Friday, November 4, 2016

"Painting Rainbows" by Sue Lilley (Short Story)

Genre:  Romance

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  Soulmates since they were children, Mandy and Joel are grown up now and destined to be together. Until life hurls a curved ball in their direction. Can they find each other and live happily ever after? Or will life conspire to keep them apart?


“I’m leaving tomorrow,” she announced before she’d even sat down.

She’d dressed up. Did she think it would soften the blow? She looked like the bluebell fairy, all floaty skirts and wild purple hair. On anyone else, it could’ve been a thrift store costume. But Mandy was ethereal, sexy as hell yet somehow untouchable. Was she already withdrawing because she was leaving? He picked up a stick and poked around in the bonfire, trying to sound normal when all he wanted to do was beg.

“How come?”

“I haven’t been home all summer. I should go back for a duty visit before uni.”

“We could go together?”

“God, no!” she laughed, tucking the silky skirt beneath her as she kicked off her shoes and sat cross-legged on the grass. “Can you imagine? My dad would have a fit if I turned up with you in tow.”

Odd they’d been so close all summer, yet they’d never once discussed the long connection of their families.

“He never approved of me, did he?” he remembered.

“I can’t imagine your folks would be any more approving.”

“They might. They’ve always wanted me to be happy.”

“You don’t think they’ve been indulging their only son? There’ll come a point when they’ll expect you to grow up and toe the party line. Don’t you want to do something useful with your life?”

“Plenty of time for that,” he insisted. “My priorities are different.”

“You mean all this arty nonsense?” she scoffed, which shocked him.

He’d meant his priority was her. She’d possessed his every waking hour as well as his dreams. He’d believed she felt the same. But something about her closed expression stopped him from saying so.

“It’s not nonsense,” he said, floundering around in the dark. “I know I’m good. I can do something with it.”

“Like what? Painting’s not real life, Joel. It’s a game. You’re chasing rainbows, putting off the moment when you have to face the future.”

“I thought my future would be with you.” He took her hand, desperate to feel the heat of her as his heart was clamped by icy dread, his beautiful dream slipping like sand through his fingers. “Real life seems less of a cage with you there beside me.”

“Nice line. How long have you been practising that one?”

He’d been sincere but he laughed along with the joke. He hardly recognised himself. He’d become so much putty in her hands but he couldn’t bear the thought of being without her...

Buy this book on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Friday, August 12, 2016

"The Big Rip or Lemons" by Andrew O'Connor (Short Story)

Genre:  Comedy Fiction

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Short Story:

“Yeah, somebody told me that once actually, I think. I just don’t get how it would happen” Charlie looked down into her cappuccino as she spoke, slowly turning her silver spoon in a clockwise direction, propping her chin up with her thin fingertips. Her white gold ring dug into the bone of her jaw, but she relished the discomfort.

“It’s quite simple. I mean, if you can use your imagination a little bit. Just picture, for a moment, the universe in an impossible size, say, the size of this hair tie” Aldous slipped his hair tie from his dreadlocks, allowing them to spill out over his shoulders. Charlie always did have a thing for that type; rugged and disheveled, reeking of cigarettes and chaos. Exactly the type of guy her mum would have hated her spending time with. Aldous was still speaking, but she had completely tuned out, far too lost in her thoughts to care about his words. She just nodded her head at every upward inflection, as she did in many a social situation, always sneaking off into her own head rather than meaningfully engaging. Charlie never really liked to be told things.

“…And since the big bang, the universe has just been stretching and stretching, growing into expansive nothingness. Eventually, it’s not going to be able to stretch anymore right? Like a hair tie; if you pull it tightly enough…” Aldous exerted further force on the elastic he had been slowly stretching as he spoke, and it snapped, morphing from the circular object it had once been into a useless, slack piece of string.

“…It’ll snap,” He concluded after a lengthy pause, still looking directly at Charlie as he spoke. She smiled coyly, having tuned in for the last few sentences of his lecture, but still largely unsure of the overall content. Aldous felt like he was playing his cards right as he mistook her expression for genuine interest and adoration. In reality, Charlie was worlds away.

“What are you going to tie your hair back with now?” She asked softly, as she lifted a napkin from the table and begun gradually ripping it into little shreds. Her mother used to fly into a state of panic whenever Charlie picked something up, worried that her daughter would break whatever object it may be. Her mother’s worry was not misplaced, as Charlie usually did destroy the things she fiddled with. It wasn’t because she was a destructive person per se, she just liked to play.

“It’s okay, I don’t need to have it tied back. You know, sometimes it’s nice to just let things flow.” Said Aldous, as he placed his hand over Charlie’s, disturbing her dismantling of the napkin. She instinctively felt herself pull away from his touch, even though she had consciously tried to keep her hand under his. Oftentimes, our body makes decisions for us, regardless of the objections of our minds . The flesh on his palm felt cold and rough against hers. She resented it.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. Stupid,” He muttered, clearly flummoxed.

“No, it’s fine! It’s not you. It’s just, uh…” Charlie racked her brain for an excuse, with her date’s stare lingering on her as he waited for her to finish her thought. Charlie fumbled with her words as she said, “Uh, I’ve got like… um… it’s like a condition. Not like aids or anything. Like a skin condition. Like… yeah, sometimes I get rashes and stuff you know? And um, people can like… get them on their skin from rubbing against mine. So I was just trying to… save you. Uh..?” Her hands shaking slightly, Charlie poured a glass of water from the converted wine bottle that adorned the table, and drank it in a quick succession of gulps, before pouring herself another one and consuming it in the same manner. Aldous’ eyes tracked her movements, perplexed. He chuckled.

“It’s all good. I wouldn’t want to get your rash, thanks for helping me avoid that situation. You’re a lifesaver. A real hero actually,” Charlie forced a sudden grin, bearing her teeth for a split second, before she hurriedly changed the subject, desperate to get him talking again so that she wouldn’t have to.

“You’re welcome, yeah. So um, what were you saying about the universe? It’s like a hair tie right? Stretch, stretch, snap?” Aldous cleared his throat and raised his mug to his lips, quickly drinking what remained of his vanilla latte, which had begun to grow cold over the course of the fractured conversation. He winced slightly at the lukewarm nature of the beverage before continuing.

“Yeah. More or less. The theory is called The Big Rip. Basically, scientists don’t have much of an idea regarding the ultimate fate of the universe, so this theory is just one of many. I think it’s really lovely. It’s so very unfathomable, but just picture all of the matter in our enormous universe; from the stars, to the galaxies, to the atoms, all the way to the particles and the subatomic particles that make up all that is and ever will be. And now picture all of that being progressively torn apart by it’s own expansion. If the expanding universe is dominated by phantom energy, then it's expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Eventually, the speed at which everything is stretching will surpass the speed of light; and when that happens, interaction between the fundamental forces becomes impossible. Gravitational forces, electromagnetic forces, every power in the universe won’t be able to do its job anymore. And when all of these interactions have become utterly impossible, there will be a final singularity – The Big Rip – in which all distances diverge to infinite values, and that would be the end,” Charlie actually managed to listen to everything that Aldous had said. She knew she was making progress when she could get through someone’s entire verbal tirade without drifting off. She nodded her head and attempted to pull a face that was interested, curious and fascinated at the same time. No easy feat.

“So what, would it like, all happen at once? Everything just tears apart? Me, and the turtles, and the atoms in this coffee cup, and all of the stars and galaxies, all at once?” Aldous laughed in response, pouring himself a glass of water as he did so.

“No, not quite. Lets say, hypothetically, the universe is going to completely end in twenty two billion years from this second. So, about one and a half billion years from now, the stretching of the universe will cause all of the galaxies to separate from one another, that’s step one. Step two would occur maybe sixty million years from the end, and that would be the point when gravity becomes too weak to hold the Milky Way and other individual galaxies together – all the planets and solar systems would start to drift from one another, much like the way the galaxies drifted. About three months before the end, each solar system would become completely gravitationally unbound. And then, in the last minutes, the stars and the planets would be torn apart. A split second before the very end of everything, each atom would tear apart. But hopefully a couple of atoms would be able to survive the carnage, and then collide with one another to create the universe again. Like an infinite loop of creation and destruction. It’s all quite beautiful to me. Maybe I’m crazy,” In that moment, Charlie attempted to appreciate the beauty of the universe being torn to pieces under the weight of itself. But this was a concept that she perceived as fairly horrific. Then again, she liked to tear things apart herself. By now, the napkin she had been casually ripping to shreds was not even a shadow of it’s former self; it had become a tattered mess that embellished the corner of the wooden table which held it up. As her eyes darted to the chaos she had created from such a simple object, Charlie could suddenly see the end of the universe.

She was traversing space as the very fabric of existence tore around her. As she floated, she watched millions of clusters of galaxies, like reflections of the sun on the water rippling, as they began to separate and spread into the eternal blackness of all that is. Charlie witnessed each galaxy explode, billions of colored lights, bundles of stars so fine they looked like smoke reflecting purple cellophane placed over a lamp. They emancipated themselves and flowed outward and into one another, new shapes forming as the old disintegrated, everything being and then ceasing to be right before her eyes. She shrunk, feeling her entire being deteriorate to the size of an atom, and now she was within the invisible realm, watching the tiny vibrating particles around her tear away from one another in electric bursts, their energies pulsing in an attempt to salvage their own physical integrity, only to be violently torn apart themselves. The weight of the pull of the universe from either side destroyed them, leaving them severed and tattered…

“Are you alright Charlie?” She felt the rough skin of Aldous’ palm bearing down on her hand again, and was shocked back to reality. She had gone as pale as a sheet of paper, her knuckles whitening as she gripped her fists tightly, gazing off absently into the distance. A bead of sweat slipped from her forehead, oozing down through the fine hairs of her eyebrows, and slipping along her cheeks. She shook her head, confused, and forced herself to say something, anything at all, to alleviate the awkward nature of her momentary departure, and Aldous’ concerned stare. She fell over her words, making them up as she went and praying that she formed some kind of coherent sentence,

“I’m fine. I think it’s that damn skin infection. It’s messing with my brain or something maybe. I dunno,” She quickly downed a glass water, starting to panic.

“Did you know my mum is selling my childhood home? Like, the house I grew up in? It’s so crazy. Somebody is buying my dogs grave!” Her eyes widened at the realisation, and she wore a grieved expression. The gravity of it all, the universe, the date, the social expectation, her dog, became too much for her – it tore her apart, ripped her limb from limb. She was a separating atom. She was lost.

“They’re selling my dogs grave! My dogs bones are there and someone is buying them!” She shouted, smacking her fist down with an audible bang, gaining the attention of other patrons, who’s eyes darted toward the table. A hush came over the cafe. Aldous looked embarrassed, hiding his face behind his hand as he tilted his head downward. He spoke softly in an attempt to subdue the situation.

“Wow, okay. Calm down. Is that what’s bothering you? Is that why you’ve been so strange and standoffish towards me?” Charlie burst into laughter again, her hand visibly shaking as she poured another glass of water.

“Nothing’s bothering me! Look at this smile!" Forcing a grin from ear to ear, she continued to ramble.

“I promise I’m not being strange or standoffish on person… I mean on purpose. You’re nice. You’re very aesthetically pleasing, and you’re conventionally attractive and obviously pretty smart what with all of your space talk… it’s just that I need to go to the bathroom, that’s all. Would you excuse me? Great.” Bewildered, Aldous muttered something incoherent as Charlie rose from her chair, knocking her knees against the table, causing a rattle of the cutlery, crockery and cups that littered its surface. She grabbed her hand bag that was hung over the back of her chair, and pottered away from the table, patrons peering eyes still fixated on her, but hers looking straight ahead, ignoring the rabble of judgmental faces.

She pushed open the bathroom door with great determination, and once she was inside she leaned against it, closing her eyes and breathing deeply, letting the air fill her lungs in increments, slowly leading to her heart rate decreasing as calm normality embraced her again. It was quiet in the bathroom; the hushed chatter of the café becoming a distant rumble, her breath and a single consistent drip from the chrome faucet above the sink the only sounds in her immediate vicinity. Charlie knew she had to leave, as there was no way she could bear the grim nature of facing Aldous again, attempting to brush over her previous behaviour. It was better for her, like in many situations she encountered, to simply cut her losses, and trust in the truth that more opportunities would rear their heads for her in the future.

She noticed an open window above the hand dryer. Swinging her bag over her shoulder, Charlie mounted the sink with her left foot, placing her right hand on the dryer for support and hoisting herself up. She stood on the sink with both feet now, and luckily it took her weight. Gripping onto the bottom of the window frame, she pushed herself up until she sat on the sill, her legs dangling outward, the air causing the fine hairs on her shins to dance. Charlie let herself drop, her feet hitting the ground with a thud, the Newtonian shock wave of the force resonating up her legs.

Meanwhile, Aldous sat in patient silence, his hands folded on the table in front of him, staring vacantly out the window of the café, watching the cars whizz past and the wandering people filter in and out of his line of sight. He waited for Charlie to return from the bathroom, still feeling as though he could salvage the situation. He attempted to run over ways of rectifying it in his mind, whizzing through possibilities and outcomes. His trail of thought was interrupted as a man in his early thirties with five o’clock shadow, tired eyes, a short mess of hair on top of his head, and a large brown trench coat draped over his shoulders approached the table.

Aldous looked up at the newcomer with curiosity, and the man held out a single hand to him. In his hand was a lemon, slightly browned in spots and looking as though it had been pulled from a tree recently, its green stem still intact, a single leaf clinging to it for desperate life, wilting but determined. Scrawled on the rough surface of the citrus fruit in maroon lipstick were the words “when life gives you lemons…”

The man cleared his throat.

“Um, so some girl in the street gave me five bucks to give this to you?”

Aldous reached out his hand and retrieved the lemon, his eyes lingering on the words splayed on the object. As the man in the coat walked away, he vacantly responded,


Aldous never heard from Charlie again. He didn’t even like lemons.

Funnily enough, neither did she.

Read more by this author here or here.

Friday, June 24, 2016

"Go to bed" by Melissa “Brownie” Grant (Flash Fiction)

Genre:  Erotica

Type of Short Story:  Flash Fiction

Summary:  What do you get when you have a sleepless night, a bottle of rum and two good friends? These are the ingredients of a captivating night. Join Carla and Justin as these two friends show you the meaning of nightcap.


Another sleepless night, Carla thought to herself as she turned onto her left side. She began to kick the bottom of her blanket, trying to tuck it under her feet, but it wasn't working. Now she was annoyed. Annoyed that her feet were still cold and at the fact she was still awake knowing that she had a big meeting tomorrow. Checking her alarm clock, she saw it was11:34. For many this would be considered an early night, but for Carla it was late. Finally, she gave up her pursuit of sleeping and decided to sit on her back porch. It was a nice night out.

Carla got out of her bed to search for some comfortable lounging clothes. After a few minutes, she came across her favorite sweats and tank top. She quickly slipped them on and headed downstairs to her back door. Before going outside, she grabbed her bottle of rum. Why not do a few shots while waiting on sleep?

Out on the back porch, the sound of crickets began to soothe her. Carla was happy that summer was coming.

“I see that you can’t sleep either,” a familiar voice said from over the fence.


“Girl, stop playing.It’s me—Justine.” Justine popped her head over the fence. “Oh you brought out the good stuff, Captain Morgan.”

Carla chuckled, “Yeah, you wanna do a few shots with me? Maybe this will help both of us sleep.”

Justine’s footsteps joined the noise of the crickets as she made her way to Carla’s porch. Once Justine was seated, Carla handed her the bottle.

“You don’t want to take the first shot?”

“Nah, you can. I have another bottle just in case we run out.”

“Turnt on a Tuesday night.” Both Justine and Carla laughed.

“So, why are you up so late?” Carla took the bottle from Justine.

Before answering, Justine ran her fingers through her curly tresses. “Well, I was up doing this research paper. Now my mind won’t shut off. You?”

Carla took a swig of rum then spoke. “Got this big meeting with higher-ups tomorrow. This could make or break the company.” Carla downed another shot. “I see why some of the bigwigs do drugs. I can’t take this.”

“Girl, calm yourself. Just think of it this way—you’ll still have a job at the end of the day.”

Holding the bottle up, Carla acted as if she was giving a toast. “You’re right about that. But still,there’ll be others that may lose theirs. That’s the part that is eating away at me.”

Justine got up off the steps and sat adjacent to Carla. “Look, try your best not to make that happen. I know that you can.”

“I guess.” Carla handed the bottle to Justine. “It’s just when I took this position on, I thought that I could change the company around.But I see it’s just as much bullshit at the top as it is at the bottom.”

“You know what? You need this rum more than me.” Justine set the bottle in Carla’s lap. “You know what else you need?”

“What?” Carla gulped the rum.

“This.” Justine leaned over and kissed her. Carla pulled away, but Justine pulled her closer. After a few seconds, Carla gave in and kissed her back.

Suddenly Justine pulled away, “Wait, wait, wait, I thought we agreed not to do this again—I’m sorry.”

Breathing heavily, Carla nodded her head in agreement.

She sat and thought for a second then she said, “Aw, hell with it.” Carla straddled Justine’s lap then began to kiss her passionately once again.Her hand found its way up Justine’s shirt. She leaned back and gazed at Justine. “You sure you want to do this here?”

“Girl, shut up, you’re fucking up the mood.” Justine shoved her hand down Carla’s sweats and searched for Carla’s hot spot. Carla let out a low moan. “Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for. You’re wet as shit, girl.”

Another moan left Carla’s lips as Justine continued to toy with her spot. With each flick of her finger, Carla became even wetter. Carla buried her face into Justine’s shoulder.

“That’s right, I need for you come for me.” Justine could feel Carla’s whole body tensing up as she began to search for her G-spot.

“Please, I can’t take it.” Carla’s words were muffled.

“Yes you can.” Justine found her spot. It was soft and moist. Justine couldn’t help but play with it. The more she toyed with it, the louder Carla’s moan became. As Justine kept feeling on Carla’s G-spot, a warm liquid began to trickle down her wrist and through her fingers. “You didn’t tell me you was a squirter.” This gave Justine more incentive to make her come. Justine was getting ready to remove her hand, but Carla grabbed it to keep it in place. Carla began to move her hips in motion with Justine’s strokes. The warm liquid began to run down Justine’s hand as Carla cried out that she was coming. Carla jumped off Justine’s lap and fell into the chair across from her.

“Don’t touch me.” Carla’s body began to shake. “My goodness, I needed that.”

Justine licked her fingers. “I know.” She laughed. “Now go to bed.”

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Friday, June 3, 2016

"The Siege of Abigail Beson" by Tyler Smith (Novella)

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Type of Short Story:  Novella

Summary:  An isolated family in Virginia finds themselves under attack shortly after the end of the civil war.


Another booming crash jarred Abby from sleep. Calmer this time, Abby rolled away from the window, hoping to hide her eyes from the intense brightness of the lightning.

Another explosive rumble. Something didn’t feel right. Abby turned back toward the window, her mind racing to figure out what new prank her brother had contrived.

There was no lightning. Why was there no lightning? Abby got up and walked to her window. The fog of sleep was clearing from her mind, so the next explosion finally registered as the firing of a gun.

Confused, she peered out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the source. The rain had stopped, but the cloud cover continued to hinder any illumination from the moon.

Why would there be gunfire? Abby asked herself silently. Lee signed the surrender when the Union was just miles from our door. At least, that’s what the last letter from Benjamin had said. That letter was two months ago. They hadn’t received any letters since. The post had been spotty throughout the war, and after the surrender it had stopped entirely. Had the war started again? She’d heard rumors of bandits and raiders exploiting the chaos of the war to wreak havoc in the west, but here? Just a few days ride from Richmond?
Read the complete story on Google Docs.  Support the story on Kickstarter.

Friday, May 13, 2016

"Leaves of The World Tree" by Adam Misner (Short Stories)

Genre:  Dark Fantasy

Type of Short Story:  Short Story Collection

Summary:  Leaves of the world tree is a collection of six short stories that take place in a wide variety of worlds, with varying degrees of fantasy and technology. The stories are stand-alone, making each is it's own adventure. Ranging from a bloody Viking battle to a necromancer love story, the collection is sure to give you a diverse dose of fantasy both high and low, urban and medieval.


Like many Olafs before him, he was named Olaff. It was not a bad name by any means. He shared his name with four others born that year, and he would share it with seven the year after. Olaf was then, as it had been before, and would be for generations to come, a common name. It was as though his parents had expected him to be average. Growing up he never felt as though he were different from the other boys. He was not scrawny and smart, or muscular and dumb, nor better or worse at most things. He threw the axe at the tree and hit five times out of ten, and his spear landed smack in the middle of everyone else's. It was only when they taught him how to write his name that he realized he was unique. His mother, being the literate one, had spelled his name with an extra “f.”

Buy this collection on Amazon.

Friday, March 25, 2016

"Lost Lake House: A Novella" by Elisabeth Grace Foley (Novella)

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Fairytale

Type of Short Story:  Novella

Summary:  All Dorothy Perkins wants is to have a good time. She’s wild about dancing, and can’t understand or accept her father’s strictness in forbidding it. Night after night she sneaks out to the Lost Lake House, a glamorous island nightclub rumored to be the front for more than just music and dancing…in spite of an increasingly uneasy feeling that she may be getting into something more than she can handle.

Marshall Kendrick knows the truth behind the Lost Lake House—and bitterly hates his job there. But fear and obligation have him trapped. When a twist of circumstances throws Dorothy and Marshall together one night, it may offer them both a chance at escaping the tangled web of fear and deceit each has woven…if only they are brave enough to take it.


At eight-thirty Dorothy turned out the light in her bedroom and put on her hat and coat. If her room was dark and her father had not heard an outside door shut he never came to look in on her, but assumed she was asleep. She had learned his routine carefully, lying awake and listening on the nights she was at home. Still she had lately taken to rumpling up her bed and putting pillows under the coverlet, just in case—her conscience, recovering from the sulkiness that had set her on this path, was beginning to be jumpy. Then she climbed out the window onto the sloping back porch roof, slithered down an ivy-covered trellis and ran through the dark backyard to the side street. Their house was a big old-fashioned brick with a mansard roof, with the boughs of stately old oak trees brushing the upper story; situated at the corner of a block, its yard rimmed with hedges. There was an opening at the side for the path where the milkman and the grocer’s boy came to the back door, and Dorothy slipped through this and darted across the street in the dim light from the lamp on the next corner.

By quarter to nine she had reached the street corner where a group of girls and young men were waiting, milling about and laughing and teasing each other under the street lamp by a drugstore. Dorothy joined them, and they walked a few blocks to where some of the young men had cars waiting. They piled in and drove out the winding roads through the outskirts of town toward the lake, a little too fast once they were out of the part of the city more regularly patrolled by the police. Dorothy had at first been exhilarated by this ride, later a little alarmed by it, and then shamed into saying nothing by the nonchalant way in which the other girls took the whirling speed amid careless banter with the drivers. She laughed with the others, but kept a tight grip on the inner door-handle.

The dock for the Lost Lake ferry was at the bottom of a steep hill—cars were parked up above in an empty lot off the road that was supposed to be secret but which everyone knew about. Standing a little back from the dock, on the trodden gravelly shore, Dorothy stared across the water. On cloudy nights like this the lake and sky and island all melted into a uniform invisible black, so the blazing golden windows of the Lost Lake House seemed suspended in the middle of the lake like a floating fairy palace. The lighted ferryboat, which had left on one of its trips before her party reached the landing, inched across the lake like a little glowing caterpillar swimming toward it.

Dorothy shoved her hands deep in her coat pockets and suppressed a little shiver. It seemed they always arrived when the ferry was halfway across the lake to the island, and had to wait for its return. She could never entirely escape the chill of nervousness in her stomach while waiting, almost as bad as it had been the first time she crossed. It had not taken her long to hear the whispers about the Lost Lake House—that there was a hidden speakeasy inside—that there had been police raids before, and that it might happen again. Every time she had to wait in the half-dark by the ferry, near a little group of girls and men still teasing and laughing in half-whispers—by habit rather than fear with them—her jangling nerves expected at any moment the white glare of headlamps on police cars would pour down from the bank above and pin them in their blinding beams, branding them all as criminals and exposing their secret expeditions to the world. (Oh, wouldn’t her father be furious then!)

The ferry was coming back now, the strings of little Japanese lanterns that ornamented it bobbing above the black water. Dorothy’s breath came quicker as it always did at this moment, when the lighted ferryboat drew closer and the fear of the police began to recede. This was the moment—as the ferry bumped against the lower dock, and she followed the others down the wooden steps—the moment she tried to hug to herself, to savor the magic of as she stepped under the string of lanterns, fixed her eyes on the shining house across the lake, and felt the little lurch of the ferry carrying them out from the shore. She tried not to hear the chatter of the other passengers and the chug of the motor; she was busy making the Lost Lake House into fairyland.
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