I hear the birds’ chatter high in the trees,
And the frurr-frurr of their wings as they fly,
The bright colors of cardinals I see,
Vivid against snowy trees and pale sky.
O, how blue the jay and black the grackle,
How brilliantly red the kinglet’s head,
As they perch in fir and cedar, their cackles
Ringing forth, over snow marked by their tread.
The evergreens bow their snow laden tops,
Deciduous trees’ branches sheathed in ice
Glow with reflected light, making the copse
Burn fire bright, though the world’s held in cold vice.
Then birds lift off the branches in swift flight,
Leaving in snow, imprint of wings so light.
December is upon us, and 2016 is drawing to a close. With this month’s batch of tales, we’ll be wrapping up another year of stories here at the Confabulator Cafe. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as we’ve enjoyed writing.
As of now, we’re not sure what the New Year brings for the Cafe. Hopefully more stories. New prompts, new writers, and new readers.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We still have a whole month to enthrall you. And this month, we allowed the Confabulators to choose how they wanted to do that. The prompt for December was “freestyle.” Writers were invited to submit anything they chose–whether a story for one of this year’s past prompts, something entirely new, or something entirely different.
So grab a cup of hot cocoa and a cozy blanket and hunker down to enjoy our winter wonderland of freestyle stories. Here’s the schedule:
Friday, December 2: “Winter Wings” by Isabel Nee
Friday, December 9: “Betwixt Hearts” by Ashley M. Hill
Friday, December 16: “A Provincial Christmas Mystery” by Sara Lundberg
Friday, December 23: “It’s Snow Problem” by Dianne Williams
Friday, December 30: “Frozen Reflection” by Eliza Jaquays
When she said “I love you” I knew she was just saying it to make me feel better. She didn’t know how to respond to me. She knew I liked her—loved her—and she thought it would simplify things to say she reciprocated. Her words were a kindness not fully meant. And every day I resented her more for not having the balls to tell me how she hated me to my face. I didn’t need her to hang around me out of pity. I didn’t need her empty encouragement. She didn’t actually mean it.
No one could.
I wasn’t worthy of her love. I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love.
Every night I stared at the bottle of sleeping pills in my bedside table. And every night I ignored the whispering voice that told me things would be so much better if I never woke up.
I didn’t know what would be worse, to come back as a ghost and find that nobody missed me. Or to find that they still kept up the facade of pretending to care.
So every night I closed the door to my nightstand and told the pills that I was stronger than them. Continue reading
Even before I walked outside, I spotted the pair of teenage boys through the glass doors of the jewelry shop. They were standing next to a light pole a few feet away from where my red Jaguar convertible was parked. They didn’t seem to be interested in the admittedly ostentatious car though, and instead appeared to be in a heated debate about something else.
Slinging my backpack onto my shoulders, I reached the shop doors and pushed them open. Warm sunlight spilled onto the sidewalk as I strolled toward the two boys and my car. They looked up as I came toward them, both frowning. The shorter one had dark brown hair and worried dark blue eyes, while the taller one was sandy haired with green-gray eyes. I saw the taller one’s eyes narrow into slits as he took in my appearance, from the pink stripe in my hair to the purple velvet crop top and blue denim shorts to the three inch stilettos on my brown knee-high boots.
Emmaline hesitated to ask the girl what was wrong. Far too often it led to a game or trick being played on her, but Nadia’s distress appeared to be quite real.
“Claudia has been gone for nearly two weeks. She should have been back by now.”
“She’s a clever girl. I’m sure she’s fine.”
“She’s not. I can feel it.” Nadia shook her head vigorously as she searched the dark void above them.
There was no use arguing, a crow keeper and their wards were bound together in a union created by the glowstones. If a keeper said their ward was in danger, it was simply a statement of fact.
“Then we should go.”
“You are going to help me?” Nadia’s question was full of suspicion.
“If I don’t who will?” Continue reading