Midwinter Dreams

He returned at the solstice, ice flecking his beard, the scent of wind clinging to his coat, starlight in his eyes. Goosebumps raced along my skin at the brush of his cold fingers against my cheek, and joy and passion stirred to life within the barren earth of my heart, where they had lain like sleeping daffodils during his absence. His lips met mine in a kiss that tasted of firelight and wood smoke, of cocoa and nutmeg. He was all the comforts of home and hearth, the ephemeral beauty of falling snow, the thrill of anticipation sparked by a wrapped gift, and in his arms I bloomed like winter jasmine.

Written for the Her Heart Forms poetic prose prompt “sleeping daffodils.”

Short Fiction I’ve Loved In November

Hello there! Just for fun, I’ve decided to share with you some of the short fiction I’ve read this month. I don’t always feel like I can sit down and dig into a novel, but most days I can easily fit a short story into my day. I love being able to immerse myself in another world for a few minutes, and there are so many wonderful stories out there. So here are five short stories I particularly enjoyed this month, from five magazines that consistently publish great fiction and poetry. Do consider giving them a read.

Toothsome Things by Chimedum Ohaegbu in Strange Horizons

I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, and I fell in love with this one with its poetic language and interesting narrative structure. It’s gorgeous and different.

The Smartest Human by Marisa Crane in The Cabinet of Heed

This is an imaginative, humorous story with an interesting protagonist who has some interesting opinions about humanity. Absolutely delightful.

Tea Kettles by Michelle Ross  in Okay Donkey Magazine

Just a brilliant piece of flash fiction. I’m always in awe of how much story some authors can pack into so few words. Some people are exactly who they seem to be, and some aren’t.

The Paths of the Great Lovers Cross at Victoria Station by Dan Brotzel in Ellipsis Zine

A beautiful, years-spanning story about love, memory and serendipity. There’s always another side to the story about “the one who got away.”

This Is Why I Want to Die in the Woods (Literally or Metaphorically, I Don’t Give A Shit)  by Kevin Tosca in Jellyfish Review

This story has an amazing first line, just epic, and really resonated with me as a parent. One of the really hard lessons in parenting (and life in general) is how often the word “emergency” means “hurry up and wait.”