Hillora Lang feared running out of stuff to read, so she began writing just in case...
While her major loves are fantasy and history, Hillora will write just about anything, if inspiration strikes. If it doesn't strike, she'll nap, instead.
A Letter to My Dad
My father felt a lot of regrets in his life. Maybe it was the way he was raised, or maybe he truly felt like he’d failed his kids by divorcing, remarrying, and losing touch for so many years. There was a period of nearly twenty years when he had moved from upstate New York to Florida, when I was working dead-end retail jobs and unable to afford either time off from work or the money to travel south to see him. We kept in touch by phone, but it wasn’t the same.
Babes in the Woods
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. Celie had been coming back for years, in the dark of the moon. Never when the full moon made it as easy to find her way through the masses of fir and pine as in daylight. Never when the waning moon cast shadows clawing through the underbrush. Never when the waxing moon sparkled off the dew gathered upon drifts of fallen leaves.
A.I. Is Over My Head
I am a writer. I wrangle words, attempting to force them to tell intriguing stories in interesting ways. Writing can be brain-exhaustifying, as I’m sure many of you know, so I am always looking for fun ways to untangle the neural pathways which serve me so well. And while data-whatsit-manipulatizing is totally NOT in my wheelhouse, there’s a new pastime I just came across, on the HuggingFace.co website.
For the five of us kids crammed into the back of the wood-paneled Suburban station wagon, the first sign that we were approaching our destination came through our eager noses, lifted to take in the redolent scent of pine. The crisp fragrance wafted over us like the richest of perfumes, filling all of our senses as we watched the tree-lined mountain road unroll past the car windows. Sure, there were pine trees in other places along our journey from Hopewell Junction, NY to the Great Sacandaga Lake, just past the small town of Northville in the Adirondack Mountains. But the pines never smelled so invigorating as they did pulling into the campground where we would spend the summer.
The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Guy With a Gun Is a Dragon
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. It was a difficult decision to make, but we really had no choice, did we? We had to protect our children somehow. I understand why people might object. But it's just the way I was raised.
Our Kind of People
“There weren’t always dragons in the Valley, you know,” Margery Riddlehouse said to her new neighbor, Alyse Bower. They were sitting on Alyse’s just-delivered sofa in the Bowers’ freshly repainted living room, with a view from (still!) curtainless front windows to the house across the street. “But you know how it is,” Margery went on. “One has no control over who buys a house these days," she said with a nod towards the children playing noisily in the front yard of the Robinettes' home.
There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. The Valley came and went, you see. It was a nebulous thing, as all of the deep ocean is. The area above the deep-sea trench known as the Valley wasn’t a valley as we know it on the land. Well, not until you sink deep beneath the waves, past schooling fish and flowing seagrass and banks of coral. There, the ocean floor descended into a deep crevasse, lower than anything else at that latitude. The Valley.
Somewhere Between Earth and Sky
There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. Centuries ago all of dragonkind had left the earth we knew for an alternate dimension. There they built a flourishing society and lived in peace. Until they turned their eyes back to the earth of humans, of technology and progress and exponential growth. To the earth where wars of greed and religion destroyed as much as we'd built, where climate change and ocean-rise ruined the land, where disease and poverty and starvation prevented humankind from thriving.
Flowers for the King
There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. When the patterns of the wind, the currents of the air wafting out of the valley rode in their accustomed patterns, the fragrances of the lower elevations flowed down the broad sluggish river to the Southlands. No Highland dragons caught the scent of flocks of wooly sheep grazing in the fields or milk cows suckling their newborn calves or flowers blooming in the fields. Not when the world behaved as it ought.
A Thief In My Garden
There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. I was the first, and the best. The best dragon gardener, that is. My carrots are the sweetest, my zucchini the tenderest, my blue potatoes the most succulent. No other dragon can match my expertise in the garden.
“There weren’t always dragons in the Valley,” the weakened voice wavered out of the mildewed darkness. Between the bars of the basement (dungeon?) cell, Cali could barely make out the shadow of a bulky body, of crippled limbs and tail and damaged wings. “When they came over on the big ships, they brought us here. It was 1811 when we arrived. They told us we would have a better life here, in the wide open countryside and empty mountains. We upheld our end. But your mother…we should have known better. Never trust a human.”