Archive for the Children’s short fiction Category

The Shopkeeper and his daughters

Posted in Children's short fiction on August 24, 2016 by Kate Jack



The Shopkeeper and his daughters

o.htmlnce upon a time there was a shopkeeper who owned a small greengrocers. He and his three daughters lived above the shop. Their lives were very dull and ordinary, apart from their weekly visit to the library. The eldest daughter loved romance, the middle sister adored adventure and the youngest craved fairy tales. Dad read ponderous tomes on history and politics.

Whenever they entered the library, they each headed for their own particular sections, looking neither to the left or the right. So it was they remained unaware of the dark narrow passage, containing shelves full of books that were never read – not even by the librarians.

Entrance to this forbidding place was through an arch, above which crouched a gargoyle. It features were screwed up in puzzlement, as if it didn’t understand life at all. Apart from being permanently baffled, it was also…

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The Spirit of Christmas – Part II

Posted in Children's short fiction with tags , , , , , , on December 24, 2012 by Kate Jack

white deer 2

Talia tossed and turned, as fleeting images of her mama passed before her inner eye. Her mother wandered through the moonlit forest, dressed in purest white and her wings, which Talia had never seen before, glittered with myriad hues.

The silver notes of a flute sounded amongst the trees, leading Talia towards the centre of the forest, a dark place she dared not go to in the waking world.

As she got nearer, she could see a clearing lit by the glow from lamps hung in the branches. A gentle breeze set them in motion and the light swirled and glittered. Talia gazed up at the lamps, filled with wonder. Dozens of fireflies flew in and out of the trees, adding to the beauty that surrounded the child.

The music grew louder and winged figures began to emerge from the forest. In  a swathe of colour – pinks, blues, oranges and greens – the merry company filled the clearing. Talia clasped her hands together – the Seelie Fey!

One last figure entered the clearing. Tall, stately and beautiful beyond measure, Talia’s mother looked like a Queen. Snowflakes sprinkled her hair and were girded about her neck and wrists. Her white gown shimmered with colours, as she moved.

‘Mama!’ Talia cried and held out her arms, filled with such longing it hurt. But her mother looked neither left nor right, her gaze fixed on a tall and handsome male sprite, who held out his hand, which her mother took. Tears filled Talia’s eyes, when she how happy her mother seemed to be.

Beware the Fey, for they don’t care. Their heart with you they’ll never share.

‘Mama!’Talia cried, still holding out her arms, as she was pulled up and away into the dark night sky. Below her, all the gathered figures began to dance, swirling about the clearing, their garments flowing in the midnight breeze, like the petals of flowers in springtime.


Outside, the Spirit heard the child’s sobs and bowed his mighty head in sympathy with her anguish. One long slender leg lifted, as if to carry him nearer the cottage, but he paused, still unsure whether the child’s heartfelt wish should be granted. For surely it would break her heart even more…

faerie dance


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The spirit of Christmas

Posted in Children's short fiction with tags , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by Kate Jack


Talia knelt on the window seat and gazed out over the forest that surrounded her home. The cottage, ramshackle and covered in ivy, stood in a clearing at the very heart of the woods. Talia lived there with her father, a silent and dour man, since her mother had gone last Christmastide. But she was Seelie Fey and could not bear to be parted from her own kind. It was a sure and certain thing that she would leave them one day.

Mortals and Fey should never mix, for Faeries ever love to play tricks. 

The little rhyme played through Talia’s thoughts and made her shiver. Would that also be her fate – to play cruel tricks? For she was as much her mother’s child as her father’s.

He was a warden of the forest, tasked with the care of the trees and animals. But Talia knew his heart wasn’t in it. Since her mother had departed, his life had dwindled to ashes.Tears filled Talia’s eyes. If only she could see mama again, just one last time. It was Yuletide Eve, almost a year since she’d left them alone and desolate.

Talia climbed down from the window seat and went over to the old oak chest, standing in a corner of the tiny living room. The lid creaked as she raised it, having to use both hands to lift its heavy weight. Inside the musty interior lay an old book, a gift from her mother to remember her by.

The cover felt smooth and warm, except for the picture of the white deer, etched into the leather. The Spirit of Christmas, was the book’s title, stamped in gold letters. Talia raised the book and kissed it gently. She loved the story and the feeling of wonder it brought. The white deer was the spirit of the forest and would carry anyone who deserved it to wherever they desired.

Filled with a sudden feeling of certainty Talia stood up, the book clutched to her chest. She was going to seek out the deer and beg it to take her and her father to the place of gathering, where once a year the Fey gathered for a great feast, with all manner of merrymaking.

She glanced at the old clock – almost midnight – she’d best hurry. But even as she donned her cloak and then hurried towards the door, the latch rattled and her father entered; he frowned down at her.

‘Why are you not in bed?’ He stared at the book, still clutched in her thin arms. ‘Where d’you think you’re going, girl?’

 Before she could answer, he seemed to guess her intent and with a swift movement snatched the book from her grasp. ‘There is no place in this world for dreams!’ he shouted and threw the book on the fire.

‘Papa, no!’ But it was too late. The flames leapt and spread, causing the leather to crinkle and the picture of the deer to shrivel away into black flakes.

‘Go to bed.’

Talia didn’t look at her father, but made her way over to the stairs, only pausing to glance back at the fireplace.


Outside, in the cold, dark forest, a shadow moved with sweet grace amongst the trees. It raised its great head and stared towards the cottage, waiting for sleep to come to the tearful child. Perhaps then it would enter her dreams and maybe grant her wish…



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