She has not inherited the striking beauty of her mother (1,000 words)

She is considered pretty, charming, and in possession of the pleasing manners that any noble young woman of Orsthai is expected to have. Yet she has not inherited the striking beauty of her mother and her mother’s kin. Her presence shall never be as commanding, her force of will shall never be as strong, and she has always known that Albalia resents this.

Wild Spirit (a poem)

My darling, if there is any concept I would remove from our world,
it would be this:
that you are too much.
That your wild spirit should be chained.

The Ballroom Project, Chapter One (1,900 words)

It is no bad thing, Guenneth believes, that she is now regarded as too dowdy and dull for most men of high standing or wealth to acknowledge. In her younger days, she was sometimes pursued by the wealthy sons of those who visited or worked with her employers, but she found herself becoming more and…

Your mother saved me (540-word fiction)

The poor child is only sixteen years old. Guenneth can well remember what it was to be that age: how a romance can light up your every waking moment and make you believe, somehow, that even as a downtrodden peroi girl, your life might be blessed with some measure of joy.

You will never be a part of that life (530-word fiction)

Obscured from view behind a pillar, she wasn’t seen by either of them, but she decided to confront Josliehn later that day, when they were alone in the kitchens. Josliehn furiously denied that anything untoward was happening; claimed she had simply gone into Orvec’s chambers to clean; offered up a series of such laughably obvious…

From an early age, he was shown all that he stands to inherit (550-word fiction)

Orvec Pallias is the first-born child of Eitrem, Orsthai’s wealthiest merchant, and Albalia, high priestess of the Orsthis: one of the two religious sects that dominate the continent of Aarai, as well as boasting sizeable overseas empires. The rival sect, the Meithsis, largely consider themselves to be the older, more traditional and therefore more valid…

It is no bad thing to be dowdy and dull (370-word fiction)

It is no bad thing, Guenneth believes, that she is now regarded as too dowdy and dull for most men of high standing or wealth to acknowledge. In her younger days, she was sometimes pursued by the wealthy sons of those who visited or worked with her employers, but she found herself becoming more and…

A Lower Station (430-word fiction)

A story about a woman who expected to lead a luxurious life and has now fallen on hard times, as her husband’s company has foundered.

Sweet Comfort (250-word romantic fiction)

When the man of your dreams asks if you want to catch a movie on Friday, be cool. Don’t yell, “oh wow, sure, yeah, thanks Jeff, that would be great” at a million decibels. Don’t get so embarrassed that you whip back round at breakneck speed, forgetting the fresh bread rolls balanced precariously on the…

2070: The Evacuation

In the chaos of the evacuation, Michael’s father cuts a reassuring figure. He is not physically imposing: a man of moderate stature, with a faltering gait, he nevertheless carries himself with a reassuring presence as he calls out words of encouragement to those nearby. ‘The unit isn’t too far away now – just another few…