October 20

Fictober, Prompt 20 – “You could talk about it, you know?”

Warnings: none. Fantasy.


I traced the last rune and watched as the energy poured down into the mixture bubbling on the stove. It looked good so far, the color was shifting from brown to orange the way it was supposed to, and I’d double-checked all the ingredients three times, so it should—

Something in the magic twisted, and whole pot flared briefly orange, and then faded into a distinctly unappetizing gray.

I cursed at length, spinning away from the stove and trying not to stomp along the floorboards like a petulant child.

“Still having trouble?” a voice asked from the doorway, and I glanced over to find Nkiru standing there before turning my head sharply away. I thought she had gone out; I didn’t want her to see me like this.

I didn’t want her to know that anything was wrong at all, but it had been impossible to hide for long with the two of us sharing the house right now.

Nkiru sighed and came over to wrap a dark-skinned arm around my shoulders, squeezing a little. I kept my head turned and tried to accept the comfort for what it was. She was open with physical affection and while I was discovering that that could be nice, I was…not used to it. Not after living on my own for so long.

“You could talk about it, you know?” she said softly, voice warm and understanding.

I squeezed my eyes shut tight against the sudden threat of tears. Kindness made this harder, somehow, but I couldn’t bring myself to shrug her off and turn away.

I shook my head. I didn’t think I could stand to talk about it. Not with my latest failure still simmering on the stove, smell becoming fouler with each passing moment.

She squeezed gently once more and then let me go when I turned away to move the pot off the heat, replacing it with the kettle. No sense in having gotten the stove going for nothing, and tea sounded appealing. At least all my non-magical cooking still went smoothly, which was just as well, because Nkiru wasn’t very good at it.

“Maybe it is a curse,” she said.

Continue reading

October 7

Fictober, Prompt 7 – “No, and that’s final.”

Warnings: none.


“No, and that’s final.”

This seemed unlikely to me, since he’d said the same thing yesterday, and the day before.

“Then why are you letting me come back to ask again? I know you’re more than capable of keeping me off your property if you wanted to.”

He narrowed dark eyes, glaring at me for pointing out this truth. “I don’t understand why you’re even coming to me in the first place.”

“You’re the only witch I know,” I answered. He had made it clear the first day that he was a witch, thank you very much, none of that ‘warlock’ business around here.

“This town is full of witches!”

“And I don’t know any of them,” I said, keeping myself steady. In spite of his mixed signals, I sensed that something about my problem had intrigued him. I just had to figure out why he didn’t want to get involved.

“You barely know me,” he was quick to point out, and I was forced to nod in acceptance of that truth. Still, he had heard my story, and hadn’t banished me forever from his doorstep, and that was more than I could say of anyone else.

Instinctively, I held my tongue and waited.

“Argh, fine!” he said after another long moment of stewing. “Fine, I’ll help. But you’re paying me half up front, and I’m not doing any driving. It’s not a good week for me to drive.”

“Agreed,” I said immediately, sticking my hand out to accept his bargain. His expression said he was already regretting it, but he shook my hand anyway, and gestured me inside for the second time.

“Curses aren’t my specialty,” he warned me. “I’m more of a potions kind of guy.”

“It’s not exactly a curse,” I reminded him, “and I think it might be a potion that I need.”

“Well, we’ll see,” he grumbled.

But I caught a glimpse of a smile on his face as he turned away, and let myself feel hopeful for the first time in quite awhile.

#1

Came home from work today to find that The Witch is currently at #1 in the Top 100 Free lists for all of its categories on Amazon!

And in Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories, it’s even ahead of Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker. O.o

Thanks to anyone who has downloaded it, and if you haven’t yet, now’s a good time!

Free book!

The Witch is free today! It’s a risk-free way to give Land of Winds a try (and Book 1 is on sale also, if you’d like to read more).

Luule is born with a speck of blue in her gray eyes, the vivid blue of magic. But magic is feared, and those who wield it shunned. Luule grows up fighting for acceptance in her village, her only encouragement that given by her loving mother. When her mother dies, Luule is left truly alone. Struggling to endure harsh winters, she works harder than ever…until a foreign army invades. With magic-wielding enemies bearing down on them, Luule must make hard decisions quickly not only to survive, but for the chance of winning a better life for herself. Come find out which way the Winds will blow…

(A short story in the Land of Winds series.)

Top 100 for The Witch

The Witch is in the Top 100 Kindle Short Reads for Science Fiction & Fantasy! Thanks to everyone who gave it a try! For anyone who hasn’t yet, it’s just $0.99:

Luule is born with a speck of blue in her gray eyes, the vivid blue of magic. But magic is feared, and those who wield it shunned. Luule grows up fighting for acceptance in her village, her only encouragement that given by her loving mother. When her mother dies, Luule is left truly alone. Struggling to endure harsh winters, she works harder than ever…until a foreign army invades. With magic-wielding enemies bearing down on them, Luule must make hard decisions quickly not only to survive, but for the chance of winning a better life for herself. Come find out which way the Winds will blow…

New Release: The Witch

The Witch is now available on Amazon!

Luule is born with a speck of blue in her gray eyes, the vivid blue of magic. But magic is feared, and those who wield it shunned. Luule grows up fighting for acceptance in her village, her only encouragement that given by her loving mother. When her mother dies, Luule is left truly alone. Struggling to endure harsh winters, she works harder than ever…until a foreign army invades. With magic-wielding enemies bearing down on them, Luule must make hard decisions quickly not only to survive, but for the chance of winning a better life for herself. Come find out which way the Winds will blow…

(A short story in the Land of Winds series.)