Changeling Flames

By Deborah Walker


Father splits wood in the falling snow. The stack grows high. There’s too much wood; although winter will be hard. Inside the house the baby cries. Mother sits in her chair, rocking, rocking, rocking. She thinks about the shrine in the crag, hidden with Hart’s Tooth. She remembers her longing, her willingness to accept.

The baby turns its head, green eyes snapping open, fixing on a spider creeping along the bassinet. The baby’s tongue unfurls, long and thin and obscene, snatching the spider, drawing it into its pointed mouth.

Mother sits rocking, watching the fire, staring at the changeling flames.


Bio: Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration or on her blog:

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