Free Fiction Thursday – Rolo the Great

Rolo webMagic mixes with everyday life in this charming tale of hope and determination.

Rolo the Great, a courtly, pint-sized peddler of tourist trinkets, has at last found the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately for Rolo, she’s trapped in the belly of a brass pig.

In a place where magic co-exists with the mortal world, how can one small man with no magic of his own hope to rescue a damsel in distress?

Worse still, what if she doesn’t want to be rescued?

This story is no longer available to read for free, but it can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Rolo the Great

Annie Reed

Rolo the Great owned the corner of Sussix and Wales. Or at least, that’s what he called it.

In reality, Rolo’s home turf was a six-foot wide strip of concrete sidewalk on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Madison Boulevard, just a mere two blocks from the tourist trap that was the fishermen’s and farmers market in Moretown Bay. Rain or shine, Rolo could be found on the corner hawking his wares, which this month happened to be spiral wires enchanted to sparkle in all the colors of the rainbow, with little trinkets of gold or silver jewelry or a small feather hanging off the ends. Given his courtly manner, not to mention more than his fair share of charm and wit and a smidgen of rugged good looks, Rolo was able to eke out a living by charming the ladies, tourists and locals alike. The spirals he sold were hair charms, which he was more than happy to show each lady how to wear, provided they bent down low enough for Rolo to reach their heads.

Rolo was only four foot tall, you see.

He wasn’t properly a dwarf or a halfling, and he was too tall to be a gnome. Whenever a potential customer was crude enough to ask him if he was an elf, he would happily brush back his unruly brown curls to show them his perfectly human-shaped ears, which meant he was also neither fairy nor nymph nor leprechaun. He was simply a somewhat short person who thought he was the King of England. In a past life, of course.

So it all made a certain kind of sense when he fell in love with a princess.

An enchanted princess.

Of course.

(end of sample)

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“Rolo the Great”

Copyright © 2014 Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Free Fiction Thursday – The Warrior Women of Apartment 3-C

Good morning, Internets!

This week’s Free Fiction Thursday story is a fun one I wrote for an anthology called SWORDPLAY. When I got the assignment, I knew nothing about swords — except that Aragorn used one in the Lord of the Rings movies and he looked pretty cool. *g* Then I found a legend about a particular sword, which triggered an idea, and off I went writing about The Warrior Women of Apartment 3-C. Hope you enjoy it!

The Warrior Women of Apartment 3-C

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed


Pre-wedding jitters drive the best of people temporarily insane.  My roommate, Wendell, wasn’t the most tightly-wrapped person to begin with.  When he showed me the sword he bought for his wedding ceremony, I thanked my lucky stars my room had a solid door and a working lock.  Just in case.

“You bought a sword,” I said, somewhat unnecessarily since the thing was right there on my couch in all its tarnished, ornate glory.

“Yeah, off eBay,” he said.  “Isn’t it cool?”

Wendell was deep in battle mode.  Again. In Wendell’s case, that meant blowing video game bad guys to smithereens from the comfort of his battered recliner.  A beer sat on the floor at his feet next to a bag of half-eaten microwave popcorn.  Wendell had moved his recliner to the exact middle of the living room, just far enough away from the television that I’d have to high jump over the controller cord if I wanted to cross in front of him to get to the kitchen.  Considering I didn’t jump — or skip or hop, for that matter — this pretty much guaranteed I wouldn’t be interrupting his game.

I was never very good at video games.  Wendell said that was because I was a girl.  As if.  I just didn’t care enough to spend hours and hours learning how to destroy things that didn’t really exist anyway.

Wendell, on the other hand, lived for video games.  Even so, ever since he and his girlfriend, Clara, had set their official wedding date, he’d been outdoing himself.  I guess he needed to stockpile time with his inner game geek before he moved out of my apartment and into Clara’s.  From what I’d seen, dear old Clara didn’t look like the type to put up with hours and hours of gaming every night.  That was the nice thing about being roommates.  I didn’t care how long Wendell zoned out in his computerized never-never land.  I had a television in my bedroom, so it wasn’t like he was hogging our only one.

I leaned over the couch and peered at the sword.  It was a pretty hefty thing, thick blade with some sort of design etched on the tarnished cutting edges and a deeper design carved into a dirty white hilt.  It looked old.  Really old.

What was he planning?  Wendell, and especially Clara, weren’t the type to dress up in medieval costumes for their wedding.  As far as I knew, their wedding attire would be boringly traditional all the way, complete with black tux, lacy white wedding dress, and bridesmaid outfits a drag queen wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” I said.  “But how could you afford this?”  Wendell wasn’t living with me just because I was such a stellar roommate.

“Got it cheap.  It’s just a replica.  Cost me more for shipping than it did to buy it.”

Cheap, huh?  That sounded like something that would attract Wendell.  But why would someone want to unload a sword so bad they’d eat everything except the shipping charges?  The sword didn’t exactly look like a replica.  Did replicas tarnish?  And what was that reddish-brown stuff in the deeper crevices of the hilt?  Could that actually be dried blood?

“So,” I said, drawing the word out.  “How are you going to… incorporate… this thing into the ceremony?”  It was probably wishful thinking to hope that Wendell planned to use the sword on Clara right before she said, “I do,” but a girl can dream.

(read the rest of the story here)