Mom, can my friends stay the night?
Come On In, The Water’s Fine
You should have stayed home…
I lay by the pond on a sunny day, idly weaving a wreath of flowers.
When it was done, I set it atop the water and gave it a gentle nudge.
It floated to the center, a golden halo on a swath of cold blue.
“A crown fit for a king!” I merrily called to no one.
Then something stirred in the depths.
The blossoms lifted from the surface, light on the brow of a water nymph.
“Fit for a queen!” She cried boldly, a regal smile on her lovely face.
“I accept your offering and claim my kingdom!”
Crown and pose inspired by Bloom Design Studios
I live in a rainy place.
Damp. Wet. Soggy.
Nestled in an isolated cove, my ocean-side village is one of the wettest places on the planet.
Rain, always rain.
Quite the weather we are having!
Looks like rain! (It always looks like rain.)
Is that a patch of blue sky- oh, no. Just a dark cloud.
Shrouded in mist, the eaves drip constantly.
We wake to the pitter-patter of falling water.
We drift off to the waves crashing, splashing against the shore.
Wet, always wet.
On rare nights, we wake when the rain stops.
So loud in our ears, so foreign and strange, we cannot dream through it.
The silence envelopes the village.
Even the waves cease their endless lapping.
It starts softly, a gentle tapping at the windows.
The tinkling of tiny bells, crystalline chiming on the roof.
Then the panes begin to rattle and shake.
Soon we hear glass shattering, thrashing bells, a cacophony of violent sound.
Dark, only in the dark.
No one sleeps a wink on those nights.
We don’t look out the window.
We don’t leave our beds, or even open our eyes.
We lie awake, eyes squeezed tightly shut and try to drown out the clamor with silent prayers.
It lasts until first light.
One would expect a mess, after such a night.
Piles of broken glass, shards of metal and wood, anything that could have cause such a discordant commotion.
It is all clear, though. So clear.
We step outside to clear stoops, clear roofs, and a clear sky.
We bask in the blue of it, in the sunlight.
We don’t make a sound, we don’t move.
Then the fog starts to roll in.
Drip, drip, drop.
Rain begins to fall again.
We pull up our hoods, zip our coats and get on with the day.
No one speaks of it, the Uncommon Rain.
It’s best not to draw attention.
The Cantle Witch
The old witch eyed me for a moment, muttering to herself. She snorted, then spat in the dirt.
“Aye, I can do it. Your molar. Third back on the left.” She turned away and started rifling through the refuse again.
“My-… wait what? You want a tooth?” I laughed nervously and ran my hands through my short hair. I still wasn’t used to that feeling.
“Not a tooth. Your tooth. Third back on the left.” She cackled triumphantly as she pulled a bottle from the pile and peered through the glass. The witch gently brushed it off and stowed it in the shapeless sack that hung from her belt.
Wary, I shifted from foot to foot. This was an even weirder request than the last. Hair grows back. You can’t replace a tooth so easily.
She tilted her head to the side to look up at me. The bird-like motion and her shiny, dark eyes reminded me all too much of the ominous crows circling above. She raised a wrinkled hand and pointed a gnarled finger at me.
“You want the truth? You want to find her, don’t you? Left molar. Third. Back.”