The tragic tale of Princess Penelope’s favourite tree. Lightning struck the rocky ridge as the sky flared white, the vicious colour of burning stars. Before the great owl could swallow down the next bolt, it struck her nest. Two of her three eggs she could save. The third turned to stone in the blazing heat of jagged fire. The storm passed by dawn. With feathers of ink and starlight, the owl swept over snow-dusted trees. Downwards her flight melted, down into the wretched, sacred valley…Continue Reading “The Feathered Willow”

Marmalade stirred the last of the frayfern into her simmering cauldron, turning to her recipe with satisfaction. Just an hour more to brew and a day to decant— Splash. Crash. A familiar squeaking told Marmalade this couldn’t be anything good. Almost afraid to turn around, Marmalade spun to find Marmot upside down in the hearth soot, and her almost perfect potion turning a rather alarming shade of red. “Marmot!” Marmalade cried, unhooking the cauldron and upending its ruined contents into the sink. “For the last…Continue Reading “Clockwork Companion”

Marmot hastened to smooth the woven grass table mat into place. Lady would be home any moment now with her basket of berries and apples and all the things Marmot hated to eat. Since Marmalade had taught him to bake, he had only set their burrow on fire twice. Yet Lady had not been impressed when their den had filled with smoke, and had chittered angrily at him as they waited on the hill for the fumes to clear. She had been even less impressed…Continue Reading “Marmot In Love”

Deep within the forest stood a hollow red tree. It wasn’t the tallest, nor the prettiest, but it was the perfect home for wood witch Marmalade. Airy chimes rang amongst the boughs as an autumn draught fanned the flames of her stove. Sugar pies were stacked atop muffins atop towers of shortcakes. The wafted scent of baking bread enticed all manner of creatures to Marmalade’s tree for sweet treats and a place to rest their paws. Each morning, Marmot would scurry up to Marmalade’s kitchen…Continue Reading “Marmot & Marmalade”

Jack squinted at the pumpkin that would soon scowl back with its new face. His cousins squawked and made piles of orange mess as they scooped seeds for roasting. No longer would his carvings wilt, disappointed. This year, Jack would redeem his art. With apprehension and resigned curiosity, Jack bit into his first seed, hot from the farmhouse oven. Visions of ghoulish grins and winking hollow eyes shifted and twisted. Bite after bite, the visage refined itself into one both cheery and grotesque. Nana Sally…Continue Reading “Jack’s Lantern”

Shadow the cat looked down on the window, which looked down on everything else. Sun beams chased dust motes chased twitching whiskers and lazy tail. All else was still. All else was quiet. Beyond the paned glass stood a tree, which housed a creature more curious than even cats. The wombat hadn’t moved for hours. Shadow typically admired this propriety in others, yet she felt this was unusual for her greatest of friends. As day faded to dusk faded to starlit evening, Shadow watched with…Continue Reading “Wombat Gifts”

The pretty bones all fit together, pearlescent pieces of a walking puzzle. They tumble across brown grass in a semblance of the living as magic replicates sinew. The air is crisp, almost like the old stories of blue and blue and blue. Tears are too clear, too much like ghosts. If only the bones could grow as they once did. The spirits that once commanded rabbit, sparrow, dog, and fox have passed. Mayhap a new spirit, one still living, might command old bones for new…Continue Reading “Raising Ghosts”