Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Overheard at Timmy's

Whenever Mr. M has something work related to do in the city, I regularly tag along for the hour +/- ride to make a date of it.  Whether he's taking a class, doing an interview, or sitting in a meeting, I usually find myself spending a good portion of my time sipping tea and working on a crochet or writing project at a corner table in a nearby Tim Hortons (it's a fast food coffee shop that's extremely popular here in Canada).

I also like listening in on conversations around me, because you never know what hilarious thing someone will say next!  Sometimes I just have to write a quote down.  Below are a few of my favourites from the past couple of trips to Timmy's.


Two older men sipping their double-doubles by the window.
"I recently heard a story about a comedian.  Wait, was it a comedian?  Oh right, it was Obama."

Junior High/High School tutoring session. Both females.
"OMG, you're so stupid.  Your only hope is memorizing the answers for the test and then copying mine."

Balding man in his early 50's with a large coffee in front of him.  It's roughly 10 AM.
"I don't really like coffee.  I only drink it if I have to...[more talking with his buddy, who has a small coffee]... This morning I tried a Starbucks latte.  It was really good."

A frazzled young woman in line.
"I told him, 'It's Momma to you!' and he just grinned at me and said, 'Oh Nanna, you're so funny.'"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Table Talk

Finish That Thought #25 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: Who invited [Uncle Jasper] to Christmas dinner?
Special Challenge: Most creative use for a water pistol

Hope everyone had a heavenly Christmas!  I didn't do the special challenge this time, but you're welcome to take a shot and see where it'd fit. ;) 

“Who invited that scruffy looking stranger to Christmas dinner?” was the question on everybody’s lips tonight. It was the first time the company had seen someone not dressed in white. The stranger’s ragged clothes clung to his plump body, his hair was a snowy white, and the tangled beard rested on his stomach. He sat towards the center of the long table, his shabby attire drawing attention like a sore thumb when compared to the shining white-robed saints surrounding him.

“What’s his name, Peter?” Adam asked with his pen poised above his clipboard. He was busy checking off names on the attendance sheet.

“I don’t know,” Peter answered, a little dumbfounded. “But I sure didn’t let him in!”

“You mean someone sneaked past you at those pearly gates? You better find yourself a new job!” Andrew joked.

Abraham leaned over to his cousin Lot. “Is he from my side of the family or yours?”

“Well, we’re all technically your children,” Lot whispered back. Abraham made an “O” with his lips and went back to studying the stranger.

“Maybe the Alzheimer’s got to Methuselah a little more than we thought?” Onesimus volunteered.

“No, he’s sitting down there with Noah,” Enoch replied. “He likes learning about the flood. And learning about it. And re-learning about it.”

“At least old Noah has an audience and it’s not me!” Shamgar chuckled as he polished his oxgoad.

“Please, Shamgar, not at the dinner table,” Esther chided.

“I know! David just couldn’t break that ash and sackcloth habit of his!” Abednego exclaimed. “It’s got to be David!”

Jeremiah pointed over to the angel choir, “David’s over there in the mosh pit.”

“John the Baptist?” Joseph the Dreamer ventured.

“I passed him on my way here,” Paul said. “He was catching locusts in the field.”

Moses rubbed his chin, “He smiles too much to be Elisha.”

“Then who could it be?” Abigail asked. Mary didn’t offer a guess but pondered all these things in her heart.

After much contemplation, Solomon rose from his spot at the table and raised his hand for silence. Immediately the whispers hushed and even David stopped his dancing long enough to hear the verdict.

“It has come to my attention that there is a stranger among us tonight,” Solomon spoke in a quiet, but authoritative, voice. “Now, we know that no one who defies the LORD can enter Heaven.”

There were murmurs and mutterings of agreement.

“We also know that only the dead are permitted an audience with the LORD and then saints are given white robes upon arrival.”

Again, there was agreement.

“There is only one person I can think of who would be exempt from this rule,” Solomon paused dramatically as one of the angels rolled out a drum roll, “and that is the immortal St. Nicholas!” He turned to the stranger with a smug smile. “Congratulations on your petition being accepted. I hope you enjoy your first Christmas dinner.”

“Thank you! I’m sure it’ll be heavenly!” St. Nick whooped.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Veggies, Innards, and Love

Finish That Thought #23 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: This, to me, represents love.  
Special Challenge: Include a phobia of an object. Concepts, emotions don't count

“This, to me, represents love,” Lawrence said with a hurt tone. He set down his rifle in defeat and implored me with teary blue eyes that usually got what they wanted. But not this time! My foot was down and I had no intention of budging it.

I swear, I don’t know what had gotten into the man. Two years of perfectly ordinary marriage, and then he became a health nut. First he had wanted me to grow a garden “for the benefit of our health.” I readily complied. Even I was tired of the wilted greens available in the local grocery. Then came making bread and pasta from scratch because “we have no idea what effect those preservatives have on our bodies.” That one had taken a little more persuading, but a couple research papers eventually did the trick. Just last month he started hunting for our meat, and today, he was asking the inconceivable.

“Well it doesn’t represent love to me!” I exclaimed, careful to keep my eyes averted from the hulking carcass draped across the front porch. “I will NOT help you dress that…that… thing!”

His lower lip protruded in a heart-melting pout, "But-"

“No buts!” I cut in quickly, steeling myself against his experienced offense. I couldn’t even stuff a turkey without passing out, let alone deal with all that gristly tissue and fur. It was terrifying! I felt my face blanch and little black dots crowded my vision.

“Just the thought of…” I reached out a hand to steady myself against the kitchen counter as the black dots grew bigger and the ocean crashed against my ear drums. I waited until the feeling passed and tried again.

“Just the thought of…” Nope, I was going to faint. Heat rushed over my body as I broke into a cold sweat and my stomach tied itself up in knots.
The last thing I remember was Lawrence’s look of alarm as he reached out to try to catch me, gun clattering to the floor roughly the same time I did.

One good thing did come out of that concussion, though. My meat now comes to me pre-cleaned, pre-cut, and pre-packaged in brown paper.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Now Available to Own: Tales By The Tree

There is nothing like the thrill of seeing your name in print for the first time.  I am so thankful and honoured for this opportunity to contribute to such an outstanding collection of 40+ authors and 75 timeless tales.  A big thank you to Marissa Ames, Laura Jamez, Nick Johns, and Ruth Long for all of your hard work in putting this gem of an anthology together!


With gorgeous design work by the talented Blue Harvest Creative, this 348 page book comes in EBOOK FORMAT and in PRINT FORMAT through Amazon. (Click links to take you to the book)

One last awesome fact: All proceeds go towards the Mount Rose Elementary School Library in Reno, Nevada.  We love giving the gift of reading!  

A fantastic Christmas gift for the bookworms in your family (or a beautiful Christmas coffee table book), this anthology has a little something for every kind of reader in its four categories:



So grab a cup of your favourite Christmas beverage, snuggle up in a cozy chair, and enjoy all of the Christmasy fun!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Taming of the Turkey

Finish That Thought #21 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: Is cranberry sauce supposed to taste like this? 
Special Challenge: Include a zebra without making it part of the meal

Wishing all Americans a very happy Thanksgiving!  May your turkey be scrumptious and your mashed potatoes be smooth.

http://thegreengriffin.blogspot.ca/2010/08/assorted-faerie-stuff.html"Is cranberry sauce supposed to taste like this?" 

Hetty whipped around to find her nephew chewing on a beet, purple juice smeared all over his chubby cheeks and dripping onto her freshly cleaned counter.

“No, no, no, Freddie, those are beets. Go play outside until the food is ready, ok?”

“But I’m hungry!” Freddie whined, chomped up beet still sloshing around his mouth.

“Shoo! It won’t be done any faster if you’re bothering Auntie!”

She sighed as the little nymph made a face, spat out the remains of the beet onto the counter, then sulked out the door. What had she been thinking when she invited her sister’s family over for Feast Day? Straightening her apron over her petal skirt, Hetty turned her attention to the turkey roasting in the oven. At least, it was supposed to be roasting. It looked limp and unappetizing, just like the withered carrots, wilted lettuce, and lumpy mashed potatoes.

“Someday I am going to put a restraining spell on Matilda’s ogre!” Hetty mumbled as she poked her head into the oven to check on the bird. “Just as soon as I learn how.”

Hetty could not wait until she had her pixie license. Not only would she have the ability to cross over to the human world where all the cool parties were, she’d be able to take care of that nasty pet ogre her neighbour owned once and for all, and plant the perfect vegetable garden she always dreamed of having. That ogre always managed to smash her garden to bits.

Stepping back from the oven, Hetty surveyed her hard work with dissatisfaction. She couldn’t serve her family this!

“What this calls for is a little magic!” she decided. Pulling over a stool, she crawled up onto it and reached into the top cupboard where she kept her wand. Her instructor had very clearly stated that the wand should only be used in class, but this was an emergency. Wand in hand, she faced her flaccid feast once again with a determination that would rival a cat after a fish.

“Sparkles, gleams, an untasty feast
Twinkles, shimmers, be edible eats!”

She sang in a clear soprano as she waved her wand around. Glitter encased the poor vegetables, turning them into healthful looking stalks. Hetty squealed with delight.

“And now for the turkey!” Hetty rolled up her sleeves, concentrating very hard on her spell.

“Sparkles, gleams, a yucky turkey
Twinkles, shimmers, be roasted birdie!”

The same glitter snaked its way from her wand to the oven, glowing as it spread across the bird. It started to blacken, then grew. And grew. Hetty watched in amazement as it spilled onto the floor and began to take shape. Then she was horrified! Dropping her wand, she raised dainty hands to her flushed cheeks and fled from the kitchen straight into the chest of her brother-in-law!

“It smells great in here, sis!” he exclaimed. Then he saw it. “Um, Het? What’s a zebra doing in your kitchen?”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bedtime Stories

Finish That Thought #19 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: [She] awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around [her] body.
Special Challenge: An ending and an answer

"He awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around his body.  It took him a moment to realize he was in his backyard and that Mom was ringing the supper bell.  Brushing the bits of loose grass from his trousers, he leapt to his feet, and ran towards the house.

'Coming, Mom!'

As he slipped into his seat at the table, surrounded by his family once more, he wondered for a moment if it had been just a dream.  But he soon dismissed the thought, for everyone knows that the Pixie Dreamers were just another story.

The end."

Cicely Mary Barker - A Little Book of Old Rhymes - The Fairies PaintingGrandpa closed the old leather book and set it on the nightstand beside the rocker.  He glanced down at his granddaughter snuggled on his lap and was surprised to find her blue eyes brightened by the bedtime story.

"Read it again, Grandpa!" Suzy implored.  "Please!  I want to hear about the pixies again!"  Chuckling, Grandpa picked her up and tucked her into her little bed.

"Not tonight.  It's bedtime for you."  With a huff, Suzy settled her head on her pillow and watched reluctantly as Grandpa smoothed her sheets around her.   

"Are the pixie dreamers real, Grandpa?  Do you think they'd visit me, too?" Suzy blurted out.

Grandpa's eyes twinkled as he chuckled again, "Perhaps, but they only visit sleeping children!"  He switched on her fairy nightlight and bent over to turn off her bedside lamp.  "Good night, Suzy.  See you in the morning!"

"G'night, Grandpa," she replied as he closed her door softly behind him.  As soon as the latch clicked, Suzy scrambled to the side of her bed and reached over to turn on her lamp again.  Carefully picking up the book, she reverently placed it on the bed and opened it to the first page.  The colourful drawings intrigued her, as well as the story of the little boy who discovered pixies hiding in his backyard.  Flipping page after page, she ooooh'ed and ahhhhh'ed over each chiseled face with the pointy ears.

"But what if we get caught!"
"Silly imp, she can't see us.  Come now, quickly!"

Suzy's head jerked up as the hushed voices came from her window.  Two little creatures scurried across the ledge. 

"Hello?" she whispered hesitantly as she put the book down.  They froze for a second and dove for cover behind the curtains.

"I told you she would see us!" the distinctly female voice spoke.
"What do we do now?" hissed the male voice.
"Maybe if we stay quiet, she'll ignore us."

Crawling out of the covers, Suzy jumped down from her bed and held her breath as she crept over to the window.  Her heart was thumping so loudly, she hoped her parents couldn't hear it all the way out in the living room.

"She's coming this way!"
"Be quiet!"

Suzy pulled the curtain up and smiled.  They were pixies!  "Don't be scared, I won't hurt you.  My name's Suzy, what's yours?"

The female stepped forward timidly.  "Azamuthel, and this is Kilren," she replied.  "I don't get it, how can you see us?"

"Because she believes," Kilren answered in awe.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Truth or Dare

Finish That Thought #18 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: I cared what [she] thought, so when [she] dared me, I knew I was in trouble.  
Special Challenge: Use the word "discombobulated" and include an imaginary friend. 

Note: It did not do very well as the judge was slightly confused with how it played out.  She did, however, suggest that I include Josh earlier in the story to help sort things out.  Since I am at a loss, I am opening this up for all ya'll!  How would you introduce Josh? ^^

I cared what he thought, so when he dared me, I knew I was in trouble.  

“C’mon, Lacey, it’s just a dare.  You going to do it or not?” Tricia goaded while folding her arms over her chest.  

I slowed my swing to a halt and glanced shyly at Isaac, the most popular boy in school.  He gave me a smug little smirk as the rest of the class tittered behind him.

“All I have to do is tell my crush that I like him?” my voice squeaked.  Immediately I flushed and looked down at my sneakers.

“In front of everyone,” Isaac amended, grinning at Tricia.  My palms started sweating so I tightened my grip on the chains.  I knew they wanted me to admit to having a crush on Isaac so they could tease me for the rest of the year.  Every girl in class had a crush on him.  And why not?  He was as handsome as 11-year-old boys come with his athletic build, shaggy blonde hair, blue eyes, and dimples.  

“Everyone?” I asked breathlessly.  “And then I can sit at your table at lunch?”

“And then you can sit at our table at lunch,” Tricia mimicked in a high-pitched voice.  Again, everyone snickered.  All of this attention was making me discombobulated.  Regaining my equilibrium on the wooden seat, I timidly brought my gaze to Isaac’s mocking eyes.

“I’ll do it.”

The shock that plastered itself on his face was worth the embarrassment I was about to endure.  Taking a deep breath, I turned to the empty swing beside me as my face prickled with heat.

"Josh, I have a crush on you."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Muse Abuse

My second Flash Fiction piece.  I dedicate it to all of you writers braving NaNoWriMo this year!

Finish That Thought #17 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: "What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?" 
Special Challenge: Include a mythical creature and a holiday

http://www.wvswrite.com/Images/Pen%20and%20paper.jpgWhat, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?  Writing a story is hard work.  You have to have a plot.  A theme.  Characters developed.  Where are they going?  Why?  How?  What are they hoping to accomplish?  What’s the problem and how will it resolve?

Did you seriously think you could sit down with paper and pen and “just write” a story?  Of course you started out well.  We all do.  The idea is fresh and I’m motivated.  But after a few paragraphs, maybe a few chapters since you seem to be so gifted, it gets wishy-washy and becomes mumbo-jumbo.  Look at what you just wrote.  It doesn’t make any sense!  Who is this Jaed who waltzed in on page seven and why is the dragon suddenly bi-polar?

I don’t care that you’ve finished a novel.  That doesn’t make you worth reading.  What, you think you can force me to cooperate now that you’ve made a complete mess of this one?  More coffee isn’t going to help.  Staring at what you just wrote isn’t going to magically finish that sentence.  It’s been 19 hours since you’ve slept and you’re only on day four.  

Sure, go back and edit.  Re-edit your re-editing for all I care.  You can make that fifth chapter as pretty as you want, but it isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t get chapter six to flow right.  I told you to jot down your ideas in an outline, but did you listen to me?  No.  Now you can’t remember if he was supposed to propose on Christmas or Valentine’s Day.  Honestly, I hope he doesn’t propose at all.  He started out okay, but man what a conflicted, love-sick puppy he’s become!  I can’t stand him or comprehend how you can still think he’s a catch.  You’ve broken that backbone he was supposed to have (yeah, I remember you describing him like that and wish you’d hold him to it) and he’s done so many out-of-character things by now that you should just reinvent the guy.

One week left to finish this rotten novel.  No, I’m not going to come back from tea yet.  I still have a cookie to eat.  And perhaps pour myself another cup of tea.  You need me to help with the epic battle?  No dice, I can’t stand the smell of blood.  Good luck, though.  Don’t accidentally kill off your main character.  If I get you a cup of cocoa, will you stop glaring at me like that? 
Oh, hello.  Is it time already?  Let me put down my newspaper and we can discuss strategy.  Two hours until the deadline?  Piece of cake.  Now to put all these pieces together that you’ve conveniently thrown all over the place.  Roll up your sleeves and get off Facebook, for pete’s sake.  No one cares about your pathetic NaNoWriMo complaints.  You’re the bright one who wanted to do it in the first place.

By the way, congratulations.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Much Ado About Turnips

My first FlashFiction story.  Enjoy!

Finish That Thought #9  (Judge's comments)
Prompt: "If [she] had known [he] would be there again, [she] would have brought [her] [magic wand]."
Special Challenge:  Include at least one original verse of poetry (4 lines)

If she had known it would be there again, she would have brought her magic wand. Honestly, how else does one deal with an eight-foot ogre who insists on eating all of your turnips? Placing neatly manicured hands on her petal-clad hips, she surveyed the damage done by her unwelcome guest as a frown tugged the corners of her pursed lips. Smashed squashes and tangled tomato vines littered what used to be meticulously laid rows of vegetables only hours before. Even her hardy carrots had been trampled underfoot by the clumsy brute which was now digging up her turnip bed with a stupid grin on its grotesque face.

“Ooooo, I wish I could turn it into a frog!” she fumed. “It would serve Matilda right for not keeping her pet on a leash!” However, being only a pixie-in-training, Hetty knew she was no match for an angry witch, and so such thoughts flitted out of her head. Just when she had started to calm herself down, the gruesome creature began singing a ditty while squishing her turnips into jelly.

“Happy ogre smash and crunch
Little turnips for some lunch!
Yummy, yummy for the tummy
Turnip juice is very gummy---”

“STOP RIGHT THERE!” Startled, the ogre turned its enormous head to blink its dull eyes at her as pink and purple sparkles shot out from Hetty’s ears, nostrils, and mouth then exploded like fireworks.

“Those are my turnips, you nincompoop!” Hetty screeched, her freckled cheeks now purple with rage. “If I catch you in my garden one more time, I swear I AM going to turn you into a horrid little green frog and then your mistress will boil you in her cauldron!”

But she might as well have said, “Gobblety-gook” for all the good it did. When the show was over, the ogre turned back to its feast and crushed a few more turnips into its mouth. Hetty was just about to storm back to her mushroom for her wand when a long nose snaked its way over her fence followed by a wide-brimmed black hat and drooping eyebrows.

“Ah, there you are, Horace,” a smooth voice cooed. Immediately, the ogre struggled to its feet and trumped over to the fence, produce tumbling from its clothes like dead flies from a light fixture. “Are you helping nice Miss Hetty again?” the voice continued.

“Helping?!?” Hetty squeaked, unable to say more.

“We’re so lucky to have such an understanding neighbour like you, dearie,” Matilda crooned. “Ogres can be such a handful. You are so lucky to have a magic wand to fix all of your troubles.”

Hetty found herself swayed by the enchanting words of the witch, “Yes, very lucky. Have a good day and be a good boy, Horace.” She waved them good-bye and waltzed back to her house. As soon as she closed the little wooden door behind her, the spell broke like a water balloon, dumping reality on her once more.

“Darn witch magic!” she muttered.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Title: I'll Be Home For Christmas
Genre: Family Friendly
Author: Mary MacFarlane
eBook: Yes

For "Tales by the Tree: An Anthology of Holiday Flash Fiction"

Dedication: To my wonderful parents, David and Susan Seilkop, who kept me believing in the magic of Christmas.  I am so thankful that God gave me such supportive parents!

Emily pressed her nose against the cold windowpane until her breath fogged up her view of the wintery dark world outside.  It was still and quiet except for the occasional breeze that blew some of the snow off of the lighted lamppost in the front yard.  No sign of anyone coming up the driveway.  Heaving a sigh, she swiped the glass clean with a pudgy fist and bounded down the stool, brown pigtails bouncing.  She grabbed her stuffed elephant and hugged it tightly to her chest.

“Mommy, do you believe in Santa?”

Nadine set down the popcorn string she was working on and smiled a tired smile at her 5 year-old daughter.

“Do you believe in Santa?”

Emily thought about it a minute.  “Paul says he isn’t real.  He says that daddies pretend to be Santa and that the mailman eats all of Santa’s letters for breakfast.”

“And what does Emily think?”

“I want Santa to be real,” she said wistfully as she hopped back up the stool to stare out the window.  “He has to be real.”

Nadine went back to stringing on the popcorn kernels.  Life hadn’t been easy since her husband had disappeared in the terrible blizzard last year.  They had managed to scrape by so far, but finances were getting tighter all of the time and she really didn’t want to have to search for a full time job outside of the home.  She didn’t want Emily to be just another daycare kid.

Elvis started crooning “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” on the record player.  Tears welled up in her eyes.  Tom would never be coming home for Christmas again.  Quickly she dabbed her eyes with the sleeve of her sweater and stole a glance at Emily, but thankfully the little girl was still occupied gazing out the window.

“Good kids get what they asked Santa for, right Mommy?”

“Yes, darling.”

“Good.  I was especially good this year!”

“Yes, you were, darling.  I’m sure Santa made Ellie a nice sweater.”

A suppressed giggle came from the window.

“Emily, why do you keep looking out the window?  Come and help Mommy finish decorating for Santa.”

The brown pigtails shook in a vigorous no.  “I have to keep watching!”

“Watching for what, sweetie?”  Another suppressed giggle.   Nadine shook her head and smiled again as she tied off the end of the string.  It would be time for bed soon and the few measly presents she had managed to put together from “Santa” would go under the Charlie Brown tree.  She had spent hours at night knitting the little cardigan for that stuffed elephant.

The popcorn strung across the mantel, the cookies and milk set on the table, they were ready for Christmas.  Nadine rolled her shoulders in a stretch and crossed over to the window to wrap her arms around her daughter.

“Bed time, Emily,” she whispered.  The little girl didn’t budge from her perch.  “Bed time, Emily!” she said a little louder.

“Shhh!” Emily put a finger over her lips, head tilted as her young ears picked up some sound Nadine couldn’t hear.  Then it came, softly at first, then gradually louder.  The jingle of bells.  What was this?  Some kind neighbour helping make their Christmas magical?

She gasped as an over-laden sleigh hauled by eight caribou settled onto their driveway.  In the driver seat sat a rather obese man in a red fur coat who turned and waved at them.  Out of the sleigh tumbled a stick-figure of a man.

“Daddy!” Emily shrieked.  Jumping down from her stool, she scampered to the front door and threw it open.  Dashing out across the lawn, arms outstretched, she tumbled into the waiting arms of the man.  Nadine was still in too much shock to move.  She was sure her eyes were playing tricks on her, but eventually she found her way outside where she could see for herself who this really was.


The face that glanced up was gaunt, gristly, and hardened, but the blue eyes that twinkled underneath were unmistakable.

“Tom!”  Nadine joined the heap in the snow, her laughter bubbling through her tears of happiness as Tom embraced wife and daughter for the first time in a year.

The old man in the sleigh watched the scene with a smile glowing on his wrinkled cheeks, quite forgotten and happy to have it so.  Slapping the caribou with the reigns, he clucked his tongue and backed the loaded vehicle out of the driveway.  As the sleigh began to rise into the air, he cast his eyes on the weathered sheet of notebook paper in his hand.

“Deer Santa Claz,

I now I was a good girl but I dont want any toys.  Pleas find my daddy.  We misss him lots.  I want Mommy to laf agin.  We need my daddy for Krismas.  Thank yoo!

Hugs and kisses,


(812 Words)

To read more stories in the completed project,
check out the book on Amazon.com:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Once Upon A Christmas Feast

Title: Once Upon A Christmas Feast
Genre: Traditional Tales
Author: Mary MacFarlane
eBook: Yes

For "Tales by the Tree: An Anthology of Holiday Flash Fiction"

Dedication:  To the two best friends a Fairy Elf could wish for. Without my mermaid and Dragon Queen, there would be no leaf bombs, giant worms, or late nights giggling over characters.  

http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/355/6/3/christmas_fairy_by_angelesruiz-d4iem8u.jpgIn a tiny tree house nestled in the Forest of Tranquility lived a fairy elf named Mairí. Today was a very special day for Mairí for this year she was hosting the Christmas Eve feast.  All day she flitted from one corner to another of her four room house, decorating it for the occasion.  The entire population of birds who also lived in her tree whistled Christmas carols while hopping from snowy branch to snowy branch as the aroma of baking bread permeated the crisp winter air. 

Holding a sea blue ornament between her thumb and forefinger, Mairí squinted at her reflection and frowned.  Not shiny enough.  Quickly, she frosted the glass with her breath and wiped it clean on her forest green velvet sleeve.  Much better!  She eased it onto one of the tinsel-laden branches of the fir tree in her sitting room.  Stepping back, she placed her hands on her hips and nodded in satisfaction.   Her little house glittered and shimmered from top to bottom with silver garlands, colourful glass orbs, golden instruments, and lighted candles.  

Mairí glanced out her window to the sundial on her large front porch.  Oooh, they should be here any minute!  She looked over her list to make sure everything was ready.

“Seaweed salad, check! 
Wild boar steaks, check! 
Fruit salad, check! 
Black Forest pie, check!”

A sharp rap on the door sent her scurrying to see who it was.  Just outside stood a tall, scarlet-cloaked figure with dragon wings spread wide.  Mairí threw open her door and embraced the woman.

“Your Highness, ‘tis so good to see you!  Come in, come in.”

“Elfie!” the Dragon Queen exclaimed as the warmth of the cottage beckoned her inside.  Removing her cloak, she draped it on one of the protruding branches by the door and refolded her scaly wings against her back.  “Is Princess here yet?”

“No, no sign of her.”

The Dragon Queen tapped a finger on her chin with a guttural hmm.  “She left before I did.  Did she get lost?”

As they pondered the whereabouts of their fishy friend, jingling bells sounded from under the floorboards.  Mairí perked up.

“Ah, that will be her!   I installed a pulley since she doesn’t have wings to get up here.”  

But to their surprise, a rabbit came through the trapdoor instead of a mermaid.

“Quick, quick!” it cried.  “The princess is netted!”

“Netted?!” the two gasped.  They exchanged worried glances then burst into action.  The Dragon Queen retrieved her cloak as Mairí doused the fire in the kitchen and the rabbit scrambled onto the Queen’s shoulder to direct them.  


It did not take them long to fly there.  Landing by a ring of ominous hills, the rabbit scurried to the ground and pointed towards them.

“There!  She’s in there!” it squeaked before running off in the opposite direction.

“I’ll sneak in closer and see what’s up,” Mairí volunteered.  “Highness, stay here and make sure we don’t get ambushed!”

Nodding, the Queen sat down on one of the fallen logs as the fairy elf disappeared into the shadows through the opening between the hills.

As Mairí wound her way through the woods, her long ears could just make out the sound of high-pitched cackling.  Soon, the noise grew louder and a little clearing opened up in front of her.  Ducking down, she crawled over to a particularly leafy bush and peered over it.  Mairí sucked in her breath as she spotted their friend wriggling in a crude net.  Not three feet away, four goblins sat around a blazing campfire.  One of them had an apron tied around her thick waist and was stirring in the cauldron over the fire.  

“Been a long time since we’ve ‘ad tail soup, Martha!” the largest one said.

“Wouldn’t think of serving nothin’ else fer Christmas, Fred,” she giggled.  “Only the best fer this family!”

“Kin I skin the mermaid, Mum?” one of the small ones asked.

“But I wanted to!” whined the other.

“This isn’t good!” Mairí whispered to herself.  Sneaking back to the Dragon Queen, she crouched next to her and related her findings.

“How dare they!” the Queen snorted, jumping to her feet.  “Where are those buggers?  I’m going to fry them up good---”

Mairí clamped a hand on her friend’s arm to keep her from storming into the goblin camp.  After all, it isn’t wise to crash a party of hungry goblins, even if one can spout fire!

“I have a better idea.  I’ll distract them to the opposite side of the clearing while you free the princess.  Then we can get out of this creepy place!”

At first the plan seemed to be working.  Mairí was able to keep them occupied looking for the scrumptious pheasant she was mimicking.  They made so much noise tramping through the dense undergrowth it seemed impossible they would hear the sound of ropes snapping.  But just when the Queen had freed the mermaid, one of the little goblins noticed something was afoot and gave a cry of alarm.  Before one could say, “How’d you do?” the goblins had the Dragon Queen and mermaid princess surrounded.

“What’s this, eh?  Stealing our Christmas feast, eh?”

“Look out, Dad, that tall un’ looks mighty fierce!”

Mairí was thinking frantically for a way out of this mess.  How to appease four hungry goblins and take away their Christmas feast alive?  It was impossible!  Unless... unless....

“Actually, Mr. Fred, we come with an invitation!” Mairí said quickly, stepping out from her hiding place and hurrying over to the others.  “To a feast--- our feast.  Would you care to join us?”

“Hmmm...” Fred eyed her suspiciously.  “Will there be rum pudding?”

“Yes!” said Mairí.

“And meats?”

“Yes!” the three girls said in unison.

“Aw, Dad, kin we go?” a little one begged.

Fred mulled over the thought.  “Sure!” he grinned and stuck out a beefy hand.  “Mighty obliged!”

Mairí took his hand in both of hers and shook it enthusiastically.  

“Glad you can come!”

(1000 Words)

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A Brief Introduction

Greetings and Salutations!

I am so glad you have stumbled across this humble blog.  Though there isn't much to it now, I do hope to change that soon.  But let me tell you a little bit about myself so that we're on the same page.

I've been married for over two years to my prince charming and live in the prairies of Alberta, Canada.  Although I do not work outside the home, I have plenty to do within it!  There is always a crochet project or two waiting around to be finished and I spend much of my creative energy getting into trouble with my dear friends, whether it's through editing and brainstorming for our novel or role-playing!

I have written a few short stories and started writing a couple novels over the years, but nothing has ever come of it.  This WILL change!  As of now, you are responsible for holding me accountable for my writing.  The purpose of this blog is to post works of flash fiction, finished chapters, and outlines for critique.  Also writing through the writer's block I so often get.  I highly encourage criticism!  And don't be shy.... how else am I supposed to know what to improve if you hold back your opinions?

With that being said, welcome to the wordy ramblings of a wannabe authoress!