It was like someone had picked her up and dropped her on another planet. This planet smelled like cookies and came with a house so big she could get lost. She dodged Grandma Emily’s favorite chair, a big fancy one with flowers on it, and passed the curio that held Great Aunt Margaret’s spoon collection. Floor to ceiling bookshelves flanked a stone fireplace so big she could stand inside it if she’d wanted to, and she was almost the tallest six year old in her class. She decided Grandma Emily might not like that and moved on, her attention drawn by the gold framed portrait of her mother above it. In the painting Mama looked younger, her black hair longer and dark eyes shining with mischief. She looked like a movie star with her red dress and olive skin. Daddy had called her his gypsy queen. She was as beautiful as a queen, Gemma thought, wishing she looked more… Read the Rest…
(Mermaid Note: If you haven’t already, please read The Comfort Boy (Part One) first.)
The plan. That’s what was crazy. This man’s plan to stay the weekend while observing her unnatural sleeping patterns and questioning her on why they were.
But what choice did she have? None.
“This first night, I suggest we set up wherever you’re most likely to fall asleep. Whether it’s your room or the couch or that recliner. Wherever, your choice.”
My choice, what a joke. But she had already condemned herself to participating at all cost.
“Okay, I guess Gram’s room. That’s where I keep my stuff.” Six months and she still couldn’t bring herself to claim the space as her own.
Alice followed closely behind, his proximity creeping her out a bit, as they walked the short hallway to the last door on the left, passing Alec and Andrew’s room on the way. Sanden swallowed her sadness at what had become of their… Read the Rest…
Sanden’s mother had just finished cleaning the house. With the room straightened, things looked odd and out of place. The large, clear vase that had been used as a deposit for stray coins or buttons or anything small enough to toss in until they found a better place for it was now empty. Sanden shrugged and plopped two artificial flowers and a handful of loosened dirt she had brought in from the backyard into the vase. Thinking better of it, she tucked the marble she was about to toss in with them into her pocket instead. She looked up and caught her mother frowning.
The silky, once white peonies, covered in a light shadow of dirt and yellowed by the sun, were the only things that looked right in the room at the moment. It was clear her mother was on a mission to wipe Gram’s memory clean from the house. Sanden stood nearby the junk vase and waited… Read the Rest…
(Waterworld Mermaid Note: If you haven’t already, please read Victory Garden (Part One) first.)
“Bloody hell.” Ethan choked down his confusion.
“We don’t have time to figure it out now. Come on.” Amalee dragged him through the shoulder-high maze in Talbot’s garden.
Ethan’s stride was much shorter than in his own body, he stumbled into the prickly greenery. Strands of his – her – long blue hair became tangled in the bushes. Afraid of losing her in the maze, Ethan yanked the hair free, pocketing the bright tufts into the inside pocket of her jacket. Left. Right. Left again. Finally they arrived at the green house at its center.
The humid air inside made the cotton of his shirt stick to his breasts. Fucking hell, her breasts. Hers!
She paused inside the glass door. “Stay here.”
Glancing around, his gaze took in the riotous colors of blooms mixed in with the deep green of ferns. “You took on Talbot’s… Read the Rest…
The perfectly sculpted, mushroom-shaped shrubbery at the garden’s edge provided just enough cover that Amalee Watts could scope out Fox Talbot’s property without alerting his mercenaries to her presence. Unlike the birds who’d been chirping since shortly after dawn broke, the power hungry despot’s staff seemed to be slow to rise. That made this the perfect moment to slink across the property line and ruin Talbot’s plans for world domination. If she succeeded, October 18, 1888 would go down as a major success for The Resistance, perhaps the seminal victory against Talbot’s dark forces. If not – Amalee’s jaw tightened. She refused to consider any other outcome.
She untangled her goggles from her electric blue hair and lowered them to cover her eyes, then wound the clockwork gear near the clasp until the temperature gauge blinked. Holding her breath to avoid fogging up the lenses, she scanned the lush green hedgerow maze leading to the garden surrounding… Read the Rest…
It had taken him long enough to find her. Holly felt Jacob’s touch on her shoulder but did not turn around. Time was too fleeting. She wanted to revel a little longer in the chill of the dark Spring night, the giggle of the creek below her, the crunch of the grass under her feet. Charlie’s mind hadn’t gotten the grass quite right yet.
“I was scolded for talking to the children,” she said. “So I came out to catch fireflies by the water.” She scooped up a lightning bug that had rested on the branch beside her, serenely blinking like an empty street on the day after Christmas. Holly remembered Christmas, and the little girl who had dreamed about it once. Holly had taken her name.
“Technically it’s not catching when you don’t chase them,” said Jacob.
“Technically it’s not chasing when they wait to be found.” Even after so long,… Read the Rest…
The true beauty of a story is that through the written word we can travel anywhere, be anyone and experience anything.
As Waterworld Mermaids, we don’t normally find ourselves in a garden, unless it’s of the seaweed and coral variety; so, for our first anthology of short stories, we decided to tie each tale together by location and an exotic one to us – a garden.
What will you find in our garden during the next few weeks?
Alethea Kontis brings you a fantasy story of two ethereal beings who live only in dreams, without any of their own, emboldened by love to take the biggest risk of all.
Avery Flynn takes you on a steampunk journey to Victoria City. When the fate of the word is at stake, a freedom fighter and the man hunting her must work together to foil a would-be tyrant.
Carlene Love Flores will envelope you inside a moody thriller. A grief-stricken and sleep-deprived mother struggles against the family who… Read the Rest…