I sincerely enjoyed reading all the stories and was honoured to be guest judge. Well done to everyone. They were all very good.
Inescapable Logic by Jeffrey Hollar
The clever last line made me smile
The opening paragraph instantly grabbed me. It was a pretty neat twist at the end, where the ... lover turns out to be more than human too.
By Robin Abess
If I could erase one memory from her mind, it would be of what she witnessed that night. In the midnight hours, as the screech owls gave their eerie cries and the loons on the lake answered back, her world changed, and it was my fault.
I knew better. I shouldn’t have taken the chance, but I loved her so dearly, I couldn’t let go. Not even for one weekend. We’d only been together two months then, although I had known her longer, as a friend. I brought her with me to the cabin. I remember how childlike she was, clapping her hands at the sight of the cozy structure nestled comfortably amongst the tall trees. I’d never brought anyone there before, and it seemed perfect. It would’ve been too, if I’d kept track and paid attention better, to the month and time of year. I was so besotted, I simply forgot. By the time I realized, it was simply too late.
It was spring, and everything was in bloom. The smell of pine and daffodils combined wafted through the windows I’d opened, perfuming our love nest. She came to me with open arms and willing lips, her eyes shining with love. We lay together afterwards, basking in the late afternoon sun spilling through the window and holding one another. We had dinner, made a fire in the fireplace and talked of future plans. It was only when night came on that I suddenly remembered and swore aloud. She asked what was wrong, and as I opened my mouth to make some excuse, I felt the pull and turned away.
I heard her move toward me, and I ran from her. She called my name, hurt making her voice tremble. Wanting to get as far away from her as I could, I moved into the woods, but in my worry over putting distance between us, I slipped, twisting my ankle badly. Cursing, I rose to my feet, but I could hear her following me, continuing to call me. Then it was too late.
The light hit me, spreading around my body, transforming me. The last mortal thing I remembered was her wide frightened eyes as she witnessed the change, and her scream. The next thing I knew it was morning and we both lay on the ground beneath the trees. I rose, but she didn’t. When I went to her, her eyes were still wide, but blank. I spoke to her, and she made no response. Knowing there was no other way, I lifted her, closing my eyes, muttering the correct words for the portal.
Now, I watch her as she moves around the room gracefully, trying out her new wings. She is no longer capable of loving and she is no longer mine. She’ll exist to procreate for the race, and in a few short years she’ll die, with no memory of human life or love. And I will never forget. Such is the life of the fey.