Short Stories

To Light and to Guard

This story is my entry to The Inklings Challenge 2022. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a month-long writing event for Christian authors of fantasy and science fiction, inspired by a real challenge attempted by the original Inklings writing group. For this tumblr challenge, participants were randomly sorted into one of three groups, with each assigned to a different type of speculative fiction story inspired by their namesake. I was in the Chesterton group, so I chose the prompt “Intrusive Fantasy”: Stories where the fantastical elements intrude into the real world. There was also a prompt list of seven Christian images to incorporate into the themes of our stories. If you’d like to read more about the challenge, and read the other submissions, you can find all relevant links on the tumblr blog that is hosting the challenge!


Marcia squinted into the fog and cursed the night. Roiling storm clouds obscured the clear light of the full moon, casting shimmering beams and warping shadows over the bog. Wind whipped her short, straight hair across her face. It stuck in the corners of her mouth whenever she took a panting breath and flicked into her stinging eyes. For the dozenth time in half as many minutes, she swiped it behind her ears, frustratingly aware that it was a futile effort. The sky hadn’t opened into a downpour yet, but the freezing mist clung to her clothes, her clammy hands, her eyelashes. Any other night, she could hear frogs croaking, birds crying, and the water rippling as turtles breached, but now, only the howling gale filled her ears. She gritted her teeth and stomped forward aimlessly.

This was all Conner’s fault.

Continue reading “To Light and to Guard”
Short Stories

“The Edge of Infinity” Audio Drama

What is the most dangerous thing you can do?

What do you think of art? 

A digital painting of a pale woman with dark curly hair cut in a bob against a star field background with red blood splatters. She is knitting fabric in an intricate pattern, and the fabric is also woven with stars and splattered with blood. She smiles at the camera.

Last quarter, I shared a short script titled “Edge of Infinity” that asked some deep questions. It shares the conversation between a war criminal and her accuser in a prison at the end of the universe, and how they grow to understand each other. I grew to love the characters and didn’t want to leave them behind, so as promised in my last email, I enlisted my friend Sarina Socko to help me record it by voicing Merari!

Sarina is a triple threat singer, dancer, and actress, pursuing a career in the theater industry in California. She also participates in the punk/emo fashion and music scene, and makes DnD dice and jewlery. I’ve been best friends with her since I was 16 and she’s an absolutely delightful person. Be sure to show her some love and subscribe to her on other platforms!

Instagram: @seraphine_7378

TikTok: @Kavalan_Pulse

This audio drama is about 12 minutes long and is fully edited with background sound effects. Learning how to use Audacity was a fun adventure, and Sarina did most of the coaching for my vocal performance as Aella. It was a really fun challenge to branch out of a purely written medium, so I’m curious to hear your feedback! Click the link below to listen to a preview of this story.

If you’d like to listen to the full version, sign up for my mailing list at this link!


If you have any requests for website post topics, short story prompts, or would like to be interviewed for the blog, please reach out to this email ([email protected]) or shoot me a message through my tumblr or instagram. If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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Short Stories

The Sea of Savage Stars

I wrote this story as an entry for Writeblr Summerfest’s short-story competition! The prompt was “Sharing Stories around a Campfire”. This story is an entry into the Real World Sequence: a science-fiction/magical realism anthology I’m developing to release in the future. The other stories in the Sequence are available on my mailing list, if you’re interested in reading more. I hope you enjoy this adventure!


Tonight, Notos and Boreas enjoyed the luxury of making camp on an asteroid with an atmosphere. They were halfway through a routine supply run to the opposite side of the ring, and they had made most of their stops on hunks of rock barely large enough to fit the two dragons and their riders. Boreas settled down, shaking the shrub-pines on their back, and stretched out with a sigh that ruffled their rider’s cloudy puff of hair. The old spacer never used a helmet. Their bond was so intertwined that they shared even their breath. Two minds, two bodies, one name, one spirit.

Notos was still growing used to that experience. They’d only bonded a few months ago, and while it surprised them how easily they’d slipped into sharing a soul, there was still an awareness, on the periphery, that rider and dragon were two separate beings, and not truly extensions of each other. When they watched Boreas, and their smooth—effortless, even—coordination that came with centuries of experience living as one another, Notos couldn’t help but be acutely conscious of their own clumsiness. How could it still be so disorienting to see out of someone else’s eyes, to feel each shudder of a step in your own bones, for the rider’s back to ache after a day of heavy flying though their dragon worked the wings?

No time to complain about the hard journey. It was only their first of many promising adventures, and what a blessing to be chosen to accompany one of the most accomplished Travellers of their tribe. They would prove themselves to be the best pupil the ancient being had ever seen.

In a matter of minutes, their human helped unload the sleeping bags and food supplies for dinner, then harvested firewood from the branches growing out of the dragon’s back. Soon enough, a soup was bubbling over their small blaze. With satisfied stomachs and smoldering coals, they settled down under the open sky for the nightly story time as Boreas began to slowly speak.

On the planet Sainha, enormous rivers cut apart the continents, emptying into freshwater seas. To survive, the people fish. Like all things, they must maintain a careful symbiosis, for if they take too many creatures from the rivers, soon they will empty of all life, and the endless rush of water will erode the earth itself. They taught their children from a young age to only take what they need from certain schools, and to always leave an offering of land-grown plants for the remaining members, as a thanks for fair trade.

In turn, the fish would not attack the humans unprovoked. Remember, these rivers are as great and wide and deep as a canal. Their denizens grow to fit their surroundings, and it is rare to find a specimen any smaller than a child. Eels the length of a barge. Sturgeon the size of sea dragons. Catfish with barbs as thick as your arm. Schools of dozens of sharp-toothed things patrolling the currents. If they wished to feast on human flesh, it was a small matter to snap one from shore and drag them under the choppy waters.

Once, there was a fisherman who allowed his soul to be seized with pride. Thinking himself above the creatures, and above his fellow men, he set out to attain a prize to prove he was the greatest fisherman of them all. His friends asked, “what makes you the best?”

He answered, “I can catch the largest fish!”

They asked, “What good is a larger fish if it capsizes your boat and you cannot reach shore?”

He answered, “I can catch the rarest fish!”

They asked, “What good is a rare fish, when you can take food from a large school that will not miss a single member?”

He answered, “I can catch the most fish at once.”

They asked, “What good is a large catch, when the river is so full and you can find food so fresh?”

He answered, “I can catch the most dangerous fish.”

They asked, “Why risk your life when there are others that take easy bait?”

He could not answer their queries, and this infuriated him. He stomped away, simply shouting, “you’ll see,” before taking his tools and boat and set out into the most remote cove, where even elder fishers dared not venture. He furnished his net with hooks, not simply one sharp line, but a mesh of barbs, meant to maim and capture all that it encountered. He held it in a white knuckled grasp as he threw it over the side and waited.

In an instant, the force of a creature impaling itself nearly jerked it from his hands. Another hit, then another, as a school caught itself in his trap. Despite the wounds, they could still swim. With a mighty jerk, they dragged him from the boat and into the water, where he became the bait for more of the creatures, hungry for human meat as they hungered for his flesh. The vicious cycle of capture and consumption continued, until the man was only a skeleton, and the fish were only shreds.

When he did not return, the townsfolk worried, and set out on expeditions, but they could not find his body. They went to the temple and asked their god to find their foolish friend. The god asked the fish near shore, who told of the great battle that raged that day, and the god understood exactly what they meant. He traveled to the cove, and cast a net of woven moonlight to pull the skeletons from the water, murky with the spilled blood. The god placed the cycle in the sky as a warning and a memorial. To this day, the people of Sainha look at their constellations and describe it as a sea of savage stars.”

With that, Boreas extinguished the fire. Notos looked to the sky, letting their eyes adjust to the lack of light from the campfire. The dilation happened almost instantly, as if on command from their dragon’s physiology. Their rider felt their attention drawn by their dragon’s sense of direction and both looked into the depths of space. Delicate white lines formed in their vision, connecting distant solar systems into constellations, and outlining the skeletons of the doomed creatures.

“We must be careful flying through their battle tomorrow. It still rages in its new form,” Boreas said solemnly. “Now get some rest. You’ll need it.”


Thank you for reading! Next week I’ll be sharing my monthly goals update, so be sure to check back for that, or to leave a writing prompt in the comments. If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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Chatting · Runaways

Meet the Runaways Side Characters

If you’ve been subscribed to my mailing list for any amount of time, you will already be familiar with this colorful cast from my upcoming middle grade portal fantasy, Runaways! Since I’ve launched the newsletter, I’ve been sharing exclusive short stories that give each of these characters their own format in a new, slightly strange format. Eventually, I plan to compile these free, early releases into a companion collection and release them alongside the book itself. But until then, I wanted to share these brief introductions, so you can all get to know them as well!

Continue reading “Meet the Runaways Side Characters”
Runaways

The Replacement

Welcome to this year’s Halloween special! Earlier this month, I had you vote on what kind of content you wanted to see, and you chose an “In-Universe Spooky Story,” which worked out perfectly with this month’s theme of framing structures and horror! You can read last year’s Laoche drabbles here. Chronologically, this short takes place before the events of Runaways. If you want to learn more about the story, you can visit its WIP page, and if you want to read another short story in the same universe, you can sign up for my mailing list here to read “Jack of Fables”. Shameless self promotion aside, I hope you enjoy this story! Have a very Happy Halloween!

“Ma! We’re ready to come in now! Can you put on the water for hot cocoa?”

Hannah stomps the snow off her boots in the garage and props her sled against the wall. Cecelia trails in after her, but groans upon seeing the empty wood rack, already knowing what comes next. Their mother emerges from the kitchen, wearing an apron and holding a half-peeled apple.

“You never got wood,” she observes.

“Do we have to? I’m freezing, and I already started getting undressed.”

“Your father comes home any minute, and we need to stoke the fire. I’ve been making apple butter all day, and lost track of time. There are only ashes left. Why didn’t you do your chores before you played?”

“But Ma, it’s almost dark!”

“It will take you twenty minutes to fetch the wheelbarrow from the shed and fill the rack. Only three loads. I’ll let you finish the job tomorrow, but work until sunset.”

“It’s snowing, the wood will get wet,” Hannah wheedles.

“It won’t turn green between the stack and the house. Stop making excuses.”

“We’re all wet. We could catch hypothermia and die.”

Continue reading “The Replacement”
Chatting · Monthly Goals · Runaways

Runaways Beta Call and September Goals Recap

Hello my friends, I have a special announcement for you today! I am now recruiting beta readers for Runaways!

If you aren’t familiar with the story, Runaways is a middle grade fantasy novel that focuses on themes of betrayal, forgiveness, and sisterly love. You can read the synopsis and some early excerpts right now on its WIP Page, but I plan to release it serially on this website in the coming year, and I need help to get it ready to share. If you’re interested, please check out This Form – all the relevant info is in the introduction to help inform your decision. I’m super excited to share this story with the world, and I appreciate all the support so much. 🙂

While we’re on the topic of big updates, I also completed most of my goals this month! (?) School is now in full swing and I think I’ve finally adjusted to the balance of school, work, activities and writing. (If you want to hear more about that topic, you can check out this post). I spend most of my limited free time working on my books, so I’ve been a little more absent on social media, and while it’s frustrating that I can’t interact or edit as much as I like, I’m happy I still have these opportunities. So without further ado, what did I get done?

Won by 4 points! 12/14 goals

Continue reading “Runaways Beta Call and September Goals Recap”
Runaways · The Laoche Chronicles

“Matter” – The Real World Sequence

The Traveller bites their lip and nods their appreciation. After a second’s hesitation, and without another word, they join the Keeper at the line and begin hanging the wash. Their fingers linger on the fabric, so soft and shimmering, woven from starlight and space dust. Her home traps so much light, so she spins it into threads. It’s satisfying for it to go to good use, and the robe looks lovely on the Traveller, their warm brown skin emerging from the amorphous golden-white wraps.

“Thank you,” the Keeper says. The last time anyone volunteered to help was eons ago. Two million, five hundred sixty-three thousand, four hundred and eighty-nine days ago, to be exact.

The Traveller nods again and drapes a sheet with deft, practiced movements. When they speak again, there is a wistful tone in their voice. “I used to help my mother with the laundry. We hung it outside in the summer, and by the fireplace in the winter. Fourteen sets of clothes, every week. I’m sure you can imagine how long it took to match the socks.”

“That’s the benefit of living alone in the bottom of a black hole. No one cares whether you match your socks.” The Keeper gives them with a conspiratorial wink, and hikes up the edge of her skirt just enough to show the different patterned footwear.

Continue reading ““Matter” – The Real World Sequence”
Chatting · Reading Recs

Perfect Prose: “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury

Today I’m covering a short story that may already be familiar to my American followers from our high school English classes. Ray Bradbury is the author of many famous dystopian, science fiction and fantasy works such as Fahrenheit 451, and I was introduced to “The Pedestrian” as the primer for our unit on that book. While most English classes focus on analyzing diction and prose, and I could have picked any of the countless pieces I had to dissect over the years, I picked this one because I remember how vivid it was, and how it was the first time I really understood the way words could be used to draw somebody into a story. 10th grade was the year I started seriously learning about the writing craft and working on my own books, and this was the first time I really read like a writer. The act of being able to pick apart a story and learn how it works and then using that knowledge to put your own stories together is a valuable skill that I need to practice more, and it’s what I’m hoping to share with you by doing this series of reading recommendations. So let’s see what we can learn together, shall we?

Continue reading “Perfect Prose: “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury”
The Laoche Chronicles

Halloween Special: Laoche Drabbles

Madelyn

The scariest part of the season was the exams. The library sat like an empty tomb, devoid of any life as the campus citizens escaped to revelries and momentarily forgot their impending day of reckoning. She set up in the window seat, spreading papers around her as the chai at her elbow grew colder by the minute from the draft. As the leaves turned to wreaths of gold and garnet, she found her mind drifting to more magical times and her fingers straying to the battered storybook at her side. Studies forgotten, she lost herself in the imagery and ink.

Continue reading “Halloween Special: Laoche Drabbles”