Jessica Burns Piraino
Hi, I'm Jess!
I'm a full-time marketer but my dream job would be to sit in cafes around the world while I write short stories & sip coffee.
I am an amateur mixologist so you can usually find me in the kitchen mixing a new cocktail recipe.
Angel Wings and Death's Embrace
Madame Cybelle shuffled her deck of tarot cards, their edges were gilded but worn from years of use and handling. The fortune teller wore a thick veil that obscured her face but I pictured her in my head. I imagined her wise old face lined with wrinkles and her thin lips pressed in a hard line. Candles flickered around us casting shadows along the tent walls. My mind conjured images of terrifying creatures and shadow monsters coming to take me away as if I didn’t belong here but instead elsewhere. I swallowed nervously as I tried to clear my head of unpleasant thoughts but the silence made it hard. Madame Cybelle had not uttered a word since I stepped into her tent, into her world of fortunes and fates. Her deafening silence and the flickering candlelight gave one an unsettled feeling and I grew more and more anxious as the seconds ticked by.
The Old Alchemist Who Bottled Death
There once was an old alchemist who made his living by bottling beloved bedtime stories and the most cherished memories. This old alchemist knew stories were made from ink and imagination, but he also knew they had a smell and even a taste if you just knew where to look.
The Labyrinth and the Minotaur
When I was a little boy my Nana would tell me stories about an ancient labyrinth that was guarded by a great beast. A great beast with the head of a bull but stood on two legs like a man. It was taller than man and stronger than beast. It was a monster but there were names for monsters like the great beast my Nana described to me. Minotaur. She told me that naughty little boys and girls were sent to the labyrinth as punishment when they did not listen to their elders. The children would be tossed down a well that led to somewhere far below the Earth's surface. There the children would be trapped, lost and alone as they were left to wander the endless corridors of the ancient labyrinth. The children were always frightened and the minotaur would watch the children, stalking them as they searched for their way home. If they could not find the right path then the minotaur would deem the children unworthy and eat them. The minotaur would pick the children up by their ankles and gobble the children whole.
The Stag and the Wolf
My breath came out like puffs of smoke freezing almost instantly in the cold winter air. I can no longer feel the tip of my nose nor can I feel my toes but I continue to wait and watch. While the sun is still high I entertain myself by watching the sunlight shimmer and dance atop the pond’s frozen surface while my finger begins to tap restlessly. Hours go by or maybe it is years. I am so cold that I can no longer understand the concept of time nor do I care. Before long the sun starts to sink behind the trees but I do not move from my perch. I continue to watch and wait.
Bound by Blood & Fate (a novel)
Chapter Three Adventure Awaits The next day Kate was bleary eyed and yawned incessantly while reading one of her favorite novels. She fingered the crisp pages of the novel while trying to clear her head of the alchemical book and her unnerving dream from the night before. Whenever Kate was troubled she took solace by losing herself in her favorite novels. Books were her darlings. They allowed her to be anyone she wanted. To experience any adventure, solve any crime, save any and every damsel waiting to be rescued. She was a pirate king sailing the high seas, a great detective solving crimes using the power of deduction, and she was a warrior fighting endless battles for honor and glory. She was all of these things without ever leaving her room and they allowed her, even if only temporarily, to escape from her troubling thoughts.