Short Story: Try Again

She froze as the glass plate she just engraved crunched under her boot.

One week of hand cramping work, one month of painstaking design, destroyed in one moment. She pressed her lips together, holding tightly to a blank mask, but no amount of tensing could stop the tears welling in her eyes.

Her friend quickly swept every glittering shard into small box, then set her down in front of a fresh plate.

“It’s alright, you can try again,” he said with a smile.

She didn’t share the same optimism. The shattered piece the best she’d done since she started the craft, with the best parts birthed out of happy coincidence rather than skill. But a plate was what she promised as a birthday present, so a plate she would make.

She shook out her tensed hands and tried again.

~End~

Genre: slice of life

Short Story: Lacking

They say that the third young master is hopeless at archery.

It’s not talent that he’s lacking. It’s motivation.

“Ready. Set. Go.”

Three pre-filled balloons soar into the air. On the podium, an archer fires a single arrow. All three targets burst into clouds of colourful confetti.

The third young master grins and nocks his next arrow.

“Again!”

~End~

Genre: slice of life

Short Story: Deceptively Light

Third Cousin’s latest girlfriend opens their ancestral home’s double French doors on her second try.

That’s not supposed to happen.

The deceptively light doors are held shut by a notoriously finicky latch. Learning how to jiggle it open is a rite of passage, taught only to those who are a part of the family. Has someone leaked their family secret?

“I’m a professional safe cracker,” the girlfriend shares over lunch, and all three generations sigh so loudly the two family dogs trot in to investigate.

If she figured out how to open the lock on her own, they have a rare opportunity. After the meal, they usher her to the attic, locked by an equally finicky bolt that no one knows how to remove. The girlfriend fiddles with the old metal before giving her verdict.

“I can open this, but I need my tools. I can bring them with me next time.”

All eyes land on Third Cousin , both a wordless threat and a silent plea.

Don’t break up with her!

~End~

Genre: slice of life

Short Story: There is

There is a thief in her pantry.

Armed with a broom, she turns on the light. The warm glow reveals her error and she throws herself prostate to the kitchen floor.

There is a prince in her pantry.

“You servant humbly greets the First Prince,” she says to the dark tiles. Her mind races for any crimes she might have committed but the worst thing she has done is bring the unwanted offcuts back home with her to share with her family.

There is a guard in her kitchen.

He bursts through the entrance and tackles the crown prince to the floor. The guard presses a ring to the prince’s neck, and the heir to the throne disappears in a cloud of steam.

There is a kind face in front of her.

“Don’t be alarmed. That was just a copy. There is a rogue enchantment duplicating the crown prince. If you see his royal highness, alert your closest guard.”

There is a story for her to tell.

“You won’t believe what happened to me today.”

~End~

Genre: slice of life, fantasy

Short Story: Hidden Mischief

Eyes curve into a smile as lips part to reveal a gap where a baby front tooth used to be.

He immediately plasters his back to the wall and opens all eyes and ears for any clues. It’s bad enough when the twins wear matching grins. When he can see only one daughter, the other is definitely getting into mischief out of sight.

“Where’s your sister?” he asks.

His answer comes in the form of an explosion of glitter, covering him from the tips of his premature grey hair to his Lego-bruised feet. Twin peals of laughter dash off in opposite directions as he struggles to wipe the gunk off his eyes. He can’t even yell at them or risk choking on the colourful pieces.

He doesn’t know who got the twins glitter, but he will find them, and he’ll make sure all the mischief makers clean every shiny dot from the house.

~End~

Genre: slice of life, family