Athlem recalled why she never acted upon impulses only seconds after she did: one such rash challenges rendered her here amidst the dark, wild forests where she provoked a dying campfire with a stick. Days ago, she spoke without being prompted to, treating her life with the clinical objectivity no one expected from a new … Continue reading LII.



Lyra never understood the different merits of parting one’s hair in one way or the other, so when her third aunt preached on about the grand significance of such details the princess nodded more to sleep than in agreement. She was going to survey the throneroom with Aldebaran to prepare for her disguise when they had … Continue reading LI.


Why was she smiling? He didn’t understand why he deserved that bright smile, or even just her presence at all. He didn’t understand the soft, gentle caresses at his cheeks that wiped away sorrows he didn’t know escaped him. For a second, he didn’t understand how to breathe. “Horatio, love,” She whispered. “May I have...a … Continue reading L.


He didn't use to like it, the forceful explosions of colorful flames were but yet another science phenomenon coinciding with human standards of beauty. What's so exciting about polluting the world with smog and noise and litters of food wrappers and cans and frightened pets running astray? But, this year is different. As he found … Continue reading Fireworks


She found herself at the insufficient dining table again, this time even more dreadful as unpleasant company far outnumbered the pleasant ones with the King and his general alongside several foolish aunts. And, as per tradition, the inhabitants of the table interrogated, now with her being the latest subject. “Pardon me for my bluntness, Princess, … Continue reading XLIX.