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Borrowed Wings  

by Jennifer Shelby 

            Darina discovered the wings of a luna moth in a scattered pile of leaf litter. At first she thought they must be the wings of some poor, dismembered fairy. After some research she knew better, but she couldn’t shake the feeling they were connected, somehow, to the Wee Folk.

            That summer Darina found wings everywhere. There were butterfly wings in parking lots, in ditches, and along the streets where she rode her bike; each one a grim memorial to a fragile being embedded in a grill or smeared across a windshield. She tucked them into paperbacks and pedalled them home, safe inside their literary sarcophagi.

            She captured her collection within the sticky pages of an old-fashioned photo album. She labelled them with slips of paper, recording the date, the place she found them, and each wing’s Latin name. She kept the pages on a bookshelf that sat above her bed and showed them to no one. They became Darina’s dark and special secret.

            One night in autumn she awoke to a flurry of half-broken fairies ransacking her bedroom. They wailed as they searched frantically for her collection of wings. Darina calmed the fairies with soft words and a lullaby. She bade them hold still while she worked with a bottle of glue, a sewing needle, and a thread of spider silk. One by one the fairies flitted off into the darkness, whole again on borrowed wings.



What I Write

I write imaginative speculative fiction, from flash to novella and beyond.


Zsezzyn, Who is Not a God – Metaphorosis magazine, June 2020

Just Enough for Jenny – Short Edition, April 2020

Parachutes and Grappling Hooks – Pulp Sci-Fi From the Rock anthology, March 2020

Dragon Crossing – All Worlds Wayfarer, December 2019

The Feline, the Witch, and the Universe – Space and Time magazine, December 2019

Last Night – Storming Area 51: Survivor Stories anthology, September 2019

Borrowed Wings (reprint) – Flights From the Rock anthology, June 2019

The Night Janitor – Unlocking the Magic anthology, March 2019

The Green Lady – Engen Books Flash Fiction/Flash Photography contest, November  2018

Toby’s Alicorn Adventure – Cricket magazine, September 2018

Lief the Story Hunter – Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo: Tales for Tired Tykes anthology, June 2018

Mrs. Coleman’s Backyard Refugee Camp – Andromeda Spaceways, September 2017

Borrowed Wings – Spaceports and Spidersilk, April 2016


My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

My goal is to write a new piece of flash fiction, short story, or chapter every week of the write-a-thon.

Fundraising Goals

Many of us are still in lockdown, but I hope to help Clarion West meet their goals by inviting writer friends to join, sponsor, and donate.

My Progress

I’m updating this twitter thread every day with what I’ve written:

At the half way mark, I’ve written five new stories and plotted out countless more I hope to write post-WriteAThon. Being assigned to a Flash Fiction Critique Group with prompts from the instructions has pushed my comfort zone, helped me focus, and done wonders for my summer productivity.


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