Short Story: Clean Breakaway

Years ago, she ran away. Dropped everything, cut off everyone, packed one bag and vanished.

Starting a new life from scratch wasn’t easy, but it was better than staying stuck in her dead end old life. The her who remained would surely be on the streets or worse by now.

Despite everything, there had been bright spots in her old life. People of warmth and hope who had lifted her spirits, even if for a short while. It had been hard to let them go, but a lingering affection wasn’t enough for her to give up her current hard earned life.

Maybe in the future, when she was secure and strong enough to properly protect herself and reconnect with those precious souls who had kept her going.

She looked forward to that day.

~End~

Genre: general

Short Story: The King and The Girl

Genre: general, fantasy

 

The king first met the girl in his own private garden. The palace staff held their breath, for he was a cruel king who was quick to repress any disobedience, and trespassing his private garden was definitely an act of disobedience.

Unsurprisingly, the king had the girl thrown into the dungeon, never mind that she was unconscious and young enough that they could easily count her age with the fingers on their hands. They tended to her as they did the other prisoners and stepped back when the king visited the dungeon, as was his routine.

The girl had no memory, not of how she ended up in the garden, not of herself. No matter what the king threatened, she could not give any answers. For the king, whose paranoia demanded that he knew everything, it was unacceptable, and he visited again and again, hoping to pry out her secret.

At some point, the visits became less hostile and more peaceful. The cruel king and the amnesiac girl spoke for minutes to hours at a time. Interrogation turned to exploration to conversation.

The palace staff kept watching and waiting for the day the girl made a wrong move and attracted the king’s infamous cruelty, but the day never came. Instead, it was the king, their stubborn, set in his ways, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do king, who changed. He became more willing to listen, more open to alternate opinions, more merciful in his actions.

Over the years, the king continued to change, but the girl remained the same.

Exactly the same.

Before, they wondered about her safety. Now, they wondered about her.

The girl, as young as the day they mysteriously found her in the king’s private garden, merely smiled at their questioning glances and skipped with childish glee through the palace.

~End~

Short Story: Hot Secret

Genre: family, fantasy

 

His sister was the warmest person he knew. Always ready with a smile to give and hugs to offer.

She hadn’t smiled once in the past week.

In fact, she’d gone from warm and friendly to downright frigid. She held people at arm’s length and shut down conversations with ruthless efficiency. It was like a stranger wearing his sister’s skin.

He confronted her every day about it, event if all he got in return was stony silences or increasingly hurtful words from both sides.

“Leave me alone!”

She slapped his hand away and it burned. Literally. They both screamed at the fire on his skin and sprinted to the bathroom to put it out as the rest of the household rushed to them.

“What happened?”

“Something smells like it’s burning. Is that smoke!?”

By the time things calmed down, his sister’s room was only slightly smoky and his hands were a little red but fine. In anxious bits and pieces, his sister admitted what the rest of them had started to guess.

“I have powers.”

Fire powers, tied to her emotions, which was why his sister had tried to distance herself from everyone else.

“What now?” Fear muffled her voice into a whisper.

His mother reached out to take his sister’s hand, looked at his still red hand, and awkwardly changed course to pat his sister on her shoulder.

“We’ll figure it out together.”

His sister cried. The jacket flung over her chair caught fire. They hurriedly stamped it out.

“All good. Everything’s fine,” they assured each other. The absurdity of their situation caught up and they couldn’t help but laugh.

Something else burst into flames. They rushed to put that out too.

“I’ll buy the fire extinguishers before dinner,” his father said.

His sister tried valiantly to smother a giggle so she didn’t set something else on fire.

So, this was their life now, huh?

~End~