Archive for May, 2012

Laughter and animated conversation drifted out as the door opened. The mouse in the doorway grinned at the latest arrivals. “Hey, Alex! Hey, Rollie! C’mon in and get set up, you’re the last ones here.”

“Hey, Jake.” The fox on the doorstep shifted one hand free of his burden long enough to give the mouse a friendly cuff on the shoulder. “Haven’t been waiting too long, I hope?”

“Nah, it’s all good, Rollie. You’re still early. Hope you’re okay with the spots that are left, though, it’s getting kinda crowded in here.”


For some time, silence settled.

When it broke, that silence gave way to a frustrated utterance of “Why?”

The tiger leaned on the window sill, arms stiff, hands tense. “Why,” he repeated, “do you have to do this? You could get hurt, Tazzer! You could get…” The words choked off in his throat, and he sagged over the sill.


All the signs looked to be right.

Arianna heard rumours, from time to time, about people in the next village over doing magic. Usually they turned out to be made of whole cloth – someone claiming gifts they didn’t actually possess, or someone else being accused of things they couldn’t possibly have done. She did her duty and followed up on them anyway, at least long enough to confirm that the person in question did not actually have any magical ability; but it wasn’t something she put any great priority on.

This time, though, was different.