My Short Stories





Red Rose

I stopped at the florist on the way to the hospital. I had to wait in line, but that was okay because I got the last red rose. Mom and I both liked them; it was one of the few things we had in common…




anenome and float


The waves sparkled in the sunlight, mocking Jordan’s feeble attempts at swimming. An albatross circled overhead, remote and untouchable in the vast blue desert that was the sky.


Pegasus constellationBattle for Olympus

The trouble had started, as it so often did, with a dragon. The mighty Draco was rarely satisfied, whether it be gold, jewels, or conquest, and it had lurked in the same lonely grotto for longer than any human could remember.  One day it glanced around its rocky cave, considered the treasure it had accumulated, and snorted. It wasn’t such a mighty hoard after all, not when he compared it to the tales he’d heard of the city of the gods. 


stone bookBlank Slate

Of all the seasons, Jerilynn loved winter the most.

Granted, icy drafts would slip under doors and make her shiver even as she sat by the fire. The chickens still needed to be fed and the cows milked no matter how thick the snow piled up. And they all got desperate for the taste of something fresh-picked from the garden.



I don’t recall my nest very well, but I do remember falling out of it. My wings flapped, but I still hit the ground with a thump, right on my back. I gasped for breath, clawing for air, and finally I was able to call up to the nest. I cawed and cawed until I grew hoarse…



Cave Rendezvous

The cave waited, as it had for thousands of years. It had sheltered many in that time. Bears taking their winter sleep, humans with bows and arrows, and now humans with guns…



Cappuccino and the Great Heist

Edwina was standing in line at the bank when it hit her. The men who’d made the money for all this expensive marble decor hadn’t let anything like scruples hold them back. And they didn’t have a resident brownie. It was time she lived like she deserved…



The Dragon and the Giant

Rose looked up from the fire into her family’s pinched faces. The Humboldt Valley was the cruelest land she’d ever seen. Constant worry–for each other, for the horses, for the cruel choices they might still have to make…


Dragon Hoard cover1

Dragon Hoard

I shifted my tail, and several coins rattled down the enormous mound of gleaming treasure. Heaps of glimmering gold, urns overflowing with silver, precious gems in two-handled cups–all these and more filled my cave. Impressive, in a sense. It was more wealth than many countries had at their disposal. But there was so much more out there…


miners around fire

The Hunt Is On

I was just standing up to stretch when I heard voices outside, and with a shock, I realized they weren’t dwarves. I grabbed all my things and ran inside, barring the door behind me. After a wild look around my kitchen, I darted to the back corner of the cave and wrapped my arms around my knees behind the bed.


Kai's giftKai’s Gift

Kai growled and threw his guitar pick as hard as he could. Then he sighed. It was his last one.

Using considerably more care than he’d shown to the pick, he set his guitar gently in its case, taking a moment to polish the gleaming wood with his shirt sleeve. It had been a gift from his grandmother, and it was hard to believe it was actually his. 




“It’s no good, Captain. They’ll be here any minute.” Juan Diego tied off the line and turned to see the captain’s shoulders slump.

“I’m sorry, lads,” the captain said quietly. “I’d hoped to get us close enough to land that some of you could swim for it.”


night owlNight Owl

Micah tugged the strap closed on his backpack. Everything he needed was stowed there, all the survival gear his dad had taught him to carry. A flashlight, matches, a fire-starter cube, a small tarp, water, a compass, paracord, and some granola bars with a small jar of peanut butter. He unzipped the side pouch and checked again for the coils of camo-printed paracord. If he could only get the chance to use it, then maybe he could fix his life.



A shudder of pleasure ran through the oak as the girl settled herself at its base. She pulled out her notebook of sheet music and unpacked her guitar. As she tuned the strings, the oak basked in the warmth of a early spring day. Mossy and gnarled…


grand pentacle of Solomon

Publish or Perish

Diana rubbed her eyes and squinted at the monitor. Almost six million hits when she Googled grimoire! How would she ever find the right one?

Still, she checked them every moment she didn’t have to wait tables or sleep. She’d wake groggily, the imprint of a keyboard on her cheek…


hero sandwich pic

 Quest for a Hero

It was lunchtime, and the line for the sandwich shop wound out the door. Terrence hated when it got busy like this. By the time customers made it to the counter, they were all holding onto their tempers with both hands. If he was lucky.



The woman hovered at the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. It had taken the selkie considerable work to get her there. “What do you see?” the selkie asked her softly, and her sea-green eyes met his. They were not yet filled with the wonder of the waves below…


yellow mechanical dragon

Ride the Dragon

“Ride the dragon! Only one in a hundred can keep his seat for sixty seconds. Do you have what it takes?” The dwarf’s sweeping gesture indicated the mechanical dragon behind him, currently immobile.



Seven raised his head and let out a piteous meow. But no answer came from the room full of cold metal cages, only monsters barking from the room next door. Just a few days ago, his world had been made of warm wooden walls.


wizard hat

Seymour and the Head

Seymour thumped the scarred oak table, hard enough to make the grimoire bounce. To become a journeyman wizard, he needed a special spell, greater than the animated puppets or illusions he’d made thus far. He needed something good. Something new.



To the Victor Go the Spoils

Two dragons circled in the crisp autumn sky. Cries of alarm echoed in the village streets as people grabbed their loved ones to flee.

Rodor ducked an arrow and rocketed down toward the humans bolting in panic. He loved it when they ran.


hand tools

 Tool Thief

“We’ve got to keep better track of our tools today,” Tom said as we pulled up to our jobsite. It was a beautiful brick addition to the community college in Santa Rosa, about an hour north of San Francisco, traffic willing.



“Everyone must pay tribute to the King,” I declare to the older lady who hovers nearby. I had given her a rare gift—an unexpected truth—but caution still wars with generosity in her faded blue eyes as she clutches her purse. Once you’re off the strip in Las Vegas, high rolling flips straight to the struggle to survive.


trojan wargamesTrojan Wargames

The beaches of Troy were finally quiet, as the sun’s last light gilded the rows of tents and ships. Warriors lounged before fires with wine cups, dining on fish and roasted goat. Achilles sat alone in his tent…


bald eagle nest

We Are Eagles

“We are eagles,” Shadow’s father said, his fierce eyes the color of the sun.

“And the sky is our home,” Shadow’s mother replied.


cabinWelcome to the Cabin

First off, it’s important to remember that around here we get two seasons—winter and road construction. If you’re here when it’s cold, then it’s usually a good idea to keep the kitchen stocked with several days of food. It seems like whenever you least expect it, there’s a foot of new snow on the ground, and the snow plow won’t get there until the day after tomorrow at the earliest.


Ghost Stories


candle in the dardCandle in the Dark

I woke in the dead of night with a start.

The inn was quiet, just when I longed for the sound of another human being. A late drinker stumbling upstairs from the taproom or a guest clumping down the hallway to use the outhouse. Anything.


wisp of flame

The Dance of the Lights

Meg tore a strip from her shift and bound it against her bleeding arm. It would likely scar, but that was the least of her worries. The bog had seemed like the safest place to run, in case they had hounds to track her. There was no telling when her gaoler…


gold country inn

For the Gold

I dropped my bags at the foot of the bed, but I couldn’t settle in and relax. We were on our way north to make our fortunes off the new gold strike by Redding, and we were lucky to have found this place. But something about it dampened my spirits.


Mars over battlefield

God of War

Mars pulsed in the night sky.

Vultures lingered around the battlefield, and with the coming of full dark, their human counterparts appeared.


flying head

Not Without Compensations

Paddy O’Malley threw his cards down in disgust. He was busted again. He tossed off his whisky and stood, his chair scraping against the saloon’s wooden floor. “That’s me done,” he said, before staggering to the swinging doors.



Trip to Tahoe

Northern California, January, 1931

Spencer downshifted the old Ford truck as they took another tight corner. The mountain road to Tahoe was none too safe, especially not with all the snow and ice from the recent storm, but they should make it all right. So far, there had been no signs of the feds.




Hunted rider


I spun my horse; the damned hounds had finally caught me. The horse was stolen, which would be enough by itself to draw the hangman’s noose around my neck. My eyes searched the circle of mounted men who surrounded me, looking for possible avenues of escape.


gold mining camp

Mei Li

I am Mei Li. I am only a girl.

It is 1850, the year of the dog. I am fourteen, so I was born in the year of the monkey, an auspicious sign. My father says this means I bring luck to our family.



Naked Sky

Margaret stifled a scream and rammed her shovel into the soil. It was hard, hard as the reaper himself and unyielding as death.

She jumped on the shovel and it sank a couple of inches deeper. The shovelful joined the rest of the pile. She’d need it all later.




toy sailboatCome Sail Away

Choice—it’s that most precious of constructs, and sometimes it seems like nothing but an illusion. But I do know this—even small choices can matter. And the first time I realized how important that could be was in third grade.



kelp forest sea lion


“Ready? Dive.”

I clenched my regulator in my teeth and released the reservoir of air in the apparatus strapped to my back. The twenty-plus pounds of lead around my hips ensured that the waters of the Pacific Ocean closed rapidly over my head.

As I sunk beneath the waves, I was struck with sheer, unadulterated terror.



Frick and Frack

It’s not easy being the lone woman on a construction site.

I always enjoy seeing another gal working there. Secretaries don’t count—most of the time, I can’t even get a key to the ladies’ porta-potty out of them. But now and again, there’s another woman getting her hands dirty, although rarely as dirty as mine.


eclipse graphicThe Great American Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse–it promised to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Originally, I’d planned on driving to Oregon to see it, since from there the entire sun would be covered. I live in northern California, so it wasn’t that far.


moon landingGoing to the Moon

10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…BLAST OFF!

In the late sixties and early seventies, young children didn’t have to be taught to count backwards. We did it along with the TV, and as soon as the astronauts blasted off, we did, too, careening around the room like ping pong balls.


prindle raceRace Day

I have always felt that real sailing belongs on the ocean blue. The tang of the salt air, the gulls wheeling overhead, the playful barks of the sea lions as they swam to investigate our nineteen foot Prindle racing catamaran—they all added a certain atmosphere to the feel of the boat skipping over the waves.


cessna 180

The Taste of Fear

Fear comes in many flavors.

There’s the adrenaline rush, so addictive for some that they seek safe forms so they can experience it on demand. There’s the sick dread of seeing something coming and knowing there’s no way to stop it.  And then there’s staring death in the face…



A Worm Tale

I believe there’s a genetic component to empathy. Certainly it can be learned or suppressed, but it seems there’s an inborn disposition as well. 

My mother and I are both overly empathetic…






Christmas pageant 1969Christmas Pageant

Is Christmas the season of giving or is it a time of getting? While everyone but the most hardened grinches usually insist that giving is more important, most of us do need something in return. And it’s not necessarily anything with a hefty price tag. I think what matters most…


Christmas movieHoliday Movie

Max picked up one of his two Christmas cards and shook his head. One was from his dentist, and the other from his tax guy. The mantel used to be covered with these things. Why had everybody stopped sending them?


german shepherdKelly’s Christmas

Kelly rested her head on her paws and groaned. Her hips hurt, and she missed her pack mate. She hadn’t seen Toby for over a week.

Her people wept and spoke of Toby in hushed tones. Why was he gone?



Madelynn hesitated on the doorstep.

“Come in, honey—you’re letting all the warm air out.” Grandma’s voice was kind, and it would be unthinkable to disobey. Dad had explained that this was Grandma’s last Christmas, and they all had to try to be extra nice.



A glob of melting snow dropped from the tree above onto Donio’s head.

He jumped up, stamping all four hooves in fury. “That does it! I’m sick of snow. I’m going someplace where it’s warm.”


Valentine’s Day


valentine dragon Valentine Dragon

Nobody sends cards to a dragon,

It’s just an unfortunate fact.

Do they think that we’ll burn them to ashes or what?

I would never commit such an act.


spider valentineSpider Valentine

Won’t you step into my parlor?

All my guests sit here. Never fear–

It doesn’t matter if you wipe your feet.

A more engaging hostess you’ll never meet.


14 comments on “My Short Stories
  1. Beaton says:

    I dream of middle earth ^_^ currently I am reading the Malazan Series its like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed “Cave Rendevous”!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so glad–that’s one of my favorites, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will be spending more time here. I’m doing my MA in CW – so your blog is inspirational
    I expect nothing in return. I love your blog and nominate you for the mystery blogger award. If you are award free take it as a shout out for the work you do on your blog! Happy New Year

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Memoir of a worm–who could NOT click on that one!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Tina Frisco says:

    The Lord of the Rings shares my #1 spot of Fantasy Favorites with Patricia McKillip’s The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. I’d love to see the latter made into a movie 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Gurjit singh says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us

    Liked by 3 people

  8. It is my pleasure. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ritu thakre says:

    i am really injoy it. thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] also enjoy writing short stories. Some I submit to online mags and publishers, but others go straight to my blog. I write mostly […]

    Liked by 1 person

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