The Blue Mountain

was a cold flame on the horizon; it cast a wide-reaching shadow, an other-worldly drift of snow where three royal daughters were trapped by many-headed trolls who loved to have their scalps scratched. Tempted by a generous reward, a soldier arrived with a well-honed sword to make the trolls’ ugly heads roll. The teenage princesses, […]

Binding with Briars

I bind you with a hedge of spiteful briars from the ensorcelled heart of a midnight forest, a rose hidden from men’s desires for a hundred years incanted in a white-hot rage of Beltaine blossom on a thorny cage. Young men will come to press their suit; I’ll pluck and spear their ripened fruit, stick […]

Red Shoes

Heels tapped on the pavement, cracked red patent flashed ’Stop!’ but she could only go despite the pinch on her little toe and the blisters rubbed raw by red shoe leather, lucky pumps borrowed from her sister. No shoes of her own, no trainers, boots or sandals to her name; everything sold to fund her […]

Mirror Magic

The mirror in the garden pond is cracked with rushes, irises, rotting leaves and watercress; a single poppy lingers on, pale petals promise oblivion. In the mirror of the garden spade, a toad with its glittering topaz gaze, legs akimbo and puffed up body dangles from the shiny blade, toxin flooding warty membrane. Mirror, mirror […]

Mother Holle

Loaves steam, apple scent curls and twists from the cauldron; hot breathy spells rise and pop with piquant punctuation in Mother Holle’s kitchen. Her sinister hand conjures incantations, her dexter spins and weaves them needle prick by needle prick into something lyrical and more poetic. She no longer has the youth and charms to lure […]