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“Ember” by Rose J. Fairchild

Image is from Pixabay and was used as inspiration.

     “I’m sure you have heard that men discovered fire long ago. That statement is doubly false, and I will teach you the true story, young one.”

     The little girl snuggled against a warm golden side as a well-muscled tail curled protectively around her.

     “But who discovered it then? The fire?”

     The dragon hissed, revulsion giving its sunny eyes a molten spark. 

     “Fire begins with dragons, my dear. Always with dragons. It comes from within us and we decided to share it with the world. Well, a part of the world.”

    The dragon’s heavy silence settled over both of them, it’s disappointment so thick, the little girl could almost taste the bitterness.

     She bit a strand of hair, twirled it around one finger, and whispered, “What happened?”

     The dragon snorted and snapped its jaws as small tongues of flame curled within its nostrils. 

     “The fire was a gift. I met a young woman once who was to be married off against her will—sold like cattle to the highest bidder.” The dragon’s focus settled on some unseen memory, and the girl felt it gently probing whatever old wound waited there. 

     “Her name was Elidi, and she was barely more than a hatchling, while the man was old enough to be her father. She stumbled into my lair, and to this day I do not know if she was trying to hide, or if she hoped I would eat her.”

     The little girl sighed. “She must have been very sad to want either of those things.”

     “She was. She cried like I have heard no one else cry in my very long life. I swore her heart poured out in her tears, like she was purging herself of all emotion. How else could she handle what was happening to her? And she, with no choice!” The dragons shook its red-maned head.

     “I went to her and lay at her side. And when no more tears would come, I finally spoke to her.”

     The girl whispered, “Was she scared?”

     A wry chuckle trickled through fangs and scaled lips. 

     “No, child. She was more afraid of the arranged marriage, and that she had no voice in the matter.”

     The little girl stroked the dragon’s scales, absorbing the story. “Then…what did you say?”

     “I told her this was not the end—that I would gift her something to help her through; then I gave her power over fire. She held it in her hands and watched it dance across her palms. She did scorch her hair a bit, but only once.” A deep, rumbling laugh made the dragon’s sides heave up and down, bouncing the girl along with them. She giggled, swallowed up in contagious mirth. 

     “But then came the important part.”

     “What’s that?” The girl held her breath.

     The dragon curled its neck so it faced the little girl.

“I planted an ember in her soul. I told her it would light her way when the world was dark, and warm her when it was cold. That when things were tough, with a little fuel, she could ignite that ember and accomplish great things.”

     The girls eyes shone with amazement at her friend’s story. “And then?”

     “And then I explained that while the ability to hold and create fire was uniquely hers, the ember would pass through the generations to all women. Do you know what that means, little one?”

     “That I have it in me, too?”

     A gentle squeeze from its golden body spoke volumes. 

     “That’s right, child. And never forget that it is dragon fire burning in your soul. You will never be tamed. You will never be ruled. Ignite, my dear, and change the world.”

     The dragon could feel happiness radiating from the small but fierce girl at its side. It heard the intake of breath and knew a question was coming.

     “But, what happened to the old man she was supposed to marry?”

The dragon grinned ferociously.”I guess you could say he was the first man to truly discover what fire can do when tested.”

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“Hazel” by Rose J. Fairchild

Image is from Pixabay

  “Do you hear them?” I ask as I gently lay my hand against the trunk of a birch tree. Curls of papery white bark tickle against my palm as I watch the leaves flash silver-green in the breeze. 

     “Hear who, Hazel?” My best friend Rachel stares quizzically at me, her expression bordering on wary. 

     I smile. “The trees, of course.” She squints at me and crosses her arms over her chest. I continue, “They whisper, but I can’t tell what they’re saying.”

     She studies the maple arching gracefully over her head, and nods. Her steps are swallowed by the earth as she approaches me. 

     “Yeah, I hear them. And do you want to know what they’re saying?”

     My heart races. “Absolutely.”

     She speaks, sing-song. “They are saying, ‘go home, Hazel! You really need some sleep!’”

     She bats her eyes at me and I gently shove her away. “I’m serious, Rachel.” She rolls her eyes and I shrug. “Fine. Don’t believe me. I’ll figure it out myself.”

     The air whooshes from my lungs as she roughly pats my back. “Sure you will. But first, we have midterms to study for.”

     Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. 

     ***

     Once midterms were finished, I could finally spend time somewhere other than the library. Normally I love the library and all the secrets hidden there, but the silence had become insufferable. The air felt dead. 

It is my first day of freedom from studying, so I am heading to the river to walk through those beautiful trees lining its banks. I sing gently and swear the trees sing back. But when I stop to listen, I hear nothing but the soft susurration of the wind dancing through leaves.

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Rainy Day by Rose J. Fairchild

This is a real-life favorite childhood memory of mine.

The rain fell steadily, drumming on the roof and bouncing verdant leaves up and down in its joyous dance. I was about seven years old at the time and completely entranced by the beauty of the glistening drops and rich tapestry of greenery.

“Mom, can we go outside?” I glanced at my siblings noting the way we all watched her with bated breath, our eyes shining with anticipation.

“No, sweetie. It’s raining.” She continued washing dishes.

Heart sinking, I returned my gaze to the wondrous rainstorm outside, the air thick and hazy as rain met summer heat. I searched for something, anything…


“Mom! I think I saw a deer! There, by the brook! Can we go out and try to see it better?”


Our mother chuckled knowingly and turned to us as she said, “Alright, you can go out. But stay away from that brook! I don’t care if there is a deer; the water is very high from all this rain so it’s not safe to be near it.”

We charged into that rain as it ran in tickling rivulets down our faces, laughing in the downpour as smells of ozone and damp earth met our noses. And we were thankful—to be in such a beautiful place, and for the mom who let us be kids and enjoy it in all its shining, emerald glory.

I turned back and saw her watching us through the screen door. She smiled and waved. I waved back, knowing that my mom had given us a beautiful gift. It lives on in me as a memory full of life and love to this day.

Thanks, Mom. 💖

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Victory!

How I felt when I reached the end of my first draft!

Good evening Spriggans and Sprites! I accomplished something wonderful today! My husband watched the kids for a couple hours so I could finish the first draft of my ‘Beauty and the Beast’ retelling, “The Rose!!”

Now I will have to edit and refine, but I am excited to do it! It’ll be nice to read it all the way straight through after so long.

My only regret is that I didn’t finish it before my grandmother passed as my Belle-character is based on her and some of the many adventures she had in her life. She read only the first four chapters, though she did seem to enjoy those and the details I’d included just in that little bit.

I just hope that she knows how much love for her went into it. I miss her…but have some really great memories of her to carry with me.

What are you all working on? Have a great night, everyone!