CMCon17 Halloween Flash Fiction with Alethea Kontis
Today through Halloween (Monday), we will be showcasing multiple authors’ stories! Today we’ve got two flash fictions, both from authors who are returning to Coastal Magic in February.
Our resident Princess, Alethea Kontis is joining us to share a fairy’s tale, and to celebrate the release of her brand new YA Horror novel HAVEN, KANSAS.
Don’t forget to comment below her story with a question or comment for her (or for us), to be entered to win a prize pack of books & swag from many of our authors this week! (And be sure to check back on our “kickoff post” for the full schedule of participating authors. So many great stories, and each day you can enter to win!)
Here’s the image that inspired her story…
Canarina fluttered to perch on the windowsill of the abandoned cottage and peered into the darkness, searching for the source of the call. Twilight had come and gone. It was past time for her to be back in the grove with her sisters. But she could have sworn she’d spotted the flutter of a hunting blackbird’s wing and the faint cry of—
There it was again.
Blasted blackbirds would ever be the plague of the fairykin.
Canarina reached into the pouch at her belt and sprinkled dust over her wings. The brown stripes stayed brown, but the orange-peach patches between them brightened considerably, illuminating the ever-growing darkness. She launched herself into the air prettily, searching the wreck of the place with a taskmaster’s efficiency. So many stories had been told about this rotten old shack—Canarina had even told one or two of them to younger fairies. There was the one about the peaceful family of bears who’d fallen prey to a golden-haired home invader…and the one about the silly pig brothers…or the one about the orphan human girl child who was taken in by either a trio of fairies or a band of dwarves, depending on the teller. That one never ended well.
Stories involving pesky human children rarely did. Human children were more of a blight in the Wood than blackbirds, in Canarina’s honest opinion. Always trampling about where they didn’t belong, demanding flowers out of season for one reason or another, and they were terrible witch-magnets. Wherever there were human children about, a witch wasn’t far behind.
And no one wanted witches.
“Help!” came the cry again. Canarina could make out the source now: a crystal glass that sat on an empty table in the middle of the room.
“I’m coming,” she called out as she flew over. “Help is coming. Help is here.”
Canarina’s tiptoes grabbed the edge of the crystal and she peered in. The glass didn’t look so terribly large from the outside, but from this vantage point it seemed as deep as a well. As soon as Canarina’s wings illuminated the water, she could see the fairy trapped below the water’s surface. The fairy might have been one of her sisterkin, with skin as dark as earth and pink eyes and striped wings. Just like Canarina.
“Eminii?” Canarina called into the crystal well. “Abyssinica?” But whichever sister it was, the fairy could not hear her. The trapped fairy beat her hands against the surface of the water, over and over again, but try as she might, she could not break through.
“Hold on,” said Canarina. “I’ve got you.” She hooked one leg over the edge of the crystal glass and stretched down as far as she could. Her fingertips skimmed the surface. If she was only a little bit taller…
“Reach!” Canarina yelled at the trapped fairy. “If you can hear me, reach as far as you can! I’ve almost got you!”
Canarina felt another brush against her fingertips, but it was not water. Triumphantly, Canarina clasped the trapped fairy’s hand tightly. “I’ve got you! Don’t worry, sister, I’ve got—”
With a triumphant cry, the shadow creature pulled Canarina beneath the surface in a poof of fairy dust. The water in the crystal glowed with the light of Canarina’s magicked wings as she dissolved.
“Silly fairies,” the first witch said from the darkness.
“You’d think after a thousand years they would have learned,” cackled the second witch.
“All the better for us,” crowed the third witch. “Another hundred years of life! Who wants to take the first sip?”
“After you, dear sister.”
“Oh, no. Please, after you. I insist.”
150 years ago, in Haven, Kansas, a witch was burned at the stake. This October, in Haven, Kansas, a boy plays a prank on his big sister. Suddenly, crows fill the skies, a female scarecrow plagues the town, and teenagers are dying left and right. Amidst the violence, strange things keep happening. Lora Townsend discovers a secret room behind the wall of her bedroom, in which a dark and foul Book of Shadows has been hiding for over a century. The book belonged to an ancestor who documented the spells and stories of the strange woman he loved…a woman the town later killed for practicing witchcraft.
There are whispers on the wind. The death toll is rising. And Lora and her family seem to be the center of it all. They must call upon Lora’s small knowledge of magic to help them. Will they be able to take the town back from the witch, and can they manage it without losing their lives in the process?
Lois Duncan meets Joss Whedon in this literary slasher for the twenty-first century!