Inspired by this post over on Amanda Patterson’s tumblr, I will be writing 52 short stories this year. Some, like this one, very short, and some longer! If you’re joining me in this endeavor, leave a link in the comments so we can find your stories! -M


A New Beginning

She steps off the porch, because that is where the wild things are: the whispers in the wind and the soft curl of grass around her feet. She leaves the lights of the house behind her and she holds her fingers up to brush the sky as she makes her way home. The stars wheel above, as they do, on an improper axis. She does not look. If she does not look, she can imagine that her fingertips leave ripples across the Milky Way.

Her lips are stained with wine and she breathes heat out into the night like an endless sigh. The heavy air of the summer night is her cloak, and the runaway curls of her own hair are her crown. Her court is crickets and fireflies and the silent watchfulness of the trees is her castle. A stream carols to her with the low, slick rush over barely submerged stones and the burbling jump of the drops that fling themselves into the air.

How many nights did she feel the prickle on the back of her neck? The darkness watched her, she thought. Strange things lurked there, bears and spiders and half-remembered nightmares. How foolish of her, not to realize that they were her courtiers.

She smiles. The ground goes not hurt her bare feet, for it would not dare. The darkness is alive with green, creaking ponderously upward and stretching its leaves for an absent sun. Fog curls softly; the trees are dreaming.

She does not look back.