Now that we’ve finally published The Exile’s Blade (and don’t yet have another big writing project underway!) I hope to write more micro-fiction … in between writing 1000-word stories for our fortnightly Writers’ Circle meetings, attending fairs with our books, and taking more time off to assist in ‘recovering’ from poor health! 🙂

This piece is one I wrote about 2.5 years ago but had not got around to sharing with you! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

crimson ink and flame

I breathed on the parchment to hasten the drying of the ink, watching as the colour of each carefully-chosen word transformed from peacock blue to a vibrant red. My eyes blurred and I felt tight with the burden of unshed tears – but not a single one would fall.

For once, I was doing the right thing, although it seemed, in this moment, to go against my every desire, my every dream. For with these few sentences I would seal our fate, ensure he could never return through the dimensions to steal kisses and passion under cover of the moonless night.

Rafael was my love … but I knew, from the visions of the past week, that he had a greater purpose to fulfil. By journeying to me, he was dividing his focus, weakening his resolve.

And if he failed in his great task, then his future – and the future of thousands more – would be lost.

I was the past. Born a hundred years before him, he had nevertheless found a way to reach me through the twists and turns of time, although he never explained the mechanics of the process, or how he’d come to know of me.

I loved him … I loved him with every thought, and with every breath.

But now it was time to let him go. To carry out what the world’s future needed. To set him free.

I read through the words one final time. Some seemed to leap from the page: magical force, release, close, final.


I blinked back an errant tear and reached toward the fire.

As the flames consumed the parchment, they spat sparks into the grate, and sent up dizzying arrows of crimson light. I knew Rafael’s future was breaking free of the cord which had linked us across time.

Later, once the flames had died down, only a few stray fragments of blackened parchment remained, torn pieces of my fractured heart lying forgotten in the ashes.

With a sigh that seemed to fill every corner of the house, I stood from my chair and moved slowly to my bed, drawing the coverlet tightly around me.

Safe from temptation at last.

But lonely – so lonely.

The first tear fell.


Words copyright Joanna Gawn