Flash Fiction Friday #7: “Moon-Kissed”

What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year.


A Fantasy Flash Fiction


K. D. Jones


Leaves of gold and crimson crunched under the woman’s boots as she trudged through the forest. The sun was almost set now, the last rays of daylight casting everything in a dim golden glow.

“Are you ready for the Change?” asked her mentor in a ragged voice. He was too old to be hiking, she thought, though she wasn’t about to tell him that.

“Yes,” she replied without hesitation, though nerves thrummed beneath her skin. She kept climbing the hill, kept her eyes on the darkening horizon.

The air turned cool and misty. Crickets and frogs began singing and belching in the thickening night. Fireflies danced in the fog, glowing like fairies.

“We’re almost there,” said her mentor.

Her heart skipped a beat. Could she survive the Change? Did she truly have what it took to be one of the Moon-Kissed?

The trees parted, revealing a placid lake. The sky, now indigo and star-dappled, began to glow near the horizon.

“It is time,” her mentor said. “Kneel.”

She did. He tapped his staff on both shoulders. A blade hissed as it was drawn from its scabbard, and he held the point to her heart. “If your heart is not true, run yourself upon the blade now and be done with it.”

“My heart is true.”

“As one of the Moon-Kissed, one of the sacred warriors assigned with protecting our village, you must complete the Change to officially join our ranks and complete your training.”

“My heart is still true, Mentor.”

“Good. Rise, and let’s test your will.”

She stood. Though her legs wobbled, she straightened her spine and shed her thick robe. Her white silk dress billowed in the breeze blowing off the lake, and goosebumps popped up along her pale skin. Her white hair whipped behind her. Heart galloping, she lifted her eyes to the sky and felt her skin begin to itch and tingle as the moon rose.

Her mentor began chanting.

Her breath came faster and faster as silver light spread across the meadow, then the lake, then—

She cried out as the first rays of moonlight hit her, setting her flesh aflame and her bones twisting. All the while her mentor chanted, his eyes glowing with the same silvery light that now drenched her and was tearing her body apart.

She screamed, which turned into a roar as straight, white teeth became fangs the size of the blade he’d held to her heart, and her nails turned to darkened claws. Her flesh stretched and stretched as her bones broke and reformed, as muscle and sinew twined and bent around a new shape.

A stronger, more powerful being than human or animal.

The pain at last subsided, and she slowly straightened, the transformation complete. Her long, fur-tipped ears perked. So many noises. There was the rush and hiss of the waterfall, five miles away! And the sound of wagons rolling along cobblestone in Mistburn, the city ten miles from here. And the smells, so many new smells—rain-soaked earth, the incense of wildflowers, the freshness of the nearby stream—and the sights, a million vivid colors, colors she’d never dreamed of or knew even existed.

This is amazing, she thought with wonder.

All her fears abated, replaced by awe and triumph. And as the last of her doubts died, she knew her faith in herself had been rewarded.

She was strong enough to survive the Change. Strong enough to be a warrior, one of the Moon-Kissed. And now she would take her place among her people and do what she was born for.

To protect, to believe in a better tomorrow. To elicit fear in the hearts of her enemies.

And to inspire faith in those who needed it.

Flash Fiction Friday #6: “The Pegasus and the Princess”

I owe two FFFs, so here’s the first one! My goal for the year is the write 50 flash fictions. I don’t know if I’ll keep this up next year, but it’s a fun challenge in the meantime and a great way to get over my “I can’t write short fiction” fear.


What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year.

“The Pegasus and the Princess”

A Fantasy Flash Fiction


K. D. Jones


Wind swept over the meadow, rippling the tall, green grass about the young princess’ legs. Her mother clutched her hand. “Careful. This grass is nearly as tall as you, little one! You’ll trip!”

“I saw a unicorn!” The princess pointed to the deep blue sky, squinting against the bright sunshine warming her skin.

“Don’t be silly. Unicorns haven’t existed for more than a century.”

“But I saw one!” The princess tugged on her mother’s hand, but the queen held firm.

“Come now, daughter. We’re going to be late for dinner.”

Later that night, when the moon was high in the sky and the princess was tucked away in her bed, she awoke to a happy jingling sound. A shadow moved beyond the curtains swaying on her balcony, and she climbed out of bed, rubbing her eyes as she went to see what was outside.

She walked out into the night and gasped. “You are real!”

The Pegasus, a beautiful white horse with magnificent pearlescent wings and a spiral horn made of sparkling crystal, neighed and pawed at the marble floor. Delicate silver bells hung from crimson ribbons tied to its long, silvery mane. I am real, the Pegasus said, its lilting voice echoing inside the princess’ head.

“You can speak!”

Through magic, replied the Pegasus. I only appear to those who believe. As a reward for your faith, I can grant you a wish. What is dearest to your heart?

The princess thought about what she’d like. “I’d love to fly!”

And so you shall. The Pegasus knelt, and the princess, giddy with excitement, climbed atop the sloped back of the Pegasus.

Hold on, said the Pegasus. The princess grabbed two handfuls of its mane before the Pegasus bounded into the sky.

They flew among wisps of moon-kissed clouds and stars that sparkled like diamonds. The princess couldn’t believe her eyes, and she laughed in wonder at the marvels she saw. They flew all night, and when the sun at last tinged the sky pink, the Pegasus returned her to her balcony at the castle.

“Will I see you again?” asked the princess.

If you keep believing in magic. The Pegasus turned and leapt into the sky, the music of its bells growing fainter and fainter.

The princess watched it go until it was a speck on the horizon. Sighing, she climbed back into bed and dreamed of the wind whipping her face, dreamed of laughing with such profound joy at the freedom of flying.

When she awoke, buttery sunshine covered her curtains, and the maids were coming in to start their morning chores. Her mother, clad in silk and jewels, swept into the room and sat upon her bed. “Dearest, you’ve slept in. Your tutors will be waiting.”

The princess sighed dreamily. “I had the best dream.”

“What did you dream about?”

“I dreamed I rode a winged unicorn—a Pegasus—and we flew all night!”

“That sounds like a marvelous dream.”

“A dream,” the princess murmured. “I guess it wasn’t real, after all.”

She swore she heard the distant ringing of silver bells.

Or maybe it was real, or still could be real, if she never stopped believing in magic.

Flash Fiction Friday #5: “Death Dreams”

Was out of town the past couple of days visiting family. I was so excited and so busy I forgot to schedule this. Oh, well. Better late than never. 😉 Enjoy your weekend!


What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year.


“Death Dreams”

A Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction


K. D. Jones

The raven pecked at the skull’s empty eye socket, collecting pebbles and remnants of fine clothing for its nest high in the woods above. Gnarled tree limbs twisted and knotted against a sky black as pitch. Bones, both human and animal, hung from twine tangled in the branches, turning and singing in the chilled breeze.

A ghastly figure materialized out of thin air, emitting a garish green glow—a man, tall and lean, wearing robes of velvet and golden brocade, with a silver brooch thick with rubies at his throat. A crown lay on the dirt, rusted with rain and abandon. The figure’s chest ached at the sight, and he reached for it with skeletal fingers. They passed right through the crown. Again, he tried to grasp it. And again, failed.

All the while, the raven pecked and poked and gathered its macabre prize.

The specter shifted uneasily. Watching the bird desecrate the skull filled him up with dread, anger, and—

Anger? Why anger? His thoughts blurred and muddied together. Adrift, he sagged against a tree, clutched its rough bark for support. And felt nothing, not even a scrape beneath his palm. Curious, he ran lithe fingers over the velvet of his robes, feeling neither softness nor warmth.

The bird continued to peck.

He felt panicked and yet could not feel his pulse race or hear his breath catch. He was undeniably dead, and it both fascinated and frightened him, and how did he end up dead and would that damnable bird ever stop pecking—

With a moan, the specter swooped down upon the raven. It cawed loudly, flapping its oily-black wings in a frenzy to take flight. The specter watched it disappear into the night. He shifted mournful dark eyes to the skull. A shadow of what—who—he used to be.

He… That’s right. He knew who this was. Flashes of memories, of battles fought on blood-soaked fields, of a thousand swords dripping scarlet, flickered in and out of his head.

As if in a dream, he reached down to grab the skull. This time, his fingers connected with solid bone, and he lifted the skull up to gaze into its blackened eyes—his eyes.

How dreadful he looked. Where hair of flowing gold once crowned his head now showed the empty gray of cracked, weather-beaten bone. Teeth, once straight and whole, were now chipped or missing.

More prizes for the ravens.

His gold-plated armor was scratched and tarnished with dried blood and caked with mud. The sword that had impaled him still gleamed, as if freshly polished, pinning him to the cold, damp earth. And above, the clinking and whistling wind, which he swore mixed with the moans of the dying…

His army. His brothers and sisters in arms. All that remained of them was dust and bone.

Guilt and shame threatened to cleave him in two. He’d led them to death. He was their king, he knew the enemy was far too bold, too cunning, too ruthless and cruel, and yet he’d led them to slaughter anyway.

He’d failed them.

Tipping his head back, the specter released an agonized roar that shook the ground.

A flash of color caught his eye—a silk ribbon, blue as the sea. Wide-eyed, he watched it flutter and curl on the breeze, at last landing on the crown. It looked so out of place among the lifeless, dark misery around him.

And yet…

A blue ribbon. The symbol for safety. Then his people… Had his people made it out of the country safely before the enemy arrived?

He sat straight up, clawing at every memory, fighting to remember.

To remember how he’d caught wind of the oncoming attack and ordered a city-wide evacuation.

To remember how he’d summoned all his knights and swore to defend the city walls against the invaders, for as long as they could, despite the knowledge their enemies outnumbered them six to one.

To remember how bravely they’d fought, fueled by their determination to keep fighting, to keep standing until every last man, woman, and child was safely beyond the borders, within the magical barriers of the neighboring kingdom. Safe from harm, free to live their lives out in peace.

He stared at the ribbon fluttering in the breeze. It was the messenger’s job to release ribbons once they made it safely across the border.

The evacuation had been successful. They had not died in vain. His duty as a king had been fulfilled.

And with that, the specter smiled with relief and vanished.


Flash Fiction Friday #4: “Sworn Enemies”

It’s the end of another week and time for another flash fiction! This one’s kind of silly and inspired by a painting by one of my favorite fantasy artist, Stephanie Law.

What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year.

“Sworn Enemies”

A fantasy flash fiction


K. D. Jones


The unicorn more or less stumbled across the dragon sleeping in the wood. Well, tripped over one of its gargantuan, black talons is more like it.

“Excuse me!” said the unicorn as it rather gracelessly corrected its balance. “They really should put a sign up or something… ‘Snoozing dragon! Blends in with scenery.’”

The dragon’s nostrils twitched as a tendril of smoke curled out and upward. It let out a deep grumble of a snore.

The unicorn cocked its head, sunlight dappling its horn and making it sparkle like diamonds. “You know, green is a rather obnoxious color for your scales, considering you’re in a forest. Or maybe you’re obnoxious for sleeping here.” He couldn’t make up his mind which.

The spikes along the dragon’s long, crested back continued to rise and fall as it slumbered.

“Well, this isn’t getting us anywhere. Ahem.”

Deep snores rumbled along the ground, vibrating into the unicorn’s delicate cloven hooves.

It blinked at the dragon. “Hello?” Prancing forward, it nudged the dragon with one of its legs. “You hear me?” Once the dragon didn’t respond, the unicorn sighed. “Just remember, buddy—this is all your fault.”

Lowering his head, the tip of his horn pointed straight at the dragon’s scaly rump, the unicorn charged.

“Ouch!” roared the dragon, leaping into the air with a gust of its mighty—and annoyingly green—wings. He clutched his rear, rubbing at the undoubtedly sore spot as tears welled in his big dark eyes. His bottom lip began to tremble.

“Oh, my,” said the unicorn. “You’re not at all like I expected you to be.”

“And—and how—did you—expected me—to be?” squeaked the dragon between sniffles.

This is pathetic, thought the unicorn. “Well, more fearsome. A real intimidating presence.”

The dragon hiccupped and farted.

Gagging and swishing away the foul stench with its tail, the unicorn rasped, “We are sworn enemies, you and me. That’s what all the legends say, anyway. It is my duty in life to hunt you down and destroy you, as it is yours to hunt my kind down and destroy us. I am light incarnate, and you are darkness incarnate.”

“That’s total bullshit! You should be darkness incarnate—you’re the one running around, poking people in the ass while they sleep!”

“Your point?” The unicorn grinned. “Pun intended. Maybe I should also be cleverness incarnate.”

“You’re mean.”

“I am not mean. I am the epitome of everything good in the world. The legends say so.”

“I don’t think I much care for these legends.”

“I suspect you don’t even know how to read,” mumbled the unicorn under its breath.

“What was that?”

“Nothing. Now, get up, you fat, lazy blob of green scales! We shall dual.”

“F-f-fight? But I don’t want to fight! I’m a pacifist!”

“You’re also a thief. I hear you made off with the king’s jewels yesterday while they were being transported from the jeweler to the castle.”

“I like the shiny,” said the dragon fondly.

The unicorn rolled his eyes. “ ‘I like the shiny,’” he said in a high-pitched, mimicking voice. “If you like the shiny so much, then you’ll love my horn as I shove it—”

“Hold on there!”

The unicorn nearly leapt out of its pearlescent skin as a maiden fair, her golden hair flowing over her green gown, crashed through the bushes and came to a halt between them.

She flung open her arms. “You can’t hurt this harmless beast!”

“Harmless he may well be, but we are sworn enemies. It is my sacred duty—”

“Yes, yes, I heard your load of horsecrap,” she said, waving a hand dismissively while propping the other up on her hip. “Look, unicorn, the truth of the matter is, you’re a bully. Always have been, always will be. The legends paint you out to be some sort of innocent little pony, but I know better, mister. I’m on to you.” She thrust a finger at him as her eyes got all squinty and crazy.

The unicorn gaped and took a step back. “You jest, madam!”

“I do not! And do you honestly believe everything you hear? What kind of simpleton are you?”


“Yeah!” said the dragon, nodding its head.

The maiden turned to the beast. “Where are my father’s jewels, Fluffy?”

“Fluffy!” exclaimed the unicorn.

The dragon looked morosely down at its claws. “I’m sorry if I did anything wrong, princess. I said I would protect the jewels.”

“And you’ve done a marvelous job. I can take them back to my father. I have a carriage waiting nearby to transport them. Unless you’d be kind enough to escort me—and them—back to the castle?”

The dragon grinned at the maiden, exposing hundreds of pointy teeth. She never once flinched and smiled right back. “Sure thing, Cecily.”

“C-Cecily? You’re on a first name basis?”

The dragon knelt. “Sure are,” Cecily said, tossing her hair over her shoulder as she climbed atop her dragon-mount. She gazed down coolly at the gaping unicorn. “You, however, may call me ‘Your Highness’ or ‘My Lady.’ I’m only on a first name basis with my friends. You know, creatures and people who aren’t assholes.”

The dragon unfurled its wings, preparing to launch.

“Sworn enemies indeed,” barked Cecily, right before the dragon’s wings flapped downward and off they shot into the air, up through the canopy, leaving the unicorn staring after them, for once, at a loss for words.

Flash Fiction Friday #3: “Last Gifts”

Well, I apparently forgot to schedule this one! Two days late, but better late than never.

What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year.


“Last Gifts”

A Fantasy Flash Fiction


K. D. Jones

The sun was high in the sky when the bear happened upon the penguin lounging on a cushion of snow.

“Ah,” said the bear, “at last, someone I can ask for directions! Where might I find the North Pole?”

The penguin blinked at her. “What on earth are you?”

“I’m a bear, of course.”

“Bears are white.”

The bear looked down at her thick brown fur. “I beg to differ. Can you give me directions to the North Pole?”

“We don’t have any brown bears here.”

“So I’ve noticed. I’m on a special quest to meet Santa Claws to request some gifts for my cubs.”

“Santa Claws? Who is that?”

“It doesn’t matter. Where do I find the North Pole?”

“Aren’t you a long way from home?”

“Miles and days from home. Which direction do I go?”

“To get home?”

“To get to the North Pole.”

“Ah, well, you won’t have any luck here.”

“Why is that?”

“Son, you’re at the South Pole!”

“Well, that does pose a problem. Now, at least, I know the only path I have to go is up. Thank you, that answers my question.” With that, the bear turned and left, leaving the penguin shaking its head.

Weeks later, after traveling by land and boat, the bear arrived at the North Pole. Though she was very hungry and was weary from her long journey, she did not stop until she had reached the famed Santa Claws.

The Great White Bear sat on his ice throne and looked down upon the brown bear. “Do you know where you are?”


“And why have you come?”

“To ask for gifts for my young,” replied the brown bear.

“And what gifts could be worth such a long and perilous journey?”

“I am dying,” said the brown bear. “I was poisoned some many moons ago by a hunter’s dart and shall soon perish. I would like to grant my cubs protection from all harm, so long as they shall live.”

“How many cubs do you have?”


“You may ask for two gifts, then.”

The bear had thought long and hard about this. “I shall also wish for them to know how much I love them after I’ve passed. For them to know I am always with them and am watching over them.”

“Fine gifts. They shall be given. What is your name?”


“Well, Ursa, I shall grant your wish.”

With her dying breath, Ursa at last laid down and died, finally at peace. The Great White Bear ushered her spirit to the stars, where it lingered as a constellation, always looking down upon her cubs, just as she’d asked.

And, for the rest of their long, happy lives, the two cubs grew up and knew neither harm nor pain, and never suffered for they were never truly alone. They had each other—and a mother’s undying love.

Flash Fiction Friday #2: “Ruby and the Velvet Slipper”

What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

“Ruby and the Velvet Slipper”

A Fantasy Flash Fiction Story


K. D. Jones

At sixteen, there were two things in life that Princess Ruby loved more than anything—the color red and shoes, shoes, more shoes! Guests to the castle would often ask to see her shoe collection, an impressive exhibit of nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine pairs of shoes, containing everything from satin slippers to sky-high heels made of hammered moondust. She wore them all and loved them all, often spending hours a day making sure no shoe had a scuff and each was in tip-top shape.

One day, she noticed an empty spot on her shelf. “Myr,” she said, “why do I not have any velvet slippers?”

“Because Hamperton stopped producing velvet, my lady,” replied her handmaiden.

What dreadful news! Since when had that happened? “Unacceptable!” declared Ruby. “I must procure some velvet slippers and complete my collection!”

So she set out, searching day and night at all the most popular shops and sending inquiries far and wide to kingdoms both familiar and foreign. After a year, with still no velvet slippers to be found, Ruby was becoming quite agitated when a letter came in the mail for her.

Certain it was another boring marriage proposal, she tossed the letter aside and thought nothing more of it. Next month, a visitor arrived at the castle—a dragon lord from far away.

She was less impressed with his dragon-steed than he with her shoe collection. “So this is the famous collection I’ve heard so much of,” he mused, wandering about the shelves and admiring her footwear.

She beamed. “Yes. I’ve spent years honing it. I’m quite the avid collector.”

“So you say,” he said wryly, throwing her a backward glance. Jewels like glimmering embers and gold embroidery designed like dragons wove down the length of his cavat. Finally, he turned to face her. “Forgive me, lady, but isn’t there something more important than finding a velvet slipper? You seem a bit obsessed.”

“Of course I am! I’ve spent my life collecting these things. I can’t stop now! It’s a matter of great importance!”

His eyes saddened. “But you’ve missed so much of the world.”

“Tch.” She crossed her arms and thrust her delicate nose into the air. “What has the world ever done for me?”

“There is a worldwide famine going on, lady. Many people are starving because they have no money to buy food.”

“There… there is?” Her own stomach growled, just thinking about eating.

“Children are dying.”

Great heavens, now that was terrible. “Isn’t there anything I can do?”

He nodded and opened his arms wide, gesturing to the rainbow of shoes around them. “You can sell your collection, my lady. It would fetch a king’s ransom and more than end the plight ravaging our homelands.”

Her mouth gaped open in horror. “But-but I can’t do that!”

“Why not?”

“They’re my life!”

“You have no life, because you’ve spent it all in here.” Anger singed his words, making them sharp. “You spend your days in here, wasting time fussing over something completely trivial.”

“It’s not trivial to me!”

He sighed and shook his head. “I had thought to get through to you, to enlist your help and save millions. But you are too far lost in your obsession.” As he walked past her, he paused at the closet door. “You will never know true happiness until you let this go.” With that, he left.

How absurd! Her, give up her shoes? It was like asking the moon goddess to forfeit the moon, or the lord of night to relinquish his hold over the stars. She’d rather rip out her soul than abandon her quest for the ultimate shoe collection!

Days passed, but she found the more she tried taking care of her shoes, the more she couldn’t stand being around them. Disgusted and guilty and no idea why, she at last went outside the castle gates for the first time in years.

It was awful. A place once blooming with flowers and color now reeked of death and despair. “Please, miss!” they begged her, not recognizing her and thinking her to simply be a courtier. “Please, feed us! We are starving!”

She looked around, horrified by the lack of basic comforts these people—her people—lacked. Things she had been taking for granted all these years.

She felt a bolt of determination, followed by a thunderclap of grit. Suddenly, the damn velvet slipper did not matter. None of those silly little shoes did.

Racing back up to her castle, she ordered all the guards and servants to prep her collection for sale and to send word to every corner of the world. Three days later an auction was held. Emperors and empresses, kings and queens and princes and every manner of royalty showed up to bid on the spectacle of foot fashion. More money than had ever been seen was poured into the coffers, which she immediately donated to help feed the world. The famine vanished, and the people loved her.

And, for the first time in her short life, she was really, truly happy.

Flash Fiction Friday #1: “The Merchant and the Mermaid”

In case you didn’t see my Facebook post on flash fiction, here’s the scoop (straight from Facebook):

I’ve been experimenting with flash fiction lately; I even pounded out two micro stories the other day! I can’t wait to share them with you. They are, surprisingly, a lot of fun. What is flash fiction? Technically speaking, it’s a teeny tiny story of about 1,000 words (roughly 3 printed pages) or less. Some publications consider 1500 words and below to fall in the flash fiction category. This art form has seen a revival in recent years, thanks to the popularity of cell phones and social media, and, supposedly, people’s waning attention spans. Up until last year I shied away from short fiction, believing I write better in long form. Now, I think I was simply avoiding it because I was afraid: afraid of being bad at it, afraid of not enjoying it, and afraid of it because I didn’t know how to do it. My theme for this year is “no fear.” In line with that theme, I began researching how to write short fiction, the shortest being flash. I stumbled across the below article, which was a tremendous help. Thought I’d share it, for anyone else who is curious about this unique art form. David also has a fun collection of micro fiction out called Sawn-Off Tales. Being on sale for $2.99 in ebook, I snapped it up so I could read, enjoy, and learn. 

Read the article: How to write flash fiction by David Gaffney

The other morning, I decided why not try it? This cute little story flew out of my mind within the span of about thirty minutes, shortly before I went to bed. I find those hazy moments between fighting to stay awake and drifting off to sleep are my brain’s most fruitful times for producing fiction. It appears micro fiction is no exception.

Without further delay, here’s “The Merchant and the Mermaid,” clocking in just over 400 words. (Please pardon any grammatical whoopsies. Consider this the raw format. This piece will be fully edited before being published in a collection of short fiction later this year.)

“The Merchant and the Mermaid”

A Fantasy Flash Fiction


K. D. Jones

The merchant had never been a rich man by any means, but that didn’t stop him from trying to acquire nice things. Things far above his earnings from hauling his weekly catches into the bustling, stinking market of the little seaside town of Aspire.

Saying Aspire didn’t have much to offer or that it didn’t look like much was like saying the sky is blue and fish lived in the sea. Those things were simply facts begrudgingly recognized—or ignored—by the Aspirians. Shiny, unique things of great value were hard to come by.

Which is why when the merchant caught a beautiful mermaid in his net one day, his face lit up in surprise and wonder.

“Hello,” said the mermaid, trying to untangle herself. “Do you mind? I’m running a bit late.”

“But you’re a mermaid.”

She stared at him. “Mermaids keep schedules, too,” she said matter-of-factly, as if he should already know this.

Beneath the waves, her long, graceful tail shimmered. Sunlight glinted along hundreds of tiny scales.

“I can free you,” he said, “but it’s going to cost you.” Her brows raised, so he went on, “One scale.”

The mermaid’s jewel-blue tail swished in the deep green of the sea. Those pink lips grinned. “If freedom is the price for one scale, what will you give me in return for two?”

He blinked and scanned his tiny boat. “What about this knife?”

“I have plenty. Fishermen drop them all the time.”

“My hat?”

“Oh, starfish and sea turtles! Where would I wear that to?”

He pulled at his graying beard when she said, “I know! That! Give me that!” He looked around, and she thrust a finger at his wrist. “That!”

He lifted his arm to examine the worn band of braided leather. “This old thing?”

“Yes, I’ve never seen another one like it!”

“That’s because I made it when I was a boy.” Shrugging, he slipped it over his hand and tossed it to her.

The mermaid squealed with glee and threw him two glimmering scales. They landed in his palm, and his eyes widened. “These are sapphires!” The mermaid was too busy admiring her new bracelet, so he said louder, “You sure you won’t miss these?”

“I’ll grow more.”

“But I gave you junk in exchange for treasure.”

“Depends on the perspective.” She produced a knife—from where, he did not know—slashed herself free and dove beneath the waves.


Did you like it? Tune in next Friday for a fresh flash fiction. New micro fiction posted every Friday as part of my new Flash Fiction Friday meme. To receive notifications of new posts, subscribe to my blog using the sidebar to the right.

New Year, New Goals

I love this time of year, when I get to dive into all the new goals I’ve set.

The past few months brought a whirlwind of change. I moved across the country, closer to my roots. This feels oddly symbolic with my writing journey. A few months ago I returned to my writing roots, to the genre that first made me want to be a writer–epic fantasy. I made new lifestyle goals–save money and eat healthier, which I’m taking baby steps toward. I’m wrapping up a certificate in copy editing. I’m diving into new forms of storytelling. I’m learning more about technology (my day job is in the tech sector). All in all, a lot of exciting things are coming up. I feel like all these changes have come together to bring me to a pivoting point in my life. It’s both intimidating and inspiring.

Any time I make new goals, I try to leave enough wiggle room for them to grow and for me to adapt. While it’s important to stick to your goals, I feel it is equally important to realize when you need to change them. This year I intend to push myself creatively on both the writing and business fronts. I want to try things I’ve never tried before in terms of productivity and creative exploration. I want to learn more about growing a creative business. I want to read more widely (regency and steampunk are two genres I could stand to read more in).

Some of my goals:

  • Learn more about/write more short works (includes short stories and flash fiction).
  • Write three full-length novels this year in my Sleeping Beauty series.
  • Get in shape.
  • Eat better.
  • Keep a money/spending journal.
  • Get back into painting and drawing.
  • Read more.
  • Learn more about technology (for my day job).
  • Take some writing classes.
  • Launch my freelance copy editing and proofreading business. 

The theme for this year will be “growth”–professionally and spiritually. Growing means exploring new, uncharted territories. This can be scary, but I’ve found that if I’m scared, it means it’s a direction I need to go in or an opportunity I need to take. My fear is telling me I have room to grow.

Thus, using my fear as a compass, my mantra for this year will be “No Fear.”

What are some of your goals for the new year?

12 Days of Fantasy

I’m honored to be a part of this amazing lineup of talented fantasy authors, some of which are new to me, while others I have been following for six or so years. Thank you to the talented and lovely Jennifer Silverwood for inviting me to participate. I’m also excited to show off the new cover for my dark Snow White retelling A White So Red.

Have fun on the blog hop!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

12 Days of Fantasy for Christmas

We’re excited to share books from 12 fantasy autPrism Book Tourshors with you this holiday season! Come back here or check out one of the participating blogs each day for a different author. There is also a fabulous Fire Tablet and ebook giveaway! If you love fantasy, you don’t want to miss this!

Tour Schedule

December 1st: Sarra CannonTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsBookworm LisaMello & June, It’s a Book Thang!Wishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 2nd: W.R. GingellTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandRockin’ Book Reviews100 Pages A DayLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsMy Devotional ThoughtsWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 3rd: Nikki JeffordTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksThe Bookworm ChroniclesWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 4th: K. D. JonesSinging Librarian BooksTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsBookworm LisaWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdetteSilverWoodSketches

December 5th: M. L. LeGetteTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsReading for the Stars and MoonWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdetteSilverWoodSketches

December 6th: Belle MaloryTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdetteSilverWoodSketches

December 7th: Melissa McShaneSinging Librarian BooksTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 8th: Sara C. RoethleTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandDaily WaffleLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksBookworm LisaWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 9th: R.K. RyalsTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksBookworm LisaWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 10th: Jennifer SilverwoodBrooke BlogsBecky on BooksSinging Librarian BooksTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandDaily WaffleLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 11th: Melissa WrightBecky on BooksTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksBookworm LisaWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdetteSilverWoodSketches

December 12th: Morgan WylieTeatime and BooksAdventures Thru WonderlandLa libreria di BeppeThe Books You ReadMin Reads and ReviewsNicole’s Book MusingsLocks, Hooks and BooksBookworm LisaWishful EndingspoetryhubTheHufflepuffNerdette

December 13th: Grand Finale

Books on Tour

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will win a FIRE HD 8 TABLET from Amazon along with the following ebooks:– TRITON’S CURSE by Sarra Cannon- MASQUE by W.R. Gingell- AURORA SKY: VAMPIRE HUNTER by Nikki Jefford- A WHITE SO RED by K.D. Jones- THE TALE OF MALLY BIDDLE by M.L. LeGette- THE TWELFTH KEEPER by Belle Malory- SERVANT OF THE CROWN by Melissa McShane- THE XOE MEYERS TRILOGY by Sara C. Roethle- CRAVING BEAUTY be Jennifer Silverwood- THE DESCENDANTS SERIES by Melissa Wright- REAWAKENED by Morgan Wylie

Open to US residents or those who are eligible for the Fire Tablet in their area (those who are not, can receive cash value through PayPal)

Ends December 17tha Rafflecopter giveaway

Coming Home


I think this is the third time I’ve tried to write this post. The first time I got tongue-tied (or would it be finger-tied? Imagination-tied? I dunno.), the second time it sounded… not like me. Not as genuine as I would have liked. In hindsight I think it was just “pre-blogging jitters.”

So here we go with round three. Hey, third time’s a charm, right? Maybe I’ll get it right this time.

Anyway, about this whole epic fantasy thing… It’s been, wow, four years I think since I’ve actively penned an epic fantasy novel? Even typing those words makes me a little giddy inside and fills me up with excitement.

If you’re just now finding this page, you might be wondering “Why did you quit writing fantasy, Krystle, if you loved it this much?”

Well, it’s kind of a long story, but it really boils down to one thing–money. I grew restless (and impatient… those of you who know me in real life won’t be surprised with that last part 😉 and decided I’d rather write for money than for love. Which was a BIG mistake. Sort of. Kind of. I DID learn a lot in those four years I was cranking out romance novels.

I learned more about promotion. Romance writers are very shrewd business people. And so incredibly sweet and open with their knowledge. Seriously, they are a great group of people.

I learned a ton more about how to run a business, about cash flow, marketing, etc. I took a business course geared toward writers, which was super helpful. I took marketing classes. I became actively involved in marketing and business mastermind groups, which was a great experience. It’s fascinating hearing all the success stories, most of which started out with very humble beginnings.

I learned a lot more about depth and how to write short stories. Even wrote a few–not the easiest thing to do in a genre like romance! Where people have to fall in love, like, right this second but it can’t feel like insta-love.

I learned how to setup my own publishing house label, basically graduating from solo author to small press. Which some of you seasoned authors reading this have already done years ago, but hey. I was proud little old me could do it. When I first started publishing, erm, eight (I think) years ago, the whole process seemed very mysterious. I was in awe of these pros who had it all together and knew all the secrets. I still don’t know everything–not even close–but I know a heck of a lot more than I did eight years ago, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. We all start somewhere, and we all go at our own pace. No two writers’ journeys to success look the same.

Anyway, back to the romance/fantasy debacle. Basically, I wrote romance for a while, made some decent money, and then grew creatively dissatisfied with it. While I still love to read romance, I wasn’t having fun writing it anymore. My heart kept aching to write fantasy. I’d be writing these romance novels and suddenly have an idea for a fantasy piece. I’d get all excited, jot down some notes for it, and then feel guilty for not working on my romance novel. Eventually, my love for fantasy won out. Life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy for long. (I say for long because it’s kind of inevitable. At some point in life, you’ll have to do something you don’t like just to get to the next stage. The key is not to do it for so long that it sucks the life out of you.)

So now I’m returning to fantasy. Which, ironically, is the genre that got me started writing in the first place. It’s the genre I grew up reading (Patricia C. Wrede, Robin McKinley). So in a way, it feels a lot like coming full circle. Like coming home.

For those of you who’ve been following my writing career, you might be wondering “Is she going to write more YA books?” To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I used to read a ton of YA. Like A LOOOOOTTTT. Then… I don’t know, I got older and found the teen characters harder to relate to. I craved adult fiction. People with my problems. So I went and read more “adult fiction” and started writing in it (thus, the romance pen name). I still read YA, but at the time I made a break for it and began writing romance, I felt like I was limited in what I could say in my YA books.  I felt creatively restricted in a way, and it was driving me bonkers. There are a lot of topics I feel you either have to skirt around or really watch what you say in YA. (For good reason.) I wanted more “freedom.” I found that in writing for adults.

That’s not to say I won’t ever return to YA. If I get an idea for a character and he/she happens to be a teen, yeah, I’ll happily write from their perspective. It all depends on what my imagination cooks up and what fits the story. I just want to be careful about limiting myself creatively because I feel that’s a recipe for disaster.

Right now I’m working on another retold fairy tale about “Sleeping Beauty,” my personal favorite. Not sure when I would release it, but it probably wouldn’t be until next year. Retold fairy tales, especially involving the fae or vampires (my two personal favorite paranormal creatures), are my weakness. I love them and devour them like candy, when given the opportunity. This Sleeping Beauty story has been in my head for a while. Years, actually. I’m excited to finally get the opportunity to write it.

Hopefully, people will be excited to read it. =)


Readers, do you follow writers across genres? Meaning, you’ll read whatever they write, whether it’s horror, sci-fi, etc? Writers, do you stick with one genre? Or do you throw everything under one pen name? Everyone–what’s your opinion on the “for love or for money” debate? I’d love to hear from you!