salad. All the while, it thinks of a way to escape. It doesn’t want to be eaten today. It wants to explore the world.

Its distinct features go unnoticed as it’s casually tossed into a bowl filled with other vegetables. The sides of the bowl are too steep to roll out of, so it sits and ponders what to do next.

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The bowl is picked up and set on a tray then carried away from the kitchen. It sees a face above and waits anxiously to be noticed, but it seems that no one will notice it. Maybe its dreams of adventure are all for naught.

Suddenly, everything jerks. The bowl goes flying into the air. The little radish watches in amazement as the world whizzes by. With a crash, it falls to the floor. It looks around. Its little mustache and eyes are still intact. The rest of the lettuce, tomatoes, and green beans are laying amongst the broken shards of the bowl. And while no one is looking, the little radish rolls away. It will have its adventures today after all.


Adventures of the Intrepid: Part 3

It had been years since the last time Savannah had seen the inside of an airship. Her grandmother had been certain of that. As she followed Henry up the ramp, she savored every detail. The scent of the oil in the joints of the ramp. The array of nobs, switches, and buttons. The hint of humidity from the steam powered engines.

Henry turned to her. “Isn’t she perfect?”

“Yes,” Savannah replied. “It’s good to be on an airship again.”

“It’s not the most luxurious, but she’s a good one. Ambrose and I had to work hard to get her, but it’ll be worth it. The New Territories will be glorious.”

“They certainly will be.”

“Come now. I must show you where you’ll help us. You’re our polymath.”

She laughed quietly as she followed Henry through the main deck towards the helm at the front of the airship. In a cramped corner was a desk covered with notebooks and maps.

“This is for you,” he said.

She smiled as she flipped through the pages. Most of them were still empty.

“Since you’ve been to the New Territories, we’ll need all of the knowledge you have. Minerva and Ambrose tell me that you’re well-educated. You’re familiar with astronomy, cartography, and navigation, right?”

“Right.”

“Here is everything you’ll need for cartography. I can help, but I’m sure you’re much better at it than I.”

She smiled. “I doubt it. You are a budding explorer, aren’t you?”

“Of course. But just budding. I still have a great deal more studying to do. I’ll rely a great deal on you.”

Rely on her. Savannah like the sound of that. She felt a little giddy.

“Then I’ll leave you to familiarize yourself with everything. We’ll set off shortly.” He began to leave but then hesitated. “I’m glad you’re coming with us.”

“Me too.”

Once he vanished, she sighed. Yes, this would be a great adventure. Since the desk was hers and there was nothing else to do at the moment, she began organizing it. Henry’s words repeated in her head. “I’ll rely a great deal on you.” She really did like the sound of that. No one had ever really seemed to need her before. “I’ll rely a great deal on you.”

She hesitated. He would rely on her? Did he realize that she hadn’t been to the New Territories since she was a child? She had never navigated or actually created maps. Was he serious that she was the expedition’s polymath?

She set the journals aside and headed back through the ship. She found Minerva in the galley, securing the pans for the journey.

“Minerva,” she whispered, “do you think Henry knows I haven’t been to the Territories in years? I remember quite a bit, but he thinks I’m going to be the polymath. The main polymath. I’m not sure if I can do that.”

“Of course you can,” Minerva replied. “You’re just as smart as Henry and Ambrose.”

“It’s not just about being smart. It’s about having skills. I’m not sure if I have them. Most of my cartography was for fun. I wasn’t formally educated. I used what my parents left behind in their journals. What they taught me when I was younger. If we don’t have a good cartographer, we could get lost and die.”

Minerva’s expression grew blank. Savannah’s stomach turned.

“So he doesn’t know?” Savannah asked.

Minerva shook her head, her expression brightening. “He’s modest. He’s better at it than he lets everyone believe. It’ll be fine. I promise.”

“Are you sure?”

Minerva hesitated. “Yes, it’ll be fine.”

Though not entirely convinced, Savannah nodded. “If you promise.”

“I do. Don’t worry.”