I like sharing this little piece of flash fiction with readers every once in a while. It doesn't take long to read because it's a whopping 750 words.  

The story initially was a flash fiction challenge presented to local writers. Winners were published in  the periodical The Florida Palm

One of the memories I love about being chosen...

The periodical placed a really cool lightning flash image as the background for the whole section of pages in the article. 

Hope you enjoy. 

Lancashire England: 1600


Arsi stared as blood seeped through a cut created by the shattered mirror. She raised her fingers, turning them to see better in the candlelight. Black in darkness becomes red within light. The last image in the mirror was lightning flashing outside her window, giving her black hair a blue tinge.

A strange sensation spiraled within, building trepidation. Broken mirrors were a portent. She frowned at the araneous cracks. They gave the impression of a thousand facetted pieces. Mesmerized by her fragmented reflection, she began to notice a strange mist.

It seeped from the fissures, increasing in thickness, surrounding her like a shroud. An unseen band tightened around her lungs, stealing her breath. Loss of air culminated in shaky knees. “What?”
She stepped away. Her breathing, now rapid and shallow, filled the chamber, in accompaniment of her fast heartbeat. She shuddered.

Someone with a strange accent spoke. “Don’t be afraid.”

The band around her released. She inhaled sharply and threw herself away from the person who appeared.

“Ah, the blood of a phoenix, a lightning strike, and of course—my mirror.”

Her heel caught on the fringe of the hand-woven rug. She landed hard on oak planks. “Omph!” Still frightened, Arsi moved backward. She stared at him, heart thudding. “Who are ye?”

He grinned, showing very white teeth, and then pushed his hand through short black hair. “I’m Raven O’dara. I’m from the future. Don’t fear me.”

The hairs on her neck stood. He was dressed in dark, unfamiliar clothing. She frowned at black boots. Their sheen reflected the candle glow. She had never seen such in her lifetime. Disbelief welled. “The future?”

He shrugged and nodded. Spinning, he studied the room. “Humph. Let me fix this.” He swept a hand over the mirror. It became whole.

She gasped. His reflection, unbroken and highlighted by flickering flames, smiled. “Ye are a witch?” Her querulous voice echoed.

“No. I’m from two thousand-eleven.” He moved closer.

She tried to scamper away across the bed; its quilts hampered her progress. His laughter sent butterfly tingles over her skin. “Ye are a witch if ye claim to be from the future!”

He pounced upon her.

Fear and confusion consumed her. She attempted to hit him.

More laughter, and then he grabbed her wrists. His face lit with amusement. He tilted his head, eyeing her. “You’re young. Nineteen, maybe?”

She growled deep in her throat and shook her head. Warmth saturated her, thrumming through her heated blood.

Someone shouted outside. The sound of shattering glass assaulted her. A large stone landed on the floor, hostility and mayhem, its tail.

“Come out! Witch!”

Stilled by the rock’s intrusion, she tried to swallow. “I’m not a witch,” she whispered through a dry throat.

“I know.” Raven brushed his finger down her temple, moving it to her mouth. A feather light touch, across tender skin, tickled her. “You must face this in order to live. That’s why I’m here. I will take you from the ashes afterward. You will be fine.” He rose, pulling her up.

Humanity surged through the door. Frenzied, she tried to escape. There was nowhere to run. Death’s shadow appeared everywhere, grabbing and pulling her toward the abyss. Someone hit her on the head.

Blackness engulfed her, choking away her scream.


She gasped at the shock of cold wetness.

“Wake up witch!”

“I am not—”

Belligerent hatred silenced her. Rough hands clenched. The stake, powerful yet temporary, held her tightly to the place of death. Strange, its purpose should cross her mind in the midst of turmoil. She looked for Raven. There, standing at the back of the crowd. Sudden calmness blessed her.

Someone in the mob stepped through him as though he was not present. Eyes gazing upon her, he smiled.

“The end is truly the beginning.” He blew a kiss on his fingertips.

The action brought forth acceptance. She studied the wood below. Damp from the rain, it would smolder and start with painful slowness. A quick inhale and release, the fire blazed from her magic, surrounding her, tickling in its warmth.

This is who I am. In a flashpoint of phoenix fire, she sang, blissful in newfound freedom.

* * *

Thank you! 

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Amazon Kindle: Concentric Circles (Shayla's story)
Claire: the Lost Fae ~ Available Now

Wyndy: in a Heartbeat ~ Short Story [here] (soon to be unpublished!)

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Peace & Love be with you always.

Aithne Jarretta
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