These are free short reads I’ve posted on TALES FROM THE HOLLOW TREE. Enjoy them free!
Harbinger – 6/8/2018
The first time I saw Sylvia, after, I nearly fell out of the sky, I was so stunned. It was a clear summer night, and she was dressed in white, reflecting the brightness of the moon. It was the sudden feeling of finding true north, of moths to electronic flame.
Uber Destiny – 5/18/2018
Charlie ran his eyes over the gleaming car. He’d taken a lot of Ubers in his time and never heard of a luxury upgrade, from this or any driving service. Knowing what car you were going to be getting into was exactly the reason people felt safe doing this kind of thing. Rates and reviews, etc.
He eyed the driver. David was a little older, a little frail looking, even. Charlie was pretty sure he could take him. If the need arose.
Other Dating – 3/30/2018
“Well, you had to ask, so that means you’re not a telepath or psychic. You can’t tell by smell so that rules out a whole slew of things…” I looked him his tall form up and down, long curly hair covering his ears. “I’m going to guess that you’re… an elf?”
A Little Light Reading – 2/23/2018
The first time he put his lunch down across from her Helena froze. Everything in her seemed to bristle. People usually left her well enough alone and she was perfectly fine with that. If he tried to talk to her she knew her practiced response and had it ready: death glare, on ice. Every nerve was on high alert, ready to put it into play.
Spark Strike – 1/26/2018
Ribina was bored.
In fact, bored was almost her favorite pastime. As the second daughter of the seventh family of Illindor, bored was her general right.
Fairy Lights – 10/5/2012
It had never really my intention to mislead him. Well, I say that, but really unless you out and out tell someone that you’re not human, they kind of assume. So I guess I did willfully mislead him. Semantics, I say.
Weary Traveler – 7/13/2012
“Why chase such a phantom?” a man asked him who walked by his side for a day and listened to his story.
“Because there is no not chasing her,” he answered.
Mooniversary – 6/22/2012
It had seemed so cool when the opportunity first came up. I mean c’mon, I was eight. Who didn’t want to live on the moon? It had seemed like the best birthday present ever.
Midnight on the Steps of the Palace – 5/25/2012
It’s impossible to run in glass slippers.
I don’t mean difficult—I mean flat-on-your-face impossible. In fact, flat on my face is exactly how I ended up when I attempted it.
Element – 4/20/2012
He was as fickle and biting as his element. Warm and sweet at times—especially when she had something he wanted—but cruel and careless at others.
The Frozen Castle – 3/30/2012
It’s a curse that brought this everlasting winter on the castle of my birth. A curse, and love. Though what the difference is these days, I’m only half sure I remember.
Dealer – 3/16/2012
As I got nearer the man, I made the sign that I wanted to make a transaction—I took my hat off and rolled it in my hands. I only ever wore a hat to take it off as a symbol.
The Night Train – 2/24/2012
Something was tickling the back of Annie’s mind. Something that she knew was there, but she felt like she didn’t want to know. The image of the train’s light slicing through darkness shook her again as the boy’s wailing started to die down.
The King’s Knight – 2/3/2012
No one could believe that a hero could be so ugly. They don’t have to believe it—they see his face only when it is covered by his helmet.
He is not like my husband.
All Our Many Secrets – 1/20/2012
When we were seven, it was the names of boys we thought were cute. We pinky swore to take the names of each others’ would-be future husbands to our graves.
First Sight – 1/6/2012
That’s the closest I can come to a description of how I felt. Her eyes were big and brown and seemed to hit me in the stomach like a physical force.
Independence Day – 11/18/2011
I snap my suitcase shut. It’s a classy vintage number—maybe I should have thought about how much space it’d take up in my dorm room when I saw it at the thrift shop, but I couldn’t help myself. It was so pretty.
Bullet – 10/29/2011
I can’t remember where I am or how I got here. Can’t remember the enemy who has shot me, even. Can’t fathom who could hate me so much. All I know now is that I am dying and alone—that there is a hole torn through me and that the poets are right.
Light the Sea – 10/7/2011
It was tradition. On the last day of Autumn before the oncoming death of Winter, lights are set adrift on the sea to carry prayers for the safe return of our men, lost on far-off waves, far-off shores.
Capable – 09/16/2011
He headed towards the beverages, reached in for a sports drink, gritting his teeth as the fabric of his long-sleeved shirt chafed against his wrists, where the skin was raw and red. He chuckled softly. Finally free of their metal restraints, covered in soft cotton, the welts there ached more than they had in years.
The Night the Sky Split – 09/02/2011
It was all over the news. The Milky Way would be extra-visible due to atmospheric somethingorother. The scientist were explaining it left and right. The pictures, they said, would be breathtaking. And they were.
But no one saw what I saw.
Gnome Migration – 08/19/2011
I was noticing it more and more. The gnomes were going missing. Disappearing one at a time. There were only about six left. Well, six, and Bopper’s hand.
Serendipity School – 08/05/2011
I didn’t want to be a witch. Witches were old and warty and apparently meltable by water. I was sixteen, Homecoming Queen, and very fond of baths.
Trickster – 07/22/2011
He traveled far from his home, wandering the desert, and finally found a rock that had fallen from the sky. He walked to the vast sea, which would not be carried with him however he tried, and found a dying stone creature in the shape of a star.
Procession – 07/08/2011
I dreamed about the music after that. Not every night, but sometimes. I was sure it had been a fever-induced invention. Music like that wasn’t possible—or at least wasn’t anything I’d ever experienced before.
Goodbye, Shalott – 04/29/2011
She shivers as the water laps at her feet. It’s dawn, and she knows that if she waits any longer someone will try to stop her. As if they could will her heart into beating longer, when she was determined it would stop today.
Secret Cove – 04/15/2011
And for a moment he wanted to—to take her skin and hide it, like the men did in the old stories, make her his in every way he could.
Jethro Drabbles II – 04/01/2011
The last time she saw him, he’d broken her heart. Not in the normal, guys-are-jerks way. He was a traitor, an enemy—a lie.
Jumping – 03/18/2011
I lay on the ground for whole minutes with my eyes screwed shut, praying that I was dreaming and pinching myself as hard as I could manage.
Belief – 03/04/2011
None of us chose this life. It chose us. That’s always the way it’s been, since time was time. It’s how it always would be.
Jethro Drabbles – 02/18/2011
When he was young, before he could do the things he could do, a part of him thought maybe he was cold-blooded. He didn’t know it was the energy he missed specifically, the movement of atoms, the general buzz.
Navida – 02/04/2011
The unfairness stung. They were given seven visits. Just that, and no more. Just enough to let you love it all. Let you want to have all of it forever, whenever you wanted it.
Lilly’s Bridge – 01/14/2011
I’d always known there was something strange about Lilly of course, how she never aged or went home or got dirty, but I’d thought she was magic, some kind of fairy, maybe.
I’d never thought she might be dead.
Lisa’s Free Short Stories
Gimlet – 01/07/2011
We’d lived in the house for almost six months when I first saw him. He was a tiny little man, maybe eight inches tall, with disproportionately wide hips and an oversized nose—everything else about him was thin and bony.
Rapunzel, A Retelling – 08/21/2009
My rescuer would only have me remember that in my tower I had no door, but I had a window, and the sky, and every possibility open to the imagination that those things could bring me.