I'm an international, multiple-award-winning writer with a passion for the voices in my head. With over 160 titles in publication, I live in beautiful PEI, Canada, with my plethora of pets. Find me at https://pattilarsen.com/home
She clung to the harness strap with one gloved hand, her sword in her other, his wings carrying them through the thick smoke rising from the raging fire burning out the siege engine below. Sparks made her blink, releasing her hold on his saddle to swipe at their biting kiss, helmet sliding forward as sweat trickled down her forehead and temples from beneath the thin metal.
It was hard to sit still, her hands fidgeting without her permission so many times as she sat and waited for the Head Witch to reach her, she was sure she couldn’t count that high. Maize tried to keep her attention front and center, but it was just so hard.
Ali gazed over the tree line as darkness faded into the glow on the horizon. The twin moons lost luster before the rising sun. Brief wisps of fog dispersed, revealing the valley below. Her sharp vision searched for motion, found none. She sniffed the air for signs of life, residue of wood smoke mingling with varied scents of the forest. And was that…? Yes. Delicate yet irrepressible, just strong enough to trace. She could almost taste the fresh bread cooling below. With a warm, cheerful grin, she began her descent down the rough mountain path.
Gault’s eyes were closed, dark hair wreathing his pale skin, clinging in strings to his cheeks and forehead. His chest rose and fell with ragged unevenness, breath harsh gasps. His face appeared gaunt, cheeks and eyes sunken. Ali felt the fist of ice tighten one last time.
It’s been so long since I stood here. The paint’s peeling from the front door, rust running from the busted lock, the clinging hinges. But I still feel the echo of the girl I was, the whispered voices of the ones I loved haunting the flagstone walk, the driveway, their faces lost in the dust over the picture window.
I’m going to die today. But don’t get all teary eyed and weep for me. I don’t need your sympathy. It’s my choice to finally do what nature wants to be done. I’ve lived far longer than any human woman should. And, while Niall would rather I stayed, it’s time for me to go.
Jane hovered near the rickety wooden yard sale table, discomfort clear in every line of her body. The thumb and index finger of her right hand absently reached for the gold band no longer gracing her left ring finger, though the indent of twenty years of marriage remained.
- V+ Fiction Award Winner
LiftedV+ Fiction Award Winner
Jenny twirls a long, brown curl between her fingers as she gazes through the dusty glass. The sign over the door reads “Curious” and makes her skin itch. In a good way. Chances are the place behind the dirty windows, with the thick curtains holding back the light and the half-peeled name sticker above eye level is the perfect place to alleviate her crushing boredom.
The final abduction left Miss Betsy a changed cow. One would never know to look at her. She was a standard dairy Holstein, lovely white with black spots, wide ears that swayed when sounds caught her attention, soft muzzle so well designed to crop grass and munch grain. Her long, narrow tail did the usual job of most such appendages, swishing the odd annoying fly with a soft slap. She had a wonderful pattern on her sides that reminded most folks who admired her of Australia, but Miss Betsy didn’t pay any attention. She was a cow, after all, with bovine goals, hopes and dreams. Those being food, sleep and, well, the other things mammals do who aren’t particularly bright or are challenged to come up with something witty to say.