Fiction

Published Short Fiction

Caribou House, A Fly in Amber, May 2009

The room grew quiet as Iban spoke, the grieving families drawn in by the spell of the wizard’s words. His hands, one grasping a withered stick and the other a bag filled with old bones, moved in counterpoint to his words. Even Domar felt his eyes pulled towards the wizard against his will, mesmerized by the combination of movement and voice. He was surprised to find Iban staring at him with an uncomfortable intensity.

“Uschak, the great water. The frozen fields of Tarabos. The White Mountains, shoulder of the world. Places we know only in stories. No one walks there to see these wonders now, for the Master of Caribou House allows none to approach. Death waits,” the wizard paused, rattling the bag of bones for emphasis. “…for one who travels north.”

Iban abruptly upended the bag, and the bones spilled onto the ground with a soft clatter. In the silence that followed, Domar knew what he would do.

“I will have to go and bring her back,” he said.

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The Piscine Gifts, Cabinet des Fees, Issue 1, July 2005

Within the net lay a large fish, the likes of which she had never seen. Its scales were silver as the moon and its eyes were shimmering stones of blue. More astounding yet, the fish spoke to her. “O, great lady!” said the fish, “Spare my life and I will grant you beauty like none upon the land has seen before. A model of loveliness you shall be, possessing brilliance and perfect symmetry; your face a flower of white, eyes of black fringed with jetty lashes, lips of coral red and teeth like a line of strung pearls; tall and slender, with the grace and elegance of the wild gazelle and voice as sweet as the nightingale’s. This I can give to you, and all who see you shall fall in worship of your beauty.”

Hyminis considered. Beauty such as that described by the fish would be a boon indeed, for surely Timket could not refuse her return to his home should she appear thus. Yet Timket was days distant, and Hyminis was very hungry.

So it is said, Hyminis ate the silver fish and was much refreshed.

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(Previously published at Parageography.)