Landing Page: Fairy Town

There’s something about the city, something about its old roads and its older churches. Something about its people, its goblins and its fairies. Something in the water, maybe.

There’s something that leeches magic into the world, something that makes even the most banal events a little more special – sometimes a little more creepy.

Featured on Patreon September 2016!

Best places to begin:
The Fairy Road  or
Re-Blessing the Church


A Voluntary Offering

A Voluntary Offering

This story is the third one to my Squish-Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds Prompt Call

After The Fairy Road and Planting Some Good on my blog and The Cats’ Ways, Community Service and Time Passes on Patreon and then Weird


Whitney was no longer sure how long she’d been working on Crossroads Park, cleaning it up, replanting it, giving voice to its ghosts and names to its skeletons.  She still went to her day job most weekdays, even if she found her boss was giving her more and more assignments that focused on the park – she hadn’t mentioned it, because it was convenient and did leave her a couple hours of free time a week she otherwise would’ve been spending researching said park – she spent most evenings in the park, cleaning up old messes of landscaping and planting new things, and, in some areas, taking care of the annual maintenance that her new plantings required – and she spent most weekends wandering around the city, learning more about it and, by connection, about the park.  Continue reading


I’m having a writing retreat day!  Tell your friends!  Tell your foes!  Tell everyone~
See more about Katydid and Whitney here – 


It was one of the weird days.

You’d have thought that, considering that she’d set herself to restoring a park in a city that was known for the magic flowing through it and the oddities in its shadows and in its sunbeams, a park that was a crossroads at the center of that city (if you read the right map), a park where the ghosts and the spirits were as likely to advise her and help her as the local gardening groups were, possibly more so, where a giant but see-through cat followed her around for the treats (along with the slightly more mundane cats, who were interested in  more mundane treats), well, with all that, you’d have thought that Whitney didn’t have weird days anymore. Continue reading

Ladies Who Garden

Ladies who Garden


It was Whitney’s second spring working on the Crossroads park, so she had gotten used to some of the more surprising help – not just the fae and ghosts, the strange-people and the occasional mysterious work done between when she left one night and when she returned the next, but vagrants and rebellious kids, cops and neighbors of the area and, once, the entire local chapter of the Pagans motorcycle club.

She was, still, a little bit confused when seven women – all wearing pastel straw hats over their well-coiffed grey hair, sporting gloves with flowers on them that nevertheless looked as if they had seen use at some point, and carrying brightly-coloured caddies full of gardening tools – walked up to her while she was taking a water break.

“Gwendolyn Marcus.”  The lead woman – yellow hat, yellow gloves, pink caddy – held out a gloved hand. Continue reading

Time Passes

Originally posted on Patreon in February 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
After The Fairy Road and Planting Some Good on my blog and The Cats’ Ways and  Community Service here on Patreon.


There was not, Whitney had thought, an easy part to the restoration of the Crossroads Park.  The whole thing was a challenge, and the whole thing was back-breaking work, work that ate time, hours and weeks and seemingly years passing by while she dug.  The whole thing was the hard part.

That was before she got to the really hard part.

There was a corner of the park now that looked fresh and beautiful — so fresh that not only had the local newspaper taken pictures, one of the national magazines had come in to tell her story.  The plantings, mostly perennials, had been picked to thrive with minimal care, the grass was trimmed weekly by a local kid who wanted something to do for a school project, and the local fae and spirits had taken to sharply … reprimanding… anyone who littered in the cleaned area or near it.

But that meant that first, the rest of the park looked far worse than it was, and secondly, Whitney was now faced with a wall of brambles where a raspberry bush and a rose bush had gone feral and started fighting over a statute of a Revolutionary War hero. Continue reading

Community Service

Originally posted on Patreon in November 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

 After The Fairy Road and Planting Some Good on my blog and The Cats’ Ways  on Patreon.


The storm had come through the city in a rush and left much the same way, like the sort of relative you never really wanted to have staying in your house, leaving everything a disaster zone behind it.

There were branches down on every street; there were power lines down all over the place.  Work was closed.  The city was closed.

And Whitney was in the park.  It seemed,  if she’d been asked – which she hadn’t – like the thing to do; you cleaned up.  Her apartment building had power – slightly erratic, but better than nothing – so she’d cooked everything that might go bad and brought it all, stacked in her biggest coolers with warming pads, to the park with her.

She shared with the couple homeless folk who refused to go anywhere else.  She shared with the policeman who was doing his best to walk a beat; she shared, of course, with the cats and with the Cat.  She shared with the line workers, even though she knew that they didn’t mind the overtime.

In between sharing food, she moved branches and detritus.  She picked up someone’s schoolwork – Tyler Halpert – and put it in a neat stack under one of the little roofed areas, along with the newspaper, the paperwork from the insurance office, and some sort of mail that came in a red envelope with hearts drawn on it.

When she looked back, there was a ghost sitting on it.  She smiled at the ghost; he smiled at her.  They both went on with their days.

Whitney thought nothing of it when she saw the policeman talking on his radio.  That was his job, after all.  She was much more surprised when three vans pulled up. Continue reading

Helping Hands I

How can I help?

Yarrow Tallum had said those words all her life.  She’d grown up in a family that had helped. She had gone to a church that had helped.  She had moved to this city working with a not-for-profit that, above all things helped.

When the not-for-profit had turned out to be not quite what she wanted with her life – or they hadn’t wanted quite what she did, or something; it had ended, and it hadn’t ended in a fun way, and that was really, in the end, the bits that mattered – she’d taken the first job that had come to hand, and from there another one and now, seven years after she’d moved into this city, she found herself walking down a back street to what was very politely called “the place” by people who knew about it.

The weather was getting cold and it was only going to get colder.  The snow had already started to fall, and the forecasters and weather-witches and all the old almanac signs all agreed, for once: It was going to be a long and very hard winter.

Yarrow had been hearing rumors for a while, the way you did if you listened to people, really listened.  And they said that there was someone named Katydid. And that Katydid was doing things.

In this city, there were any number of things that one could be doing.  There was a priest talking to the fae in a church that had once been drenched in fae blood.  There was a woman reclaiming the Crossroads park. There was a person who sat at the same corner every day and sang, songs like angels had come down from heaven, songs that lifted you up and made your day better.  

There was an amazing world out there, but Yarrow was not going down to “the place” because she wanted to rubberneck.

It was going to be cold, so she dug through her closets and she found the three winter coats that had never fit quite right and the packs of socks that her mother liked to send her.  She found three blankets that she didn’t need, and a pack of scarves and mittens and hats.

She cleared out her cupboard of canned food, except what she needed for the next week, and when she had this all in a shopping cart, she ran back upstairs and grabbed a can opener and her camp stove.  And a box of tea and her second-best tea kettle.

That ought to be a start, she thought.  And she started walking towards The Place.

If you asked her, Yarrow would have told you people need help more than I need these things.  But it was more than that.  It had always been more than that.  And some of it…. sometimes she had to admit it was a little selfish.

Bundled up, she walked briskly through town towards “the place” – towards where she was pretty sure “the place” was.  She had cash in her pocket for panhandlers – but there were none on the road, no buskers, nobody hiding in the little alcoves and corners, nobody being sent away from the convenience store or the warming their hands over an air outlet.

It made the city feel too quiet, not alive enough.  It made her both worried and hopeful. It made Yarrow wonder, more than where are they, what are they giving to the city normally, that we don’t notice?

All God’s children got a place in the choir, her father would’ve said. And every note that isn’t there is notable.

That wasn’t enough of an answer, but that was a question for another day. Today, she passed one skinny kid who looked both lost and drawn, that was it, and she said to them “I hear the Place is this way.”

“Isn’t the Place for, I dunno.  Like…?”

“Are you hungry and cold?  Then the Place is for you.”

The nerve of her, she thought, to say that when it wasn’t her place.  But the words had come from somewhere and it wasn’t really her mind that they’d come from.  Still, she added, “or. When I’ve dropped these things off, you can come back to my house. I don’t have much but I can give you dinner and a place to crash for the night.”

“I’ll… You’re going to the Place?  I’ll come with you.”

Magic didn’t solve everything, that was one of Yarrow’s first lessons.  The city still had its problems, steeped in magic as it was, some of them caused by that very magic.  But kindness…

They walked in silence, except Yarrow passing him the mittens on the top of her pile and a meal bar from lower down in the pile.  The kid looked sort of grateful and sort of embarrassed. She wondered how long they’d been wandering around, and if they had any place to go that wasn’t Yarrow’s house or The Place.

How did things get here? She wondered, but then, the way that she’d been taught, she also started to wonder how do we get things away from here?

When they reached the Place, she realized that someone – or someones – had moved on to the next step, the part where you stopped wondering and started moving forward.

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Catalog People

My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to ysabetwordsmith‘s prompt.


Every payday, Edrio very carefully opened the Sears catalog and very carefully placed an order.

It wasn’t always Sears; it wasn’t always a catalog.  Sometimes it was Penney’s, although their catalog wasn’t as good, or the furniture store, or the hardware store for some paint or some molding.

But it was always payday, and it was always a very considered purchase.

Edrio’s house wasn’t all that large.  It was the smallest house that had been for sale, as a matter of fact, and he’d gotten a very good deal on it because it was old, un-updated, and a one-bedroom.  The Cape Cod house had last been updated in the 50’s, if the wallpaper was any indication.

The wallpaper was the first to go, the carpet, the trim.  Everything was carefully replaced, everything chosen from the catalog spreads or the display lay-outs in the stores, the colors from Good Housekeeping and Better Homes and Gardens or color-matched to a Sears spread.  The effect, were anyone to walk into his house, was slightly like being inside a catalog.

In the bathroom it was the most obvious, the small room showing the carefully-coordinated shower curtain and drapes, towels and garbage can and rug.  His bedroom showed the only signs of personality, a stack of battered paper-backs in between leather-covered Barnes and Noble books on a display shelf. His closet was much the same, outfits picked from the pages of the catalogs, bought and worn as exact to those pictures as possible.

The catalog purchases covered over strangeness, of course – the circle of glyphs under the living room rug and the other one in the bathroom, the tone-on-tone runes on the carefully-picked out molding, some to keep monsters in, some to keep them out.  But mostly, they were to cover over Edrio.

At night, he would lie in bed, as he had since he was a child, flipping through the pages of an ancient Sears catalog.  “This is real,” he’d tell himself, in a ritual as battered and as old as the pages.  “This is how real people live.”

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