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Conditions for Safe Passage

Nature contains very few perfect shapes. Organic growth is irregular. Symmetry is something the human eye imposes. Beauty, such as it is, does not exist without the unnatural.

The Eye was something unnatural. It wasn’t precisely that the illusion of its completion was disconcerting- that came from the stillness of the water. The Eye only existed when there was no life or wind to disturb it.

It was only inevitable that eventually, the Eye would seek to change that.

Prompt: Eye- #writephoto

Community Service

“Thank you ever so much dear. The pots and pans are just there, under the sink.”
The giantess leaning back in her chair, dozing off.
Victoria started to scrub. You could never be sure when helping someone would come with a reward, so it was essential to cultivate a generous spirit. Resenting the work often meant the spirit/fairy/goddess would see your intent, and only punish you. Victoria had jumped down the well weeks ago, and the giantess had promised that her time as a servant was nearly over. She wondered if she would be smeared in pitch or spit out gems. It was hard to guess, but she’d gone through the whole lottery a few times now. She scrubbed furiously, and waited out her term of service.

Prompt: Tale Weaver No. 144- November 2nd, 2017

Incubation/Pupation


The jellyfish cannot reveal their secrets. If they could speak, they might speak of immortality. They would speak about renewal, and eternity. They would speak of healing, and of death. For the jellyfish is eternally shifting. The metamorphosis is never complete. They cannot speak of the Ship of Theseus, which they sink with their slender tendrils. They will not speak of their wisdom, and their experience. They do not speak. They cannot reveal their secrets, for they cannot speak, but also because they have forgotten. The transformation is eternal, and it is complete. Nothing of the jellyfish remains in the jellyfish.

Wildfire, the Girl

In that moment, when flames licked the horizon and the sky burned with an orange glow, Taylor knew everything was going to be alright. Her girlfriend stood behind her.

“Taylor, get away from there! If you get too close, it’ll kill you!”

“It’s okay, Aly. It likes me.”

Taylor reached her hands out to touch her wildfire.

Prompt: First Line Friday- October 27th, 2017

Halloween Prompts, Part 2


(Photo by Sašo Tušar on Unsplash)

8. At the end of the night, when you go to take off your costume, it won’t come off.
9. Carving pumpkins is messy, but fun. This time, it’s messier than usual.
10. Hell houses are lame. No good celebration comes with moralizing attached. You check one out anyway, and recognize one of the ‘actors’.
11. Vampires live forever, exactly as they were when they died. Sometimes, this doesn’t work out so well.
12. One of the few constants in life is that it ends. For most people. Just not for people like you.
13. In the modern world, no one believes in ghost stories. When you spend a week away from civilization, you start believing.
14. Everyone can take a trick, or a treat. You can never be completely sure which one you’ve got.
15. Witches only have real power on two nights of the year. You’re going to make the most of it.

The Unicorn Slayers

Unicorns don’t get murdered often. Most hunters don’t realize they’re people when they kill them. When that happens, they’re forgiven. It’s an honest mistake. When a unicorn is murdered, in full knowledge of what they are, apologies are never enough. Humans have their systems of justice. They would apply fines, prison time, and community service, as if these things can ever replace a lost life. The unicorns, they demand restitution.

Unicorns have no interest in due process. They have no interest in social order. Unicorns run wild, in the wilderness between outposts of civility. Unicorns want cloppsright. Most modern species have evolved past their violent urges. They seek rehabilitation and deterrence, not only retribution. Unicorns have not. That’s why we keep them in check. When a unicorn starts the cycle of vengeance, we put a stop to it.

Prompt: Tale Weaver- 10/26/17

Halloween Prompts, Part 1

So, I had planned to post prompts like these sooner rather than a week before Halloween, but here goes. They use the second person pronoun for the sake of simplicity, but you can write whatever story you like.

(Photo by Beth Teutschmann @ Unsplash)

1. You come home at the end of the day, as usual, but see someone standing in your window.
2. During dinner with your family, you realize there’s something unexpected on your fork.
3. Rain during autumn is fairly common. Flesh-dissolving rain, less so.
4. Trying to avoid a storm, you rush headlong into a large mansion at the edge of the woods. The host is charming, if odd…until you try to leave.
5. You’re cleaning your attic, looking for your box of winter attire, when you find a box full of treasured childhood memories: toys, photographs, and other keepsakes. None of them are yours.
6. One morning you wake up to find that everything looks wrong. You can’t put your finger on how until you see your reflection.
7. You find a bouquet outside your door. There is no note. The next day, you find one in the kitchen.

The Grotesque Speaks Out

Every day, they walk past me. Occupied with their own lives, they ignore me. They never look at me. I am part of the landscape. I deserve no attention. I understand. Architecture is built to be silent. The walls do not have ears. The mirrors only reflect, never display. A house is only a house.

(Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash)

The world once belonged to us. We flew far and wide. The first of your kind cowered in fear before us. They never felt safe, when we could swoop down and snatch them up. We reigned for millennia, decades and centuries passing by without our notice. We were too good to notice. We thought, perhaps, that you would never evolve beyond your origins; other species had failed before you. We were wrong.

Boughs of Old

As replicas go, this piece, depicting tree and decorative stone, is very realistic in texture. The arrangement of the objects evokes a sense of wonder as they all point to the sky, every line leading upward.

Composed of nanoglass and, surprisingly, actual wood, the piece relies too much on a a familiarity with trees as a prototype. This piece is accessible only to those who have seen a tree in their lifetime.

Three out of five stars

Prompt: Friday Fictioneers, 20 October 2017, photo © Sandra Crook