interlude: Stitches

Ficlet set pre WiP Sorceress Apprentice. 353 words. Bryony sews a dress for a customer. No warnings apply.


Interlude: stitching

Bryony stitched the seam of the dress with quick, efficient motions, her needle like a tiny silver sword piercing the dark velvet fabric. It reminded her of a painting she’d once seen, a school of dolphins dipping up from beneath the water’s surface before their graceful curved bodies disappeared beneath the waves once more.

She’d never seen the sea in person, let alone a dolphin, but she longed to. Yet the ocean was so very far away and she was just a seamstress without the means to pay for such a journey, let alone anywhere to stay to enjoy the scenery for a time.

The woman who would wear this dress could afford the journey. She’d made the order at the market Bryony and her sister, Kerine, had visited, their stalls set up side by side, the seamstress and the woodworker. These commissions were vital, the markets essential parts of finding customers.

The woman who’d chosen the design, picking the example dress Bryony had hanging from a rack showing the current popular styles, was taller and thinner than Bryony, her face and hair pale unlike Bryony’s dark looks, a noble beauty wearing jewels that sparkled in the sun. She’d handled the material samples with fingers that had never stitched or chopped wood or peeled vegetables, her skin as soft as the velvet she chose.

“I will wear it when we visit Greyville,” the woman said, naming a coastal town. “Lord Anders is holding a ball to celebrate the equinox.”

Bryony had said the right things, named her price and had it accepted without any haggling, taken measurements, and received a small deposit. This dress would be striking, low-cut, high-waisted, and flowing to mid-calf. The gold embroidery and seed pearls would draw attention to the cleavage. It would suit her client and hopefully impress the other guests at the ball.

What Bryony wouldn’t give to see the sea just once! But it was a ridiculous dream and so she poured her longing into her work, the needle threading its way through the material with ease and skill, the dress taking shape with every stitch.


Fiction: Bliss


The water looked deep and inviting

She stripped off down to her bikini and edged forward. She dipped one toe into the lake and gave an involuntary shriek when the water was much colder than she had expected.

It would be all right once she was fully immersed, she told herself sternly. Gathering up her nerve, she stepped out into the lake, ignoring the chill that ran through her, biting her lip. When the water was just above her waist, she ducked down so her shoulders sank beneath the water. Her teeth were chattering but, finally, she began to acclimatise.

She took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the location and then began to swim with long, elegant strokes. She was utterly alone, and blissfully content.

The House of Conrí


Sometimes names are just names. Sometimes they are symbolic. Sometimes they’re more than that.

Thomas was thrown to the stone floor at the base of the steps. Despite his shackles he struggled to his knees, refusing to lie there complacent. He raised his bruised face defiantly and curled his lip, though that made the blood flow afresh.

“Your name?”

“Thomas Daniel,” he said proudly. He was named Thomas for his grandfather, a great hunter, and the family of Daniel had long served the rightful king. “Who are you?”

The woman sat on the throne atop the dais regarded him with brown eyes that were filled with distaste. “I am Queen Ameris, ruler of the House of Conrí.”
Continue reading The House of Conrí

Flash Fiction: The Dragon Savers


A flash fiction fantasy tale for a series of prompts (see notes at close of fic)

(base banner image by mconnors at

Once upon a time there was a fearsome dragon. It had lived peaceably near a village for years, the two separated by a thick forest. The dragon hunted mostly in the woods at night, and slept in the cave at the foot of the mountain range where few people travelled.

Continue reading Flash Fiction: The Dragon Savers

Ficlet: Drinking in the Moon


“I’m thinking of calling it the ‘Steak and Slayer’,” JJ said, staring up at the currently empty frame atop the signpost. The previous sign was already long gone and the metal post had been given a fresh coat of paint. “With a picture of a stake and the font from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, and hope Joss Whedon doesn’t find out.”

“I like the pun for a pub serving steaks. But I think you should call it the Moon,” Alex mused.


“So I can say ‘Oh, I was just drinking in the moon’ which sounds romantic, even spiritual.”

“It will be true. Just not those sort of spirits.”

Alex laughed. “And people can say ‘I’m going to the Moon tonight.’ It’s fun.”

“Short-lived romances can be summed up by the walk to and from the village as ‘I loved you to the Moon and back’,” JJ suggested.

“We need a toy bovine to throw,” Alex said suddenly and they said in unison, “because the cow jumped over the Moon!”

Ficlet: Beached


Title: Beached
Fandom: Original fic
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 302
Prompt: For the thirty days of fiction meme prompt #2 Write a scene with a drunken mythological creature
Summary: Drinking rum and swimming in the ocean isn’t the best idea – but not for the reason you might think
Notes: While this is intended be readable as a one-shot, it got longer than anticipated so I’ll be writing more of this universe for the prompt meme; all will be tagged c: nala
“Lookit me,” shrieked Nala. “I’s a pirate.” She waved the bottle around in her right hand, her seashell bracelet jangling against the glass.

Sera, sitting on a rocky outcropping, shook her head. Every time there was a shipwreck her sisters seemed to lose all common sense. Raina was still hunting for survivors (which would have been commendable if it were simply out of the goodness of her heart and not a search for a suitor), Tayla had been collecting up all the shiny flotsam, and Erra had nearly got herself tangled up in the rigging three times while exploring the wreck.

Nala had found the galley and helped herself to all of the rum she could find. She now floated on her back, hair spread out behind her like seaweed. She was staring at the sky as the sun rose, turning the clouds a beautiful, if ominous, rose-pink.

“Nala,” Sera called urgently, spotting the drunken girl floating away from her. “Nala, look out.”

“What?” Nala turned onto her front and saw the reason for Sera’s concern. “Oh, don’t worry. I is a pirate, right?”

“No, you are not,” Sera yelled. “Get back here right now!”

Nala raised herself up in the water and spread her arms wide, sending sea spray flying in all directions and the now empty bottle off into the waves. “Look, I have a legs.”

And then a large wave grabbed her from behind and threw her unceremoniously onto the beach.


Nala spat sand from her mouth. “Oof,” she complained.

Sera shook her head in dismay. The tide had already turned. If Nala didn’t get back into the sea soon, she’d be trapped until the next high tide. “Into the water, you foolish child,” Sera called.

The only thing worse than a drunken mermaid was a beached one.

originally posted at my fic blog  Image made by me in Photoshop with a personal photo used as a base.

Fic: Beetles? (flash fic, exact drabble)

100 words (exact drabble, no warnings apply, originally posted at my fic blog)

“Hey, I’m home.” J kicked the front door shut and headed into the kitchen with the three bags of groceries.

“Ugh, why won’t you die?” There was the sound of something being thumped in the lounge.

“That is not nice!” J shouted, putting the milk into the fridge. “Especially since I got you a giant chocolate chip cookie.”

“Not you! I’ve killed eighteen of them but they keep coming!”

J frowned, glanced at the floor. “Do we have another beetle infestation or you are playing that zombie game again? Because I’d like to know before I take my shoes off.”