Well things are still rumbling on behind the scenes, unfortunately nothing I can share publicly - which makes updating a blog about my progress a little problematic.

In the meantime, I thought some people might be interested in a couple of short stories I wrote a while back in response to prompts on a writing group.  Neither is from Pandora Wolfe's universe.  One is something I thought make a decent little picture book, if I could find an illustrator.  The other is a new take on an old story.

I hope you like them.

The Moon Wolf


Down to the little campsite came the cry from the cold mountain. It was loud and long but filled with sorrow.
“Papa? Why do wolves sound so sad?” Jake asked, turning the stick to roast the other side of the sausage.  
“Because they miss their home.” His father replied, glancing up at the silver orb that provided the only light in the sky.

Jake looked at his father for any sign of teasing, but his face was deadly serious.

“Wolves came from the moon in the beginning.” His father said, snapping a twig and throwing it on the fire.

“Really?” Jake said, his eyes narrowing.

“Really,” his father said, fixing Jake with his brown eyes, all but black in the flickering yellow light of the camp fire. 

“Your grandfather heard this story from his father and he passed it on to me. Now I’m telling you”,

Jake said nothing. When his father saw he wasn’t going to interrupt, he continued.

“Long ago, the first wolf looked down from his silver house on the moon and noticed the plumpest, most delicious looking rabbit he had ever seen staring back at him from the plains.”

Jake couldn’t help himself. “What did he do?”  

His father smiled.  “At first he didn’t do anything. He had plenty to eat and he was happy on the moon. But as time went by, every time he passed over the plains he would see the rabbit and his mouth would water.  Of course the rabbit knew this. She was a clever creature who envied the wolf his splendid home and she had a plan to take it for herself. She ate as much grass as she could to make herself fat, then she made sure she the wolf could see her whenever he passed overhead.”

“Did the wolf eat her?” Jake asked.

Jake’s father chuckled. “He certainly tried. One day, when the wolf could bear it no longer, he let down a rope and lowered himself to the plains.  “Now I will taste that plump rabbit.” He said to himself.  But when he got there, the rabbit was nowhere to be seen.  As soon as she saw the wolf climbing down the rope, the clever little rabbit hid in a hole.  When the wolf went to look for her, she saw her chance. As quick as a flash, she darted up the rope and ran all the way up to the moon pulling up the rope behind her.”

“What did he do, Papa?” 

“What could he do? He howled and howled.  First in anger, then in misery.  The wily rabbit had tricked him. Defeated, the wolf climbed into the mountains, which was as close as he could get to his old home and wailed about what he had lost for the rest of his days.  His descendents remain there to this day. That’s why the moon is covered in rabbit holes and why wolves always cry when it passes.”

Jake looked up at the bright circle above and imagined the clever rabbit smiling back, then turned his head to the cold, dark mountains where the mournful howls echoed in the distance.  If he was a wolf, he’d probably cry too.

The Bridge


At the bridge.  That’s when I knew.  I had no other choice. I had to kill them both.

I’d had enough of my two stupid, fat older brothers to last a lifetime.  I was sick of them calling me “the kid,” sick of them eating so much food that there was barely any left for me.  Sick of them bleating on about this and that – how big they were, how strong they were; meaning that they were everything I wasn’t. Infuriating.  Especially since they didn’t have a brain between them.

For a while I considered moving.  Somewhere I could be on my own. Somewhere where I can wake up and find there’s still food for me instead of being left with the scraps after those two have gorged themselves on everything available, except I knew what they’d do.  They might be stupid, but they know I’m not. They would just follow me wherever I went and everything would be the same as it was before.

This morning I walked down the side of the hill to the bridge over the roaring waters of the mountain river.  It was as far as I’d ever been from home.  When I looked at the other side of the valley, my heart soared. Across the river lay a whole new start for me. I could see myself being happy there.  If it wasn’t for my brothers following me of course.  Then I spotted something under the bridge which changed everything.  Suddenly I knew what to do. All my problems would be solved.

I almost skipped back to my brothers. I told them that I’d decided it was time to move on.  Things were getting stale here. There were pastures new I wanted to explore.  As soon as I’d finished talking, I saw them looking at each other.  My oldest brother with his big, stupid face looking at my equally ugly but slightly smaller second oldest brother in confusion.  It would take them a while to realise what to do, but I knew they’d follow me eventually.   They’d realise that wherever I was going, it was likely to be better than here. But I didn’t care. In fact I was counting on it.

I was happy for the first time in my life. Soon I’d be free. Free to just be me, to have some of the good things in life instead of the meagre leavings from those two fat lumps.  With a spring in my step, I trotted quickly onto the bridge.  Sure enough, just as I’d expected, he appeared over the side. 

“Who’s that a trip-trapping over my bridge?”  He growled.

I’d spotted him under the bridge the day before and he looked even more terrifying up close.  The biggest, ugliest troll you can imagine, with muscles like boulders, teeth like tombstones and moss growing out of his ears.  I knew he’d see to my two greedy brothers and leave all of that succulent green grass on the other side of the valley for just for me.

“Oh, just little Billy Goat Gruff” I replied.

“Well you’d make a fine snack and no mistake, Mr Gruff” The troll said, licking his fat, blistered lips.

“Me?  Why, I’m scrawny from lack of food. My flesh would be stringy and would be hardly a mouthful for such a splendid troll as yourself,” I said.” What you want is someone fatter and tastier than me. My older brother will be along shortly. He’s big and fat. He’ll make a much more worthy meal for such a magnificent troll.”  As I said, I’m not stupid. I knew that trolls were easily flattered as well as being as dumb as a box of rocks.

The troll thought for a moment and then waved his large, meaty claw.

“Very well then. You do look scrawny. You can go. I think I’ll wait for your brother. He’ll make a much more suitable meal for me.”

And with that I trotted across the bridge to what I was sure was a life of freedom. 

So much for what I thought.  Most people probably know how it actually turned out.  It was my own fault too. I should have been more careful.  My older brother must have followed me more quickly than I’d expected and overheard me talking to the troll.  Sure, he wasn’t clever enough to come up with the line himself but he copied me well enough to persuade the monster to wait for my oldest brother, Big Billy Goat Gruff and let him go. 

I was prepared to live with my mistake. I thought I might get by with just one greedy oaf to share with.  Even he couldn’t eat all of the grass by himself. Of course that wasn’t to be either. Even though I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, my stupid, useless oldest brother arrived and instead of being eaten, he head-butted the troll over the bridge and into the roaring river, never to be seen again.

Now here I am, stuck on a different hillside with the same problem. Those two greedy lumps eating all the best grass and leaving me with barely a bite.  I’m no better off than before. Actually in some ways, it’s worse because my oldest brother thinks he’s a hero.  He won’t stop droning on about how we should be grateful to him for saving our lives.  Unbearable.  I wonder if the Big Bad Wolf is still in business………..

Anyway, that's it for now.  As soon as there's more Pandora Wolfe news, I'll be sharing it on here