“A Brownie and Some Advice”

Brownies are members of the lesser fae (fairies) that have a penchant for cleaning. I need a few to move into my house…


“No one cares for the brownies anymore,” I grumbled as I swept my broom over the dusty hall.  The stones of Magik Prep Academy had hundreds of years of magic stored in them.  Unfortunately, that did nothing to dislodge the dirt and grime from student traffic during the day.  

I grunted as my lower back twinged again.  I straightened and narrowly missed slinging my long white beard right into the bucket of soapy water.  

“What next,” I muttered.  “Soon they’ll forget to feed me and then I’ll have every reason to back out of this cleaning contract.”  I stomped and then coughed as a cloud of powdery violet magic came loose.  

Rolling my eyes, I swirled my finger in the air and made the magic useful.  The loose bits flung themselves down and scattered the dirt into the air.  

Cupping my hands, I sucked the air through and brought the dust whirling in like a tornado and straight into my waiting bucket.

Nodding in satisfaction I shook my beard out where a stray string of green magic clung like a barnacle. 

“Off, you pesky thing!”  I frowned at the offending string and would have said more to it, but my overly large ears picked up the faintest sniffle.

Odd.  It was far too late for students to still be afoot.  They should all be at the dormitories or off doing whatever teenage creatures did.  Only we brownies and the old ogre that made up the cleaning staff were still here at this time of night.  

Finding the sniffle of more interest than polishing the flagstones, I hobbled off in the direction of the interruption.

I passed half a dozen empty classrooms and finally came to the cloistered courtyard open to the air and bathed in the magenta glow from the fading sunlight.  And there, huddled miserably against an ancient stone wall, was a lump.

A large lump compared to me.

“I say, why be you here?” I called up to the lump when I was in speaking distance.

A head jerked up; tear tracks visible on the pale cheeks.

“Oh, bless my soul, you’re a faun.  What be you doing here?  It’s after hours, laddie.”

The young faun just looked at me, surprise and maybe a dash of fear lingering in the dark brown eyes below the mop of curly hair and little horn buds.  

“I…what are you?”

“Saints preserve us.  What do they teach at this school?  I’m a brownie.  Have ye never heard of us wee folk?”

“Oh.  I’m sorry.  I’m new here.”  He cleared his throat.  “No, I’ve never seen a brownie.”  

I raised a bushy eyebrow.

“But I read about one once?” he offered hopefully.

I rolled my eyes and blew a raspberry through my lips.

“And what be a young laddie like you be doing out here at this time of the evening?”  I didn’t like repeating myself, but the poor thing looked right miserable.

He scrubbed his wet cheeks then wrapped his arms around his knees. 

“It’s my first time here.  I…I was feeling a little homesick.  I didn’t want the other boys to see.”

“Aye.  The sun always shines brighter on the morrow.  There, there.  Haven’t ye got any friends here?”

The brown curls shook, and his lips tugged down.

“No.  I’m the eldest of my clan.  I’m the first since my parent’s generation to board here at Magik Prep.  And it’s not that I’m ungrateful!” he added quickly.  “I’m just…lonely.  I’ve never been away from home.  The other fauns have been here longer.  They all know each other and know all the rules of the school.   I don’t.”

Poor lad was lonesome.  I knew how that was.  My old cantankerous heart stretched a mite as a seed of compassion bloomed.

“I know how that is, laddie.  Ye didn’t know me now, did ye?  Most folks have forgotten us brownies even exist.  And for the most part, so long as we’re fed, we’re happy to go on about our business.  But it does get lonely, being forgotten.”

The faun nodded.

“I tell you what.  You see this stubborn string of green magic here?” I tugged the silly thing free of my beard and coiled it around my finger.  “You take this here to class with you tomorrow.  You put it in your hand and see if it doesn’t point to another lonesome student.  Then the two of you can befriend each other.  There’s no rules saying you have to keep to your own kind.  Magik Prep has more mix breeds and off shoots and oddities than I’ve got whiskers.”  I shook my heavy white beard for emphasis, then placed the coil of magic into his hand.  His eyes lit up like I’d given him a great treasure.  I sprinkled a dash of my own brownie magic on the coil to be sure it behaved itself.

“Thank you,” he said reverently.  

I patted his hoof.  “You go find yourself a friend.  And if no one else in the whole school is lonely, you just come on back here and I’ll keep you company myself.”  I cracked a rare grin.

“I will.  Even if I find a friend.  I mean, if you’d like the company.”

A laugh bubbled right up.  “What be your name, boy?”


“Pleased to meet you, Alek.  You go on.  You may see me time to time.  And I’ll be around if you need.”

“Thank you, Mr…”

“Milis.  Just plain old Milis.”

“I will remember you, Mr. Milis.”  The brown eyes held a sincerity that I hadn’t seen in a long time and it warmed my old bones right down to the marrow.

“You go on now, before it gets full dark, young Alek.  Go find someone tomorrow that needs a friend worse than you.”

A smile tipped one corner of his mouth.

I found an odd jaunt to my steps the next evening as I cleaned.  I hurried with my regular cleaning, intent on checking for my lump of a friend.

He was not there, but what he left behind brought a smile to my lips and set my belly grumbling.

I picked up the note, which was nearly as large as me.

Mr. Milis,

I haven’t forgotten you.  I used your green magic coil today and I think I’ve made a friend.  I was invited to go bowling tonight, but I didn’t want you to be lonely either.  I did some research, and brownies are supposed to love cream.  I hope this is alright.  

I’ll visit you soon.

Thank you.


I inhaled the sweet aroma from the bowl of fresh cream.  Not forgotten indeed.


Unicorns are age old, beautiful creatures just like horses, but with a horn, and magic. This week Lacey Scott has gracious offered her story, “The Unicorn Races” for us to enjoy! Check out the sweet little plump Elmas sculpture, also done by Lacey. Check out her other sculptures on Facebook, Here There Be Sculptures, or on Instagram, @heretherebesculptures. Happy reading!

The Unicorn Races

By Lacey Scott

Unicorns were supposed to be elegant and beautiful creatures. With long willowy legs and graceful arching necks, their mystery and magic captivated the hearts and minds of humans for generations—but the ponies of Sobor were not unicorns. At least, not the kind you read about in fairy tales. 

            My family had lived on the secluded island of Sobor for at least seven generations and every single male, going all the way back to my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, had won the coveted trophy in the annual unicorn races. It was a tradition that was expected to be upheld by my father’s son and it probably would have been—except he didn’t have a son. He had me. Me and my nine sisters.

            There wasn’t a rule that said girls couldn’t enter the race, it just wasn’t done, which was probably why there had been such an uproar when I stepped forward into the group of rowdy boy contestants. Even now, as I waited for the judges to decide my fate, I could hear their taunts and petty jabs as they whispered around me. 

            I didn’t realize my hands were trembling until I felt a tug on one. Looking down my brows rose in surprise.

            “Take this, Phoebe!” My little sister, Josephine said. “It will give you luck!” She opened her tiny hand to reveal a butterscotch candy wrapped in yellow plastic. 

            In a family as large as ours, every penny counted, and candy was a luxury we could seldom afford.

             I smiled shaking my head.  “You keep it, Josie.”

            Her lips pressed into a thin line. Then before I could stop her, she stuffed the candy into my pocket and darted back into the crowd. 

            Thirty minutes later as I searched for a place to stand in the starting line, I began to have second thoughts. The judges may have agreed to let me race, but the boys weren’t going to make it easy. 


            I looked up and a fresh wave of butterflies fluttered to life in my belly. 

            Tag Jacobson waved me over. “Over here,” he called, shoving the boy standing beside him out of the way. 

            I nervously stepped into the empty space beside him as he grinned down at me. My neighbor, Tag, was older than me by a year, but we’d often played together when we were young. I’d had a crush on him as far back as I could remember, and his time spent in the sun on the fishing boats with his father had only made him even more handsome.

            “Don’t let what they say get to you. You got this.”

            His confidence gave me strength and I nodded getting into the starting position. The unicorns grazed peacefully in the field below, completely oblivious to the chaos about to ensue. 

            The horn of the conch shell echoed in my ears and I pushed myself into a sprint. I was small and fast, but I quickly realized that I wasn’t fast enough. The boys pulled ahead of me, their long legs eating up the ground carrying them faster than I could ever hope to be.

            A high-pitched whinny broke through the early morning air. Someone had reached the herd. I urged my legs to move faster but by the time I reached the field only one unicorn stood untaken. My heart sank.

            Like most island creatures, the unicorns had adapted overtime to a life of limited resources, shrinking them down to the size of a large pony. There were no predators to hunt them and that coupled with all the scraps we tossed out had made them lazy with stumpy little legs and large round bellies. They weren’t afraid of humans and had become so commonplace that they acquired their own names.

            I slowed as I approached the lone unicorn. His sleek black summer coat glistened in the early morning sun and he looked up at me through long wavy bangs. 

            “Hi, Elmas,” I greeted.

            Big blue eyes blinked at me before he returned to his grazing. All the unicorns were easygoing but Elmas wore his laziness like a badge of honor. No one ever wanted to get stuck with him. 

            I squinted down the field. The race itself was only a mile, but getting a stubborn lazy unicorn there was the real challenge. Some of the more relaxed unicorns meandered towards the finish line, stopping occasionally to nibble at the grass—much to their rider’s chagrin. Others were feistier, spinning circles and tossing their riders into the dirt. A lot of the boys wanted to try their luck with those, but it was a gamble, just because they were faster didn’t mean you could steer them to the finish line any quicker. 

            I sighed looking back and Elmas. Not once in all the years I could remember had anyone ever gotten him to move an inch—but I wasn’t about to give up.

            Backing up a few steps I took a running jump, throwing myself across his back, but I overshot and toppled off the other side, landing in the grass on my back. 

            Elmas cast me an uninterested glance.

            With a huff I tried again, this time grabbing a handful of his mane and pulling myself up. Once I was situated on his back, I lightly dug my heels into his flank. When he didn’t move, I repeated the motion a little harder, clicking my tongue. 

            His sides expanded as he took in a deep breath but other than that he ignored me completely. 

            I groaned sliding off his back. “Come on, Elmas!” I leaned my shoulder into his rump, urging him forward. “This is important,” I ground out between clenched teeth. 

            He stomped a golden hoof into the ground, tail swishing, but he didn’t budge. 

            Undeterred, I moved to his head, careful to avoid his shiny gold horn and tugged on his mane. You didn’t actually have to ride your unicorn all the way there, you just had to ride it across the finish line. The only rule being that you couldn’t do anything that might harm them. 

            “Emlas, please!” I begged, putting all my weight into it. My foot slipped in the grass and I fell back landing on the ground for the second time in as many minutes. I closed my eyes, struggling to keep the tears of frustration at bay. 

            After a moment a shadow fell across my face and I opened my eyes to find Elmas hovering above me. 

            “Come to mock me, too?” I grumbled.

            His nostrils flared, hot air rushing out as he sniffed around me, his snout eventually coming to stop at my hip. He snorted, nipping at my pants. 

            I frowned, sitting up. I dug my hand into my pocket “What are you—” my fingers brushed against something, the crinkling sound making his perk up with interest. I pulled out the butterscotch my sister had given me, and he whinnied, nearly snatching it from my hand. My eyes widened. I had an idea. 

            “Come on, boy.” I urged crinkling the wrapper. “You want the candy, don’t you?” 

            Elmas slowly began to follow me as I walked backwards down the field. Casting a quick glance over my shoulder I saw that my fellow racers had also been struggling. Most of them still fought with their ponies, with only a few still moving steadily towards the finish line at a snail’s pace. I grinned, picking up speed, and before long I was jogging backwards down the field, with Elmas trotting along after me.

            We gained ground, quickly passing each of the other contestants one by one until there was only one left. My heart leapt up a notch as we passed Tag, moving steadily forward, on a dappled unicorn. Our eyes met and a wide grin spread across his face.

            I could still hear his laughter ringing out across the field when we reached the finish line and I brought a panting Elmas to a stop. He whined as I climbed back onto his back, swinging his head around to try and grab the candy. I removed it from the wrapper, making sure to wave in front of his nose. 

            His teeth snapped together as he tried to swipe it from my hand, but I pulled back and chucked it forward. His eyes followed it as it soared over his head and landed on the other side of the finish line. With more speed than I thought possible for such a lazy beast, he lurched forward, nearly unseating me as he raced forward, carrying us to victory. 

            The roar of the crowd was deafening as I slid from his back, catching sight of my dad as they handed me the well-worn trophy. Even at a distance I could see the pride in his eyes. 

            “That was amazing!” Tag laughed, coming up behind me and clapping me on the shoulder. “Candy, huh? Who knew?”          

            “Yeah.” I averted my gaze feeing my face warm under his praise. I watched as Elmas munched happily on the butterscotch. “I guess he’s got a sweet tooth.”

            He cleared his throat and I looked back up meeting his warm brown eyes. “You know, it’s not that I’m not happy that you won,” he began. It’s just that I was hoping to earn some cool points before I asked.” His cheeks turned pink and he rubbed the back of his neck. 

            My brows pulled together. “Asked what?” 

            “Asked you out on a date.”

            My mouth fell open, eyes widening in surprise.

            “What you say, Pheebs? Do you wanna go on a date with me?”

            My blush reignited as I matched his hopeful smile. “Definitely.”


The Basilisk is a mythological creatures, sometimes described as a serpent, a lizard, a dragon, and occasionally as a giant snake with wings and the head of a chicken. What makes this odd combination more fearful is the reported poisonous breath and glare–both of which can kill. Such a charming creature!

“A Hiss and a Fire”

by AJ Skelly

I smelled like basilisk poop.

And Tatianna Everblaze was coming towards me with her gaggle of friends.  She was the most beautiful girl at Magik Prep Academy.  Her golden hair was tied back with a red ribbon that matched the occasional flames that rose in her eyes as her inner phoenix flashed.  We were seniors this year, but I’d watched her from afar since I was a freshman. 

I’d been entranced the first time I saw her eyes flicker with her inner fire.  Her eyes were gorgeous when they kindled.

I groaned.  My eyes were still covered by stupid protective goggles.  One peek from basilisk eyes and you’d be seeing a whole other type of flames.  As in, a poof of smoke and you left nothing but ashes behind.  While the goggles protected me from any accidental basilisk glaring, they did nothing for my facial features.  The strap of the unwieldy glasses went around my head and made my pointed ears stick out nearly parallel to the floor.  I looked more like a devil than an elf. 

I leaned my shovel against the pen where I’d been cleaning out the basilisk stalls.  Scholarship students had to earn their keep.  And if I wanted to graduate with the credentials to go on and study mythological biology at university, I had to pay my dues and scoop the poop. 

But why did I have to do it in front of Tatianna?

“Owen?”  Her voice sent shivers down my spine and mortification rushing to my face.  I was the only one on duty at the stables this afternoon.  I sighed.  There was no hiding.

“Owen, are you back there?”


I squared my shoulders and took a breath and ignored the acrid smell of the scat on my boots.

“Hi, Tatianna, Savannah, Sloane.  What can I do for you ladies?”

Savannah tittered.  “Owen, your eyeballs are bigger than a cyclops’ in those goggles.”

Because I wasn’t self-conscious enough already.

Tatianna elbowed her friend and glared.  A flash of flames flicked in her irises.

“Ignore her, Owen,” Tatianna said.  I nodded, unsure.  “I heard the baby basilisks were starting to hatch.  I was hoping to take a peek.”

She was speaking to me.  My tongue froze.

“I’m writing a paper on the life cycle of the basilisk, when they develop their venomous glare and stuff.  Is it okay if we go back to the nesting area?  I promise we’ll stay far away.  I just want to observe a while.”

“I,” I cleared my throat.  “That should be fine.”

Awesomely brilliant thing to say.

“Come on, I’ll take you back.”  I reached under the counter by the entrance and pulled out several pairs of goggles.

“Ugh.  Really?” Savannah grumbled.  “The babies aren’t even dangerous.”

“Rules are rules,” Sloane chimed in.  “And who knows when the mother will make an appearance.”

The girls followed me down the hay strewn aisle to the back corner where the nest of eggs was kept.  There’d been a few hatchlings today and they weren’t much bigger than large earth worms.

“Wow.  Why did you choose to do your report on these little squirmy things?” Savannah asked as Tatianna crouched to get a better look.

“They’re interesting!  How many other creatures can destroy you with one look?” Tatianna shot back.

“Uh, anything spawned by Medusa?” Savannah shot back. 

Tatianna rolled her eyes.  “Owen, do you know how many hatched this morning?”

I swallowed as her red-brown eyes tracked to mine behind the hideous goggles.  Even with the eyewear, she was stunning.  The goggles magnified her eyes, their natural glimmer enhanced.  It made my knees weak.

“I think three this morning.  A few more this afternoon,” I stammered.

She nodded and we fell silent as we watched the baby basilisks.

Savannah grabbed the shovel I’d been using earlier and used the wooden end to prod a clump of hay out by itself in the nest area.   “Is that a pile of…?”

“Stop!” I shouted.

Suddenly a loud hiss broke through the quiet of the barn and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.

“What is…” Savannah broke off with a scream as the mother basilisk launched herself straight at Savannah.

She flailed, catching me just under the goggles.

“No!” I gasped as the momentum of her arm took the edge of the goggles off.  I could smell the venom emanating from the creature.  Scales appeared in front of my naked eyes as the creature catapulted towards me.

Sloane screamed.

“Oh, no you don’t!”  Tatianna’s voice sounded far off.

She whipped off her goggles and a stream of white-hot flame jumped from her eyes and startled the mother basilisk. 

It was the hottest thing I’d ever seen in my life.

The basilisk slithered off, hissing and spitting.

Without words we legged it back to the barn entrance, quickly leaving the goggles on the desk and moving into the open air of the meadow beside the barn. 

“Are you alright, Owen?” Tatianna asked, her flickering eyes full of concern that sent heat straight to my toes and had nothing to do with the inferno hiding inside her.

“I am, thanks to you,” I admitted.  I attempted a smile that she returned. 

“You girls go on back.  I’ll catch up,” Tatianna nodded to her friends.  Savannah still looked significantly shaken while Sloane looked smug as she glanced at us.  She took Savannah’s arm and led her back towards the dormitories.

“That was an impressive display of flames back there,” I said.  “Thank you.  You probably saved my life.”  The gravity of the situation was not lost on me.

Tatianna shrugged and tucked the corner of her bottom lip between her teeth. 

“I feel kind of guilty.  You wouldn’t have been in that position at all if I hadn’t wanted to see the baby basilisks.”

“It’s fine.  They’re not off limits.  Besides, didn’t you want to research them?”

“Well, yes.  But that’s not the real reason I wanted to come see them.”

“It’s not?”  My eyebrows hitched up my forehead.  She looked up at me shyly under her long lashes.

“I actually just wanted to come hang out with you.  The basilisks were an excuse.”

My mouth fell open like a drop-jaw ready to consume its prey.  

“Say something, Owen.”

“You don’t need the basilisks as an excuse.”

Tentatively I reached out and brushed her fingers.  Hers tightened around mine and her eyes lit with an entirely different kind of fire as her mouth tipped up.

“Although maybe I could wash off the basilisk poop before we hang out?”




The Krakken

The Krakken (also kraken and cracken) is a mythological beast said to terrorize sailors and destroy ships.  While this giant cephalopod may be mythological, there’s a decent amount of evidence to suggest it could be a giant squid.  We’ve only just started finding these massive beasts in the deep oceans in the past decades.  What if the Krakken is actually a real monster and not just myth?

Beautiful Krakken depiction by @_art_enthusiast–check out their other artwork on Instagram!

“A Simulation and a Proposition”

By AJ Skelly

I hated Krakken class.

But my mom made me take it anyway.  We came from a long line of Krakken Hunters, she said.  I had to learn what I was meant to do, she said.

The trouble was, I didn’t want to be in the family business.  I didn’t want to grow up and become a Krakken Slayer.  

Honestly, I was kind of taken with the little beasties.

I sighed down at the tiny pool at my feet.  Magik Prep Academy had one of the best Krakken courses available.  We learned everything there was to know about them.  I swished my finger in the pool and a baby tentacle wrapped around my finger.

I pried it loose with a gentle tug.

I thought maybe they could be useful.  They had hidden talents.  Possibly.  Maybe they weren’t just mindless killing machines once they reached adulthood.

I sighed again as I went to the simulation studio.  It was my turn in the sim today.  Everyone in the class had to take turns in the simulations.  It was a major part of our training.  Today I was bait and Kyle “Krakken Killer” (because everyone needs an alliterated nick name) was the slayer.  We nodded to each other.

It didn’t matter that it was all a simulation.  My heart pounded every time.  The locations and entrapment situations changed with each sim.  The magic flicked and I found myself wedged underneath the fallen beams of a ship.  My legs were stuck.  I couldn’t even wiggle my toes.  

“And START!” someone shouted.  Magic shimmered again and I was suddenly surrounded by seawater, smoke, and there was a rubbery tentacle flying towards me.  I bit back a scream and ducked my head under the fallen mast as the Krakken tentacle missed me by inches, shattering the deck and sending splinters shooting into my hair and embedding a few in my arm.  

Gritting my teeth, I looked through the haze, my heart in my throat.  Where was Kyle?  The wood groaned beneath me and water flooded over my feet.  Panic seized me and I desperately tried to kick my feet loose.  Even though it was all a magic-induced sim, I would still feel the pain of drowning, or being eaten, or any other number of horrible Krakken-related disasters the sims produced.  

The water rode up over my hips.

“Kyle!” I hollered.  

A yelp pierced through the smoke and the Krakken shrieked.

Heavily suctioned and swinging with vengeance, a tentacle wrapped around my waist and hauled me skyward, far above the ship.

I cried out as my legs were wrenched from underneath the heavy beams and grunted as one boot came off and nearly took a toe with it.  

“Hang on, Eiryn!  I’m coming!” Kyle’s call was far below and lost in the frothing sea and columns of smoke. 

The Krakken screeched and the rubbery mass around my waist tightened painfully.  Barely able to reach my foot, I gripped the little dagger still sheathed in my remaining boot.  Yanking it out, I plunged the tiny weapon into the flesh surrounding my middle as it began cutting off my air supply.  The blade didn’t do much damage, but the creature loosened its hold enough that I could draw a full breath.

“Kyle!” I shouted again.

“Almost there!” 

I hated being the bait.  

But I hated killing the sim Krakkens, too.  I wondered if the beasts were inherently evil because all we ever saw them do was take down ships and eat sailors—or did they do that because we blundered into their territory and sailors were tasty?

A scream tore from my lips as the tentacle suddenly released me and I went plummeting.  

“Kill it before I hit the water, will you?”  I screamed as I plunged through the air.  The water raced to meet me, and it was going to hurt like nobody’s business if I smacked into the surface.  It might even kill me in the sim, which would mean Kyle would lose his points, too.  It would be bad for both of us.

The water was inches from my face, and I covered my head with my arms.

Just as I should have been obliterated on the surface of the sea, I fell heavily onto the rubber mats covering the sim room floor.  

My chest was heaving and the stench of burning ash still clung to me.  

Kyle was bent over, his hands braced on his knees, breathing hard.

“Sorry, Eiryn.  I was right in his beak when the sim opened.”  He swiped a hand through his black hair.

“It’s alright.”  My voice was weary.  

He glanced at me, his eyes blue like deep water.

“You hate the sims, don’t you?” he whispered.

It wasn’t a secret that I didn’t like them, but it wasn’t something I broadcast around.  Didn’t want the family name to be sullied with my dislike.  

I nodded.

He looked at me, really looked at me.

“Have lunch with me today.  I want to talk to you.”

“Alright,” I agreed, curiosity piqued.

I slid my tray next to Kyle’s and swished the purple threads of magic off my chair before sitting.

“So.  What did you want to talk to me about?”  I asked him as I cracked the seal on my Ambrosia juice.  

He finished his bite of kelp salad sandwich and pierced me with a look.

“I want to recruit you.”

My eyebrows shot up my forehead.  “Recruit me for what?”

“It’s an experimental thing.  There are several of us here on campus and a few professors who have been doing more research into the Krakken as a species.  We want to set up a breeding program and breed Krakkens that exhibit certain traits.”

“To what end?”

“To see if we can’t train them to help in rescue missions—retrieve sailors and ships that are in trouble instead of causing the catastrophes.  Train them to retrieve artifacts, to go places we can’t with our limitations.”

I was hooked.

“Why do you want me?”

“I’ve seen the way you look in sims when you’re the slayer, the way you handle the baby ones.  I think you’re sympathetic, even though your grandfather was the most famous slayer ever to graduate the Academy.” 

I smiled.  

“Count me in.”

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this, please consider sharing this with your friends or telling someone about it this week. Let me know in the comments if you want to read more mythologically inspired short stories!

Creative Writing Prompt:

Do you think the Krakken is a real creature, or purely a mythological creature?

Book Recommendations:

Seaweed by Lee Strauss

Everblue by Brenda Pandos

Fathom by Merrie Destefano

Magical Curses

Magical Curses.

Is it even possible to have a fairy tale without one?

Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White…

Gorgeous rendition of Snow White by artist Krishnakhi Hazarika. Check out more of her art on Instagram @krishnakhi_h14

It seems that nearly every fairy tale has at least one cursed person (usually a princess) and that there’s always another person (usually a prince) that must come, break the curse, save the princess, then rule the kingdom with justice and wisdom.  But where did the idea of the curse come from?

The Cambridge dictionary defines cursing (paraphrased) either as saying rather naughty things to someone else, or, “to say magic words intended to bring bad luck to someone.”  The idea of the malevolent curse is ancient.  Egyptian tombs had curses chiseled into their entryways and on tablets scattered throughout their winding passageways (www.ancient-origins.net).  When Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tut, of all the original excavators, Carter was the only survivor.  Everyone else bit the dust.  Even Lord Caernarvon, the benefactor of the dig, perished at the hands of mysterious ailments after visiting Tut’s resting place.  Many chalked it up to the Curse of the Mummy.

Many cultures world-wide have beliefs in magic—both good and bad.  Sometimes it’s the same magic and it’s the wielder who causes the good or the bad, other times it’s the magic itself.  Even the Bible mentions curses.  In Exodus (chapter 20), it talks about generational curses—that the LORD will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children for multiple generations.  But the next verse also offers the way to “break the curse.”  Repentance and turning to the same LORD breaks the curse and brings restoration (www.bible.net).

On an excavated 1,600-year-old Italian lead tablet, an inscribed curse was found wishing for the destruction of a man and his wife.  The curse specifically asked for their hearts, livers, and buttocks to be destroyed.  Yes, please destroy the rear ends of my enemies.  That will show them (www.ancient-origins.net). 

Curses seem to have changed over time (and really, don’t most things?). They’ve gone through the changes of the medieval-type fairy tale, enacted by vengeful stepmothers or nasty witches.  Today they’re still most closely associated with witchcraft or superstition.

What do you think?  Are curses real then and/or now?  Pop up to the grey “comments” button and let me know what you think.  Also, make sure no one gives you the evil eye!

Book Recommendations

Midnight for a Curse by E. J. Kitchens

Anwen of Primewood (Book 2 of a series—can be read alone, but better if you read Book 1 first) by Shari L. Tapscott 

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (awesome protagonist with cerebral palsy)

Creative Writing Prompts

The curse fell upon me, heavy, stifling, suffocating.  I was going to die before the enchantress finished her work.

Are you kidding me?  It’s the twenty-first century.  People don’t get cursed.  Do they?

Unicorn poop.  I had been cursed to shovel unicorn poop until I found a way to break this horrid spell.

The Quintessential Curse…
Such a great, under appreciated song! From the movie, RIgoletto
One of my very favorite fairy tales.