THE ANAKIM CAN DIE by Peter M. Emmerson

Graphic by Paul and Carilla

Paul and Carilla

Paul lay on his back wrapped in his sleeping bag, the hood pulled tight until it all but covered his face. The tip of his nose was cold, but it troubled him not. His eyes were filled with the wonders of the heavens. The all encompassing ring of standing stones stood around them; comforting in their silent protection.
The stars; so close, so bright. The mesmerizing flickering layers of green which filled the sky to the North, so mysterious and enchanting. It had taken a great deal of cajoling from all three youngsters to obtain his mother’s permission for them to spend two weeks away from main camp on a hunting trip. He had promised to check in mentally each day.
Xjang had commented earlier, as they huddled around the tiny camp fire, that the shimmering green sheets were created by the souls of warriors who had died in battle. The diminutive Finn, in a counter argument, insisted that Bes himself had cast infinite handfuls of glow-worms into the sky to shine forever and defeat the darkness in those times when Khonsu, the god of the night hid his face.
Paul smiled at his friends, he knew the stars were suns like the one that shone down on them daily, but tonight he was happy to accept their more simple explanations. And watching the dazzling Aurora Borealis displays he was almost inclined to agree with the two young warriors. Continue reading

War of the Words by Ellen Mae Franklin

Carol BondProse was a pretty thing with dark hair and brown eyes whose smile lit the world around her. This day found her hard at work. Sheets of paper lay scattered on the desk and floor, screwed up balls of the unwanted stuff littered the room and the quills that she so loved to write with – her most treasured of possessions – were spread out before her in loving array. Feathers and inkpots, scrolls, and the ability to create infinite worlds belonged to this dedicated writer, Prose was proud of every word.

 

“I have finished! I have finally made my mark.” Prose leapt out of her chair. “It is done at last, my very first story. It’s a pearler and once it’s published I know it will go straight to number one.” She hammered on the wall with her fist and the scraping of a chair on the other-side followed, then a came a knock on her door.

 

“Come in, come in Ink and hurry up.” Prose shouted, well aware that every writer in her building would be frowning at the interruption. Every time a writer placed the last dot on the end of a tale, indicating that the manuscript was ready for other eyes there was a celebrated shout: disrupting the usual quiet that enveloped her building.

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PWENE THE DWARF By Pete Emmerson

Goblin King Out of Print“He’s a try-er, and a liar,” I whispered in my brother’s ear. Scampering down the steps from beside the throne, I pulled a cartwheel in front of the petitioner. Spinning around and sticking out my long tongue, I wriggled it in the man’s face.
“What proof have you of this indiscretion?” The king asked.
“It was the time of the full moon my liege,” replied the man giving a deep bow, Randolph of the Marshes, then attempted to peer around me. “I was ensuring the safety of my hens, for they were creating a fine cackle. I feared that perhaps a fox were amongst them. But it was not to be, I came across Roger of the Fields there, dressed as a wolf, devouring one after the other of them whole and un-plucked. When I shook my blunderbuss at him, and queried his behaviour, he leapt a high surrounding fence, and ran on four limbs for the safety of the woods.

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Going Home by Anthony Hulse

As we touched down at Heathrow Airport, my feeling was one of relief. Given that my occupation called for me to swim amongst sharks and other fearsome creatures of the deep, a routine flight from Australia should have held no fears for me. I managed to release my grip on the armrest, before unfastening my seatbelt. My throat was as dry as the Sahara with nervousness, and I was in dire need of some liquid refreshment.

The retrieving of my luggage went better than expected, as mine always appeared to be the last to be unloaded. I glanced at the clock on the wall and adjusted my wristwatch, before realising that the clock was wrong. It showed nine-fifteen, which was three hours out. My confused mind was calculating the time zone difference, and I concluded that it must be after six-fifteen. Again, my attention was focused on the wall clock, and I noticed that the second hand was moving backwards, which caused me to smile. Continue reading

The Big City by A J Hawkins

big-city-hd-wallpaper-design

John walked down the slowly quietening street. It was a pleasantly warm spring day, though the sun was now sitting at that annoying height where it was impossible to shield one’s eyes from it, and shops were preparing to close. It had been a long day, but he was still smiling widely. The meeting had gone far better than he’d expected. He couldn’t wait to get home and begin making the necessary preparations.

But he could’t fight that nagging feeling that he had forgotten something… maybe it was just paranoia. He patted his pockets to be sure. Train tickets, check… wallet, check… keys, check… phone… shit. Continue reading