Short Stories

The Mysterious Bottle

Maria got out her notes for her next session. Ah yes, young Eric Godwin. She hardly needed to remind herself, but she was a professional, so she skimmed through her account of their previous three meetings. A rather dysfunctional family, though aren’t they all, nowadays? Eric had recently discovered that the man he had grown […]

A Loner in the Crowd

Upon the First Day of the Seventh Year of the Reign of King Karpitz Karpikotz Paknor Stapikos keeps his features impassive as he forces his attention back to the presentation.  The speaker is rambling interminably about the need to balance the needs of Artellosa, a forest goddess who resents her trees being cut down, and […]

Deciphering the Marks

“That’s all, children!  Go home, now; it’s bedtime.”  Ghaldak levered himself to his feet, as if to emphasise that he would tell no more tales.  In spite of their disappointment, most of the youngsters did as they were told, moving apart as they left the circle they had formed close to the fire.  Mothers scooped […]

Choosing the Sun

Jessi pulled the flimsy material of her scarf further forward, to try to block out some of the glare reflected from the white buildings as she passed through the town.  It was fortunate that her sister’s house was not far; the houses at the end of the street were shimmering in the heat, and a […]

Entertaining the Crowd

“Why don’t we have a people-cart, Mama?”  Trenno was looking up at the horse-drawn wagon passing them, voicing for the first time a five-year-old’s awareness that his family compared unfavourably in this respect to others. “Horses need more looking after than our Jess,” Sheshni indicated the donkey pulling the small cart containing all the family’s […]

Tending the Sheep

“I don’t want to fall asleep, Millie.” Jan’s words interrupted her as she started to doze, and she sat up straight, away from the cushions, to keep herself awake. “Would you talk to me?” “Of course I will, my love. About anything in particular?” “Would you tell me about when your father died? You’ve never […]

Interpreting the Law

“Ah yes – the law-interpreter again.” The man frowned as his daughter showed me in, and once again I regretted that my face seemed as yet unable to grow a beard. “Are you sure you’re competent to pronounce on points of law when such a valuable parcel of land is at stake?”