Posts Tagged ‘fairy tale’


Nobody would watch the sheep at World’s End. They knew what happened to those who stood too close to the fence under an unfriendly moon.

But the Chief’s sheep wouldn’t watch themselves. And a Chief without sheep was no chief, not in those days.

When the stranger came looking for a job, it seemed both their problems were solved.

“Just watch them, boy,” the chief said, handing over the shepherd’s crook. “If they’re all there in morning, you can have a silver penny.”

This seemed a fair deal to the stranger, so he walked to the fence at the edge of the woods, where mists swirled about the black skeletons of trees, and stood watch over the sheep.

Around midnight, the woman came from the trees, smiling and laughing, and asked him to dance.

“I would not presume,” the stranger said, “to dance with a woman until I knew her name.”

The woman pleaded, flirted, laughed, but still he wouldn’t step across the fence.

They argued until the sun rose. When its light struck her, the stranger saw that her skin was bark, her hair was moss, and her arms only branches.

The stranger took his penny and left.

Word Count: 199

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!



The Cobbler

Posted: September 24, 2018 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , ,


There is a story the cobbler tells about the faeries and the shoes. About how the kind faeries made the shoes by night with thread and needle, asking no reward.

This is a lie. Anyone who knows anything about faeries knows they never do things from the kindness of their hearts.

The cobbler and his wife sometimes say they left out milk, as though faeries’ appetites were so easily sated, their prices so easily paid.

Each morning, there are new shoes, a dozen at least. Each day, the cobbler smiles and sells his wares.

Each evening, the cobbler and his wife wait, hand wrapped in hand, until the faeries come laughing in twilight.

The cobbler’s daughters, dressed in elfin finery, ride beside the faerie queen. They have forgotten the cobbler, forgotten his wife, forgotten the taste of bread and the feel of sunlight.

A faerie’s price is never cheap.

Word Count: 150

This is for FFfAW. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yarnspinnerr for providing the prompt photo!

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Every child knows the story of the Black Dragon, whose body was as a mile-long serpent, whose wings were as sun-blocking clouds, whose fire laid waste to the lands. This is the dragon that people think of, the shadow that still hangs over their dreams a thousand years after his fall.

But there is another story of a dragon that they tell in the valleys of Canderas, where the grass rolls like ocean waves beneath the blue skies.

Fair Elowen was a farmer’s daughter, her hair like copper, her skin like milk, her freckles constellations. Long hours she danced in the valleys.

One day, she found the bones of a cow, still dangling with red meat and fresh-hatched from the carnage, a writhing, winged dragon.

It snarled, but Elowen feared it not. She sung the hymn of Mother Macca and the fire fled from the dragon’s eyes. Its horned head nestled against her knee.

So Elowen raised her dragon amidst fields and flowers, till it grew long as a river and she old as a willow tree.

They say it guards the valleys still, a winding shape in the dark, still loyal to its long-dead mistress’s love.

Word Count: 197

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction! Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.


One step after the other. Feel the song. It’s simple.

Orange light streaks through the clouds. Like she’s dancing on fire. The clouds are soft under her bare toes, rising up around her ankles.

Below, cars, roads, and buildings drift past. Gravity-bound grids of ground-walkers.

Most of them don’t even look at the sky, shot through with shimmering lights, and the rings of clouds, billowing like ripples in a pond. They don’t hear the song of the birds or heed the beautiful mystery of shadows.

She spares them a laugh, sweet as spring’s first lily, and a tear, glistening golden as it falls in a single raindrop.

Clouddancer watches the Sun fall below the distant hills and dances a greeting to first twinkling stars.

And the stars dance back.

Word Count: 129

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Footy and Foodie for providing the prompt photo!

Welcome to this week’s Doctor Who Discussion! Jaden C. Kilmer and J.A. Prentice discuss the latest episode The Eaters of Light, noteworthy for being written by a returning classic series writer, Rona Munro.


Read on for our thoughts and spoilers.



There once was a world made of clockwork, of ticking gears and gleaming bronze, made by hands old as the stars, hands that turned first to bone and then to dust, scattered upon the winds over an endless desert a thousand ages before the clockwork people began to think.

All things begin to think if you leave them long enough. They dream simple things – dreams of turning, dreams of whirring – those simple things become complex as a spider’s web, and then the thinkers Are.

A clock as tall as a mountain sat at the heart of this world, surrounded by a city of rising rings where each and every object was in motion. Upon the turrets of the clock, over the numbers of the moon-round face, rested the dragon. All the clockwork people feared the dragon, for death was in its rusting breath and its ruby-bright eyes.

All save one: a clockwork knight of shining steel.

The knight feared nothing, for that that was how he had been built, and he braved rust-breath with cutting sword and gleaming shield.

Day after day, knight and dragon fought, their duel without end, until the day when all gears will run down.

Word Count: 199

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Jade M. Wong for the photo!


The first of the winter frost clung to the trees as Anaheld walked under the looming branches, carrying firewood in her arms. Little drifts of snowflakes danced around her and her breath clouded in the frigid air.

There came a soft sound from the dark trees and Anaheld turned to see a beautiful woman, pale as ivory, hair like spun silver, eyes like bottled lightning. For a moment, the two looked at each other and Anaheld thought she had never seen a sight so fair.

The woman bolted like a startled deer. All thoughts of cold winter nights forgotten, Anaheld dropped her firewood and raced into the mass of snow-covered trees.

How long she ran she didn’t know. She raced on and on, down winding paths and under the shadows of great trees. Always around the corner or deep in the black, she would see the fleeting shape of the woman, and find to the strength to go further and further.

Some say that Anaheld still runs after her frost maiden, lost in the chase in the heart of the forest.

But others say perhaps she found her after all and together they dwell in that wintry wood.

Word Count: 198

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction!

(I’ve missed a few challenges this week due to some technical problems with my laptop. It’s hopefully sorted out, but I might still be having some issues next week.)