Ghosts, faeries, sirens, and masters of illusion dance through these pages. There's a fine line between enchantment and desolation.
Lavender Dawn by Isabelle Santiago: She should have never let him kiss her. That first day, when she’d first laid eyes on him at the far end of the lavender fields– she’d known he wasn’t like anything else in this world.
Trickster by Lisa Asanuma: He traveled far from his home, wandering the desert, and finally found a rock that had fallen from the sky. He walked to the vast sea, which would not be carried with him however he tried, and found a dying stone creature in the shape of a star.
Siren Song by Isabelle Santiago: He stood upon the lake’s edge. His eyes became large, obsidian pools within the looking glass. “Let me see what lies beneath.” Persuasive kisses brushed across tense shoulder blades. His Delilah tempted him, again and again, with the searing electricity of her touch. “Change for me. I am not afraid.”
Lilly’s Bridge by Lisa Asanuma: I’d always known there was something strange about Lilly of course, how she never aged or went home or got dirty, but I’d thought she was magic, some kind of fairy, maybe. I’d never thought she might be dead.
Driftwood by Isabelle Santiago: Her song ripped tears from my eyes. My fingers clutched the sand. But it would not save me. Even if the ground opened and swallowed me whole.
Procession by Lisa Asanuma: I dreamed about the music after that. Not every night, but sometimes. I was sure it had been a fever-induced invention. Music like that wasn’t possible—or at least wasn’t anything I’d ever experienced before.
The Final Sacrifice by Isabelle Santiago: He wanted so badly to hold that hand. To rest that palm in his. He reached for it, grateful for the barrier. The moment his fingers touched the paper, it hardened into gold.
127 by Lisa Asanuma: When I saw the ship, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. A large, wooden vessel with a savagely beautiful mermaid carved into the bow, and a glimmer of gold, making the very wood gleam.
Lucid by Isabelle Santiago: He walked toward me with strong, purposeful steps that looked… felt… solid. Despite his non-existence.
Secret Cove by Lisa Asanuma: And for a moment he wanted to—to take her skin and hide it, like the men did in the old stories, make her his in every way he could.
Tales From the Hollow Tree is a free fiction blog by Isabelle Santiago and Lisa Asanuma, who switch off every Friday and share a free short story. This is a collection of ten Hollow Tree Tales, eight previously published on the blog, and two that are exclusive to this collection.