WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!
this explanation/intro will be posted before each day’s short story. scroll down to get to the story-review.
this is the FOURTH year of me doing a short story advent calendar as my december project. for those of you new to me or this endeavor, here’s the skinny: every day in december, i will be reading a short story that is 1) available free somewhere on internet, and 2) listed on goodreads as its own discrete entity. there will be links provided for those of you who like to read (or listen to) short stories for free, and also for those of you who have wildly overestimated how many books you can read in a year and are freaking out about not meeting your 2019 reading-challenge goals. i have been gathering links all year when tasty little tales have popped into my feed, but i will also accept additional suggestions, as long as they meet my aforementioned 1), 2) standards.
if you scroll to the end of the reviews linked here, you will find links to all the previous years’ stories, which means NINETY-THREE FREEBIES FOR YOU!
reviews of these will vary in length/quality depending on my available time/brain power.
so, let’s begin
The strength of the pride is in the many. Split us apart and we are nothing, but together—oh, together—there is nothing we cannot bring crashing and spouting to earth.
this is pure brooke bolander goodness. every time i see her name on a story, i’m pretty confident i’m going to dig it, and this one was no exception. a fairytale reversal where the ‘monsters’ are three dinosaur sisters—They lived in a wood together, they stole sheep and cattle together, and all in all, there was no tighter-knit hunting pride of matriarchal dromaeosauridae between the mountains and the sea.
when a shiny blond prince who is too unimaginative and coddled to recognize danger wanders into their forest, the sisters’ formidable hunting prowess is stymied by his lack of fear, and the youngest sister decides to investigate the matter; allowing the prince to take her back to his place, so she can determine if there’s some bigger threat headed their way.
once in the kingdom, she suffers the indignity of being stabled like a beast, playing nice while she’s taking stock of the situation. she meets the prince’s betrothed; an intelligent and powerful woman underestimated and reduced to an ornamental caregiver for prince dum-dum.
the two have much in common, and much to discuss.
it’s a story about the wrong people in power, the snowballing of uninformed decisions, of fast-grown confidence, and how cats can never be fooled. it’s a fairytale with a happy ending…for some, and even a lesson or two, if dum-dums can be taught.
and it’s got all those great bolander lines:
Humans are very soft and spook easily. One brush with fangs in the dark and they bruise like dropped peaches, never understanding that life is a series of extinction events barely avoided.
this is a delicious and humorous story, and i’m so glad to be back on the short story project!
read it for yourself here: