Tasting Much Sweeter Than Wine

Daisy Fairchild

$ 3.99 USD

Previously published in our debut anthology Shackin’ Up

In the forest surrounding Eden’s Hollow, there’s magic brewing. Wren may not be magical herself, but when she finds herself lost under a canopy of trees, it’s the light of a small cabin that attracts her. On the other side of the door is an enchanting and intoxicating kind of spellcraft, brewed by the older woman she’s crushed on for years. If Wren thought the forest could be dangerous at night, she’s about to learn just what kind of good trouble she can fall into.

A short WLW fantasy story set in the original magical world of Eden’s Hollow.

Here,” Zorah says, suddenly in front of her, proffering the mug. It’s steaming, but it smells sweet, and Wren takes it carefully from her hand. Up close, Zorah is even more stunning, which is frankly unfair — people are supposed to get less perfect the closer you get to them, not more. She’s got to be well over six feet, which Wren knew that in the abstract, sure — it’s not like they’ve never met, not like she hasn’t known Zorah since she and her son and their extended family moved to Eden’s Hollow when Wren was a pre-teen. But being confronted with the reality of a blue-striped Amazon standing nude a foot in front of her is a different thing altogether.

Gay, Wren thinks nonsensically, I am so fucking gay.

“Were you heading back to town for the festivities?” Zorah asks, and Wren coughs into the sip she was taking, spluttering helplessly as Zorah whacks her firmly on her back, large hand covering a frankly stupid amount of Wren’s ribcage. 

“Yes,” Wren says eventually, wrapping her fingers around the mug in an attempt to hang on to her sanity. “I meant to, but I got turned around in the woods. I was collecting data, but then the sun went down, and I was still too high up the mountain, and then I was looking for the river, but I saw the lights in your windows, and—” She cuts herself off, cheeks flushing. “Yeah. Sorry.”

Zorah smiles, glancing again at the timepiece. “I’d offer to take you back, but I’m—” she gestures at the cauldron over the hearth and the worktop covered in assorted piles of herbs and other ingredients “—kind of in the middle of something time-sensitive here.”

Wren nods, pulling at the neck of her coat with her free hand. It feels like it’s getting exponentially hotter in here. “I understand. Do you have, like… a compass or something? I could probably find my way back if you point me in the right direction.” She shrugs, feeling incredibly self-conscious. Really, she’s lived here her entire life — how dumb does she have to be to get lost in the woods after dark?

“I don’t know if that’s a great idea.” Zorah bites her lip, and Wren’s knees go weak. She wants to bite Zorah’s lip for her, wants to pull it between her teeth and see if Zorah will make any noise. She’s still a full foot taller than Wren, striped, naked, and gleaming with a light sweat from the fire. It’s really more than she can be expected to cope with, Wren thinks, a nice, young, human lesbian like her. The universe is asking too much. 

“It’s already well after dark. It’s also the Solstice and a new moon.” Zorah lays a finger across her lips, thinking. “There’s really no telling what might be out there.

from “Tasting Much Sweeter Than Wine”

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