"I wrote this from the viewpoint of a Chief Engineer's talk to the new recruits on an airship. Since the airship is the crew's home, it seemed natural that its guardian spirit would be a gremlin. I don't assume the Chief Engineer, or any of the officers, are exclusively male, and I hope the reader doesn't either."
For most of you, this is your first trip on an airship. I don't care why you're here as long as you do your work. Everyone on the Arctic Tern has shoveled coal, even Cap'n Reese. No one wants to hear your bellyachin', especially me.
You! You there in the fancy pants! Get your ass away from the rail! If you lean out any further you'll fall and rip the membrane. Then we'll end up at least one day more in port, which will come out of your hide, if you survive the fall!
The old house was surrounded by an evil fence that, although peeling and faded, still gave the impression of sharp, once white teeth. Emily didn’t want to lift the latch on the gate and enter. Beyond just the teeth of the fence, the large dark house seemed as a mouth that would consume her entirely.
…There lived, in an old slightly lopsided Dutch canal house, a Bear and a Cat. They were very much in love with each other, which prevented them from devouring one another&emdash;which can be a problem when attempting to live under one roof, lopsided or not&emdash;although it did not stop either of them from hogging the covers.
Bear and Cat had no other wishes than to live together forever (or thereabout) in peace but they were cursed by a jealous demon by the name of Dayjob, who contrived to separate them. So the poor lovers were soon condemned to go away for various length of time, he to pursue gravitational waves and she to collect space telescopes.
During the school year she taught and during the summer she worked in a dress shop. She’d felt for a while now as if everything was slowing down. But then again, she thought, maybe everything else was speeding up and she was slowing down.
Her Uncle Miles suggested that perhaps she should spend a couple of weeks of vacation at his old cabin. Vivian wasn’t exactly a nature person, but she was bored and she had a couple of books that she wanted to read. The cabin would be the perfect place to do that.
In late July, she packed her tea kettle and books, three new summer outfits (40% employee discount!) a bathing suit (80% off on clearance!) and drove toward the mountains.
Once upon a time there was a little girl, a sickly little girl. Where her health failed her, her imagination never did. Whilst other young children were drinking their milk before playing inside, she would stay indoors, barely sipping her orange juice and making up fantastical tales.
She created some of the most spectacular stories whilst feverishly ill. Different realities: people could be animals, teachers could be wizards and the good guys never lost. Sometimes, those fictions seemed truer than reality. It was the way she perceived things.
Her visions changed at night. She was no longer blocked by the rules and social constrictions of daytime. Night was when her mind finally felt free to play. And it did.
Once upon a time, there was a very, very, VERY mean octopus. He was the meanest octopus in the sea. All sharks bowed down to him, the mighty whales cowered in fear, and even the vilest eels slunk back in their holes to him. There was only one thing: he had no name. Yep. He was SO scary, his parents didn't even DARE name him! Even though he had many nicknames, like "Nameless," or "Meanie," or even "AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!" no one dared name him.
Then one day, Violet the Seahorse came along. She was SO young and shy, she didn't even KNOW to fear him! So, one day as the mean old octopus swam along, little Violet swam out of her den.
In the land of the Little People, everyone had a job. Juniper, as you know, was the best weaver in the land. Aspen painted the most realistic paintings—you would swear you could walk right into them. Jasmine baked the best bread and cakes, and Butterwort made the lightest ale to compliment Hyacinth’s meat pies. All the other Little People made clothes and poems and shoes and baskets and music and chairs and all the other things the Little People needed to live. Everyone was busy all the time, doing those things each loved to do. And everyone was happy in their work.
"When I first listened to the song, my first thought was, 'This is for the Night Garden?' So I listened to it again. I kept hearing about the vegetables pushing up to the light. What creature most associated with the Light would visit a garden at night?"
I took a closer look. There was only one set of hooves. A bit deeper than most deer tracks I’d seen, but not deep enough to have been from a feral hog. Guess I’ll have to gather the girls’ hair into some old nylons and hang a few bags of it around the garden. It’s supposed to keep deer away, and it’s certainly cheap enough to try.
"I was trying to think of something about a garden, simplicity, and transcending stubborn circumstances. I thought of my Great Aunt Lottie (who was married to a chef named Bubba but that is too much to be believed for one story, so I changed it to a farmer named Luke). I live in Georgia, so clay can be a problem. Last week or so I was cleaning the dust out of my computer disk drive and I thought...this is NOT dust...its clay! So that part comes from the everyday battle here with clay. I was going to do something a little more Biblical, but sometimes there just isn't much Biblical in my creative self."