Short Stories




A collection of Kristine Schwartz' short stories.


The Prophecy / When Light Clashes With Darkness /


The Prophecy

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Written: March 2018


I shouldn’t be this close to the water, I know that. But this early in the morning, when the dew drops gather on every single leaf--no matter how big or tiny--and the smell of the crisp greenery surrounding me hangs like a blanket over the lake, I find the lure of the crystal blue water too much to bear. That’s mostly the reason I enjoy dangling this close to the water’s edge, and what I’ve told my anxious mother over and over whenever she’s found me hovering just above the lake’s surface. What I don’t tell her--because I know she’d worry needlessly and most likely find some way to keep me locked away--is that the blood rushes beneath my skin as my adrenaline skyrockets, and I’ve never felt more alive than in those fleeting moments that are gone too soon.

This early in the morning, the rest of my people are off doing their chores. Healing any plants needing the soft and gentle touch of a faerie’s magick. It’s our job to keep the plant life flourishing, because without nature’s beauty, life in its entirety simply wouldn’t exist. We--the faeries of the wild--have upheld nature’s creations for millennia, and without us, there would only be death and ruin. Such an important task for a people too small to be seen by the humans and wildlife.

Glancing down at the tip of the leaf on which I’m currently sitting, with my tiny legs dangling just above the water, I notice a touch of browning, a sign that this leaf isn’t as healthy as it could be. Shaking my wings free of my simple teal gown, I flutter them as I pull myself to a stand and make my way down to the tip of the leaf. Reaching forward with my delicate palm, I twist my wrist slightly, letting loose my powers in a flurry of green sparkling dust that settles around the dying edges of the leaf and works its magic. It only takes a moment, a few blinks of my watchful eye, before the color returns to its vibrant green, and the leaf is healthy once more.

“Belinda!”

I jump at my mother’s voice, the shrillness snapping through the blissful silence and startling me. My balance fails me, and I tip over, falling toward the lake.

“BELINDA!”

My mother watches as I fall into the cool water, her face red with worry… or is it anger? I can never tell with her anymore. Her brow wrinkles and deep creases cut through the pale skin of her forehead as her wings propel her forward.

I kick my tiny feet, just barely keeping my head above the water. Its coldness stole my breath, and my lungs struggle to pull in enough oxygen. My wings are useless, they’ll never pull me from the lake’s grasp, which is why my mother is always worried about my obsession with the lake. They stick to the skin on my back, and any movement has me worried they’ll be permanently damaged, so I refrain from even trying.

It doesn’t take my mother long until she is at my side, her bright blue eyes wide with fear as her hands reach for her only daughter currently at risk of drowning. As her fingers wrap around my wrist, I gasp as something else wraps itself around my ankle. I glance up into my mother’s worried gaze, my own fear palpable on my face and magnifying her own concern tenfold. She yanks as hard as she can, and I feel the hold on my ankle loosen.

My mother’s wings are larger than mine, but I weigh nearly the same as she. Not to mention how heavy my soaked gown makes me, it’s no wonder she’s struggling to pull me from the water. I know something had ahold of my ankle, though, and so I cling to her with my trembling fingers, willing her the strength to lift me to safety.

Her lips are pursed as her face turns red with the effort, and she bypasses the dangling leaf I had fallen from and flies us, inches above the lake’s surface, to a moss covered rock near the edge of the lake. She doesn’t say a word as she does, and I worry about the scolding I’m sure to receive, but for now, she’s too focused on getting me away from the water that could have been my undoing just moments ago.

I glance back to where I had fallen, and I swear I see something bobbing in the water. Narrowing my gaze, I can just make out the dark head of hair peeking from the lake. Piercing green eyes hold my stare, the rest of his body submerged from his nose down below the cool water. He’s my size, but clearly not a faerie, we can’t swim and the water could damage our delicate wings.

My butt hits the moss covered rock hard, and a snap my gaze to a raging look from my mother as I rub my bruised tailbone. She’s so angry, I wouldn’t be surprised if steam escaped her ears or her flaring nostrils as she glares down at me with her arms crossed over her chest.

“Now do you see why I warn you away from the water, Belinda?”

“I was perfectly fine until you scared me half to death, you do know that, right? In fact, I was performing a healing on that leaf, which is exactly what we’re supposed to do…”

I fold my arms over my chest, mimicking her position and trying not to let my gaze slip back to the water where the curious boy had been moments ago.

“The leaf looked perfectly fine to me. In fact-”

“Of course it looked fine! I had just healed it! Mom, I’m seventeen years old. When are you going to start treating me like an adult?”

“When you start acting like one. I don’t want you anywhere over this lake again, do you hear me? I get that you love it, I do. But it’s not safe! I nearly lost you today, I couldn’t stand it if I did. Please! If you must approach the lake, can you at least stay above land?” my mother pleaded with me, tilting her head down to look me in the eye.

“I guess I can do that,” I relented. It was a lot better of an outcome than I had expected. She wasn’t completely forbidding me from the lake, just asking that I stay near the edge.

“Good. Then I’ll leave you to this section of forest today. You can dust your magick over the life around the lake, just don’t hover over the water. For your mother’s peace of mind, please?”

I dropped my arms to my sides, standing. Taking a step forward, I gave a simple nod in answer and wrapped my arms around my mother’s waist. She quickly returned the hug, dropping her chin to rest atop my head.

“I love you, Belinda. I couldn’t live with myself if something were to ever happen to you,” my mother spoke, and I could feel her words vibrate through me as my eyes found the rippling water of where the boy had been moment’s ago.

“I love you too, Mom.”

My mother released me, smiling down at me before her wings began fluttering. She hovered above the rock for a few moments, an adoring look painted across her face as she watched me, then she flew off toward their village.

I took a few steps forward, careful not to step on the slippery section of moss near the water as I peered across the lake’s surface, searching for the dark haired boy once more. His head broke the water just a few feet away from the rock, and I gasped as I fell backward onto my already bruised tailbone.

“You!” I gasped, my hand hovering above my neck as I stared at the green-eyed boy before me.

“Hello, Belinda. I think you’re the girl from the siren’s prophecy. I’m supposed to help you save us all.”







When Light Clashes with Darkness

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Written: March 2018


The ocean behind me roared with a life of its own. Its waves crashing against the rocks on which I sat, but its water never reaching me. I had been sitting, sinking into the cool sand, for what felt like hours. My eyes closed as I concentrated on the power filling my veins, rushing beneath my skin with a warmth protecting me from the chilled night air. The wind violently whipping my strawberry blond hair around my face, making it stick to my soft pink lips.

I couldn’t let anything distract me. I had seen the signs in the sky, the symbols no mere mortal would have been able to perceive. They were the symbols of my Goddess, the all-powerful Mother Nature, or as most people refer to her, Gaia.

I had been placed here on this earth for this purpose. Told to wait for her sign. She foretold of the balance shifting, knew the people of the earth would one day bring its ruin. I have lived a thousand years, watching… waiting. Knowing there would come a time where I’d have to use the forces my Goddess empowered me with, use those gifts to help restore the balance.

It’s because of this, this knowledge of my true destiny, that I never allowed myself to become close with anyone. I knew I’d bring their destruction, I’d bring the doom of their race, and I’d be the end of their existence.

But Jackson found me, during a nature’s retreat no less. I shielded my heart to him for as long as I could, but a thousand years is a long time to be alone, and his soul was so pure I could almost taste the power within him.

Now, as I sit here on this beach, with my Goddess’ symbols painted across the sky for me to see, he stands before me, watching in awe as I perform the ritual that will be our undoing. There’s nothing I can do to stop it, this is what I have been put here for. To absorb the power seeped deep into the soil of this earth, so that it may one day be reborn. It will take everything I am, unite it with everything that has ever been, and will be released back into the universe to one day become a new beginning. A new start for light to pave the way once more.

At least, that’s what was supposed to happen. I didn’t know Jackson was sent by Father Nought, the king of darkness. I don’t even know if Jackson knew. But as I sat on the beach, my feet sinking into the sand as I sat cross-legged, calling the elements to me, absorbing their power, Jackson’s presence had an effect I wasn’t prepared for. As fire bloomed within my palm, and an orb of earth grew in my other hand, lightning streaked the heavens. The sky darkened, and a gloom spread over the seas. I had never done this ritual before, the last ritual, so I couldn’t have known something was wrong. My skin buzzed with the violent energy brewing around us. I opened my eyes, looking across the sands for one last glimpse at Jackson before I absorbed the life on this planet for it to be renewed. A scream ripped from my throat, replacing my calm, serene smile, as I noticed Jackson inches from my face, his eyes completely black, like a demon’s. As my power raged within me, Jackson grabbed my arms, his fingers digging into my bare skin as he brought his nose to mine. With smiling eyes and a voice that wasn’t his own, he sent shivers down my spine with his words. “My plans are different than Gaia’s. Instead of a world of light, I call forth one of darkness. She had her chance, now it’s my turn.”

Jackson’s head whipped up, and I watched with wide eyes as black, sulfur smelling smoke plumed out of his mouth. When he looked back to me, he did so with the green eyes I had come to adore. Tears welled in the corner of his eyes as he shook his head. “Jackson, what was that?” I asked, the ritual blowing through me and traveling across the earth’s surface in a powerful and eerie wind.

As the moon darkened to a bloody red, Jackson fell backward onto his butt and just stared at me, his mouth opening and closing as if he were struggling for words. I reached forward, shaking him.

“Jackson! What just happened?”

“He cursed the land. I saw the dead raising to eat the living. I saw monsters in the night. And I only saw violence, tragedy, and fear. I saw the end of our world.”