The Ring of Bells in the Wind

The family hung bells everywhere: upon the gate, above the door, along the curving bannister, from gutters and from windowsills, and on the branches of weary trees. When the wind came, they would chime away and all the air would be full of ringing. "It's silly," the daughter said. Arms crossed, she leant against the... Continue Reading →

Solid Ground in a Strange Sea

To say the island had a reputation for the unusual was like saying the ocean had a reputation for being wet. Every shop was full of potions and spells, every doctor was a magical healer, every homeless women begging change on the street corners was a witch who'd give you a spell for a penny... Continue Reading →

Filling In

Leonard sat on the bench, hat pulled low over his face, and tried to be inconspicuous. He failed. In his defense, it was his first covert rendezvous and nobody had ever really told him how they worked. When he'd offered to fill in for his girlfriend Jean at work, he'd thought she was an accountant.... Continue Reading →

Drowning in a Life Not his Own

Do not separate! the paper sign taped to the flamingos read. The letters were a bold red, the handwriting emphatic. Timothy sighed. One of his father's eccentricities. He wondered how many "eccentricities" you needed before they started calling them "symptoms." He was certainly gone by the end. Wherever he was, it wasn't here, Timothy thought, looking... Continue Reading →

No Place for Dying

Lantern light shone through the fog that hovered over the battlefield. Howls and barks echoed over the silence. The battle was over, the enemy driven back. Now the hounds were searching. They had been bred, trained, augmented, for this. They walked the battlefields, through the haze, searching for the wounded. A dog barked, his nose... Continue Reading →

Hollow

He has a menagerie of hollow beasts. Gibbons smile polished teeth,  tails coiled with hidden wire. Cheetahs crouch, never to pounce. A shark swims in the sky, eyes of black glass staring. The elephants are his favorite. A pack of two: mother and child. You can feel the immensity of them as you approach. You... Continue Reading →

On the Way Down

The balloon bobbed up and down. When it was up, Rick saw an ocean of grey clouds spread out below. When it was down, he saw valleys and hills stretched into infinity. When it was between, he saw nothing but mist. He sighed. In retrospect, tossing the operator over the side might not have been... Continue Reading →

The Tour

There are any number of holiday tour packages available, but the one-eyed man's was unique. He did not advertise and had no offices. He walked the streets of the city, handing out his little brochures. THE TOUR, they read, in curling, old-fashioned script. A journey through worlds and time. Cost one item of interest.  What qualified... Continue Reading →

Optical Illusions

Mesmerized, Allison (who was seven and three-quarters years old and delighted in telling everyone) watched the glasses. Blue, yellow, and red liquid, all tipped to one side even though the glasses were perfectly straight. She had learned about liquids in school. They weren't supposed to do that. Her nose wrinkled in thought. "Any questions?" asked... Continue Reading →

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