Previous: The Tiresome Trail

 

Holly sat on a fallen tree trunk, twining together fern leaves into a wreath as Chester scampered in the brush. She’d like to make a matching wreath for him to wear, but her fingers weren’t nimble enough for such tiny weave-work. Maybe Odd had some tools she could use that would help her make such a thing. She’d have to remember to ask him when they returned. If they returned. Holly put down the leaves, staring at the darkening sky that seemed on the verge of swallowing her in its shadow.

“Holly?”

She turned and found Hemlock approaching her.

“Are you all right?” he said.


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Previous: Willowed Remorse

 

Hazel and Holly waited in front of their cottage. Hazel stood near the road, her hands clenched as she watched for an approaching carriage. Holly sat on top of her luggage, resting her chin on her hand with her elbow propped on her knee.

“Who’s going to take care of the bees?” Holly said.

“Bees take care of themselves for the most part,” Hazel said. “But Aster said she’d check on them from time to time, and harvest the honey when it’s ready.”

“She’ll probably take it all for herself,” Holly said sullenly.


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Well, it’s a new year, and with a new year always comes the refreshed optimism of new possibilities. Resolutions are made. Goals are set. I don’t make resolutions, but I do set goals for myself, which are always related to writing and publishing.

In fact, I don’t think I ever set yearly goals for myself until I started writing. Or maybe I just never cared about my previous goals enough to remember them. My goals aren’t exactly massive ones—it’s usually surrounding finishing a certain manuscript or publishing a certain book. So far, I’ve achieved every yearly goal I’ve set for myself (I think. I really need to start writing them down…), which is cool in its own right, even if they are modest. But this year… well, let’s just say it’s my most ambitious yet.


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Previous: Zinnia’s Return

 

Hazel and Holly sat at the kitchen table, sipping tea as a lantern cast fitful shadows along the walls.

“Are we leaving soon?” Holly said.

Hazel closed her eyes. “For the hundredth time, no. It’s still too early.”

“It’s night outside. How is that too early?”

“I told you, we need to wait until past midnight.”


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Previous: Teatime Tribulation

 

A few bees crawled on the veil hanging over Hazel’s broad-brimmed hat. She brushed them away with a gloved hand and continued her inspection of the hive nestled in a corner of her garden. The honey was coming along nicely, and there were no signs of mites. Should be a good harvest this season, given another month or so.

“How’s it look?” Tum said, chewing on a strand of grass.


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