Macie pumped her little legs back and forth, back and forth, gaining momentum on her rusty, old swing set.
“Come on, higher!” She cried to the wind as it pushed along with her.
She imagined wings on her back, ready for takeoff as soon as the moment felt right.
With one big push, Macie brought her whole body forward, propelling the swing higher than she’d ever gotten before. A personal best.
She felt it then. The right moment.
Macie took a deep breath and let go of the chains.
The wind hadn’t lied.
She was flying.
Author’s Note: Whenever I tried this as a kid, I always ended up with scraped knees and pebble imprints in my palms.
The cop at the foot of Avery’s hospital bed flipped a notepad open. “You were possibly the only witness to a bank robbery today. Can you tell us what happened?”
The bank’s façade had glowed yellow for a moment before the motorbike had burst through the wall—not shattering the bricks, but passing through them like an oar through water. There had been a burst of pain, then a young punk peering down at him.
“Sorry, mate. Know the worst part? If you try to help the cops, they’ll probably commit you.”
“Sorry, officer, it was all just a blur…”
Author’s Note: What would you say?
I lived in a flower: a dandelion, not a rose, but still my home.
Cruel hands plucked it from the earth and imprisoned it in ugly glass. They threw it aside when it wept and died.
I didn’t have their careless strength. I did have the favour of the earth and the ear of the wind. I waited and whispered and brought slow revenge.
They cried quake: bricks and mortar toppled with the rumble of the earth. The wind drew patterns in the dust. They harmed me not, so they were not harmed. But their home died as mine died.
Author’s Note: This didn’t really come from anywhere – unless something fae put it in my head as a warning. Maybe I should stop picking flowers…
“They’re not, in fact, identical twins,” I tried to explain to the teacher. Off to the side, my little brothers were fighting over a toy they both wanted. No surprise, since they had identical tastes. “I only had one brother originally. The teleporter glitched and sent back two copies of him.”
“How long ago was that?” the teacher asked.
“Last week,” I said.
“Too late to recycle the spare, then.”
I grimaced and nodded. “My parents said there were ethical considerations and refused to. So I’m stuck with two little brothers now.”
“It’s myyyyy toyyyyyyy!” one of the boys howled.
Author’s Note: There would be ethical considerations to accidental doubles. I imagine it would be similar to pro-life debates.
A rougarou is different from a loup garou is different from a werewolf, in varying degrees. This is a thing that they all know, again in varying degrees. The different transformations even entail their own different sorts of loneliness. Self-imposed, forced, cultural.
Mercifully, the whole family was bitten, and transformed together. The fear of loneliness melted away, along with their blunt teeth and nails. The next day, they continued to be able to look one another in the eye. Their familial support was the same; only they made sure to stock the fridge with more beef than they had before.
Author’s Note: A lot of werewolf narratives have loneliness as a main theme, even though wolves and humans are both very social animals.
I found the snow sprite in my freezer a few days before midsummer, nestled between the frozen blueberries and some leftover rhubarb crumble. It wouldn’t make it to next winter in there, I was certain of that.
First I telephoned animal rescue: not their area. Then I tried 911: they told me off for making crank calls.
In the end, I packed the poor thing in an old thermos with dry ice and sent it to a random address in New Zealand. I never found out what happened, but the next winter the frost-flowers on my window-glass were especially fine.
Author’s Note: It’s always winter somewhere.
Sir Lancebit galloped into the dragon’s lair, hollering, “Say hello to Spike!”
The dragon smiled. Another ridiculous human. And the ones who gave their swords names were the silliest of all.
“I’ve done my research,” boasted the knight, riding full pelt towards him. “I know your weak spot. Take that, Sucker!” he yelled, plunging Spike into the soft fold below the dragon’s chin.
“Thanks,” said the dragon. “I could do with a new toothpick.” He plucked Spike from Sir Lancebit’s fingers, then got to work on the little knight’s own weak spots – namely his head, body, arms and legs.
Author’s Note: I’m often surprised by how easy it is to kill an enormous fire-breathing beast with impenetrable scales. I suspect if dragons were in charge of note-taking the stories might go a bit more like this.
While cleaning out the basement in my house, I find a tiny door, set into the far back wall. The door is a perfect replica of the one that is set into the front of my house.
I open it. Inside is a copy of my living room, exact in every detail. It is while contemplating this odd occurrence that I see him.
Another me. A tiny me.
I dash up the basement steps and throw myself face-down on the couch, terrified.
I feel the breeze on my neck.
I look up to see the eye that fills my doorway.
Author’s Note: Discovering all the weird nooks and crannies of a new apartment or house is one of the few non-miserable aspects of the moving process. Usually you don’t discover hidden passageways or portals to alternate dimensions, but it never hurts to look. This piece started life as a much longer story that never quite worked. It works much better now, I think.
“As long as these lasers remain on, from this moment on, persons in the future can transmit information back to any point in the past since we turned the device on, as long as it continues to run. With these new super-cooled superconductors we should be able to keep the machine running for an indefinite amount of time, and at little cost. All systems running, let’s give it a test. System on. Wow it looks like we are receiving a message already. It’s amazing someone chose the very moment we activated machine.”
“What does it say?”
“Turn the machine off.”
Author’s Note: Recently I read a book by Dr. Mallet about his design for a laser based time machine. I wondered about what type of message we might receive if the device has negative repercussions.
“Have you been borrowing my body again?” Tasha demanded, glaring at the dog.
Woofie looked at her with huge, angelic eyes, as if to say Who, me?
Tasha held out her hands. “There are dog biscuit crumbs all over these! Who said that you could use my body when I’m practicing astral projecting?”
Woofie panted and thumped her tail.
Tasha shook her head in annoyance. Highly magical! the salesman had said. Can act as a companion and a spell collaborator!
What he had conveniently failed to mention was that pets were still pets.
She should never have gotten a familiar.
Author’s Note: My friend challenged me to come up with a short story that started with “Have you been borrowing my body again?” So I took it in a silly direction.