by Susanne Thomas
Trina and Carla sat at the bottom of the tree. Their axes rested next to them, glinting and sharp in twinkling lights from the festive decorations. They had two minutes before their next contest.
Every midnight brought new tests, a present from their father. Seven days had passed so far; the rings had almost killed them. The inanimate gold hoops had almost squeezed the life out of them both.
The clock struck midnight, and mist surrounded the Christmas Tree. Eight maids stood before them with wooden milking stools in hand.
Trina and Carla gripped their weapons; another round had begun.
Susanne Thomas reads, writes, parents, and teaches from the windy west in Wyoming. She’s an MFA graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello Creative Writing Program and she loves fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, poetry, children’s books, science, coffee, and puns.