Yup I thought I would toss up a bit of one of the short stories that only a handful of people have seen. My first collection, Gates, has not sold very well. It could be the price, it could be that the publisher did NOTHING when it came to editing and promoting or it could be that I can’t market anything even if I try, but I am sad it hasn’t.

The stories in this collection all have some type of gate between here and there or one reality to the next in them. They range from pure fantasy to horror to a love story to the end of the world. I have received two reviews where they commented about the editing and in an attempt to get them back I contacted the publisher. Looks like they will be holding onto them for another two years unless I can come up with 750 Euros!

So in attempt to try and make some money I thought I would post up excerpts from the tales inside this collection. This one is titled Axe in the Stone is a more classic fantasy tale about the change from one version of the world and the next.

***

Axe in the Stone

By Lisa Williamson

“Where did this come from?”

Sitting, buried in one of the stones of the forest clearing was a large war axe. The blade was embedded in the stone that Juliana usually used to sit and ponder her day. She flitted about the weapon with a concerned look on her face. It wasn’t the fact that there was a large piece of man forged steel sitting in the middle of her glade that bothered her. It was the blood that welled up from around the blade.

At first she had thought it was just left over blood on the blade but as she watched another bead welled up around it from the stone. She hissed as yet another bead came up.

“Man came into the clearing and left that thing.”

Juliana spun about and then smiled. “Hello, Oak. You saw who did this?”

The oak behind the woodland sprite nodded. “Yes. Man came in carrying that and looked about. Man then pulled back like he was going to hit Maple and then he struck rock and staggered off after the flash.”

The sprite looked puzzled for a moment. “After the flash?”

“Yes the flash as the thing entered the stone.” Oak grimaced. “Magic it was, man-magic.”

Juliana nodded, turning back to the strange thing in her grove. “It must be removed,” she said quietly but firmly. “The man must be found and made to remove the blade from the stone. I will not have iron in my grove.” Her eyes flashed with the power behind her statement.

As if called up by name another being entered the grove. He was taller than the average forest dwelling fairy. Almost man tall, he was an oddity in this wood. For he was not a fey at all but a being of another type; not human or troll or Elvin even, he was of older blood indeed. Before the fey had moved to the wood, before the human thought to enter with their weapons of iron there lived a race of beings that were a part of the wood around them. Each and every one of them had something unearthly about them. Even to those of the fey blood they seemed strange and powerful.

Erland was one such being. He liked to spend time in Juliana’s grove, speaking to the trees and the stones. The cry of the chair stone brought him into the grove when others were about. He walked past the flitting fairy woman and gently rested a hand on the stone. “I feel your pain brother stone. I will help you if I can.”

He turned to the fey and the trees. “How did you allow this to happen?”

“Allow? Allow!” shouted the fairy. “I did not allow anything. I was on my rounds when the human entered the grove.”

Erland looked at the fairy woman for a long moment and then turned to the stone once more. “You were right that the blade must be removed but the Man who did this can not do it.” He studied the iron blade with narrowed eyes. Colors swirled in his sight about the blade. “The magic was not his but part of the blade itself.”

Oak spoke up. “Is it one of the OLD blades?”

Juliana looked confused. “One of the what?”

Sighing Erland sat down on the air and pulled a pipe from his pocket. Flicking the end with his thumb he puffed for a moment before speaking. “What Oak is referring to is an ancient weapon made by a people that no longer part of this land. The Crafters they were called by my kind. They were a strange race, much like the Man you saw. But the major difference being that they made magical things as easy as you breath.”

Juliana settled on the ground and listened with huge eyes. “You mean they made such nasty things?”

The forest being nodded, “They did not make them to be nasty but just to make them. They never truly understood the uses that the things they made would be put to. They were innocents in a world filled with warriors. They would make something like this on a whim and give it to the first to pass by and ask for it.”

The little sprite woman shook her head. “How foolish. Did they think that they were safe doing that?”

“No little one. They did not think of danger. For they were totally peaceful beings. When the first of their creations were raised against them they were shocked.”

Juliana nodded, understanding coming to her soft eyes. “They paid a high price didn’t they?”

Erland looked at the small winged woman for a time before answering. “The first time one of their creations were used against them they thought it was a mistake. For they saw the other races as children and they chastised the child who had harmed them. It was a simple tool that had been used for the wrong purpose to their minds. They took the tool back and sent the creature who misunderstood its use far away.” He closed his eyes and puffed away at his pipe for a bit.

***

If you are interested in reading the rest of this tale you can pick up the book at many of the ebook retailers around the web.