King of all birds

The Wren Boys, dressed in rags and their faces obscured by crude masks, went cottage to cottage carrying their wren house, collecting offerings to the King of Birds. The wicker cage, decorated with mistletoe and bright ribbons, hung by an iron ring from a hook at the end of a long, ash pole. No live […]

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100 Word Challenge: Telling

dulcimer player

It’s been an entire year since I assumed the role of administrator for 100 Word Challenge. (Thank you, Jennifer. I am honored to be part of this amazing community of writers.) Prior to my tenure as moderator, I first starting writing for the 100 Word Challenge in 2010. Spanning two websites, all together I estimate that’s more than 270 words… with […]

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Red flowers for love

red anise flowers

The story so far… Old Wives’ Tale The other caravan women noticed the dark purple bruise on Amelia’s cheek. It wasn’t the first time she showed signs of Charles’ hand on her pale skin. None of them offered her solace, lest their men put them in their place too. There must have been something she did […]

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Pretty birds ring

log cabin interior

Morning sunlight flooded the room through the open door. Raeanne hummed along with the robin’s birdsong, a haunting melody of loss and dying. “Come, gentle death, and end my grief; Ye pretty birds ring forth my knell; Let robin redbreast be the chief To bury me, and so farewell.”* It was a glorious day. The […]

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Sweet dreams

green lizard

Dory pulled the back hem of her skirt up between her knees and tucked it into her waistband to form a pocket. Draping her oil-cloth gunny sack across her chest, she set the bag on her hip so she could fill it easier. With a quick flip of her hair, she twisted the long curls […]

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From little acorns

acorn finials on cemetery fence

It isn’t for purely aesthetic reasons that cold iron is used to adorn funeral plots. Red as rust, blood has the taste and tang of hematite, the life force of earth. Scrolls of wrought iron circle family plots, and are forged into intricate gates and mausoleum entries. Folklore spins tales of iron crosses, and fleur-de-lis being […]

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