Archive Monthly Archives: December 2016

Hazel and Holly — Locks and Shadows, Part One

Previous: The Edge of Winter


Hazel hurried down labyrinthine stone corridors as she fled from her father and the summoned aspect of her mother. She had no idea where she was going, which was just as well as she’d likely have no idea how to get there even if she had. She just needed to get away; she needed a moment to breathe.

It was all starting to feel like a dreadful mistake, her coming here alone. She had known, deep down, that her father would likely refuse to release her mother. And yet, Hazel had never come up with a plan on how she would stop him. That particular detail had always seemed so distant, caught in a hazy, nebulous future that had never felt as pressing or urgent. But now that moment was here, and Hazel had no idea what to do. Continue reading

Hazel and Holly — The Edge of Winter

Previous: Reunions


The lead necromancer took a moment longer to express his displeasure at Holly, Hemlock, and Hawthorn. Then he handed the tapestry to the younger necromancer behind him.

“Get that to the laundress. Keeper only knows what’s been done to it.” He turned to Holly and the others and thrust a finger at them. “You stay here.” He and the other necromancers backed out of the room and he slammed the door shut. There was a scratching sound near the knob, then a slight click.

Holly tested the door once the necromancers’ footfalls had faded, but it was locked. Continue reading

Hazel and Holly — Reunions

Previous: Return to the Shrine


“The moon is a week in its waxing cycle,” Hazel said. “How can you summon Mother without a new moon?” She found herself clinging to a desperate hope her father wouldn’t be able to summon Willow. The idea of it filled her with a peculiar dread she couldn’t explain.

Ash smiled a patient, tolerant smile that grated against Hazel’s nerves. “It’s true that the cycle of the moon and the positioning of the sun and stars affects the magic we cast in different ways. But we are not beholden to these cycles. To have a command over Necromancy is to have a command over Ether—the very substance of creation. You will find that the moon holds very little power over you when you can master the substance that holds it in the sky.” Continue reading

A Christmas Wish List of Real-World Magic

Do you ever find yourself wishing for things that don’t, you know, actually exist? I think one of the main things that has always drawn me to fantasy is my persistent dissatisfaction with the real world. This can’t really be all there is, can it? And so I find refuge in stories.

But then I thought, how cool would it be to come up with a list of magical things that do exist in the real world? It could be my Christmas wish-list of sorts, and my gift to you, because we all need a little bit of magic in our lives, don’t we?

Continue reading

Hazel and Holly — Return to the Shrine

Previous: Summoning Visions


Holly, Hemlock, Hawthorn, Tum, and Elder returned to the Shrine. It looked weird seeing it in daylight. It looked like a normal building, old and slightly dirty, but not anything to be afraid of.

“Now, all of you keep your mouths shut,” Elder said. “I will do the talking, and you will all stand there and nod and look sufficiently ignorant, suppliant, or pathetic, as the need arises. Do you understand?” Continue reading

Hazel and Holly — Summoning Visions

Previous: A Reluctant Ally


Hazel got up from the table and backed away. Ash got up with her. She wanted to leave, but she dared not. She could not—not after leaving Holly and Hemlock the way that she had. They’d likely never forgive her for that.

“You’re lying,” she whispered, but the words felt hollow. Somehow, she knew her father spoke the truth, and that frightened her more than she wanted to admit.

Ash’s expression softened, as if he knew she understood. “You know that I’m not.” Continue reading