Skip to content

Category: Short story

Seeing herself

She began walking the mirrors as a child, swapping worlds with her other selves. She became ambidextrous before she knew it was unusual.

She was in her teens when she realised nobody else could move through mirrors like she did. And that not all loved mirrors like she did.

She tried to see like they did, to see the reflected world, not the one on the other side. To see herself, not her other. She succeeded.

She saw herself. She seemed unreal, strange to her. Faintly, behind her own reflection, she saw her other self look surprised, afraid.

As she stared, completely still, she saw her other self lift a hand and touch the mirror. And then she faded, and she saw only herself.

It has been a long time now; she is not always sure it was not just a childhood game, a make-believe. She tries to believe it was real.

She looks in mirrors, and tucks her hair away with either hand. One day, she sees her other self use the other hand. And they smile.


This is a rare serial tweet story, in that I wrote the whole thing before posting any of it.

Moa and the lost sun

Moa woke to mooing. She wrapped her blanket around her like a shawl, put her feet in her clogs, and went to milk the cows.

Life moves slowly in winter. Moa took the milk to the cold cellar and returned to bed, to wait for sunrise. It didn’t come.

The sky above the smoke hole in the thatch remained dark. Moa’s family would not wake from their sleep, despite her crying.

Moa dried her tears. Then she hung the lamp from the door on the billygoat’s horn, filled his panniers, and lead him east.

They made good progress through the snow. Soon they came to the bridge over the river.
“Hello,” Moa called. “Master Troll?”

The troll climbed up.
“Where’s the sun?” he said. “I can’t sleep in darkness.”
“I’ll find out,” Moa said. “Will you help?”

Commute

The train emerges from the fog. In the distance, a large castle, over a forest. I’ve never noticed that before. The train enters a tunnel.

The train emerges from the tunnel onto a bridge, high over endless plains. A dragon flies past, a princess on its back. Is this a new route?

The train approaches the foot of an immense mountain. On a field, a horse grazes next to a burned-out suit of armour. The tea trolley comes.

The train slows to a halt. The conductor apologises: a goblin migration crossing the line. Outrageous, I say. He gives me a biscuit voucher.

The train starts moving again, climbing. Soon, we enter clouds. Unseen animals sing mournfully, deeply. Airwhales, says the lady next to me.

The train emerges from the clou… the fog, and pulls in at my station. I gather my things to get off. Where did I get a biscuit voucher?

I have a vague feeling I ought to be going to work, not home. Silly. Though I can’t recall what I did after boarding the train this morning.


These tweets were posted over the span of a working day, the first as I got on my train to work, the last as I got off the train coming home.

Tam and Lin and the Queen in the heart of the forest

They say that in the heart of the forest, there’s winter in the middle of summer. Tam went to see if the opposite was true.

He challenged the forest. His mighty sword vanquished his foes. A boy and his stick, leaving frosty nettles broken behind.

“Where to, soldier boy?” a magpie laughed.
Tam bowed. “To summer, sir.”
“Then march on, and get your warmth from the Queen.”

“Why the hurry?” a squirrel asked.
“I go to the Queen,” Tam said.
“Have a care, she’ll heed your words, not what you say.”

In the heart of the forest, Tam stepped off snow onto lush green moss. Leaving winter behind, he shivered, then marched on.