Shadow Thief

Fish sucked in a deep breath as she peaked around the corner at the heavily-armed, stern-faced, fully alert guards. This was so stupid. Monumentally stupid. Suicidally stupid. Why in the world had she accepted this job? Continue reading

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Caged Angel

Alexis groaned and curled into a tight ball, her eyes squeezed tightly shut. Her back was on fire, like someone had shoved a knife deep into each shoulder blade. She wished it would just go away, even for only a few hours. Just long enough to let her sleep. One night’s worth of sleep, that’s all she asked. She hadn’t been able to get more than a couple hours at a time in—how long had she been here? Days? Weeks? God forbid, maybe even months? Ever since she’d woken up here, in this cold, damp basement that smelled like okra and mold. Continue reading

Murder at 4AM

A/N 1: Please note the title. I tried to be discreet with my descriptions, but this story does involve a murder. So if you think it might bother you, don’t read!!

It was almost four in the morning when a working girl called it in. Dispatch wasn’t surprised; hardly a day went by without some crime or another reported in that part of town. Burglary and theft were the most common, but they had more than their fair share of murders. Those averaged about six a month. Continue reading

Mile Marker 309

(Warning: contains some disturbing imagery; for a teen audience and up)

On the stretch of Interstate Ten between Lake City and Baldwin, rain cascades down from heaven like a thick curtain and turns the black asphalt slick. The dark clouds hide the crescent moon and flickering stars, bringing visibility to near zero. Wind moans through the trees on either side of the highway. Continue reading

The Black Unicorn, Part 2

Alys was almost to her uncle’s house when she felt it: a sudden, inexplicable urge to enter the woods. So compelling was it that she found herself nearly at the forest edge before reason returned to her. What was she doing? She couldn’t go into the forest this close to sundown, shouldn’t go into the forest at all. But the longer she hesitated there at the edge of the forest, the harder her heart pounded and the more her hands shook. She had to go. Continue reading

The Black Unicorn, Part 1

Alys’s breath hissed through her teeth, and she jerked the needle out of her left thumb. As she examined the bead of crimson oozing from her skin, her embroidery hoop slipped down her brown, wool skirt, and she fumbled to catch it, painting a thin, ugly stripe of blood over the pathetic little mountain scene she’d spent the entire morning on. Tears pooling in her eyes, she threw the hoop at the wall before dropping her face into her hands. This was pointless! She’d never get it right. Mother had made embroidery look so easy, sitting in her big chair with the cloth on her lap and humming a cheerful tune while her hands practically flew across the fabric. But then, Mother was all grace and poise, a lady in word and deed if not in birthright. That, it seemed, was not a hereditary trait. Continue reading

For The Taking

I was ten when the soldiers came for me. We were playing in the trees, my brothers and sisters and I, when we heard the rumble of horses’ hooves trotting up the mountain path. I was the second one on the ground, right after my brother Otho, and we made it to in the clearing in front of our house seconds before the sleek war horses crested the hill. Continue reading

Altar of the Unknown God

The morning of the Choosing Ceremony at the Mountain Temple, Elora rose early to watch the sunrise. Today was the last time she’d see the sun for a year. Later this morning, she and the other initiates would enter the Temple and begin training to be priestesses. She shook that thought from her mind as she crawled out of bed, banishing it before terror could overwhelm her again. Continue reading