Dead City

A window is open on the second floor. Most of the doors on these buildings are locked, so the only way in is through the windows, and I don’t like breaking glass. It’s too loud, attracts too much attention. Even in a dead city, attention is not what I want. I clamber up the fire…

Seashells

The best time to go for seashells is right after the tide has gone out. The waves have swept all sorts of new treasures onto the sand. I go out with my basket and gather them together, bit by bit. Sea-glass, broken shells, sometimes whole ones, little sea creatures. I always let those go. My…

Sunflowers

The sunflowers are growing already. I can see them growing all along the edge of our fields, putting out leaves, growing taller. In a month they’ll be as high as my waist, maybe higher, and their heavy, nodding heads with start to open. I love the sunflowers. We plant them every year, in every field,…

Crypt

The candles are lit this time. Sometimes when he locks me down here, because I’ve spoken out of turn or sassed my nurse in his presence, the candles are as dark as the stones, and the shadows creeping out of the graves fill the whole room. I’m afraid to be here then. But the candles…

Inkheart

“What’s your favorite book?” I always laugh at that question, don’t you? You can’t have a favorite book. Every book is different and wonderful in its own way. Most of us could choose twenty ‘favorite’ books very easily, usually without thinking too hard about it. Well, I have a confession. I do have a favorite…

Snow

The storm is on the horizon when I wake up. Low, tumbled clouds loom over the forest, gray as soot in the wind. I go for water at the stream, same as every other morning, but it’s choked with ice, and the branches hanging over the water are furry with hoarfrost. Winter is coming. I’ve…

Story Keeper

A bare bulb hangs from the ceiling. Dust ghosts around it, gold in the weak light it casts. The children are whimpering, although they all know better than to cry out loud. Not here. Not when we’re in so much danger. My son is sitting in my lap. He’s barely four, but he knows to…

Witch

She already knows it’s me when I knock on her door, even before she answers. Only I come here. No one else dares. No one else is so stupid. “This is the last time, I promise,” I tell her, already pleading, hoping she’ll let me in. She hasn’t, once or twice. Last time she threatened…

The Book Thief

Time to be a little candid. We’re all readers here, right? We all love books, we all have stayed up much too late one night or another, because we only had a hundred pages left and we couldn’t just give up. And I would hazard a guess that we all have that one book. The…

Library

They close the doors at nine, after the last reader has gone home. The librarian checks the locks and turns out the light, and leaves her desk lamp on. For the stories. They like to be able to see at night, when they come out to play. She told me that. She tells all of…