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Halloween Microfiction: Inkling by Julie Behrens

by Julie Behrens

It was night by the time the raven Parri made it to the witch’s keep, and she let herself in without rousing a soul. She was cold and wet from the rain, and thinking only of her soft bed. But there was a candle burning in her room, and she winced to see Elena awake and writing at the small desk.

“You’re getting in rather late,” her witch said. The calm in her voice was more worrying than anger.

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Halloween Microfiction: Corn Silk by Julie Behrens

“Corn Silk”
by Julie Behrens

The corn was overdue to come down. The ears hung heavy on their stalks, near bursting their husks with yellow-sweet chin-running juice, their gold-silk tassels turned brown. Soon, if I could get it done, that field would be stubble, like a man’s morning beard, and you could see all the way to the creek way far back and visible now only by the trees that marked it, to the road beyond the big house, and cows on either side. A big piece of land for a woman to manage alone. It was my first autumn on the farm since the rest of my family had died, and I was dangerously late in my work.

But I was glad the stalks had been left to grow high as I ran into the corn that night, the footsteps of large men in boots stomping after me like an oncoming train. I ran, because they had come to kill me, and the corn was the best refuge I had. My bare feet were hard as boots and quiet, and it was dark. The harvest moon was rising up above the fields like a gourd, and it made the fields look angry and dry. I ran blind, and the men behind me ran blind.

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