Showing posts from December, 2016

New Year's Issue Table of Contents

The end of 2016 is now upon us, and I, for one, am very grateful. Let's hope 2017 is better. This issue of EC has six wonderful works to help us ring in the new. Classic fairy tales are thoroughly and charmingly explored, and some new enchanting ideas are featured as well.  I hope you'll find the variety as entertaining and intriguing as I have. There's magic in this issue.

Happy New Year!

Dance Me to the End, Alicia Cole

The Three Princesses, Penny Jo McAllister

Diamrem's New Year Dilemma, Christine Tapper

The Turn of the Year, Gerri Leen

Bite, Shannon Whalen

New Leaf, Subhra Bhattacharya

Dance Me to the End, By Alicia Cole

What does it feel like to simply let go?
Leonard Cohen, like so many,
had had enough. So, what does
it feel like to simply let go?
It feels like the changing of years,
the year's body once strong and robust
with spring-sapped arms and torsos,
the year's body remembering
the sap as it withers and turns.
And what about the sound?
The year and life sing a song like this:
once upon a time, there was a prince
who lived in a lofty tower, a tower,
a tower of song. And that prince loved
his tower and lived there in a stalwart
way until the princess of his dreams
beckoned him down to the ground
to get into the rain. He left the tower,
as all lovelorn princes do, and hit
the ground running towards her.
And love is why he died. Yes, Love.
Love of all princesses and queens
and ladies of the night. Love of all
mornings and mists. The princess,
as many princesses do, left the prince
for another, left him standing outside
his tower, left him in the morning
with the flowers blooming just past
his straining grasp. Love i…

The Three Princesses, By Penny Jo McAllister

“Remember Cinderella, we need it spotless for the new year so we’ll come home to a lucky house,” said Genevieve tossing her curls and showing off  her new dress to her cousin. The green and silver silk was lovely, and the emerald tiara matched her eyes perfectly.
“A clean house for a new year makes everyone lucky,” said Josephine. She was as vain as her sister but much kinder. She paused to give her cousin a quick hug, pressed her hands and kissed her on the cheek. “I do wish you’d come with us Cindy. It would be so much fun.”
“I hope you both have a wonderful time,” she said and kissed her cousin back.
“Come on Josephine! We don’t want to miss the first dance.”
Josephine hurried out the door after her sister. “Happy New Year!” she called as she was stepping into the carriage.
Cinderella smiled and blew her cousins a kiss.
Cinderella loved her two cousins. They’d grown up almost like sisters after her parents, Thom and Estelle,  died in a carriage accident. After this tragedy, Cindy went to…

Diamrem's New Year Dilemma, By Christine Tapper

The volcano rumbled in the dusk light, steam spouted and hissed from cracks in the earth’s crust.  A sage in long silver robes appeared by the royal pond and spoke to Prince Diamrem. “Destruction is imminent. Why haven’t you left? I warned you hours ago.” “It’s my home, I like it here.” The sage’s face creased making him look more wizened. “At midnight when the New Year begins the volcano will send clouds of red dust billowing into the sky. Rivers of molten lava will cascade down the mountain slopes creating barren fields and craters. You must find a princess, start a new life."  “A princess? Where?” Since the recent death of his parents, Diamrem had lived alone on the island. “One awaits you. You must walk the land now.  Find your way to the whispering ocean.” "In the darkness...all by myself?" gulped the prince as a mantle of grey cloud concealed the moon. “Go if you want to meet her and see the New Year. Your choice.” The sage vanished. Back pack in place, the prince crosse…

The Turn of the Year, By Gerri Leen

Snow trickles into the barn, blown by winds grown suddenly gentle after gusting all night. You can hear the sound of festivities from the castle: the humans are preparing to welcome in another year with dances and great spreads of food and drink and embraces when the clock strikes twelve. There's no clock in the barn, but you'll know exactly when the year slips over: the sense of potential will build as the minutes tick down and then be gone again until next year.
You turn away from the cold, feeling it despite the lushness of your fur. Your joints ache as you move and you want nothing more than to go up to the castle and lie in front of the kitchen stove, but you're expected down here. Kittens and half-grown cats circle around you, their tails up in the universal cat-sign of friendliness, their hopeful faces beaming silent messages of: "Choose me. Choose me."
It's New Year's Eve, the night you can choose to change, and there are more candidates than last y…

New Leaf, By Subhra Bhattacharya

In the mighty forest that lies nestled between the three mountains, the peaks of which have never been seen, there was once a little clearing at the center surrounded by tall trees, so high that they hugged the clouds above, their branches thick and strong. In the clearing was a cottage made of wood, with straws thatched into the roof, and it had one single room in it, and a fireplace in the corner. The cottage had been there forever and no one knew when it had been built. The old man who lived in the cottage had been living there for a long time, all by himself, and he could talk to the trees in the forest.
He walked around alone, stopping by the trees often, and he would gently touch their trunks, his fingers closed together in a straight line, palm resting on the curves of the bark, he would hear them speak. Each one had a different voice, and he got to recognize them all. Some were a deep bass, like the giant maple that shaded his house, its lower leaves brushing his roof when the …