He couldn’t hear her over the roar of the espresso machine and the steady hum of dozens of people talking all at once. Still, he watched her lips move from above the hardcover he wasn’t really reading in the quiet corner of the coffeehouse.
Her order was the same as always. He recited it from memory: Café Marocchino with a drizzle of caramel.
If he closed his eyes, he could still remember the way her breath smelled as she drank it. Nutty from the espresso, chocolaty from the cocoa powder, with just a hint of sweet as she dipped the tip of her index finger into the drink and licked off a drip of caramel. Continue reading
“Grandma, what’s happened to all your gnomes?”
It was the first thing that I noticed when I pulled up her driveway. I didn’t remember much about my grandmother’s house—I hadn’t been here in years—but I did know that her lawn used to be absolutely covered in gnomes. They were my favorite thing about coming here when I was a kid. I used to think they came alive.
Grandma waved a dismissive hand. “They get stolen,” she said, her voice weary in a way that only happened with the elderly—frustration at being too tired to care. “I used to replace them, but they get harder and harder to find.”
“So the gnomes are disappearing,” I said, trying not to smile at the idea.
“It all started when these damned young kids started moving into the neighborhood,” she said, staring wrathfully out the window to a house down the street, where I guess the offending neighbors lived. “They ran over my Jox, then let their kids knock over Bean and Bopper. Broke Bopper’s hand right off. All my little friends… ” She shook her head, sighing.
Hey Folks! I’m sorry this didn’t make it up Friday, but I did not have anything going on in terms of internet or phone reception up in the mountains where I was staying this past week. So I’m giving you a Monday treat. Beating the Monday blues? Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat. Welcome back to Hollow Tree. <3 – Isabelle
The rapids traveled the angry water of the river bed with ease, looking as deceitfully delicate as ribbons carried by a summer breeze. Rain fell from the sky in sheets so thick you could hardly see anything but a blur of colors past your nose, the way it was wont to happen in late summer. I sat at the edge of the pier, my toes just barely brushing the top of the freezing waves below my feet, my dress soaked straight through so that it was nothing but another layer of skin.
I didn’t bother to check my watch. It didn’t matter what time it was.
He wasn’t coming. No amount of waiting would change that. Continue reading
This week’s story is going to have to wait until Monday. Sorry! Isabelle’s on vacation and completely devoid of internet!
In the meanwhile, what kind of stories would you like to see on the Hollow Tree?
I felt like I’d been in that taxi forever. We’d driven far outside Birmingham, into open countryside. Now we were pulled up next to a small wooden sign that said Serendipity School of Practical Magic and Mysticism.
I didn’t know what to expect. A castle, maybe. No, that’s ridiculous. This is real life, not Harry Potter.
Still, I didn’t expect this. This old house, all gables and bare-branch trees and curtained windows. This place screamed witch. And that’s not… really what I am. Is it?
I didn’t want to be a witch. Witches were old and warty and apparently meltable by water. I was sixteen, Homecoming Queen, and very fond of baths.