Unmasking True Hate.

That’s it. I can’t stop it this time. I growled as the pain took over my body. The rage fogged my head, shooting my soul out into a ghost-like figure. The string of my existence tethered to the monster that now shredded off layers of clothes and flesh, exposing only tethered skin and bone. The anger seethed over my entire being and gnarly teeth protruded from my mouth. 

There was nothing I could do to stop it. I opened my mouth in silent horror as I watched the monster I become. I toss the kitchen table aside as if it was a feather, breaking me free from the trapped corner in between my family. I tried to yell a warning I watched the beast leap from the seat, jaw snapping open to unhinged it in a demented way. 

Stop, I screamed. The sound was unheard in the vacuum-sealed void that suffocated me.

Even the screams of terror from my family were voiceless. I watched my beast-like form claw at them, my nails cracked from the base to the tip of its elongated bone growth. I was hideous. 

At first, it attacked my grandma, the one who spurred me with her snake-like venom. I was unarmed, unaware that the teeth sunk deep into my skin. The cold-like poison bubbled in my veins and burned the blood away like evaporated water. 

Once the pain set in, I tried to hide it; tried to harness the pain to strengthen me for next time. I wanted to build thicker skin, to create a shield that would stop the lashes from boring deeply into my core. 

However, that wasn’t what unleashed my horrendous creature within. When the snake turned its head to my sister, I couldn’t control it any longer. 

My father pounded his chest like the gorilla he was, proud and unaware of the battle that took place. My swan-like mother froze with practiced grace, aware of the venom’s strike. One she had felt her whole life. My younger brother and sister, who did not know the scars of war as we did, were frozen like a baby doe caught in the headlights of a car. I did not worry for them because they were still young and had a chance to escape. They had avoided the horrors because of my mother’s grace. Although their elder sisters were unable to seek the same refuge, there was no hope to find peace. 

The moment the fangs threatened my sister, the one I shielded for years against the snake’s venom, I knew there was no stopping myself. I could only watch while I tore her apart, limb from limb. The blood and carnage that would change me forever. I could no longer contain the rage, the pain, the suffering. 

I could not stand in the toxicity for one more minute longer. Whatever animal I was before was long gone. The beauty and freedom I beheld were lost in a dark past. There was no humanity, nor was there comprehension. Only hate. 

When the beast finally calmed, allowing my spirit back into its place, I felt regret strike at my heart. 

The snake was clever and fast. It had shed its skin, leaving a fake mold in its place. I was a fool to play into their ploy once more. The shame of my uncontrolled temper from years of anguish was turned against me; my family shunned me away. “How could you think of striking your grandma like that!” 

Was it not only moments ago that she lunged at me first? Was it not her that turned to my sister when she was not satiated? There I am stuck in the perpetual wheel to allow this nightmare to replay over and over again, with no resolve. A groundhog effect to keep me in this revolving hell. 

I stormed away from my shame, growing back my fragile skin and clothes. Again to my naked turtle state where I had to rebuild my shell once more. One day, I promised myself, I won’t break.

Drowning without Water

An original idea crafted into a short story. Nothing super crazy, just trying to express feeling and emotion through my words.


The air hurts to breathe in. I struggle to focus on anything around me while walking home from work. My boss yelled at me again; saying something on the lines of “having a terrible work ethic.” Unbelievable. 

I have been slaving away each day, picking up his and everyone else’s slack. Each grueling day, I come in early and leave late, all so that I can get a little bit of extra cash. For what? To be suspended for a week with no pay? What did I even do wrong? I have done everything in my power to make sure numbers match with inventory, the cash drops are accurate, and everything is signed on the dotting lines. 

I even chase after others who haven’t filled out the correct forms, even though it’s not my job! I bend backward for this company! I just wanted a little recognization for the hard work I do. Maybe even a small raise or bonus. 

It doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t change the outcome. I try to keep myself from crying on my way to the apartment building complex. It’s old, run-down, and barely holding itself together with plaster patchwork. I make my way up the mildewy stairs, covering my mouth to pass the same mold-covered wall. 

I keep to myself, making my way down the hall, spotting my neighbor’s flat door wide open; it was ransacked again. Who knows when the next time will be mine?

 I sigh and begin to unlock the several keyed deadbolts, the sounds of chains clattering and metal grinding as I open the door. I even give it a hefty shove to close it snugly before shutting the locks tightly behind me. For what little protection it offers me, I feel just a little safer.

Dragging my feet behind me, I strip off my shoes, coat, and uniform. I grab my blanket off my couch and bundle myself up tightly and plunk down on the cushions to stare at the water-stained walls. The room is dark and smells. The neighbor must be smoking drugs again. The holes from the pipes always seeped through no matter how much I stuff it full of cloth. 

My lungs hurt, not from the smoke or the mildew. I can’t breathe. Sitting up I walk to my counter full of pink papers and red stamped envelopes. Holding my blanket tightly as if it will shield me from the world I head to the kitchen instead. 

I open the empty fridge, hoping the food fairy would bless me with a treat, only to be disappointed in the spacious void. What am I going to do? The pressure on my chest sunk in hard. I fell to my knees, clutching at my chest. 

I can barely stay afloat in the swirling debt that floods my home. There is no escaping the suffocating amount; no matter how much I lock my doors or plug in the faulty installation. I am ever bathing in the financial burden that never releases its tight grip around my throat. I’m drowning in it. For once, I wish I could swim.

Unobtainable Hope

This one shot was inspired by a dream. It was beautiful and macabre with meaning. I just loved it. When dreams like this happen, I can’t wait to share them and write out the despair for everyone else to feel. It’s not a suspenseful thriller like I usually have, or a mild horror for once. However, to me, it feels like it’s the out-of-reach happiness and uncomfortable. My kind of story.


It was dark and cool while the wind blew gently across the enclosed town. Felix sat on the hillside to watch the kites lull about the sky. The dance between wind currents was entrancing. How the string-less kites frolicked about, weaving up, down, around, and through each other. How such free-spirited creatures played whimsically above the bland and boring town was perplexing to her.

Yet, here they were day in and day out. Some came and went, never to return while the others stayed above the town for years in the clouds above. It was a kind of magic Felix admired. Although, it was not a typically shared feeling for the rest of the residents in town.

The town was a cold and sheltered place filled with narrow-minded elders. Their mindset was battered into their minds as young children until they became just as narrow. Felix fought the pressure, wishing for something different. If only she could be as free as the kites.

Despite her wish, she also knew the dangers of being a kite. Glancing down across the town’s roof-tops, Felix spotted the few captured kites. Sadly they pulled at the strings attached to their backs, unable to escape. The wind was less joyful to them, almost painfully so. The captured kites bobbed pitifully with their restraints, lowering close to the ground ever so slowly.

Felix despised the folks for this barbaric practice. Each time a kite was caught and bound to a rope, it would slow them down to a dull float. All the life was sucked out of them and eventually they would collapse to the ground. It was sad to witness.

Standing up with a heavy sigh, Felix brushed at the back of her pants. The night had deepened into a dark gloomy haze, blocking the sight of the playful kites in the sky. Without the sweet visions of freedom, sitting on a cold, mundane hillside no longer had a point.

Making the trek back towards her home, she took one lingering look at the horizon past the fence line. What kind of life lived beyond the barricade?

The sound of a cloth tearing sharply caught her attention nearby. Felix gasped, startled by the sound. Over at the nearby fence line was a faltering kite. Its wing had caught the sharp edge of the fence as it plummeted to the base of the hill.

Without hesitation, Felix ran towards it. It took all her leg power to keep from tumbling down the hill from the slightest stumble. She needed to get to the kite post haste. If someone had seen the kite descend, it would be captured with no remorse. Felix mustn’t allow it to happen.

Breaking past a small line of bushes, Felix scanned the ground for the poor creature. It had landed somewhere in the small park, but with the gloomy haze rolling in, it was hard to see the earthy-toned kite.  Taking a few steps forward, a small voice called out to her.

“Looking for the kite?”

Felix yelped, grabbing at her chest with a shake. Standing not far from her was a girl her age. She wore a small, dark dress with white puffs on the shoulder. Her pale hair was held back with a plain black band, framing her pale face with dark circled eyes. The girl wore a hollow expression, one Felix knew very well. All the townspeople shared the same expression. Felix knew this girl just like she knew every person in town.

She appeared out of nowhere one day much like several others in town. With no way in or out of the fence, it was always a mystery. Felix licked her dried lips, catching her breath and settling her fast-beating heart.

“W-what kite? I didn’t see any. You must be mistaken.”

Felix stammered, turning back to the park to look around desperately. She needed to protect the kite now that Kindrei showed up.  Others would be short to follow. A small flutter of cloth caught Felix’s eye as she started speed walking.

“I know you saw it. You watch the clouds each night on that hillside. The moment it fell, you bolted down here.”

Felix looked over her shoulder nervously with no pause. “You were watching me?”

Kindrei fluttered her eyes with surprise. “W-well, not really. I was walking home when I spotted you.”

Felix chuckled wearily, picking up her pace towards the kite. “So watching me.”

The kite flittered on the ground, trying to take flight. This time it was in clear view to both her and Kindrei. Felix bolted, racing against unknown predators.

“Are you going to string it?!” Kindrei cried out after Felix. Something in her voice made her stop. Panting, she watched the poor creature on the ground attempt to launch off with no success. Determination filled her heart. Someone needs to protect it.

Felix turned, facing Kindrei with a bold puffed chest. “No. I’m going to save it.”

The small glint of emotion behind Kindrei’s eyes was replaced by shock. She stood unmoving, almost frozen from the surprise. Felix took advantage of the moment, finishing the gap between them and the kite. Kneeling beside the creature, Felix hovered her hands over the top of the kite’s body. This was the first time she had seen it up close like this.

The kite’s body was smooth with microfiber scales. From a distance it looked rough like cotton, giving a shirt-like appeal. Upon closer inspection, the shape of the kite mimicked a long koi fish. The fins were long and flowing leaving a trail of long slender strands of cloth. To Felix’s surprise, it had a glossy shine to it. The body was hollow and see-through to allow air to pass easily within. Lowering her hands gingerly towards the kite’s body, she offered a soft hush to the creature

“Shhh, little one. It’s ok. I want to help you.”

Despite her attempt to relax the wounded kite, it panicked worse than before.  It flailed wildly below her hands, trying to escape. With fast reflexes, Felix snatched at its body. Although it was a hallow creature, the structure of the kite was a strong shell. It would not bend no matter how much pressure she applied. Was it made from some kind of magical bone or thin wood paper? It rattled in her hands, unable to fight its way out of Felix’s grasp.

Standing up slowly with her arms at full distance, Felix waited for the creature to settle down. Its fins and tail flicked a few times more before settling into a peaceful flow with the wind. It was incredible how beautiful this creation was. Felix now understood the reason people strove to catch and string the creatures. Holding it close to her body, Felix offered it a small comforting hug.

“It’s ok little fella. You’ll be back into the sky in no time.”

Timid footsteps behind her pulled her attention back to the girl nearby. Felix turned defensively towards Kindrei. With Narrow eyes, she waited apprehensively for an attack. It never came. Instead, she stood still and stared back at her with unreadable eyes.

“Are you going to fight me for it?”


Felix relaxed, still keeping her guard. She didn’t trust Kindrei. Yet. Looking down at the koi kite, Kindrei pointed at the body.

“It has a cut in the fabric.”

Felix leaned over the kite to look. The gash was long and jagged. No blood was present since there were no insides. How was she going to fix it? Felix shot her eyes up at Kindrei.

“You wouldn’t happen to know how to fix it would you?”

With equal suspicion, Kindrei tilted her head. “Are you actually going to release it back to the sky?”

“Yes. I think it’s cruel otherwise to keep such a free creature. Why would I want to trap it here?”

“Why would you care so much for it? No one else does.”

Felix got quite mad at her words. “Just because everyone in this town is heartless, doesn’t mean I want to be.”

Stomping past Kindrei, Felix headed home. The small doll-like girl gapped at her a moment before falling in behind her to follow. Felix glanced at her, keeping a steady pace. Just because she held the kite, didn’t mean someone wouldn’t fight her for it. Felix wanted to make it home quickly to hide the poor thing.

“When are you going to release it?”

Felix bit at her lip. She had not thought that far ahead. “In a few days is the wind festival, I’ll release it then. Most people usually show off their stringed kites so no one will question me if I try to throw it to the sky from the hill.”

Kindrei light up. It was strange to see her smile since she had never done so in the past. No one ever did.

“Can I join you too?”

Felix smirked. “Only if you aren’t going to stop me.”

“I can bring a kite, too.”

The more they spoke on their way home, the better Felix felt about the estranged girl. Maybe they could become closer friends. It would be nice to share a secret with someone whom she could trust. Felix could hardly wait for the festival.

The day arrived, blowing fierce winds throughout the town. Dressed and ready, Felix held the repaired kite tightly against her chest. It was a challenge to allow the poor thing to fly about freely in her room without having to bind it down. There was a hook on its back that Felix could have done so, but fear that the string would never come off again dissuaded her.

The hillside came into view alongside Kindrei. She stood in her dress with the white puffy arms. Her hair was in pig-tails this time with a black beret sitting in the middle. Felix frowned. She looked even more like a doll than before.

Running up to her side, they smiled at each other before heading up the hill together. Felix noticed a small kite under Kindrei’s arm. It had several misshapen cube blocks stacked on top of each other in different sizes. Felix had never seen something like it before. Though, there were always strange wild kites of different kinds. You would rarely ever see the same style twice.

At the top of the hill, the wind blew consistently. It was a perfect day to release the koi kite. With one last look at the fish, Felix kissed its cheek.

“Farewell. Fly strong and don’t get caught again.”

The kite only flicked its tail anxiously in response. It wanted to fly free, not stay for goodbyes. Chuckling, Felix gripped its belly tight. With a small run and powerful throw, Felix flung the kite hard into the gust of wind. It took off in a frenzy, swishing hard into the air like water. Without looking back, it floated off into the distance.

Felix shed a small tear, feeling silly at the parting. Turning to Kindrei, she looked at the small kite.

“Your turn. Did you save this one too?”

Kindrei didn’t respond. With a  solemn stare, Kindrei pulled forward the kite. Her distance eyes almost seemed to stare past the kite’s presence. With a weak grip, she tossed the lifeless shell into the wind. It fluttered in the wind a moment before hurtling to the ground off the hillside. Felix gasped.

“Don’t worry, let me help!”

Taking off before Kindrei could reply, she chased the kite to pick it up. It felt strange holding the empty shell. Felix could tell immediately something was off. Refusing to acknowledge it, Felix tried with all her might to throw the kite into the wind. It fell back to the ground with a heavy thud a few feet away.

Felix cried out in frustration. She wasn’t going to give up. Kindrei called out, her voice carrying in the wind after her.

“Stop. It’s not going to fly.”

Felix grabbed the kite once more, this time running hard down the hill.

“Felix! Stop! It’s a flightless kite!”

“Never! I’ll help you get it to fly! It can be free!”

Felix jumped, holding the kite high up in the air above her. It refused to take off, hardly leaving her hand like a rock. Kindrei chased after her, this time yelling angrily.

“It’s not going to work! It’s flightless now!”

Not accepting the truth, Felix ran the full length of the hill down. With one last final leap, Felix cried out with a hard throw. Her tears streamed down her face as she watched the kite land with a thud on the ground before tumbling. Flipping and rolling over herself, Felix fought to flatten herself out on the flat part of the hill.

Cut and bruised, Felix hissed in pain. Kindrei held her skirt up while she ran, stopping short close by. With fists full of her dress, she threw it down in front of her with a huff.

“I told you! It’s Flightless! Once a kite is bound, it will never fly again! Why didn’t you listen to me!”

Felix pushed herself up, wiping the tears from her eyes. Why was Kindrei so angry?

“I thought I could give its freedom back…”

“Stupid! Once someone takes their freedom, they can never return to the sky! They are bound to the ground like humans are!”

Felix stood up, stepping closer to Kindrei. “Listen, I just-“

“No! You are just as blind as the rest of them! You saved one, but you can’t save them all.”

With a turn Kindrei began to stomp off, leaving Felix behind at the hill. With a sudden realization, Felix grabbed at Kindrei’s arm. With a hard tug, she pulled her back.

“W-what are you-” Kindrei’s voice was filled with fear at the sharp tug.

Felix forced Kindrei to turn around and reached out to the middle of her back. Before Kindrei could escape her touch, Felix felt a hard round hoop. Kindrei froze. It all made sense now.

“You… are a flightless kite…”

The howling wind was all that spoke for a long time. Felix dropped her arm to her side and waited patiently. She did not think anything differently of Kindrei. Instead, she adored her more. Finally, Kindrei spoke the silence.

“Stringed kites don’t die when they are bound. They lose their freedom here instead.”

Felix finally understood. They were forever trapped because they could never leave. No one ever could.

Painful loss

Recently, I experienced a loss of a brother, a good friend, and someone who I cherished deeply. The only way I know how to deal with emotions is through writing. I generally don’t share a lot of my own experiences, pain, or feelings, but this one I decided should not go into the depths of my archives. I wanted to share this loss with everyone so that if it touches even just one person’s heart, they will know they are not alone. 

If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out or look for local groups and programs in your area. Don’t suffer alone because you are not. Every life matters and that includes you. We all bleed and we all feel the same pain. 

– The Turnip Patch.


Stan stood by the plot of recently dug-up dirt. The headstone was shiny and new, each letter engraved sharp, crisp, and bright. It didn’t suit the gloomy graveyard at all. Standing out like a sore thumb against the cloudy dim day. Clenching his fist, he wished it didn’t look so cheerful. 

All Stan wanted deeply in his heart was to kick the dirt upon it, smudge the filth all over, and dampen the beautiful polished stone. A lump grew in his throat, his chest tightened up, and his eyes clouded over with tears that threatened to spill. He hated every detail of the block that held the name of his beloved. 

Anger and rage boiled up under his breath, the fire stroked by every small perfect detail of the grave marker. It was wrong. All wrong. Yet in all his pain and anguish, there was nothing he could do to change the stone’s meaning. 

It was the only proof that it was true. An honest pillar that could not be manipulated or warped. Stan grit his teeth, holding back his outburst. Why wasn’t he allowed to see the funeral? Why couldn’t he visit them while they were still alive in the hospital? Why did their family have to be so cold? 

They knew very well how much Stan meant to their child and still, they blocked every chance to see each other one last time. Stan knew the reason. He always knew. 

Not once did Marcus’ family ever approve of their relationship. Not once did they ever allow acceptance that their child was gay. It tore at Stan’s heart knowing that the family’s narrow-mindedness was the reason Marcus died alone. Had it not been for Marcus’ sister, Stan would have never heard the news at all. 

Even in all her power, there was nothing she could do to override the territorial parents and brooding grandma to allow Stan one last kiss goodbye.

A small touch on his shoulder brought him out of the painful memories. Tracy offered a tissue, her expression soft and understanding. Stan had her to thank for even showing him where Marcus’ grave was located. If only it could have been sooner. The words ‘If only’ seemed to be Stan’s constant regret.

“Thank you for bringing me here.” Stan’s voice was void of any emotion. It was cold and empty. Tracy nodded in understanding.

“I am so sorry I wasn’t strong enough to stand up for him. I am equally a coward.”

Stan turned numbly, letting a tear roll down his cheek. Quickly he pulled her in for an embrace, shaking while he held back his rage. It took a moment for him to compose himself. Tracy lifted her arms tenderly to hug him back.

“There would have been nothing you could have done to change their mind. Marcus knew what he was getting into. We both knew.”

They stood a moment in silence before Stan pulled back from her. He held onto her arms, his tears freely flowing. Tracy sighed heavily, using the sleeve of her hoodie to wipe his tears away. 

“Tracy… promise me.”

Tracy paused her hand, looking Stan head-on as he continued, “Take Val and get out of this fucking town. Leave. Go as far as you can. Marcus and I may have covered you from getting caught with her, but now that he is gone… it won’t be long before they notice.” 

Tracy’s jaw dropped. Before she could reply, Stan shoved his hand into his pocket. He pulled out a heavy bag and forced it into her hands. “This was all the money he saved up. We were planning to travel with it before…”

The pain hurt too much to finish his sentence. Tracy’s bottom lip quivered. With a nod she understood.

“We’ll leave in a few days. I know they will be watching me closely. Even today it was hard to slip out to find you. I knew… once he got sick… it would be a matter of time.”

A small tear slipped down her cheek before she pulled Stan in for a greater hug. They cried together before she pulled away, taking a few steps backward. “What are you going to do now?”

Stan took a breath. It was a slow painful breath. He wasn’t even sure now. “I don’t know. But now that I am alone without him, there isn’t much for me here either. I have nowhere else to go.”

Tracy looked at the cash in her hand, then up at him. “Come with us. I am sure this will be enough for-“

“No. Don’t worry about me. I’ll deal with the bigoted town. You guys have a chance to find happiness.”

With a sad nod, Tracy pocketed the money. “You know, he loved you until the very end.”

“I know.”

“Goodbye, Stan. I love you.”

With a chuckle, Stan offered a sincere smile. “I love you, too. Now go. Tell Val and get home before your parents are suspicious.”

Tracy offered one last smile, then turned and ran out of the graveyard. Several moments passed while Stan watched her frame disappear in the distance. Turning back to the grave, Stan sobbed. Collapsing to the ground, he fumbled to pull out the handheld gun from the small of his back. 

Coarsely, he spoke to the gravestone. “I’ll see you soon, my love.”

With a loud crack in the distance, Tracy stopped in her tracks. The trickle of adrenaline flowed down her spine and her face paled. Without turning around, she knew what had occurred. Her heart sank while she closed her eyes tightly. 

“God I hate this fucking town.”

Without any more time wasted, she sprinted down the street faster than she ever could.

Strike for Power

Writing prompt from the book 5000 writing prompts:  Any person who kills her will inherit her power.

This originally was a writing prompt that turned into a longer story. I have no regrats.

– Turan


Running through the woods, Alex tripped over a stump and rolled across the leaf-covered ground. Dirt and rocks cut and bruised her skin as she tumbled. With a hard groan, Alex pushed herself up. She couldn’t waste a single moment. They were hunting her. 

Wiping the tears off her face, Alex stifled her pain. There was no room for error in her escape. Who knows what power they possessed in return. She pushed herself to her feet, not even bothering to brush herself off. Picking up the pace, Alex forced into a light jog. Her body ached and screamed at her. How long had she been running? Internally she cursed. If only she never killed that stupid boy, she could be free.

It was two weeks ago when she took the shortcut home. It was a small path through the forest beside a small flowing stream. Alex had taken this path every day since starting school, taking it to and from home. It was a beautiful, forgotten, beaten path: overgrown from years of neglect. She had stumbled upon it one day when she was running from her dad. 

He was drunk, yelling at her for something her mother did or didn’t do. Alex couldn’t remember the reason anymore from how often it happened. Since then, she’d explored each pathway and where they led. It was a convenient secret, leading her across town to just about any place she needed to go. It wasn’t long until Alex had each path and section of the forest memorized. 

Even more surprising was how no one ever knew about the connected ways, nor did she bother to tell them. Her biggest fear was that more people would find them, ruining her only solace away from the forsaken town.

Only today, it was the first time she had ever come across something on the path. Alex froze, feeling the adrenaline kick in, chilling her to the core. Should she run back to the school and wait? She never needed a backup plan for this type of situation. 

She shuffled awkwardly. Looking forward and then back down the path to the school, she debated her options. A small yowl caught her off guard. She jumped at the sound. Was it a wounded animal? 

Alex waited a moment longer before clenching her fist tightly with determination. Taking a small breath in, she decided to step forward. Timidly approaching the body, Alex spotted reddish fur, glowing from the flashing sunlight that broke through the tree coverage. It was a fox, a large one to boot.

With more confidence, she rushed to the beast’s side, checking to see if it was still breathing. The fox whimpered at her touch, shivering in fear weakly. It broke Alex’s heart. 

The fox must have been afraid she was a predator. With a soft voice, she stroked its fur gently. “Shh. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.”

The creature pulled itself up weakly and tried to run away. Right then, Alex spotted the blood-soaked fur on its leg and shoulder. She gasped with concern. Who could have done this to the poor animal? 

Tenderly, Alex slid her arm under the fox’s body and lifted it. The poor creature yipped, struggling against her hold.

“Please, be still. Your hurt, little one. I just want to help you.”

Placing it down again, she touched her fingers to the frightened fox’s cheek, stroking it softly to ease them. The fox’s eyes widened, almost human-like. It panted heavily and stared back at her, scanning her eyes for a moment. Alex continued to rub her finger along the fox’s jaw line. Again Alex reassured the poor mammal. 

“It’s ok. You’ll be safe in my care.”

Her words were enough for the beast to relax. Letting go of its resistance, the fox slumped into her arms. Alex waited a moment before slowly moving her hands towards the fox’s paws. She checked to make sure no bones were protruding or any missing chunks. The fur was matted and dirty, some of it with dried blood. 

Poor thing, Alex thought. Without hesitation, she swooped the fox into her arms tightly and ran. If she could get to her tree house quick enough, she could get provisions for the little one before getting caught. 

Alex prayed that her dad was still out so she could sneak about without being questioned. Time was of the essence. Weaving through and down the path, Alex made quick haste. 

Before she knew it, the view of her backyard was in sight. She slowed down, kneeling behind a bush to quickly scan the house windows. The lights were all off, and there was no movement that she could see. Perfect, she thought with a smirk.

Alex bolted out of the forest to the base of the tree house. There was a small ladder that led to the top. It took a bit of manoeuvring to keep the fox tightly to her chest and ascend the shaking ladder. 

Thankfully the little creature was light that it posed no real difficulty. Reaching the top, however, was the real struggle. Balancing as much as possible, Alex grabbed the latch above to open the trap door. It was a little tricky, but after years of sneaking full arms of food, clothing, and toys from her room, Alex had become a bit of a pro. 

Once she flipped the trap door, she climbed the last few rungs enough to pull herself up, sliding to her bottom first, then brought her feet in before closing the latch. It was a small room; with a small bed in the corner, a battery-operated lamp, a travel-sized oven attracted to a solar panel battery, and a table with books, papers, and pens. From the roof hung a hammock full of clothes, bags of snacks and a few other blankets in case of cold nights. 

Alex placed the poor animal beside her bed and reached for a towel. Grabbing an old shirt, she ripped it into shreds for bandages.

There wasn’t much she had to offer the fox, and there was no fresh water to clean the wounds. Alex reached for a small cushion and placed it under its head. It was all she could offer for comfort until she returned from inside the house. Petting the foxes face, she reassured it. 

“I have to leave you for a moment. You’ll be safe in here. I will come back in a moment with fresh water and supplies to take care of your wounds.”

She knew the animal couldn’t understand her, but it gave her comfort. If she could help it feel at home, it was worthwhile. Grabbing her backpack from a hook on the wall, she swung it on her back and kicked open the trap door. 

With a small jump, Alex skipped a few ladder rungs and descended quickly. Running towards the house on high alert, Alex opened the door silently. 

Without turning on a light, she crouched low and tipped-toe to her bedroom. First, she needed a small blanket and towel. She rolled them up quickly and shoved them into her bag.

Next, she reached the bathroom, pulling out her cellphone to turn on the light. Quickly opening the drawer, she grabbed band-aids, gauze, and soap. There also was a white trash bag roll inside that she ripped off a few bags. It was just for precaution and to throw away what may have been too soiled by the fox’s blood.

Lastly, she headed back to the kitchen. Spotting the clock, she watched the hand strike 7 o’clock. The chime rang as a flash of light crossed the wall. Ducking further, Alex sped to the kitchen pantry. A diesel truck pulled into the driveway, music blaring. It clunked hard, the gears grinding into park to stop. She was running out of time. 

Grabbing several water bottles, Alex shoved them into her bag until full to the brim. With a tight pull on her bag strings, she lifted the bag and booked it to the back door. 

The front door opened when she closed the back, hiding the noise. Ducking behind the door, she could hear the staggering steps of her father. 

Just by the uneven pattern, she could tell he had been drinking. Figures. Alex waited a moment longer as the steps took down the hall towards the bedrooms. She pushed off and ran back to the ladder, climbing it gracefully. Lifting the trapdoor carefully, Alex slid inside the house and closed the door silently. She waited before sitting up with a heavy sigh.

Turning her attention back to the fox, it had drifted into a deep sleep. Hopefully, she was not too late to help the little creature. Setting up the supplies she gathered, she began to work. Pouring water on the small towels, Alex cleaned the blood and dirt away. 

It took time to clear all the wounds and the discolour from the blood. Taking the gauze, Alex pressed them into the open wounds, then wrapped the shreds of t-shirt around the fox’s body to hold them in place. She covered the rest of the injuries on the fox’s legs and neck. 

It looked like whatever was trying to attack the poor animal intended to kill it. What would have happened if Alex decided to pass it by and do nothing? She shuttered at the thought. It was better not to think about it.

Finish dressing the wounds, Alex slumped back, stretching out her legs. She watched the fox sleep peacefully in a deep slumber. She discovered his gender while cleaning his legs and thought now about what to name the little guy. Would it be ok to keep him until he recovered enough to leave on his own? 

Tapping the bottom of her chin, Alex thought for a moment. The fox slept peacefully, curling up into the blanket she wrapped around him after she finished washing his fur. Despite the bandages, he didn’t look to be suffering much. It made her happy. 

Alex had never owned a pet before, and the thought of keeping a secret pet fox from her dad made her giggle mischievously. She would be like the character in a comic she read once, where a girl found a magic rabbit. They got into all sorts of trouble on their adventures. It was one of Alex’s favourite books.

“I know,” Alex rolled to her stomach, crawling in closer to lay beside the sleeping fox, “I will call you Flax. It’s the name of the rabbit in the stories I used to read.”

Giving the small fox a head scratch, Alex smiled. Flax stretched sleepily, flicking his bandaged paw before lazily leaning his head into her hand. Alex giggled. Her head close to his, she whispered in a low voice. 

“I wish I had magic powers, you know? At least then, I could leave here and take care of myself. Leave this terrible house. Leave this awful town. I hate it here.”

Her smile faded. If only she could leave. With a small sigh, Alex closed her eyes. “Will you be my magical sidekick, Flax?”

With that, she drifted off to sleep.

In the morning, she woke up with Flax still sleeping in her hand. He was awake, staring at her, waiting for her to wake up. Never did he complain or cry. Thankfully, Alex had some snacks stored away to feed them both breakfast. She sat on the floor, breaking off small chunks of her granola bar to feed Flax. 

He was feeling much chipper, gleefully taking the small bites to chop down.  After eating, Alex unwrapped the bandages to clean the wounds with fresh gauze. Only, when she pulled them away, there was no sight of any cuts. 

In a bit of confusion, Alex chuckled. “Well, I don’t know if I made the whole thing up or if foxes just heal fast, but you’re all better now.”

Petting the fox behind the ears, she frowned. “Does… this mean I need to let you go free?”

Flax sneezed in response. He looked upset and almost disagreed with her. Alex put her hands on her hip. “What, does that mean you want to stay?”

With a yip, Flax replied. He sat straight, flicking his bushy tail.

“Alright, if you insist. Welcome to Castle El’forte. It’s my home away from home. Cause the real one sucks.”

The alarm on Alex’s phone began to ring, pulling her attention away. “Oh, shoot! I need to get ready for school! Come, let me take you in. Dad’s gone early in the day for work and always comes home late. If I time it right, I never have to see him. He doesn’t bother to seek me out either.”

With that, she offered her shoulder, and Flax hopped on. It was a start of a beautiful relationship. 

Each day Flax would follow her to school, wait on the path until she returned and then they would play until it was time to sneak back up into the tree house. Alex finally found hope, living her days happy alongside Flax. But with everything in Alex’s life, it never lasted.  Two weeks had gone by, and this time when she came out of school towards the path, Flax wasn’t there. Odd, Alex thought, calling out for him a few times.

“Flax? Flax! Where are you hiding?”

Maybe it was a game? Alex scanned about more before taking a few steps into the forest. Could it be a new game he was playing with her? Smiling weakly, she decided to play along. 

“Alright, I guess I am just going to keep heading home! Don’t try to sneak up on me!”

Alex continued, walking for a while, waiting. Nothing came after several minutes, which caused her to worry. Where did he go? 

She stopped to look back towards the school with a frown. Did Flax maybe stay at home today? Facing homeward bound, Alex broke into a hurried jog. There was only one way to find out. 

The forest was a blur when the tree house popped into view. Not wasting time looking for her dad, she dropped her bag to the ground and called out for Flax. Her voice laced with concern and fear. Looking up to the tree house, she climbed the ladder in a rush.  The trap door was unlocked, making it easy for her to pop open.

“Flax, are you-“

All the blood drained from her face. Her body shook with rage as she dropped down the ladder in a frenzy. Racing the back door, she ripped it open and stomped inside. She didn’t have to go far. Sitting on a chair in the kitchen was her dad. His back to her as she stormed in.

“What did you do?”

He was lighting another cigarette, taking his time to reply. He deliberately took a deep breath of the smoke and exhaled, meeting Alex with an indifferent attitude.

“What the hell did you do to all my stuff?!”

Finally, he glanced at Alex. “I cleaned it out.”

Flabbergasted, Alex shook her head. “Cleaned it out?! That was all my stuff! You had no right!”

Her dad slammed his fist against the table. “Don’t tell me what I have a right to do in my own house! With my property! You’ve been wasting your time up there when you are supposed to be living here! Your lucky I haven’t taken a chain saw to the tree to cut it down! You are too old to be playing games! Time to wake up!”

Alex shook with anger. How dare he tell her she needed to wake up. 

“I need to stop playing games? Who’s getting pissed drunk every night and wasting all the money on alcohol? Every day I need to fend for myself because my useless dad-“

Alex felt the dread trickle down her spine at how fast her dad shot out of the chair. His face was menacing. Puffing his chest out, he towered over her. 

“What did you call me? After all, I have done for you? I’ve given a roof over your head.  Even allowed you to spend night after night in that tree house: and for what? This disrespect? I know you think you are so clever. I saw the bags of bloody rags in the trash and the tiffs of fur all over the yard. You are hiding a damn mutt from me! You know the rules around here: no pets allowed! So, from now on, you are no longer allowed up in that tree house, and you’re getting a job to start paying for things around here!”

Alex took several steps back towards the wall as her dad yelled at her. His face was blistering red as spittle flung out at her. Her body did the one thing it could. It turned towards the door and fled. Her dad reached out, grabbing her shirt to pull her back before she could make it. It tore just enough for her to escape his reach. He may have been stronger than her, but she was nimble. 

Opening the door with great force, she managed to slam it into his face. He collided hard with it, falling back to the floor with a roar. Alex didn’t bother looking back, running full force towards the forest. Before she hit the tree line, she heard a yip from Flax. 

Alex whipped her head towards him, spotting him jumping near a different pathway. She pivoted on the spot and bolted in his direction.


The second she caught up, he turned and led her down the pathway. It was the pathway that took them out of town. Alex’s heart was pounding, her legs weightless. Leaves, twigs and branches flew past her in a blur. All she could see was Flax sprinting like a golden light guiding her. 

Ahead of them was a clearance leading them just outside of the town. Once on the other side, Alex would be clear from the town’s borders and into the wilds. Her spirit soured. Finally, she was leaving this horrible place. 

Reaching the edge of the treeline, Alex almost tripped over Flax. Stopping stiff in his tracks, he paused with focused eyes. Alex collapsed to her knees while panting. “What… what is it… boy?”

She wiped the sweat streaming down her forehead before looking into the clearing. Covering her mouth quickly to mute the startled scream, Alex spotted dark figures out in the opening. They were younger kids calling out, all taunting some being. 

“Here, little weasel! We know you are trying to escape here! No use hiding! Come out and face your fate!”

Alex’s eyes widened. Were they talking about her? How did they know she was trying to escape. A tug on her sleeve made Alex jump. Flax was trying to get her attention, pulling her off the path to the right. His eyes were wide with fear as well. Was Flax scared of the teens as well? 

She had no choice but to follow. Alex did her best to sneak through the thicket. They slowly made their way downwind of the kids before Flax looked back at her. With a nod, Alex understood. They were going to try and run to the other side. It was the only way to freedom. 

Reaching out to Flax, she gave him a soft pat. “We can do it. We are almost free of this place! We’ll start our own adventure.”

It wasn’t a reassuring speech, but it was enough to gear her into the ready. Alex looked across the field, listening carefully for the sounds of the kids in the distance. With a deep breath, she readied herself. “Alright, on the count of three. One, two…, Three!”

Both Alex and Flax bolted from the tree line. The open breeze greeted Alex, cooling her down from the sweat and heat of running. The field was longer than she thought. Just passing the halfway mark, she finally heard the cries of the teenagers. “Look! Over there! There it is! And there is another person with it!”

Alex looked over her shoulder to spot several kids running in their direction. Panic erupted over her, pushing her to run for her life. The last words she heard echoing in her mind rang clear as day.

“What do we do with the other one?”

“Kill them, too.”

Alex glanced down at Flax running ahead of her. He looked at her with terror, sprinting in front of her to lead the way. 

What was going on? Why did they want to kill them?! 

A sharp whistle glanced by her ear suddenly. The noise made her veer off a little from Flax’s path as she tried to dodge whatever it was. A second one flew past as she looked over her shoulder. The kids had enormous slingshots that harnessed to their forearms. One of the kids loaded it up again while running and shot it towards her. Unable to avoid the rock in time, it hit her square in the shoulder. “Ow!”

Stumbling a little, Alex now realized what had caused the wounds to Flax’s body. It wasn’t her they were after; it was him. Flax slowed down, meeting up to her side once more. He couldn’t help her with the pain, only encouraging her to run faster. Alex choked back her tears and focused on the tree line. 

They just needed to outrun them all and hide. On the other side of the wilds, there was a river. If they could get to it, they might have a chance to escape them. “Flax, if we can get to the river, they won’t follow us!”

The fox was more intelligent than he should have been. With a nod, he ran in front again and sped up. They were nearing the wilds quickly when the kids began to slow down. Alex laughed excitedly. “Flax! They slowed down! We might lose them before-“


The loud crack of a metal machine shot out of the ground ahead of her. Alex slowed down, realizing they ran straight into danger. Traps laid all over. Thankfully Flax was not caught, but he too crocheted low. 

Leaves covered the ground heavily, covering any sights of metal that could glint in the low sunrise. It was the twilight hour, making it nearly impossible to scan for danger. 

Laughter carried from the kids as they walked the rest of the way towards them. They needed to keep moving! Slowly Alex hopped about, avoiding large bundles of potential traps. A few times, Alex saw the teeth of the traps peeking out, but not often enough. Bumping her foot against the edge of one, it slapped, catching the edge of her pant light. Alex cried out, afraid that it would trip her to fall into another one. 

Ripping her pants quickly, she needed to make her way faster. A rock smacked her head with a hard thud. A burst of laughter was short to follow as they all cheered. “Good shot!”

Several loud cracks began to follow closely behind them. Alex looked to catch the kids triggering several traps with sticks, catching ground behind them. What was wrong with these guys? Alex fought from sobbing. 

Looking ahead, she spotted Flax yipping at her. He made it past all the traps and was waiting for her. He moved left to right, attempting to give her directions to weave through the traps. Her eyes were blurry with tears as she stumbled through the landmine field. 

Again a rock hit her hard, this time in the leg, successfully tripping her. As she landed, the rock triggered a trap beside her. The snapping teeth caught her arm, cutting her. 

Thankfully it only caught the outside of her arm and didn’t catch the entire thing. The power of the snap could have broken her bone. There was no way Alex would get out of the field in time to avoid the hunting kids. The taunt of an older boy confirmed her feeling.

“I got you now, you bitch. What kind of powers are you going to give me?”

“Powers? What are-” 

Before she could finish, the boy raised his arm high, holding a knife tightly. It plummeted towards her in slow motion, her body frozen with fear. Is this how I’m going to die? A flash of red flung in front of her, colliding with the boy as it pushed him back. Flax sacrificed himself to save her, biting at the boy’s face and arms. 

The teen cried out, grabbing Flax and throwing him off towards the side. Alex watched in fear, everything slowing down as Flax landed into a trap. The teeth jumped up, snapping into his side. With a horrifying crunch, Alex could hear the deep grunt from her friend.

 Blinding rage took over. Alex grabbed at the ground, picking up a trap by the chain. With a painful roar, she turned towards the offender, flinging the chain towards him with all her might. 

The trap flew in an arch, colliding with the teen’s head, triggering the trap to snap shut. Alex stood stunned, watching the boy gurgled blood from his mouth. His eyes stared at her in disbelief.

It was the first time Alex experienced death firsthand. The body slumped to the grass, lifeless. Alex felt bile in her throat but swallowed it down. 

Running to Flax’s side, she pried the trap open and picked up his weakened body. Holding him close, she glared back at the other kids; they stood speechless. Without a word, she slowly trumped through the rest of the traps and ran into the wilds. 

She didn’t stop for a while until she saw the river. Stumbling over the rocks, she placed Flax’s body down to look at him. He was still alive, barely holding on. Alex sobbed, petting his face. 

“No… Nononono! Don’t die on me, ok? Let me get some water, and I can clean this up for you…”

Pulling off her button-up shirt, she prepared to rip it into strips when a voice stopped her.

“Alex. Don’t.”

Looking down at Flax, Alex blinked in shock. He looked her dead in the eyes, speaking once more.

“Listen. Please. Kill me. Those kids, they won’t stop until they take my powers. I want you to have it instead. If you don’t and I die, it will be devastating to the town. You need to contain it.”

Alex dropped her arms, shaking her head. “Flax? Kill you? No! I didn’t mean to kill the other boy, but kill you? I can’t!”

Flax lifted his head weakly. “You must. Please. Take the rock, and bash it against my head. Do it. Just think, you get to have your wish. You get to have magical powers and leave this place. Like you said you wanted, remember.”

Tears streamed down her cheek as she stroked the top of Flax’s head. Voices in the distance rang as the kids continued to chase them down, accompanied by several adults. One of which Alex recognized instantly. 

Clutching at her heart, Alex closed her eyes tightly. The pain swelled her chest. She didn’t have much choice. She killed someone, and now if caught, she’d be in much worse trouble. Running her hand slowly against the ground, Alex fumbled to grab a rock. Opening her eyes once more, she looked into Flax’s fading eyes. “I love you, Flax.”

“I love you too, Alex.”

Clenching her eyes shut a final time, Alex raised her arm high and struck down against the ground. She did it several times, over and over, until the sickening sound became thuds against other stones. Or at least that’s what she made herself believe. 

Tossing the rock aside, Alex rolled herself to the side, turning her back to the corpse of her friend. The cries of people searching for her echoed close by while she sat. All the things Alex experienced in a short period; losing her closest friend, running away from home, killing the boy? None of this was like her adventure book. All she wanted was a friend, but now she had to do it alone.

“Good bye Flax.”

Pushing herself up, she walked towards the river. Where should she go now? Alex was a wanted person for murdering the boy no matter where she went. All she could do now was run deeper into the wilds. Looking at the ground near the fox’s body, she pondered his words. “Magic powers, huh? Guess I’ll have to find out what they are on my own.”

Stepping into the water, she began her new life.


Creeping Doubt

Sam hunched over her clay work, spinning the rotating plate as she molded the mixture within her hands. Focused and poised while she began her work. With agile fingers, she shaped and molded the sculpture within her mind. A bird-like creature, rising slowly out of the base of ash and flames. Scraping and cutting small slivers, she dabbed water to help smooth areas to even them out. Time passed slowly while she worked in silence. 

The overwhelming darkness in the corners of the room began to loom over her. It slithered and crept along the furniture to make its way above. It whispered softly into Sam’s thoughts while she tilted her head, rotating the sculpture to and fro. 


Pausing the movement of the plate, Sam’s eyes widened. No, it’s alright. It’s just the outline of my design. I can make it work. Again she grabbed her tools, shaving and trimming along the neckline of the bird. 

With her tongue sticking out, she added small lumps of clay to create wings that expanded outwards. Adding more water, she shaped and formed lines to where the feathers would be, then began to cut and trim. Wiping the sweat from her forehead, she pushed her chair back a bit to look at the form of the clay taking shape. 

“You call this art? Looks like amateur trash.”

The shadowy smoke clouded thick around her as Sam’s confidence dwindled. This time, she spoke out loud against the ever-growing whisper in the back of her mind. 

“I will look better once I get more detail in. Back off.”

Her voice quivered despite her strength against the toxic cloud that began to shroud her working space. Fighting tears, she began to further detail the flames licking at the bird’s wings and torso. A debate slowly started to bounce between her thoughts and the consuming darkness.

Are there too many flames? “Yes.”

Should I give more definition to the feathers? “That’s overdoing it.”

Does this look better here? “It’s getting worse.”

Each comment ate at her, breaking down her will to continue the art piece. Her fist shook with a small tremor while she ground her teeth with anger. The pain swelled into her chest while the dark cloud smothered her. Jumping out of her chair, she threw the tool in her hand to the floor and grabbed at her hair. 

Who cares if she got clay everywhere, she knew the cloud was right. Her skills as an artist were nothing. Glaring up at the cloud, she cried out at it. 

“What do you want?! Why must you always show up! I can never accomplish anything with you constantly talking me down!”

The swirl of the cloud formed into a shaded figure, its void-less eyes mocking her. The shade flickered, never truly appearing in a solid state yet its hands were long and thin like skeletal hands. This was not her first time seeing the smoky being. 

Its appearance started only as a small wisp. With each project she started, it grew,  showing bit by bit. The longer she continued to work on her art the bigger it appeared. Its torso hovered within the smoke, trapped within the fluid motions as it pulled to escape it. Slowly it floated in a snake-shaped appearance to slither through the air. Pausing to hover above her shoulders it whispered close to her ear. 

You were the one that called me here, asking for my opinions. I am only just being honest to you.”

The figure wrapped his fingers one by one on top of her shoulders, gripping her tightly. With a smooth sway to the other side of her head, it continued to poison her mind. “Besides, why do you fight it? You know deep down you are nothing more than a child wasting your time on these things. Why not do something useful instead?”

Sam clenched her teeth tightly. All this creature ever did was tear her down. Its ghastly appearance reflexed weakly in a mirror on the farthest wall. Its voice was always there, ever since she had first picked up a pencil to draw her ideas. 

The memory plagued her so with acute accuracy. She had been drawing a superhero, designing it from scratch as an idea to one day make real. It was exciting and fun. Sam detailed the women to be strong. It was then when her friend had looked over, frowning at the page. 

“What is that?”

Sam replied, hardly lifting her head as she continued to draw. “It’s a superhero, silly! I made her up. She’s got strong muscles and can fly! And when she is fighting monsters, she can blast them away with her supersonic voice!”

The friend scoffed, puffing out her chest as she raised her nose to Sam. “That sounds stupid. Why would she have a supersonic voice? Besides, there is already a superhero who can fight and is strong. Plus he’s a boy. Girls shouldn’t fight.”

With that, she turned and walked away leaving Sam disheartened. The words repeated in her head. “That sounds stupid.

Looking up from her page, she watched her friend join a different table laughing. Dropping her pencil she looked down at her superhero. There’s no way it was stupid, was there? 

A small black cloud swirled in front of her appearing out of nowhere. It dimmed the light around her drawing and thinned into a small cord, circling around in front of her. The same damning voice she would recognize to this day.

She is right, you know. It IS stupid.”

That day, she crumbled the picture up and cried after returning home. The stalking shadow never left her side since. Sam came to know this creature well. It placed doubt within her at every opportunity it could. 

Looking back to her clay model in the present, its venomous words almost rang true. Hugging herself, Sam turned away to face her table. The drawing of her design of a phoenix bursting from the ash blurred as tears began to swell. How did she think something so complicated would actually work? 

Sniffling, she wiped her eyes and picked up the paper, preparing to rip it. A door behind her opened, stopping her with a bit of a jump. Whipping around she saw her friend Gabrielle. They had gone to university together and had met in the arts program. She wasn’t a sculptor, yet she had encouraged Sam to try. Nowadays she frequented her place to see her latest designs had been. 

Gabrielle sang her greeting and pulled off her jacket. “Guess who I saw today! This cute boy working at the cafe down the street. You know, the one we go to now and then? I say, after you clean up, we should head down there and grab a seat. Might be worth it.” 

Sam held the paper of her design behind her back, faking a bright smile to greet her friend.

“Yeah, sounds like a plan. Head on into the living room and I will be right there.”

Sam waited, hoping her friend would not heed attention to her or the clay figurine. But to no avail, the first thing Gabrielle did was head straight to her working area. Spotting the art piece, she gasped. 

Here we go, Sam thought negatively. She is going to confirm how terrible it looked. Crumpling the edge of the paper in her hand with a tight grip, she braced herself.

“Holy cow. You’ve really outdone yourself now. Look at this detail!”

Sam paused, her mouth agape. “What?”

“This is incredible! I thought your take on Zeus’s bust was amazing, but this! Look at the flames! It really looks like this creature is birthing right out of the ground!” Standing up, Gabrielle placed her hands on her hips. “I don’t know how you keep doing this. Every time I think you set the bar, you outdo yourself each time. Do you think you make a few more of these guys?”

Sam closed her mouth, pushing off the table to hang her thumbs in her jean pockets. With a shrug, she nodded. “Yeah, I think I would make a few more. Maybe even change the positions too.” 

Gabrielle brightened. “If you do, I know a guy who can sell them too. It would be a huge break for you. I know you’ve been working your ass off trying to get out there. I’ll help you get more clay and offer anything I can to help. I think you can get them ready before the weekend with ease.”

The dark cloud shanked as Sam’s confidence soared. The whispering shrieks, drowning out by the light that increased with her hope. With a quick look around her room, Sam nodded. Yeah, this was doable. 

“Looks like a shopping trip is in order. First stop, the cafe!”

Gabrielle cheered, returning to admire the phoenix while Sam crossed her arms. With a deep sigh, she smiled. How could she have almost destroyed the drawing? A small black swirl of smoke caught her eye as it loomed close to her ear. 

Today may be a victory, but I will always be here. You can never get rid of me.”

Sam glared at the creature. She knew it was right, yet without the constant doubt it spewed, she never would keep pushing herself to improve. 

“You’re right. I know for the rest of my life I will have to accept you. As much as you are my toxic thoughts, you are also my muse.”

With a smirk, Sam swiped the remaining cloud away. The small cries of the whisper vanished, relieving her of the weight of her own crushing doubt. Looking over at her friend, she was grateful. One step at a time, she would continue to move forward and not let her personal demon stop her from being an artist. 

“Bring it on.”

WP: Voidlessly Alive.

Hello Raga-Rootlings, it has been some time since I have posted anything. So today, I decided to do a writing prompt, one I posted on reddit for fun.

The prompt is: You are a spirit trapped inside a blank book, you have been living in a blank void for many years, that is until someone began drawing on your book.

This is not my original prompt since I got it from r/writingprompts, however, I thought it would be enjoyable to share with you all. Please enjoy and let me know what you think.



The world was bleak. Nothing but weightlessness and nothingness had plagued my world for only how many years now. I wish I could end it, to finally put a stop to the spiraling emptiness that enveloped me. Yet, I could not. It was a prison in which I could never escape—no reprieve for the eternity that seemed to slip by endlessly. I cried, yelled, screamed, and still, there was no solace until the fateful day when the world snapped into a bright light. I trembled, unsure of what had suddenly eclipsed the world I rule. I was frozen, unable to speak or move as the glow warmed my face. What is this magic? 

Suddenly without warning, a black line crossed the surface of the light. It twisted and turned in the sky, taking form into shape. I stared in awe at the creation appearing before me. The outline of a tiger, or at least what I could remember one to look like, spread out across the world. It was marvelous. The god in the sky had blessed me with something otherworldly. I felt a tear slip down my cheek. 

Just when I thought it was all I would be blessed with since the linework had halted, blotches of color dripped into the spaces. It was like watching water drops hit a glass window before crawling outwards into larger spheres. Without delay for the paint to dry, it was brushed across the canvas sky. The thin black lines were smudged away by the water-like colors as they softened into the color. Oranges, yellows, red hues blended and mixed like a melodic melody. The soft, warm colors whispered soft tenor as the dark, cold colors sharpened the beat like bass. Every moment I was mesmerized until the sky had been completely filled. Moments passed as I stared with slack jaw at the wondrous art before me. It was benevolent.

When I thought the show had stopped, a slight breeze took hold, blowing against my face as it dried the watercolors. I smiled, closing my eyes to soak it all in. After centuries, I had come alive again, had a purpose. Felt desire. I wanted to know who this god was. I stood up from the floor, reaching towards the heavens, whispering, “This is amazing. Who are you?”

I waited for a reply as the breeze stopped short. With a lurch, the tiger-filled sky snapped, turning black with a thunderous bang. I fell to the ground with a yelp, unprepared by the drastic change in light. Rubbing my bottom with a sigh, I realized how startling it might have seemed to the god. It was not often they possessed a book with a spirit like me. Doubt crept deep within my soul. Will they ever open the pages again? Had I just scared away the only escape from my loneliness? Preparing to numb myself once more to the dark and terrible void once more, the page opened only slightly as the white showed through a cracked open door. I looked up with wonder, hopeful once more.

“Hello, little god. Don’t be frightened. I just want to meet you, is all.”

The page opened brightly once more as I stared up at the blank sky. Warmly I smiled with a chuckle. “We will do great things together.”

Turnip Patch 100 followers special!

Thank you everyone for all the follows and supports! I am so glad to have slowly gained returning readers to the stories and posts I have been doing since last year November. Can you believe it has almost been one year since I started posting?! Between the word prompts, story writing competitions, and my ongoing stories and shorts, I have been feeling more and more confidence in what I’ve been sharing and it’s all thanks to you guys! As a thank you, here is a short writing prompt I have written up.

Hope you enjoy and check out Whispering Death (part 8) now released!

[WP] You can read subtitles in real life, which is pretty handy for translation, in bars and when dealing with people who mumble a lot. One day suddenly you read a subtitle that just says: {Boss Music Starts Playing}

Duke hardly had to listen to the conversation to keep up. After getting his talent to read subtitles, most people believed he was nonchalant about everything. At first, he found it irritating since he missed most social cues or body language. However, as time went on he had adapted to reading the bracket events. It also came in handy when he wanted to see what was happening around him. Eavesdropping had become significantly easier. If he was bored with the current conversation, he could read others around him like switching a channel on a tv.

He wasn’t one for gossip or drama at all, it just was a mild form of entertainment. This particular day was one of those days as he sat with his good friend Stew. Stew was an old faithful, reliable friend. He was also very plain and predictable. It made for an easy friendship. There were no complicated texts, undiluted situations, or foreshadowing. Just simple and easy conversation. Stew was also one to enjoy people watching alongside Duke. He was the perfect sidekick while they sat at the cafe, enjoying their brew. Duke followed a few strands of a current breakup unfolding in front of him when he took a deep breath in.

“You know Stew, I’m gonna bounce. Catch you later.”

{Happy grunt.} “Yeah mate, see you around.”

Duke stood up and left. It was nice knowing his friend was so chill. At least he would enjoy the sudden scene of the breakup unfolding, which was mostly the reason why Duke left. Screaming and crying women were not his thing. Even with his ability to read subtitles, he still couldn’t understand women. There were so many hidden meanings and contexts he didn’t know. At least he was considered a good listener though, even if he didn’t really understand everything all the time. Heading towards a park, Duke chugged the rest of his coffee before tossing it in the trash. It was a perfect day for a casual jaunt through the peaceful pathways surrounded by grass, bushes, and trees. Although subtitles still popped up around him with the sound effects, it wasn’t a huge bother.

{Chirping birds. Wind rustled leaves. A distant dog barks.}

Duke took in a deep breath of the air, pausing to look out towards come college kids tossing a freebie. Everything seemed calm when suddenly the subtitle popped in front of him. It was startling as the small hum of a dark melody began to play out of nowhere.

{Boss music starts playing}

Frozen, Duke stood with wide eyes. “What.”

Cautiously, he turned to look behind him. The feeling of a cold breeze began to swirl around him as he spotted a shrouded being several feet from him. “No… It can’t be…”

He was unarmed, with no weapons to battle the beast before him. How could he be caught so off guard. With a stern yet seductive tone, the shrouded figure stepped forth out of the shade of the tree to reveal themselves.

“Hello, Duke. It’s been a while.”

The sun reflected off the strands of her golden hair while she stepped out. Her deep blue ocean eyes were fierce as they locked onto his. With an unamused frown, she crossed her arms once out into the dazzling sun. She was magnificent to behold despite that they were at odds. Subtitles appeared beneath her name, ones he didn’t need to read to know what they said.

{Ex Girlfriend: Melissa Normen.}

Oh no, Duke thought while grinding his teeth. The one who left me for a d-bag in university. My first love.

“What do you want Melissa?”

{Exaggerated gasp, she feigned being hurt} “Is that a way to greet an old friend?”

“Ex, not an old friend. We haven’t spoken since you dumped me at a freshmen party.”

{Fake surprise} “Really has it been that long? I don’t remember dumping you.”

“You were making out with Tony Snider, the leader of the biggest frat houses on campus. Right in front of me.”

{Painful realization} “Ah. Right. Look, I’m sorry about that. I made a huge mistake and was being so naive back then.”

Melissa stepped forward, closing the gap between them. Duke swallowed hard, he was taking critical damage at her look of regret plastered across her face. No! He had to stay strong! This was a boss battle for crying out loud!

{Sincere commiseration} “I feel like there was a reason why we ran into each other here. Do you think we could go for coffee sometime? Maybe try again where we left off?”

Duke was at his limit. She was beautiful and he had never gotten over her. Was she really telling the truth? Yeah, sure she was feeling sorry for what she did but was it enough to go through all the pain again? He was never good at saying no to people in the first place since he was never sure what was the right thing to say. Sure he could read subtitles, but it wasn’t like they ever offered a selection of words to say either. With a heavy sigh, he nodded.

“Yeah, sure. Why not. I know a good place we can go to.”


“Oh really! That’s amazing!” She linked her arm around his, pressing close to his body. “Lead on!”

Man, I am a huge sucker, Duke thought. Well, at least he could go back to join Stew and see what ended up happening during the breakup.

{Tragic death music starts playing}

Failing Inspection

Flipping the folder open; the first thing she looked at was the small photo of a black and white house. Adol gave a little sigh as she picked it up and took a closer look. Two stories, four bedrooms and a small backyard. It was run down and had chipped paint from the looks of it. Rubbing her temples, she placed the picture down and picked up the report. Adol’s job was to go in and inspect the building to see what needed to be done to make it livable again. It was common for people to buy, flip, and sell old houses that were abandoned. Being an agent who travelled across the states, it was an excellent opportunity to see unique and out-of-fashion models of homes that were built throughout the ages.

She didn’t mind the work and loved what she did; the only thing she despised was the flights. Just as she finished reading the reports of the owners who bought it, the plane hit a hard patch of turbulence. The lights flickered as the captain announced the strong winds and that it will be over shortly. Adol nearly dropped the file as she clung to the arms of the chair near the aisle. Closing her eyes, she prayed internally, hoping the measly bolted chair would give protection. The plane dipped drastically and caused tremors before stabilizing out again. Taking a few minutes, Adol eventually let out her breath, not realizing she had been holding it for some time. Grabbing the bottled water she had beside her, she downed the whole thing and gasped after the final drop.

Calming down her breath, she stared at the back of the headrest in front of her. Why on earth people thought it was a good idea to pay to climb inside a flying metal death trap was beyond her. Not that cars or trains were any better, she tried not to let her technological phobia get in the way of her work. Letting go of the chair arms, she reached for the file that badly flopped from the small little table to the floor. Collecting it together, she looked once more at the old photo. Things she loved about looking at buildings were the simplicity that they had. They were sturdy and dependable, being that they were made of mostly wood or bricks. They don’t break down the way a car or cellphone would, and repair them if one faulty piece failed. No, instead, they still stand even when one room is out of order, and the only real flaw was if the electrical wiring set the house on fire. The only piece of technology she kept around her was a pager. She couldn’t be bothered to carry a cellphone since they died so quickly or you would lose reception, rendering it useless anyway. The problem with the world was that they relied too heavily on technology to carry us day by day.

Even though she was in her twenties, this deep-rooted belief probably came from her grandma. She smiled a little at the memory of her and how she would constantly yell at the phone when it cut off or at the computer when she couldn’t log into it. Her grandma spent hours telling her as a little girl how important it was never to trust it, that it was going to rule the world over man someday. Adol chuckled as she filed the photo away once more, placing the file back into her briefcase. With a small pat, she leaned back to close her eyes once more before they would land. Thoughts of her grandma put her to ease as she drifted to sleep.


Pulling up in her rental car, Adol let out a small whistle. The shape of the house was in worse condition than the photo revealed. Turning off the car, she pocketed them and reached for her briefcase. Getting out of the car, she slung the straps over her shoulder and strolled up the driveway. Taking mental notes of the chipped paint, plants growing out of the rain catchers and decaying planks of wood around the window ledges, Adol took in a deep breath. Her work was more than cut out for her as she reached into the briefcase and pulled out a checklist. Walking along the side of the house, she checked off several boxes. With a tsk, she looked around the base of the house and wrote a note at the bottom of the page.

“Erosion of dirt around the house that exposed the foundation of the building was a big problem for the future. Recommend releveling dirt.” She clicked the pen and scanned the rest of the house before moving around to the back.

The backyard was in worse of a state than the front. It was overgrown, and the fence had rotted away. She had reckoned that it was already in bad shape before the place was abandoned. Frantic scribbles, she continued to note things when she looked at the base again. Crouching, she noted the ground level was much higher and where it should have been. Looking at the small steps up to the background and the state of the backyard, she shrugged it off. It could have been the cause of storms and wind that came from the north side of the building. Years of constant wind blowing down along the side could have affected the soil. She glanced once more around the side as she walked back up to the front. There were several trees near the path, and the grass had been visibly worn down or even patchy. Stopping, she knelt down and noticed a slight dip. If she had not done this as a professional for years, she would almost not have noticed the subtle difference. Standing up, Adol raised her eyebrows and frowned. Not her problem; she was just here to take notes and pass them along to her employer.

If she had been the one to look at this house, she knew it was going to be a costly fix even before walking inside. She walked up the steps of the front porch and looked under the mat. She had arranged with the owners ahead of time and knew that they were not going to be available at the time she was to arrive. This was preferred in her books since it meant she could work uninterrupted. Nothing irritated her more than owners asking persistent questions while she was evaluating the house before she could submit the report. Liability stopped her from being able to comment on anything until the job was finished. Sticking the lock-in, she struggled a little as it was sticking. With a hard tug, the door budged and flung open, almost knocking to her backside. With a tsk, she clicked her pen and wrote down the notes, speaking them out as she did.

“House shift may have affected door frame.”

Clicking the pen again, she stuck it to the top of the clipboard and entered the house. The smell of dust and rot was strong as she looked around the front entrance. Even though the owners said they had cleaned most of the rooms out in case of spiderwebs and possible mouse turds, the smell still lingered. Adol looked at the stairs just in front of her and to the door immediately to her left. Taking a few steps into the echoey house, she saw the hall just to the left of the staircase that led to what looked like the kitchen. Shoving the clipboard under her arm, she pulled off the file from her briefcase. The layout of the house was in the back of the notes as she pulled it out and clipped it to the board, placing the file back inside again. Even though she studied it several times, she still wanted to keep it out. Upstairs were the three bedrooms, the living room was to her left, and the kitchen was at the end of the hall. The forth room was to the left of the kitchen in the far back.

Turning around, she closed the door and placed the key on a small table near the steps as she ascended up them. Starting top to bottom, she reached the top step and examined the floorboards carefully. They were creaky but seemed to be in good condition, least enough not to send her plummeting to the ground floor. Scanning the roof, she found the access hatch to the attic. Upon request, the owners did leave a small latter for her to reach the small hole to have a look. Opening the latter, she managed to reach the small hatch and popped it open, taking a quick glance around. Spotting several issues, she waited till she closed the hatch and stepped down before clicking her pen.

“Leaky roof, replace. Insulation needs replacement. Smell of mild mold.” Finding checkboxes, she whispered “Check” each one she marked.

Routinely she went to each room, numbering them one through three from farthest from the stairs to closest. They seemed fine until she reached the third room, where the roof leak was obvious as the wall damage showed against the wall. Using her pen, she dug it into the stain as it crumbled the drywall beneath the paint. With a frown, she wiped the pen off before making a note of the damage, moving out of the room as she did. With the top floor complete, she made her way back down. Just as her foot tapped the floor in the front entrance, the sound of her pager had gone off. Clicking her pen, she clipped it on top of the clipboard, then placed them both on the table. She opened her briefcase in search of the pager and pulled it out to look at the message as it flashed across the small screen.


Adol scoffed. Did she need to stop and take this when she was already close to finishing? It would mean she would have to drive back into town and call from a payphone or at the hotel she was staying at for the night. Being that it had already been a long day with the plane ride, she sighed heavily as she looked back at the clipboard. It would be a waste to stop now and leave. It would require coming back tomorrow and risking missing the flight to return home in the afternoon. The house wasn’t far from town, but it would still be a hassle. Adol decided to shove the pager back into her bag, turning to pick up the clipboard again. A loud crash made her jump as she looked towards the closed door in front of her. She waited a moment before taking a few steps towards the door, grabbing inside the briefcase once more to pull out a flashlight. There was still daylight leaking in from the windows all around, but just in case it didn’t have as much lighting, she wanted that extra security. She flicked it on before turning the knob and pushing the door inward. The room was wider than she expected as she looked around to see where the noise had come from. A few items were still in the room from the original owners as she saw an old lamp, a small coffee table, and in the far back corner a painting laying flat on the floor.

Taking a deep breath in, she relaxed a little as she guessed the noise was from the picture falling over. Walking over, she scanned the floor and walls to see what evidence had contributed to knocking it over. The frame looked large and heavy as she kneeled down to lift it up. Straightening it up and leaning it against the wall, she saw that the frame was an antique. Plaster carved swirls and flowers embroidered the picture of what looked like to be a painting of an old family. Adol took a step back to admire it with awe and quickly to find what looked like a now dead mouse at the bottom of the frame. With a grunt of disgust, she turned away from the flattened body. The mouse had been smooshed against the floor and picture frame. It wasn’t a surprise to see that mice have taken up home in an old building like this. Looking around the floor again, she looked to see if he had friends when the flashlight flickered off.

Scoffing, Adol hit the side of the flashlight to bump the battery, turning it back on again. The untrusted flashlight of hers always seemed to die quickly, and each time she forgot to replace it.

“Oh well. It’s the best I have for now.”

While in the room, she did a quick inspection taking a mental note of all the things to mark down on her clipboard. She turned the light off as she returned back to the front foyer, placing it in the briefcase. She placed her hands on her hips as she looked down at the clipboard, wondering how the owners were going to afford to fix this property up when she noticed something odd. The clipboard sat where she left it alone on the table, her pen missing. She picked the clipboard up and looked around the floor for the missing pen, checking the table once more to see it empty. Scratching her head, she patted her pockets to see if maybe she had placed it in her pocket.

“Odd,” she thought, “I was sure I placed it on the clipboard.”

Taking her briefcase off her shoulder, she placed it on top of the table to look for another pen. A gnawing thought tickled the back of her brain as she felt as if she forgot something while she searched her bag for a pen. Eventually finding one, she cheered for herself as she clicked it. Turning back to the clipboard again, she jotted the notes down from the living room before she forgot. Feeling a small victory, she smiled at her efficiency as she decided to leave the bag for the last two rooms. Pulling out the flashlight, she placed it in her back pocket before walking down the hall. Scanning the roof and the baseboards, she felt a sudden shiver down her spine. Turning around, she looked back at the door to see nothing. Adol chuckled out loud as she turned back towards the kitchen.

“Man, I am getting jumpy. Silly mice, getting me all scared.” Convincing herself, she pretended not to feel like the shiver was from being watched. Old buildings always gave off creepy vibes, and she wasn’t going to let it interfere with her work. Superstitions were a waste of time and not to be believed, for she had seen many abandoned buildings and never believed in ghosts. She inspected the kitchen, finding a few issues and turned to look at the small opening around the door to the last bedroom. She noticed it extended a little further out past the kitchen and that the floor did seem newer, just past the line of where it extended. Was this an addition later to the house? It might have explained the dip in the soil outside. She didn’t look far enough into the backyard to have noticed that the kitchen was shorter. Adding this note to her clipboard, she felt a small chill as a breeze grazed her arm.

Adol shot her head up towards the back door. “Wait, a breeze?”

She turned around to look at the front door as well and saw that it was still shut. From how much time she spent in the front entrance, if there were a breeze, she would have noticed that right away. She walked over to the back door and felt around the edges. Nothing seemed to seep in from the outside, and as she checked the knob of the door, it was sealed tight. This definitely was a new addition to the original house as it was newer than the front door and had a slightly different design. Adol checked the blueprints of the house design again. Something about this wasn’t adding up. In the original files she read on the plane, nothing was mentioned about any updates made to the house. So either the blueprints were wrong, or the original owners made illegal changes to the house without a permit. The room was part of the floor plan as she turned to open the last room. Pulling out her flashlight, she scanned the roof, floor and walls to check the age. The roof was still part of the original look, but the floor was definitely newer. She turned to look out the window that gave a view of the overgrown yard.

“I’ll have to report this for sure. They might need to double-check the wiring…” A faint sound came from outside the bedroom. Adol paused and listened as she heard faint footsteps walking. Turning around, she walked back out into the kitchen and to the hall. Maybe the owners were able to make it? Was that what her boss wanted to let her know? She looked at the front door and was met once again with an empty house. Looking all around her, Adol tried to calm herself down. Footsteps, loud crashes, her missing pen; things weren’t adding up. Was she actually alone, or was someone playing a trick on her? Maybe she should just take her things and lock up the house and… All of a sudden, it dawned on her.

“The keys.”

When she was in the front after inspecting the upstairs, she could have sworn she left the keys on the small table. She remembered when her pen was missing that the only thing left was her clipboard. Tapping her pockets, she felt that they were empty.

Adol was determined as she took several steps towards the front door. She was going to check the table for the house keys when she felt the breeze again; this time, it was stronger. The light from outside was dimming as she knew it was well getting into the evening. She needed to leave soon and had been here much longer than needed. Worse off, the owners had no power in the building yet since they needed her approval first. Cursing under her breath, she knew that this might be a big problem that she needed to add to her notes. Leaking roofs and mild mold are easy fixes, but a draft in the middle of the house? That would not look good on her if she missed any details like this one. Using her flashlight, she ran her hand along the walls against the stairs. Maybe there was a gap from when they added the wall under the stairs. It was strange that there wouldn’t be a storage space placed here since it was common to have one under the staircases.

A small thought came to mind as she questioned it. Maybe since there were already alterations to the house that aren’t on the blueprint, that they might have done a poor job of covering the old closet. The wall was made of a wood-like panel that ran from the front to the kitchen entrance. As Adol checked it closely, she found what looked like a small opening. Her hand hovered over it as a confirming breeze pushed against her hand. She traced along the crack and found a small hole near the top that allowed her to grab the inner ledge. With her fast-beating heart, she pulled open a small door that blended perfectly with the wall. As it opened fully, Adol was greeted with an old web-covered entrance that led downstairs by brittle-looking stairs. Her mouth was agape as she looked at her clipboard with shaky hands.

“A hidden basement. They managed to hide a hidden basement this whole time.”

This was an amazing discovery. Never had she ever found something as wondrous as a hidden passageway or room like this. Adol stood in the hall conflicted as she swallowed hard. The smell suddenly arising from the breeze, almost made her gag. It was the same smell from when she first entered, yet there was something dark and damp along with it. She could hardly dispel the idea of dead animals that had been trapped down there and died, maybe even rot, as the stairs looked barely sturdy. This new dilemma now posed a serious question. Should she inspect it or just call it a night and let the owners know in the morning? The light had now just passed the horizon as twilight had dimmed in the halls. The only source of light now the one in her hand. With one final glance at the clipboard with her flashlight, she looked down the stairs with a stern look.

“It’s my job to do a complete check. I can’t back out now.”

Even with every fibre in her being telling her to leave, Adol pressed, stepping down into the small entrance. The air of the small space was damp and awful as she covered her mouth with the clipboard as a guard. With small, timid steps on the creaky steps, she made her way slowly down into the pitch black. The walls were made of cement; moss had grown thick along the sides further down into the hole as she descended. Just as she made the last few steps, she slipped and fell forward into the ground, dropping both the clipboard and flashlight. Expecting a hard floor, she was surprised as she landed in soft soil. In a scramble, she reached for the flashlight as it started to flicker. Adol’s breath was laboured as she slammed her hand into the light to get a steady beam. Dust from the soil flew around her as she clung to the only thing giving her sanity. Forcibly she calmed her breathing and looked around. The whole room was much shorter than it should be for a standard basement. The walls were dirty and covered as she glanced over it quickly, not getting a good look at what it was before seeing a wooden pole sticking out of the dirt. Focusing on the pole, she ascertained it to be a handle to a shovel as she stood up.

Almost hitting her head on the low-hanging ceiling, she walked over to the shovel. With her free hand, she grabbed it and pulled it out to look at the other end of it, only to yelp in terror. The tip of the tool was covered in dirt, blood and what looked like fresh guts. Before Adol could think, a sudden slam came from the top of the stairs as the door was closed shut. Dropping the shovel, she backed up towards the far wall in terror, just as her flashlight started to flicker once more. In a desperate panic, she slammed her hand against the flashlight to no avail as the light shut off. In the pitch-black silence, all she could hear was the clicking of her pen. Adol screamed.

Cry About It Later

Authors disclaimer:

*This story is based on and inspired by the music and music video of Katy Perry’s “Cry about it later”. After listening to it a few days ago for the first time, I had this overwhelming urge to write the rest of the story out since I felt it was an amazing concept. I was consumed and all I wished for was more about the story line that in the end, I created my own. Please enjoy and also check out the song. Katy Perry has always been an inspiration to me, so I hope you enjoy this as much as I had while writing it.*


The flight back to her house was devastating. Katy’s mind was blank as the slow dawning realization of what had transpired settled in. It’s over. The long relationship she had with the person she loved was over. Plopping down into her chair, she crossed her arms, holding herself tightly as tears streamed down her face. It was no shock really since she knew this day would eventually come. Being a witch was both a blessing and curse in the world. Many came far and wide looking for her skills and charms, yet there was still the stigma that witches brought bad omen. She was used to the ridicule and superstitions, but it didn’t matter while she had that person beside her. Now without them, the void in her chest gnawed as it grew. 

    Relaxing her shoulders, Katy was determined. What was the use crying over the pain she expected? If she was easily discarded then it was their loss. No point wasting her tears or her energy. She was a young talented witch! Standing up she grabbed her wand, flipping her book to see what she could do about her plain long black gown. Too long she hid her looks behind unflattering dress codes, all so that she would be taken seriously and not seen as an enchantress out to steal hearts. Flipping pages, she finally found the quick chant and swished her wand. Tendrils of power whooshed out from within as her clothes slithered away like ribbons. The scratchy cloth softened into silk as it shapened around her torso, flaring into a cute black sundress. Adding the final touch of a black ribbon, it pulled her blond hair back with a bow. 

    Katy didn’t have to check into the mirror to know she looked smokin, adding a little pink lip gloss before flicking her wand once more towards her broom. The last of the ribbon wrapped around the bristle, adding a cute bow to her ride. If she was going out, her trusty broom needed to match. Heading for the door, she realized she was missing one last thing. With a swish of her hand, her black rimmed hat floated towards her hand. Although she could leave home and easily trick anyone into thinking she was a human, she wanted everyone to know who she was. For the last dozen years, she hid silently by the side of her lover. No longer was she going to stay in the shadows and this time she wanted to live with no regret. This witch was free to go and do as she pleased and there was no use if she couldn’t be proud of being a witch. Placing her hat down on her head, she closed the door behind her with a smile. 

    Kicking off the ground she took to the sky, no idea where to go or where this night would take her. Nothing was going to stop her from having fun, all her troubles would just have to wait. The sun had just finished cresting past the horizon as the cool summer breeze flowed through her hair. Scanning around she looked for the best place to start the night. In the distance she spotted a castle with lights flickering with activity. Turning her course she buzzed with excitement as music grew louder to her approach. Carriages lined the road leading up to the dazzling building. Katy bit her lower lip, she had never been to a castle party before! Spotting a balcony door leading to the ballroom, Katy flew over and landed. Leaning her broom against the wall behind the door, she brazenly walked into the room. 

    Bright colors of gold and silver lined the ballroom from head to toe as several dancers swirled around in a dance of brilliant colors. Katy stared in awe, walking around the outer wall at the sight. A butler approached her, offering a glass and wine. Taking it to avoid suspicion of crashing the party, she nodded to accept the pour. Her glass now filled to the brim, she sipped at the liquid with delight. A ballroom dance and free booze? This girl was gonna get wasted. The song playing finished as she found a place along the wall to lean against. The crowd clapped before the next song started. Several couples shuffled from on and off the floor, some heading for fresh air while others to the buffet. This was the fanciest place she had ever been, feeling suddenly a little underdressed. Just as her nerves began to get the best of her a masculine voice startled her. 

    “Would you like to dance, Madam?” 

    Removing her hat to get a better look at the man, Katy kept from yelping out loud. Not only was she asked to dance, but it was by the prince himself! His eyes sparkled as brightly as his smile while he offered out an extended hand towards her. Her heart fluttered at how gorgeous he was up close. Dark honeyed hair, deep ocean eyes, if rumors served her well this was none other than Prince Casper. Extending her hand out, she accepted his offer.


    Gracefully, he led her to the dance floor. People parted allowing them to get into position before he began to lead. Thank goodness Katy had taken ballroom lessons, who would have known that after years it finally came into good use. It was hard for her not to swoon as the prince smiled cheerfully at her. The room blurred around her and all she could see was him. 

    “Are you from around here? I have not seen you before.”

    Katy smiled bashfully. “I am not actually, I’m from the swamp lands to the east of here.”

    “The free lands? What is a beauty like you doing out there?” 

    With a hard swallow, Katy was unsure how to answer that. He must have known she was a witch, her hat was a dead give away. “It’s not uncommon for a witch to take up residence there.”

With a quick swirl and a dip, the prince kept his gaze on her. The look of attraction was one Katy was familiar with. Pulling her up slowly from the dip, their faces came in close. Katy’s heart was pounding as she couldn’t help feel the chemistry between them. Maybe it was the booze or maybe the atmosphere, either way she could feel herself falling. It was like a fairy tale, playing out all too perfectly. As he leaned in to kiss her, she closed her eyes to reciprocate. It was just like a dream where she could see herself happy, even if for a little while. It was all so fast yet in that moment as she felt his breath on her face, the image of them popped into her mind. It wasn’t them she was kissing. Shooting her eyes wide open, she realized that he didn’t even know her name. Maybe she was a little hasty to be hooking up with a prince, one who was wickedly famous too. Raising her hand to block his lips, she bopped him on the nose awkwardly.

“Hey, thank you for the dance and the wine. I had a lot of fun and I will for sure be back here again some day.” Breaking from his arms she rushed to grab her hat and headed for the balcony. What a close call, Katy thought. The prince broke from his daze and followed her out onto the balcony.

“W-wait, I didn’t even catch your name!”

Katy smiled cheerfully, placing her hat neatly on her hair. “That’s ok, you don’t need it. May you find your storybook princess, because I know I’m not her.” 

With a side saddle on her broomstick, she kicked off before he could say anything more. She waved goodbye to her sweet prince and as the distance grew she finally dropped her smile. The pounding of her heart ached more than before. Why at that moment did she think of that person? Threatening tears once again crept up as it swelled. No, she wasn’t going to let this ruin her night. It was still so early and there was much to do. Of course, it was for the best that she left the prince since the last thing she wanted was a strong commitment. Shaking her head from those thoughts, she clenched her fist with renewed determination. Katy was going to push her feelings aside, for now she was going to focus on having fun. 

Up ahead she spotted a small town lit up with activity. Maybe it was another party? Lowering down towards the outskirts where it was calmer, Katy spotted a boy in overalls leaning against a fence. He looked over towards the street where a festival was in full bloom. Looking around, he seemed to be alone. With a small landing, she placed her broom and hat down and approached him. With her hands on her hips, she called out to him. 

“Hey why are you so far from the fun?” 

Startled, he turned towards her, his eyes wide at the sudden appearance. With a playful smile, she waited for him to reply.

“I didn’t have anyone to go with me.”

It was such a simple reply that Katy couldn’t help but bite at her lip. Walking towards him, she leaned in to kiss his cheek. 

     “Well now you do.”

Katy interlaced her hands into his, pulling him towards the busy streets. It was a small festival for what looked like a celebration of the recent harvest. It was common for the farming communities to throw such occasions as Katy had seen a few in the past. Where there was a celebration, there was more booze! Turning to her companion, she wrapped her arm around his. 

“What is your name?” 

The farmer boy blushed, turning away to hide it. “Jacob.”

“Do you know where the drinks are around here?”  

“Yeah, I helped set up the booth for it. Got a few drinking tickets in return. Let me get you one!”

    Jacob pointed towards the stand just past the center of the town. Together they walked through the crowd, several men and women glancing towards them. Of course it would be normal since she was the new comer, yet it was not uncommon for travelers to join in on the festivities. The dancing and music was centered in the middle of the market-like street with a blazing fire in the middle. The smell of cooked meats and pastries filled the air as they approached the beer stand. Jacob let her hand go as he stepped up to the counter and grabbed two drinks for them to enjoy. Taking her mug, they clinked before sipping the frothy brew. Farmer community beers were the best since everything they had was homemade. With a few deep swings, Katy closed her eyes with enjoyment. The music had a lively beat while the crowd cheered and danced. 

    Opening her eyes, she took a moment to appreciate her surroundings. It was day and night from the party at the Princes castle. From formal to absolute freedom. As much as the elegance of the castle had been, there was so much to offer in the less restricted attire and dance form. Looking back over at Jacob, Katy watched as he took a swig of his beer then wiped the foam with the back of his hand. It was uncouth, which was entirely fine with her. Maybe what she needed was not that of a new relationship but that of good company. Kissing the prince would have chained her from one relationship to another. Chugging her beer, she slammed her glass to the counter behind her with an exaggerated exhale. Jacob was dumbfounded that she had already completed her drink, causing her to raise a brow.

    “Well, are you gonna catch up or not? We have dancing to do!”

    With a hearty laugh, Jacob raised his glass to the challenge and downed the rest of his beer. Katy cheered him loudly, raising her arms above her head in excitement at his display. Slamming his now finished beer down on the counter in the same fashion as her, Katy clapped as he pounded at his chest. He clearly was not used to drinking quickly, yet wanted to impress her. With a giggle, she placed a hand on his shoulder. 

    “Way to go, I didn’t think you would do it!” 

    Standing up straight, he rubbed at his nose to brag. “What, chugging a beer? It’s not so hard.”

    The current dance had just come to an end as the next one began to set up. Katy looked over as several people began to hold hands in a circle, dancing around the fire in a line. Dropping her hand from his chest, she watched with piqued interest. The dance seemed pretty simple as she studied the steps. Interrupting her thoughts, Jacob grabbed at her hand.

    “It’s an easy dance if you want me to teach you. Come let’s go!”

    Now being the one dragged behind, Katy laughed as he pulled her towards the circle. He broke the chain, grabbing at the hand of the stranger to add to the link. Looking back at her with a charming smile he helped her join and began to show her the foot work at a slower rate. It was a little bumpy at first, breaking the rhythm of the dancers beside them as she tried to watch him. It wasn’t long before she completely synced with the line, not having to watch at their feet as the dance pattern repeated. They danced several times around the fire, the pace slowly picking up as the musicians played faster each segment. The challenge was to go as long as you could before getting tired. Several people began to break from the circle as it got smaller and smaller. Katy laughed alongside Jacob as they stayed until the last final stanza of the song. Several other dancers had survived and as the song came to its close, the crowd erupted into an overwhelming cheer.

    Katy was patted on the back by several strangers she had just danced alongside before the tempo of the music started up into a jig. Jacob thankfully was a great dancer, showing her the steps before they began to twirl and twist through the other dancers. This had gone on for several hours before the crowd began to thin out. The festival would still go on for hours more as the dancing died down to just the drinking crowd. Katy decided this was when she would take her leave. Hugging Jacob, she said her goodbyes.

    “Thank you for an incredible time. I am going to head out.”

    Shyly, he held her hands. “Will I be able to see you again?”

    Katy was unsure once more how she was to reply. Instead of false promises or heart breaking words, she cupped his cheek and brushed it with her thumb. With a smirk, she pulled away from him in silence. Swishing her wrist, her broom flew over towards her. She grabbed her hat and plopped it on her head with one hand while grabbing the broom. With a fluid motion, she took off, leaving him unanswered behind. Surprisingly Katy felt no guilt. Jacob was a sweet boy, however she was not for him. At least she had been able to finally take her mind off the pain she felt before. Looking up at the moon at its full brilliance, she closed her eyes as the breeze cooled her. Even though she had danced for hours, she was still full of energy. Maybe one more stop before finding a place to sleep. Besides, it was the weekend and she had all the time in the world. 

    Scanning around, she was unfamiliar with the area. A large tree caught her eye as it twinkled in the distance. Sticking her tongue out she decided to check it out. The light grew as she approached it. Instead of circling it, she glided silently past the branches and cruised between several tree houses. “Oh, this is a fairy kingdom.” 

    There were several fairy folk playing and dancing in clusters around several branches of the tree houses and limbs. Slowing her pace, she giggled at the folk enjoying themselves. 

    “Not often does a witch stumble into these woods.”

    The voice startled her as she turned to see a fair and handsome fairy folk drifted down to stand on the front of her broomstick, holding a drink in hand. Katy had heard how mischievous fairies could be and was curiously attracted. 

    “Not often does a fairy sneak up on a witch. What if I turned you into a toad in defence?” 

    With a contagious laugh, the fairy smiled playfully.

    “Then I would hope that kissing you would break the spell. Care to join me in merriment?”

    He lured her, leaning in to offer a cup full of sweet smelling dew. How could she turn down a drink with such a charming creature? Caution to the wind, she took the leafy goblet and took a sip of the fluid. It was sweet like honey, the nectar leaving her feeling warm within her core. It was welcoming since the breeze had chilled her from the dancing earlier. With a smirk, the fairy extended his hand.


    Katy mimicked his smirk, reaching for his hand to hold. “Katy.”

    Lifting off the broom, Feliander let go of her hand and waved to follow. He flew down towards a plant near the base of the tree. Drifting down she followed. The tree was buzzing with laughter, light music and several drunk flying fairies all playing pranks on each other. Touching down on the ground, Katy took her hat off and placed it on her broom. She was unsure if the pranksters would try and steal it, hoping they would know better than to mess with a witch. They didn’t seem malicious by any means, giving her a sense of comfort as they waved with kind smiles. Stepping closer to Feliander, he stood beside a large budding flower that protruded from the plant. The stem of the plant seemed to run through the entire tree as Katy spotted several of these buds over the kingdom. Touching the bud, Feliander used a bit of his magic which caused it to open into a bright colorful flower. Several stamens within the flower held the cup like nectar similar to the one he had given to her. 

Plucking the goblet off the plant, he returned beside Katy with a lifted glass. Katy’s eyes filled with wonder as she lifted her cup towards him, drinking it as they cheered. Who would have thought such plants existed! Katy would have to find out the species of plant later, having something handy nearby would be convenient at home. As they began to drink beside the flower, they told stories and jokes, laughing as they sat close. She told him of the party at the castle, then how she danced at the farmers festival. Katy rested her head on Feliander, feeling warm and well past tipsy as she placed her now finished cup by several others they had finished. Feliander turned closer to her, touching lightly at her chin.

“Sounds like you’ve already had an eventful night! But what caused you to venture so far from home?”

Katy’s judgement was impaired as she thought on the question. Her smile fell as she now thought of the heartache she began her night with. “I suppose you could say I am running away from something.” 

She stared into Felianders dark violet eyes. What would have made her heart melt and flutter away only brought back the gaping void in her chest. How easily she could just kiss any of the men she met tonight, alas she couldn’t push herself to do it. He waited patiently, expecting her to say more. A small tear pushed through as it streamed down her cheek.

“I had some bad news told to me earlier today, so I wanted to just drink my sorrows away.” 

Feliander withdrew his hand from her chin, his face concerned as he adjusted to properly face her. Taking her hand into his, he offered comfort as he spoke softly. 

“I am sorry to hear. Was it a loss of someone close?”

Katy broke away from his gaze. “In a way, yes. It’s more of a broken heart rather than the death of a loved one. They broke it off with me.” 

There was a moment of silence as Feliander sighed lightly in thought. Katy finally looked back at him, realizing she had affected the mood. 

“Ah, don’t worry about it so much. I don’t want to be a downer so let’s enjoy ourselves. I will be alright.” 

Sitting up, Katy offered a wide grin. Feliander scoffed, nodding at the realization that she needed a friend more than anything. Reaching up towards the flower, he grabbed the last two cups and passed her one. 

“Then here’s to you! The adventurous witch who’s looking for fun!”

“Hell yea!”

They clinked their cups and drank deeply. They continued into the early morning as the sun began to peek over the horizon. It was only when the chirping of birds did Katy finally wake up, unaware that she had even passed out at some point in her conversation with Feliander. Sitting up, she felt the material of a grassy blanket slip off her shoulder. Looking around in confusion, there was no sign of fairies as the tree was lit by sunshine. It seemed the entire tree was desolated as several of the fairy folk had drank themselves into a deep slumber. With a great deal of surprise, Katy woke up with no hangover. She rubbed at her face to clear the sleep from her eyes, spotting a small basket of fruits and nuts. Beside it was a note.

“Hope you slept well. Here is breakfast. May we meet again.”

There was no name, yet she knew Feliander was the one who left her the gift. Taking the basket, she ate the fruit while enjoying the peaceful environment. The flower that they had drank from had fully wilted, and the several goblets within were shriveled. Katy felt a little bad about killing such a beautiful flower, yet in its place a new bud had begun to bloom within the shell of the withered blossom. Katy really needed to find out what plant this was if it was able to recover so quickly! No wonder the fairy folk drank freely from the plant. She laughed at the thought of how cheerful and laid back they had been. Why she never had traveled the world like this made her wonder. All this time she had been in her swamp, spending all her time in the clouds and she could have been traveling the world. What other sights and views would she see? 

She finished her meal, taking the card left from Feliander. Kissing it, she left the mark within the basket, hoping that he would receive her thanks. Thankfully on top of it all, her broom and hat sat untouched where she left it. Seems she had the wrong idea of how fairy folk were. Maybe she should come here again in the future. Taking her hat off the broom, a startling croak came shooting out of her hat as she turned it to place on her head. Screaming from the surprise, she fell on her bottom as the frog slapped her face. Pulling the frog off, she roared in laughter. Several giggles could be heard from the treetops where the houses all stayed. Turns out they were definitely pranksters. Standing up, she brushed her dress off and placed her hat on her head. Two could play at this game. Pulling her wand out of the pocket of her dress, she whispered a small chant. On a stump nearby, she conjured a large pile of muffins. Giggling to herself, she hoped the small prank would work.The small muffins were not just yummy treats for the fairies, but also would give the eater hiccups for a short time. All in good fun, she thought as they might get a kick out of it. Hoping on her broom, she chuckled at herself as she passed through the leaves into the open sky. 

Now into the full sunlit air, she could tell that she was well past midday. She studied the land, making a mental note of the area so if she happened to be in the neighbourhood, she would stop by again. Tapping at her chin, she realized just how much of the world was left to explore. Even though she started the trip in hopes to forget her pain, she was beginning to feel the sense of adventure calling her. She turned to the west, knowing that home layed just beyond. What would be farther to the east if she continued? Excitement bubbling within her, she looked on.

“Look out world, here I come!”

Bending close to her broom, she zoomed off with great speed. As the landscape changed from farmlands and forest, it gradually became rock and mountainside. Slowing down her pace she spotted a large patch of trees with a hole in the middle. Curious, she turned towards it, taking high to the sky to get a better look. It was breathtaking as Katy now realized the hole was much deeper than she thought. It was a dwarven city! Brightly it glowed as the sun began to set, the twinkling lights bouncing off the river that ran down into it. Along the walls were buildings and housing layering on top of eachother as it ran deeply into the earth’s crust. Lowering down into it, there was a steam that battled against the mist of the water fall. It was humid and refreshing as hot and cold droplets of water tickled against her legs. Drifting away from the middle to avoid getting wet, she circled just outside of the street ways deeply embedded into the stone wall. The carvings and architecture was stunning. Several dwarves spotted her with surprise, few offering her a smile and wave.

She waved back, grinning ear to ear. Lowering down a few more layers, she finally landed on the floor. The streets were wide, lined with buildings of all kinds. The streets were busy with hustle and bustle as people shopped, carting goods and wares. A few dwarves were even riding on donkeys with small wagons. Taking a deep breath in, Katy caught a whiff of a delicious aroma. It was mouth watering, causing her stomach to rumble. 

“Oops,” Katy thought. “I’ve been flying for a while and didn’t think about food.”

Rubbing at her stomach, she followed the scent, avoiding running into people as she explored. Eventually she came to a grand opening where several tables were set up within it. A giant oven-like structure lined the wall facing the forge and waterfall. It glowed brightly, cooking something within. Stopping a dwarven male close by she spoke. 

“Excuse me, what is happening here?”

Hiding his initial shock, he switched to a grand smile. He spoke with a thick accent, rolling his r’s heavily.  “My! Whadda day! Well youn’ Miss, today we holdin eh celebration. Te King Thane’s eldest son had’is first hunt. Will ye be stayin te honor him? Tis not oft’n we have eh witch visitin’ these parts, especially one as good lookin as ye.”

The stout dwarf’s eyes lit up with excitement, waiting for her response. Before she could reply, her stomach growled loudly. With a hearty laugh he planted his fists proudly on his hip.

“Ay, sounds like ye are. Come! Let me git ye something.”

Katy blushed a little, thanking him as she followed behind. Passing several tables, some with piles of plates of meats assorted. Bowls of fruits, vegetables and potatoes filled the other side as it held a defined line where the meat started and ended. Several tables had been arranged in such a way, and on each end were several kegs stacked on top of eachother. He eventually stopped in front of a table, grabbing at a plate of turkey. It looked thick with juicy meat and perfectly crisped seasoned skin. Kate’ sparkled as she stared starry eyed. The dwarf cackled, leading her to a table as he placed the plate down. 

“Here, ye go Miss. And I’ll grab ye an Ale.”

Unsure if she should start eating right away or wait, Katy licked at her lips hungrily. What a lucky streak she was having! The dwarf returned, two grand pints brimming with ale. Some of the liquid sloshed out over the side as he plunked them down on the table. With a grunt he sat down on the other side of the table from her, sighing as he eyeballed the witch. 

“Well, wut ye waitin’ fer? Dig in!” He chuckled as he watched Katy, rip the leg off the bird and chop away at the meat. With a moan of delight, Katy closed her eyes as she savored the meal. The plate had several buns stacked beside it as she opened her mouth to rip a bite out of one. Her mouth was still full when she grabbed at the pint, drinking deeply from it. The mixture of meat, bun and ale complimented each other exquisitely. This was the life, she thought as she swallowed it all. Looking at the dwarf, he sat quietly with a grin on his face while lighting up a pipe. He took several tokes of it before blowing a smoke ring. Katy realized she had been so distracted by her hunger, she forgot to thank him.

“Thank you…er.. Sorry, what is your name?”

The dwarf jumped, his eyes shooting wide. “My! ‘Cuse me fer bein rude, Miss! Names Gurk.”

“Nice to meet you Gurk. I’m Katy.” They nodded happily at each other as she continued to stuff her face. Slowly, the area began to fill in with several dwarven citizens. Several heading to different tables, then sitting at the tables in the same row. Katy leaned in to Gurk as she watched.

“Why are people selectively eating from certain tables and rows?”

Gurk took a deep drag of his pipe before answering. “Those be their Family house’s. Each house has eh Thane on te council. Ye can tell by te flag hangin on te roof.”

Katy looked up, never noticing the flags. Each was a different color and symbol. Intrigued, she nodded, looking at the banner they sat on. It was a dark forest green with a bow and arrow. On the string of the bow was a snake that wrapped itself around it. Gurk continued to speak, explaining his house banner.

“Each house represent eh cast. Te cast of each house is wut their job is, see? Me house cast is eh ranger. We hunt te food served here tonight.” As if he was boasting, Gurk wobbled with pride. Katy chuckled, given the feeling that the bird he served her was shot by him. 

“Well, I must say, the hunter who killed this feast must have been very talented. I may want to meet them.” She offered him a wink, turning the dwarf bashful. He blushed crimson, figuring out that she caught on. Several other dwarves joined in at the tables as the feast was in full bloom. Cheers and song’s burst out at several points unprompted. Katy couldn’t help but to get caught up in the energy, clapping along to the chants she didn’t know. Each song was a tale of a house’s accomplishment as Gurk would explain them. The last song was of the Son who killed the beast plaguing the sheep pens. It was a wolf sang to be 10 times the size of a dwarf, mightier than a giant and ruthless as a tyrant king. How the King Thanes son bravely slew the beast without hesitation nor fear. At the last repeating chorus, all the dwarves sang in harmony, raising their pints towards the head tables where the son sat proudly by his father. Ale continued to flow as they drank heavily into the night. Arm wrestles and braggarts swarmed to different tables as they mingled after the songs. Katy was pickled by the time the dwarves around her began speaking of myths and legends. Some talked about the glory of golden treasures buried deep in the mountains nearby, others arguing it wasn’t buried but a dragon’s horde. 

Gurk scoffed. “Id’ots all of em. Tis buried gold and jus a Dragon! Two diffen kinds!”

Katy leaned in, hanging on his words. 

“Is there really a Dragon?” 

“Ay, Tis. Near te boarder lands o’ te desert. Seen it meselves. Black as te dark’st nights! Beady evil eyes, is has.” 

His eyes widened as he regaled the tale, swaying as he held his hands up to add to the story. His buddy beside him slapped him on the back, howling. “Can’ believe ye still tellin te tale! He was eh wee lad, claimin he saws it since we bu’ pups.”

Gurk slammed his fist angrily on the table, his face red with a vain popping from his forehead. “AY! I’s SEEN te dragon! Na eh soul believe me, eh!” 

Sitting down, Gurk grumpily crossed his arms. Katy burst out laughing at the stout dwarves childish outburst. Reaching out, she grabbed his arm. 

“I believe you, though! In fact, I will go see this dragon for myself!” 

The dwarves around her burst out laughing, teasing her as she stood up, pint in hand. 

“You all laugh, but I will prove Gurk is right! I’m gonna fly over there, ask him for a tooth, then come back here and show you all. In Gurks Honor!”

Slowly they looked to one another, deciding and nodding collectively at the strange quest the witch had set out. Who were they to judge if she wanted to prove someone’s honor? Cheering her on, Katy downed the rest of her wooden cup and slammed it down on the table. She led them towards her broom, her pointed hat sitting crooked on top of her head. With a wave of her hand she grabbed her broom and saluted the crowd. She hopped on with a stumble before kicking off in a wobbly line. The cries of the dwarves slowly drowned out as she raised into the sky. Everything was a blur, even while attempting to scan the mountain range she had a hard time staying right side up on the stick. With a hiccup, Katy pointed in the supposed direction. “Onwards!”

    Sitting in the sky unmoving, Katy glanced down at her broom. 

    “Hey! Onwards!”

    With still no movement, Katy planted her fist on her hip. “Listen here, twiggy. I made you, I can discharm you too!”

    There was a small hesitation before the broom launched into a full jet. Katy gripped on tightly, grabbing at her hat at the sudden lurch. Grumbling under her breath, she tried to focus on the ever changing landscape. It was hard to keep balance as she swerved up and down, barrel rolling here and there as she nearly slipped off to the side. Still only holding the broom with one hand and her hat with the other, she leaned heavily over to squint at a mountain before colliding into the tip of a pine tree. The sudden slap against the boom and her leg caused her to plumid narrowly towards the ground, hitting several other branches and limbs along the way. Thankfully landing in a bush below, Katy groaned at the pain in her body. She took a few moments to catch her breath before rolling out to the dirt floor. Pulling out her wand, she swished for a magical swirl to clean off her dress, leaving her looking fresh. With only a few minor scratches, she considered herself lucky. 

    “Phew! That was a close call! Alright, take two!”

    Waving her hand towards her broom, she watched as it hovered above her. The magical stick shook the top of it’s handle in a “No” like manner, the lantern attached swaying as it creaked. Flabbergasted at the outbreak of her broom’s disobedience, Katy stomped her foot while crossing her arms.

    “Oh shush, this isn’t the first time I’ve drank and flown. Come on, let’s go!” 

The broom avoided her attempt to grab it as she leapt out at it, swishing out of reach. “Listen, if you don’t come down here, I will use you to clean the floor of my house!” 

A silky voice calls out from behind her, nearly scaring her half to death. “Troubles with your steed?” 

Turning to face the voice, she came face to face with a unicorn. It was dazzling while with a glowing aura, unlike anything she had seen before. Years she had read about them, knowing them to be pure beasts, kind hearted and caring. It was hard not to feel ashamed of her behalver, now being in the presence of such a magnificent creature.

“Oh, I uh.. Maybe. I think it’s trying to say I am a little too drunk to be flying.” 

Looking around, not only did she feel ashamed but she was also horribly lost. With a light laugh, the Unicorn readed her mind. 

“Ah, yes. I think your broom is correct. I see you have lost your way as well. Would you like it if I gave you a ride back to town?” 

With a droopy head, Katy frowned. “Actually, I was hoping to try and find the dragon’s lair. This might be a little silly, but after drinking alongside the dwarves and hearing their tales, I was looking for a little adventure. I promised to restore someone’s honor by finding it and proving it was real.” 

Without looking towards the magical creature, she could feel the disappointment on his face. Crossing her arms, she looked to the ground. “I haven’t really been having the best of luck lately so I thought if I could find him, I would have an epic tale everyone would sing of the tale for years to come. At least something to replace… Ah, never mind.” 

A small tear welled as she began to feel the pain boil within her. The unicorn felt bad, watching her sigh in defeat. Finally looking up at the unicorn, Katy offered a weakened smile.

“I will take your offer for a ride back to town. My broom is right, I am a little too drunk.”

Leaning down on one knee, he offered for her to climb up. Even though she felt her streak of fun had finally come to an end, never would she have ever dreamt of riding on a unicorn. Timidly she approached him, touching at his pure snow white hair. His mane was silky to touch, untangled while she pulled herself up. Taking off into a slow trout, his gate was smooth and unhindered. The grace and elegance of the unicorn’s movements were like a river seamlessly flowing, no matter which way he turned it was natural and effortless. Making their way through the rocky terrain, they began to speak.

“I am curious, Why would you want to do something so risky in the first place?” 

Katy chuckled. It was risky. Everything she had done over the past few days was careless and unplanned. There was no real reason so she told him the truth.

“I was dumped.”

Dismayed, the unicorn turned his head to look back at her. “All this from a broken heart?!”

Katy gave a painful smile. It was time to finally come clean. No more was she going to avoid her pain. “I know, you’re not the first to say it. I had known them for years, we started as friends and lo and behold, fell in love. We never really officially dated, it was mostly kept secret because of their stature.” 

Katy began to fidget, twirling the unicorn’s mane between her fingers. 

“I can’t be mad. I knew from the beginning we were from two different worlds. I am a witch and they… Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. They are engaged now and here I am.” 

The unicorn kept his pace as he listened. “So you are looking to replace that love?”

“I thought so at first, yet when I started this trip I came across a castle. I met a prince who took interest in me. We laughed, danced and as we leaned in to kiss, I realized this wasn’t what I wanted. So I fled. Every girl’s dream is to meet a prince and become a princess yet it didn’t feel right. So then I continued on. I met a farm boy at a festival, got drunk in the fairy kingdom and it was at that point I realized I just wasn’t looking for love. Here I had men at my disposal and I could have picked any one of them. Instead I thought, I didn’t know anything about the world. So I chased after adventure and to explore. Getting drunk with dwarves and chasing dragons enthralled me. All to chase my pain away.”

The subsisting resistance faded as the tears began to spill freely. The walls she had focused so hard to build were cracking, emotions leaking through she sought to fight.

“I just… wish I would have fought more for them, you know? Instead, once I found out they were having a celebration for the engagement, I ran like a coward. How could I face them being together? The one I loved with someone they didn’t. I couldn’t bear it.”

Wiping the tears quickly she slapped at her cheeks. “Nope! I promised myself I would not cry over this! Sorry for pouring my heart out, and also for the ride. Once we get back to the city, I will sober up and just head home. I am sorry to drag you into all this.” 

With a change of heart, the unicorn stopped in a huff. After hearing her plight, he decided to help her.

“You know what. Today is the day you find the dragon! I will help you and together we will get your song!” With a stomp of his foot, he pivoted into a gallop off towards the dragon’s den. Convinced, he decided to help make her small dream come true. They race off towards the mountain peaks, making great leagues with the fluid movement of the unicorn. Katy’s heart raced, and with a cheer, she hugged his neck. Planting a kiss on his neck, she thanked him. 

The trip wasn’t long as they made their way to a cave entrance. With excitement, Katy hopped off his back and snuck up towards the rocky wall. The unicorn huddled in close behind as he whispered.  

“How are you going to convince him?” 

Katy nervously chuckled. Not once did she think of a plan the entire way here. 

“No clue. Can’t I just walk up to him and just ask for a tooth or a nail?” 

The unicorn nudged her hard on the shoulder with his nuzzle. 

“Ok ok, stupid idea. Well, I can cast a quick spell on myself to turn invisible. It won’t last long though since I kinda didn’t do so well on those kinds of spells in school.”

Shaking his head, the unicorn huffed. “They can sense you so it won’t be much help. Dragons are also magical creatures who can sense magical presents. I would not doubt he already knows we are around.”

Katy leaned her back against the wall to pounder. Slapping her fist into her palm, she looked at her friend. “What if I cast a minor charm spell?”

Quizitorily the unicorn shrugged. Katy frowned, it could be that the unicorn didn’t know much either about dragons. It was common that each creature was just as secretive to another on what they were like or capable of. Which meant, he probably was unsure how effective her own magic would be. Dropping her hands to the wall, she thought deeply of the risk. Coming so far already, she wasn’t going to give up. What was the worst thing to happen? At the first sign of danger she could protect herself and flee. Turning to her friend, she touched the side of his face.

“Thank you for helping me get this far. Whatever happens, I will make sure I get out alright. For now maybe get out of here in case he comes out angry. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

For a moment he leaned into her caress before nodding. With a smile, she kissed him on the tip of his snout, parting towards the opening. 

“Before you go,” The unicorn called out just before she stepped into the darkness, “Thank you for sharing your story with me. You are a kind witch. I hope the man you cherished knows what they lost.”

Katy sadly smiled, yet was moved. Unable to reply in fear of losing control of her emotions, she nodded. Facing the unknown, she moved forward into the tunnel aware that the unicorn stayed to watch until he could no longer see her. There was no longer any light source within the cave, leaving it frightfully eerie while Katy stumbled blindly through the tunnel. Reaching into her pocket after some time, she chanted a spell bringing light to the tip. It offered very little help however, since there was no sign of where the tunnel started or ended. All she could see was darkness. Confused, Katy turned back towards the exit, seeing the walls and dirt path behind. How was it possible not to see the end of the tunnel? A chilling shiver ran up her spine, realizing as she turned back towards the void. This time looking back, in the pitch black were golden orbs that reflected the light.

Petrified, Katy was only a few feet from the dragon. With a couple steps back, the beast grew in size as it stood. Towering over her it sneered, rumbling the entire mountainside as he spoke in a growl.

“How dare you wake me from my slumber!”

The tremor of the ground shook Katy to her core, almost knocking her over backwards. She held her wand up while trying to find courage to speak. 

“I.. I uh, Hello! I am so sorry to wake you. Y-you see… I have a small miniscule request for such a … uh… Regal dragon as yourself.”

He took a step forward, leaning in closer with a distrustful look. Katy took this moment to continue.

“A lowly witch like me was merely trying to prove that a great exalted dragon lived up in these mountains. A-and uh… they didn’t believe me.” She chuckled nervously, backing up further before hitting a wall. “Ah, and well uh.. I wanted to prove that you are truly as glorious as I made you out to be! Which you are! Heh heh. S-so to correct the error of their ways, I-I wanted to ask if I could have a small tooth, nail or even a scale to bring back as proof.”

    Snapping his teeth, the dragon lowered inches from her face. 

    “I will not! A slithery witch like you cannot be trusted. You would use our parts for your spells and potions.”

    With his claws he pinned her to the wall, almost knocking the wind out of her.

    “Don’t even try to use your spells against me either, witch! None will work.”

    Katy swallowed hard while the dragon licked his chops. If she didn’t do something quick, she was surely going to be his next meal.

    “No no, I wouldn’t dream of using any of your parts! I just wanted to prove that my dwarven friend was right! None of them believed him that you exist and I just wanted to help him!”

    He pulled back his face with narrowed eyes, giving Katy confidence she might yet convince him. “Fly out over top of the city, just do a lap around to show that you really are real and how noble of a beast you are. It will show them your superiority and how all this time you have ruled over this dominion, allowing them to live as they please.”

    Playing off the dragon’s vanity worked as he considered her words. He removed his claw from her sitting as he looked down at her. 

    “And how do I know this is no trick to slay me.”

    Katy took a deep bow, removing her hat. “On my honor as a witch, I promise that no hard will come of you. If you want, take me with you. That way if you go down, so will I.”

    Not moving from her bow for several painstaking seconds, the dragon finally answered her.

    “Fine. The moment I see a knight or am attacked, I shall tear you to shreds and devour you.”

    Although she had successfully convinced the dragon, Katy still was unsure if this was a win or a death sentence. She could not promise that his sudden appearance would not startle the kingdom into a frenzy, yet she was certain at least the dwarves were expecting it. Suddenly grabbing her, the dragon clutched her close as it rushed out of the tunnel. The startling rush caught Katy off guard as he began to run at full speed. Grabbing onto her hat tightly, all she could do was hang on for the ride. The dragon continued his pace and as the opening of the tunnel greeted them, he leaped off the mountain ledge. Spreading his wings, the sudden lurch as he flapped made her stomach churn. Flying on a broomstick was much easier than in the claws of a dragon. Without warning, he rolled and tossed her into the air to land once more onto his back. Holding on for dear life, Katy sat on the back of the wondrous beast as they circled the skys. It was exhilarating as the wind blasted her face at tremendous speed. In a grand display, the dragon cried out into the night sky. The call could be heard echoing on for miles, announcing his presence to the world. With a growl to the wind, he called up to her.

    “Where are the non-believers?”

Shakily she pointed to the small circle of stone within the tree’s. They were farther into the sky than Katy could bear doing on her broom. She couldn’t even achieve half the speed they were going as he enclosed the distance within seconds. With a second thunderous cry, Katy couldn’t help but laugh. They circled the city several times before the dragon made one final call, heading off towards the mountain range once more. Looking back Katy couldn’t wait to return to see the praise the dwarves would sing of her accomplishment. Yet as they continued past the dragon’s den, Katy felt fear creeping up within her. 

“Where are you going? Isn’t the cave back there?”

No answer was given to her as he continued deep into the dessert. The land shifted from sand to dried barren lands, the soil cracked and ridged with dead plants and shrubs shed their carcusses. Before she could think of a solution, the dragon dipped deeply towards a small thicket of trees. In a flash, Katy was ripped from the dragons back. For a short touchdown, the dragon dropped her harshly on the ground. Covering her face, Katy screamed for her life while wind assaulted her face. Fearing he was going to eat her even though no one attacked, she shoudded her face with her arms. Anticipating an attack that never came, she finally dropped her arms and looked around. The dragon was nowhere to be seen.

Shakely, she stood up and dusted herself off. The gust from the dragon’s wings had thrown her hat several feet from her. Retrieving her hat, she took a deep breath in and closed her eyes. 

“Great. He ditched me in the middle of nowhere! I guess I should have arranged with him before asking to ride on his back where to let me off back with the dwarves.”

Tisking as she picked up her hat, she felt the presence of several entities around her. Slowly standing, she was surrounded by several creatures. Few growled and laughed while others stood staring. She couldn’t see their faces with the myst surrounding them adding to her fear. 

“Look what we got here. Stray little witch.” The voice came from in front of her as a talk slender man stepped forward. He was pale with dark thin lips, framed with long straight raven hair. His smile almost glowed in the night, his fangs glinting from the moonlight. Vampire, Katy thought. There was no doubt about it. She was deep within the wastelands, far from home or safety. Unless there was a miracle, there was no getting out of here alive. Katy held her hat close as the looming creatures closed in. 

“Come, don’t be shy. You’re coming with me.” 

    With no other options, she obeyed. The vampire turned to lead, his army keeping a close eye on her as they walked towards the castle looming close by. Within the castle, she was led into the main halls where the vampire dismissed his followers. 

    “Excuse me for my curtness earlier. I am Lord Mercial. I govern these lands and the creatures within them.” Turning he pushed back his cape to extend his arms out towards her.

“I see the black dragon Eurlun has brought me yet another gift.”

    He paused to scan her head to toe, sending shivers up her spine.

    “And what a gift indeed.”

    Katy treaded carefully as she held the rim of her hat in her hands. “What do you want with me? Help you with household duties? Have brooms carry mop buckets around for you?”

    Lord Mercial chuckled humorlessly. “To be my bride. I have been in need of one for some time since the last one.”

    Katy swallowed hard. The last thing she wanted right now was to be in a relationship, yet being forced into a marriage she didn’t want? With widened eyes, it finally dawned on her. If by some how she ever made it out of here she knew what she needed to do. Coyly, she stepped up to him. Somehow she needed to find a way to distract him so she could flee. The monsters under his command were nowhere in the room so she could flee towards the balcony. Thankfully she had sobered up from the exhilaration of the dragon ride that if she could enchant some object, she could haphazardly fly out of immediate danger. How she would make it back home would be something she would figure out later. Right now she needed to save herself. Besides, she felt invincible after what she had been through so far. This was one crazy weekend and she wasn’t going to let it end like this. Submissively, she stood in front of him as he wrapped his arms around her. 

    “That’s it. Succumb to your fate. Don’t worry, I will give you thousands of children to spawn. And together we will rule over this kingdom.”

    Caressing her face, Katy looked frantically around for something, anything to aid her. He pulled back her hair from her neck, preparing to bite her when she looked back at his own. That’s it! Launching quickly at the vampire’s neck, she chomped down as hard as she possibly could. Ripping a chunk of his neck, Mercial howled angrily and shoved her hard from his arms.

Katy hit the floor hard, spitting the rotten flesh from her mouth. It was so putrid, it almost made her ralph. The room suddenly darkened, drawing Katy’s attention back to the matter at hand. Lord Mercial in his rage called forth thousands of bats, looming above him as his eyes turned black.

    “For your insolence, I will kill you instead!”

    “Not today, but thanks!” Rushing to her feet, Katy turned towards the balcony and fled. 

Mercial roared, sending his bats after her as he stumbled. Making it outside, Katy didn’t have time as several of the small winged creatures pelted her. Pain erupted in her arm from scratches and bites nicked at her. Losing her footing in disorientation, Katy backed up into the railing and felt backwards as it crumbled from her weight. The slow motion of her fall crushed her. She had still so much she needed to accomplish. With a small prayer, she closed her eyes.

“I just want to see them again.”

Unable to do anything else, she extended her arms to await her death. Memories flashed of her time she cherished with her love. How she wished she was braver back then. Smiling, she let the tears flow unrestricted. All that matters is that I loved them. The freefall felt unending, and as the sudden slam against her body winded her she gasped hard. Instead of being hitting the ground, she was in the arms of a brilliant shining angel. With his wings extended, he flew straight to the open sky. In a dumbfounded stuper, she yelled at him.


Not expecting him to reply Katy leaned her head against his chest in relief. Exhaustion crashed her all at once from the rollercoaster of emotions and events. After they landed, she was never leaving her house again. Well, at least for a while. Several minutes had passed and yet he still said nothing to her. Thoughts raced through her head and when it was at its worst, she finally broke the silence. 

“Why on earth would you save me? I thought you hated me.” 

She knew who he was and even though she was sure he would never accept her kind, here he was protecting her as he flew off towards familiar grounds. 

“We may never see eye to eye, and sure I despise your kind, However, if anything happened to you, we both know they would never forgive themselves.” 

Katy was touched. She had been reckless with heart ache and not once did she think about how her love would react if she had disappeared. 

“Wait, how did you know where I was?” 

The angel kept his composure, never smiling yet never frowning. Such a typical thing for a warrior angel. 

“After I heard what happened, I followed you to make sure you wouldn’t get into trouble like you usually do. I’ve seen witches do worse things than you have.” 

His words were no more comforting, yet she was still grateful. Bright lights pulled her to the present as she realized they were not heading towards her home. There was cheering, music and flashing lights as they drew nearer. 

“Where are you taking me?” 

Alex said nothing upon lowering towards the outer ring of the cathedral. Touching down to the ground, he lowered Katy. 

“You can’t choose who you love, and even though I shouldn’t be helping you I know they feel the same way.” 

Katy looked up at the angel, then followed his gaze as it led her to the stage in the middle of the full packed house. There they were, the one she loved standing in front of thousands celebrating the announcement of the wedding. Katy hoped after hearing about the party that she could escape far enough away to avoid being here, and yet after everything she had gone through she had ended here. Fate was cruel as she spotted the flashy man beside the beautiful woman he was going to marry walk out from behind a curtain. With the words of the angel replaying in her mind and her prayer only moments ago, she knew exactly why he had brought her here. He wanted her to take her love back. Without further exchange with him, she knew what she needed to do. Grinning, she brought out her wand. With a flick of her wrist, she enchanted a broom nearby. Unsure where her old one was, this one would have to make due. 

On the stage, the man’s attention was solely to the crowd. He was a superstar, known across the kingdoms for his innervation and talents. A bachelor well desired and wealthy to boot. And lucky for Celistain, she was engaged to him. As he stood to the crowd, he shoved his way in front of the women. Waving and soaking it all in, he completely neglected her.  The women watched as he let his ego run while the crowd chanted his name

“Sabito! Sabito! Sabito!”

Of course he would be so arrogant, Celistian thought bitterly. Irritated by his display as he revved up the crowd, she rolled her eyes in boredom. How much longer do we need to continue this? As she looked towards the sky, her jaw dropped. Finally noticing just above her was Katy. Thoughts ran wild as she glared at her. What the hell was she doing? Didn’t she tell her not that long ago this was their engagement party? She may have been invited, yet here she floated above them in front of hundreds in the kingdom. The nerve of this witch. 

In a harsh whisper, she waved her to leave. “What are you doing! Get out of her!”

    Katy’s look of determination did not sway. “No. I am not leaving. Not alone anyway.”

    Celistain’s eyes widened with a brief moment of fear. “He’s engaged to me, Katy. Please just give up.”

    Katy reached down, offering a hand as Sabito turned to see what the commotion was about. 

    “Oh, don’t worry about her. The pathetic witch can’t take a hint when she’s not wanted. Let her be. She’ll learn her place soon.” Waving her off he returned to the crowd, as they laughed at Katy. Sabito only thought of her as a joke, he always had.

    Celistain lowered her head, ashamed by his manner. Katy held strong as she held Celistain face with her eyes. 

    “Celistain, I love you. I always have. I know you don’t love him in return.” It was a soft whisper, only loud enough for her to hear as her eyes shot up. They stared longingly at each other for a brief moment as Katy continued. “Come with me.”

    Torn between the arranged marriage and being with the one she loved, Celistain knew either choice could be devastating. Yet as she watched Katy, her hand slowly reached up to grab hers. There was no taking back her choice as Katy pulled for her, determined to not leave her behind. The crowd gasped, warning Sabito to turn around. Angrily he cried out. 

    “What are you doing?! This is to help save your kingdom from falling! You choose this now and our alliance with the heavens will end!” 

    Stretching out her wings, Celistain pushed off the ground speeding off behind Katy as she turned her broom to fly off into the sky. Flapping her wings hard, she could barely hear the cries of the man she almost married. She didn’t look back, she couldn’t even if she wanted to. Her attention was solely focused on how dazzling Katy looked with the moon in front of her and the wind blowing in the wind. She turned around looking back at Celistain with a shocked smile, laughing at how she really was holding her hand once more. Celistain knew the feeling as the settling idea of the choice she made sank in.  Oh no, she thought, What are we going to do now?!

With miles placed between Sabito, They finally slowed down. Katy had flown them well past the clouds and all they could see was the moon at its peak and the stars. Celistain flew up to rest beside Katy as they sat on the broomstick. The cool breeze was welcoming as she took a deep breath. They sat in silence before Celistain spoke, her voice weak.

“I told you to let me go. Why couldn’t you just leave it be.”

Katy squeezed her hand, unwilling to let it go. “I love you. I could never let you go even if I wanted to. Trust me, I tried. And the story I have will astound you.”

Celistain sighed heavily. No matter what story she had, it wouldn’t matter. She knew there was no way Katy would have, because she too couldn’t let her go. The pain she buried deep down bubbled forith. All she wanted was to please her father by bringing unity between the alchemists and angels like he wanted. If only she hadn’t fallen for Katy already. Tears poured as she turned away from Katy. 

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t let you go either. I am so sorry…”

Katy reached out, caressing her chin gently to pull her face towards her. “It’s ok. I would say don’t worry and that everything will be alright, but it won’t. And that’s ok because together we will figure something out. I know your kingdom needs resources but after the crazy weekend I’ve had, I may have a solution. For now, at least you are free from Sabito.” 

Her words were comforting while mesmerizing Celistain. She was right, at least now she was free from him and all she could see was her. Leaning in she closed her eyes and when their lips touched into a tender kiss, Celistain knew at least with Katy everything would work out fine.

The end.