Between Dreams and Boats

(takes place between Beloved and The Trouble with Magical Security and The Rusted King and the Drum) Between Dreams and Boats They dragged the boat onto shore at Nolo’s direction, left it by boat house’s raft stack ‘fore hiking ‘cross the lightening meadow. Dawn gilded the river as the mount’s track wound in graveled ribbons around its girth. The weight of Nolo’s unasked questions pressed down on Sarn with e’ery step; his self worth dwindled away in quiet that oppressed. Ran stirred, slept in his arms without a care held safe there, his stuffed bear clutched, blanket wrapped and warm, no need to see where … Continue reading Between Dreams and Boats

Wreathed in Light

Wreathed in Light (Picks up where Deck the Mountain’s Halls left off) “Wait!” Ran cried, his need to complete things taking charge, “the wreath! It needs one more light.” One spot left on the e’er green, Advent ring; one dark place that needed to be made bright. Then the fairies’ spell could begin, Advent’s end with it bring; the waiting’s done and soon celebrations will ring with song, presents ‘neath the tree and laughter, the season’s boon. To move things along, Ran hurried to fetch Nolo, his son Nerule, Inari, his wife, Uncle Miren, Papa who catches him in a hug, gathering them all ’round the … Continue reading Wreathed in Light

Deck the Mountain’s Halls

Deck the Mountain’s Halls (Picks up where Fools & Farewells left off) Hot chocolate gone, cold gnawing on his skin, Sarn traded the terrace for the warm suite. He found his son affixing with frostin’, a gingerbread balcony to a sweet cookie mountain replete with candy trails. Sarn lay down joined by Ran and his stuffed bear. Sarn’s magic roiled and tortured him with wails.  Three lights bobbed in air, alighted with care. “We three bring good gifts,” they sang one and all. Ran raised his head, blinked at the three fairies. “You can fix my Papa?” They nodded, all three moved, weaving fairy light and … Continue reading Deck the Mountain’s Halls

Fools & Farewells

The Fool (Picks up where The Longest Night left off) A red silk scarf slid through Inari’s hands, pooled in the drawer where it’d rested for years, when she’d traded it for a marriage band. Some days she liked to reconnect with years past, feel the silk against her smile and play once more the gypsy girl in a trader’s caravan with tarot cards, fated to play. She removed the deck, shuffled it; later she’d play the good god-fearing wife; right now she wanted assurance that Ran’s tearful prediction was false, that Sarn’s okay now and that his absence meant an eventful night, not … Continue reading Fools & Farewells

The Longest Night

Winter Solstice (Continues where Fairies Interrupted left off) Light cut through the mist rising off River Nirthal as the moon parted drifting clouds. It shone down on bare branches that shiver. Enchanted Forest sleeps and winter’s shroud falls flesh as secrets to cover its ground. The Nirthal’s tide washes ashore and breath hangs in clouds that break apart without sound. All is silent in the deep night e’en death’s hidden abyss calms, it’s cadence quiet. Sarn looked at the forest’s brooding profile spreading in an untamed jumble that let few pass unhindered as monks in a file process ’round twin circles of standing stones, chanting holy … Continue reading The Longest Night

Fairies Interrupted

Fairies Interrupted (story continued from A Fool for Christmas) The fairies crouched on a wardrobe, peaked through curving woodwork that crowned the heavy piece. A father and son slept on as they drew power once again from Christmas’ peace. Spinning a web from threads of holiday fun; winding in snow, mistletoe, presents beneath the tree; ho hos, cookie filled days, blended with carols, candle mass and sleighs… until the spell almost burst with good cheer. ‘Fore they could loose it, a voice insisted, a door opened, a man hurried in here. He shook awake the father, insisted that he rise, a lost … Continue reading Fairies Interrupted

Beloved and The Trouble with Magical Security

(this piece references events that take place in Shopping with Mages) Beloved Inari brushed her long hair, her thoughts winged to Mount Eredren, to her beloved but her eyes rested on her son who hanged on what Sarn said; he, a substitute thread in the tapestry of her family. Nerule no longer competed for time her beloved spent not with family but with the rangers, working overtime. No, her son’d found a naive substitute, one used to playing the role, and always glad to include her son in his pursuits. Her family was eroding away. She was on a family trip sent by her … Continue reading Beloved and The Trouble with Magical Security

A Fool for Christmas

A Fool for Christmas (Picks up where Light the Tree left off) Nolo prayed, “O Lord, listen to our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds…” More he said, things ’bout visits and affairs of grace, the rest washed o’er Sarn and couldn’t find a home, so its meaning got lost somewhere between man, prayer and ignorant darkness. Nolo’s wife added a brilliant rose stone to the advent wreath, but e’en that brightness couldn’t enlighten a darkness all his own. So Sarn stood there, as he’d done two Sundays prior, wondering what wreath, tree and waiting time betokened, what would Christmas day require? Some understanding would surely come, … Continue reading A Fool for Christmas

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker (Picks up where The Rusted King and the Drum left off) Three fairies perched on sainted heads; halos ringed their whispered conference; while below drum beats ceased as drummer boy and son, made slow progress to the doors, while echoes still hum. ‘Twas clear to the fairies that the duo had no a clue ’bout the season’s reason for celebration; they can’t let that go. Ignorance is a war that must be won! So off they floated after the drummer and his son through quiet halls of fortress, hiding in mosaic glow, their dimmer fairy light, they’d an … Continue reading The Nutcracker


Seconds (Picks up where The Nutcracker left off) Nolo paused, caught half in, half out; a spy arrested by a scar, he’d come seconds too late to prevent; he’d saved the Kid’s eye, but not his face, too late by mere seconds. Yet just in time to save Sarn’s life, just so he could wreck it at sixteen by getting a girl with child. ‘Till that tree’s just so, that child is constantly rearranging. He was at it now though he’d enlisted help with the high branches and there they stood, young father and son, as the tree listed. A ball dropped, knocked … Continue reading Seconds

Button Holed

Button Holed (Picks up where Second Thoughts left off) “Between the shadow and the soul, I love you like a dark thing in secret,” she sang as flies buzzed around her head, while above, a boy sat making button hearts to hang. Sarn crouched down to see what his son had made. “For the tree,” Ran held a button heart strung with thread; Sarn took it and with a hug paid for its creation; hearing what was sung, and not liking its lyrics, he took his son into the suite and back to homey things suited to a child’s ears, only to run straight into … Continue reading Button Holed

The Rusted King and the Drum

The Rusted King and the Drum (Picks up where Between Dreams and Boats left off) Rusted nails twisted into a diadem. Three blood stones set in place of precious jewels. On a scrap heap he sprawled with a ripped hem. The King of Nimbledon, liege-lord of fools, price of thieves and bully boys–pay him heed all you creatures of the night, pickpockets, lock breakers, streetwalkers. Orphans bend knee to this tyrant, who reigns with a socket wrench for a scepter that calls all to order. His court of thugs, cheats and scruffy children wait to see who’ll be nailed to the girder. … Continue reading The Rusted King and the Drum

Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts (Picks up where Sparring left off) An open door framed the Christmas tree from where Sarn sat on the edge of his bed, his son’s head pillowed on his thigh, but from that angle what was visible instead, was not the silver fringe unraveled. The tree spoke of things unknown, begged questions with every hanging ornament and bell. Evergreen sprigs and wreaths–decorations that changed the familiar terrain leaving him confused at night, wond’ring where currents of this season would take him next, wond’ring if flight might’ve been best ‘fore his son learnt of this ‘Christmas’. The boy knew it existed, too late to file it away … Continue reading Second Thoughts


Sparing (Continues where The Perfect Stone left off) Sarn spat blood, ignored the bright motes floating in the red stain, as he rose for round four. “Come on, stop defending. Start offending,” said his teacher for this match, a man four decades past caring and two past Sarn’s age. “Come on, Kid, hit me. No more defense try some offense now. I could hit at your age.” In a glance, Sarn saw the practice stave by the wall; he’d lost it in the last exchange. A flurry of blows kept him moving back, dodging, blocking but allowing no change to tactics criticized in this attack. A halt … Continue reading Sparing

The Perfect Stone

The Perfect Stone (Picks up where Light the Wreath left off) Seeking the perfect one, Ran touched the stones. “Make them glow,” he said; Sarn touched them; they lit, ’til he moved his hand away. “Pick one stone.” Ran piled the stones up and smiled for his bit. A voice cried out, “make a way for the Lord.” Again he cried, “make straight a path for God.” A ragged man passed, eyes afire for this ‘Lord’ with zealous light as he shouted for his God. Sarn shook his head, “I can’t afford that pile.” “Make more money,” Ran shrugged, the answer clear. Sarn shook his head; time to leave ‘fore the mild crowds, with the man … Continue reading The Perfect Stone