To Fool A Witch

Witches, I’ve been told, are very difficult to fool. I’ve got a witch on my block. She lives three houses down from mine, behind the gate that’s climbing with ivy and blue morning glories. I’ve seen her a few times, working in her garden, or sweeping off her steps with a twiggy broom that I’m … Continue reading To Fool A Witch

Slowing Down

They’re waking up when I come into town. Shopkeepers, housewives. A few beggars. This town doesn’t have very many—I remember that from the last time I came through. I’m not sure they like that sort. I probably look like a beggar to most of them. My shoes are getting thin around the soles, and my … Continue reading Slowing Down

Marshes

They left her to the marshes. That’s the rumor, anyway. The women in the kitchens whisper about it when they mop the floors, and the men tell the stories in the stable. I’ve heard it both places. It’s always the same. She spurned a lord, and the marshes took her soul. I’ve spurned my own … Continue reading Marshes

Herb-Woman

Rose hips grow by the wooden gate, red fruit already wrinkling in the late-summer sun. I pause with my hand on the latch, gathering a few and storing them away in my apron pockets before I go inside. They smell of hot wind and dust, but brewed into a syrup, they’ll cure cough and treat … Continue reading Herb-Woman

Ash and Smoke

I buy the kerosene at the shop around the corner. The woman selling it smiles at me, and we talk about the fresh spring weather, the crocuses popping up in her flower beds, and the barges coming down the river from the cities inland. It’ll be a rich year, she tells me. A blessed year. … Continue reading Ash and Smoke

On The Edge Of Living

All men die, I tell them when they ask me why the world ends the way it does. And when they die, they come here. We’re not dead. Not yet. They ask me why that is, but I don’t tell them the reason. I don’t tell them that we’re the forgotten people, the ones sent … Continue reading On The Edge Of Living

Almost Life

He was dying when he told me, “I had an almost life.” The nurses sent for me when he woke up. His face was gray in the moonlight, gray against his sheets, gray against the hospital walls. I sat on the edge of the bed, listening to the heart rate monitor blip softly in the … Continue reading Almost Life

Portrait of a Missionary

As a writer, I am fascinated by people. No two people carry the same stories. Their life experiences, their worldview, and their hopes and dreams are uniquely their own. No work of fiction can compare to the beauty and complexity of the world around us, but, caught in our jobs, our routines, and our day-to-day … Continue reading Portrait of a Missionary

Go To Sleep

I come when the library closes. The lights are out, except for the lamp Mrs. Wilfe leaves on just for me. The doors are locked, and the windows have been shuttered. Even most of the reading desks are cleared. No one is left. Only me. Because I have to put the stories to sleep. I … Continue reading Go To Sleep

Heartsmith

They say the best shops are the easiest to find. I don’t agree with that. I’ve known many good shops in my time, shops that were hidden away, that took me all day to find. Sometimes the hunt is half the fun. But these days, people prefer main streets and wide roads, and convenience is … Continue reading Heartsmith