Flash fiction

Where Once Was a City

You will forgive me if I am a little shaken. I have had just now the last messages from the house of Cardallan, my full sib, and there was much in that, though I knew the day must come, that was a great grief to me. The loss of Cardallan, of course, who has been […]

Silver and Jewels

So there was this guy in the tavern and he was talking about Sarralan and how everybody always gets it wrong. He said they see the grey sea in the winter and the flat marshes and they let the chill get in their bones because they’re not prepared for the soft, deceptive breeze that cuts […]


Mud. An eternity of mud. Mud and … softer mud? Something else. A forgotten thing. What? Beyond the screaming pressure that blocks and baffles thought, out there where the blind hand gropes, sweet open air and free movement and  … shapes? Meaningless shapes. Something round? Something cold? But thought is fading. There’s nothing … … […]

Mist by moonlight

There are a few sights that will stay with me always. The first time I saw, really saw, the Milky Way, and my naked horror beneath it. The first time that I saw a landscape lit only by the full moon – but I’m lucky with that one. It was long ago, when one had […]


“Perseverance, that’s what these children lack.” I can still hear my father saying it, and I still flinch at the bitter contempt curdled into the word children. I thought perhaps I’d have forgotten, by now, but I hear his words more and more these days, just as I see him more and more – in […]

Frozen beauty

I wrote this for the #55wordchallenge (you should probably go and look at the prompts, and the other responses), so it’s only fair that I should start with the 55 word version, though it took a turn for the bleak when I pruned it … A field of snow. Bare trees tracing prisoning bars against […]


“It’s been too long; I’m not sure I can do this anymore.” “So make it a pastiche. No need to scrabble around for something new, that wasn’t your brief.” I looked at Zachary long and hard, but I couldn’t find any hint of amusement or of mischief. That almost made it worse. Bad enough that […]


In a corner of my soul, I yearn to grow peonies. A neighbour does, and nothing else. In winter the garden stands brown and clean, until thick shoots pre-empt the spring, lush verdancy following them. The buds grow slowly, pale, fat, taunting, the seams splitting early to show a glimpse of the velvet sleeping within. […]

The flat square knot

We begin with a flat square knot. But that’s not right, is it? We begin with the cloth – a small cloth, a square cloth, a cloth worn so thin that I have to guard it carefully. That old rag? Yes, I do need this old rag. I’ve got thicker cloths and more absorbent, better […]

Love finds a way

The coalscuttle gleamed softly in the firelight. I sat back on my heels to regard it, my pleasure in the job tainted. It was everything I’d imagined, but still … I shrugged it off. It had taken over an hour to bring a uniform brightness back to the brass, and a lot of my irritation […]


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