By Alyson Faye
I was on the run. From her and my old life. I landed up in a rather grimy hotel on the Norfolk coast. Booking a coach trip with an outfit called ‘Pioneer’ (that was me now), I requested a wake up call, hit the bar and then bed.
The phone rang, “It’s time Sir.”
“Your time Sir. It’s come.”
Disorientated, I staggered up, tripped and fell into the carpet’s embrace. To stay.
Emerging at dinner the receptionist apologized; she’d forgotten to ring.
Unconcerned, I took the local rag from her and read ‘Pioneer Coach Crash on A11, 5 Dead.’
By Sandy Wilson
Gav had saved hard, made sacrifices, to buy a special gift for his daughter. She lived with his estranged wife. But this vital present, from Amazon, failed to arrive.
On the far side of the city a thoughtless courier delivered a parcel in error.
Gav heard a knock, opened his door.
“You Gavin Stevens?”
“Who’s asking?” Suspicious, aggressive.
“Your parcel’s been delivered to me by mistake,” said Sandy.
“Where’ve you come from?”
“You’ve come all that way?”Astonished.
“Just for me?” Catch in voice.
“Nobody’s ever done anything like that for me.”
“Well, I have. Merry Christmas!”
The little elf groaned when he stepped out the corridor and realized the queue was still long. Centaurs, humans, even pixies – all sort of creatures made up the line.
He sighed at the parchment in his hand.
“Applicant 2894! You’re up.”
He rolled his eyes when a buff-looking lad made his way towards him, a dumbbell in each hand. The elf led him into the adjoining room where he was to audition for the soon-to-be-vacant job position.
2894 hadn’t been gone long when a voice bellowed, “Hohoho … Next!” He had failed to impress the panel. The search for next Santa Claus continued.
By This Black Rock
Walk in a straight line. Head up. Neck long. Strong. Focus on a point ahead. No eye contact at all. No smiles and definitely no replies. Just walk. This is war. Know thyself? Check. Know thy enemy? Check. If all else fails stay home and eat ice cream.
By Tyrean Martinson
Banished to the royal lodge, Mirabelle discovered she enjoyed the hunt almost as much as kissing boys.
But, then Prince Mal from Tortuvia laid siege to her parent’s castle and demanded their surrender. Her father agreed, but worded the treaty carefully; it could only be sealed by Mirabelle’s kiss.
Upset at her father’s temerity, Mirabelle returned to the castle in a temper.
But when she saw the sneer on Prince Mal’s face at her hunting garb, she decided to listen to her father.
Prince Mal’s reign lasted seconds before he turned into a frog.
Mirabelle smiled. She liked kissing boys.
—Wait. Where are you going?
“Somewhere — anywhere — else. I hate this place.”
—Seems like an okay place to me. Think you gave it a fair shot?
—Wherever it is you’re going … How will you know when you’re there?
“I’ll know it when I feel it.”
—How it will feel?
“Yeah, like knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be.”
—You think too much.
—Well, I’m going to miss you.
“Wait. You’re not coming?”
—Nah. I’m staying right here to enjoy the view.