Puffin Queen

by Jordan E. McNeil and Kat Weaver

Just below the coastal cliffs, the young queen tends to her subjects. Bids them good morning, inquires about their fishing, listens to their concerns. Though the birds’ concerns are few nowadays, the elder puffins remember a time before the kind-hearted queen—when hungry locals would scale the rocks to pillage their nests. A time when their continued existence was uncertain.

But then the queen came. She stood up for the puffins, helped the locals develop better, sustainable methods of filling their empty bellies, so that they all could survive and live in harmony. And they have, for many years since.

So now when she asks about concerns, the puffins have none, and instead bestow upon their queen gifts—of strong sticks and colorful coral—for they will be forever grateful for all she has done.


© Copyright Jordan E. Neil and Kat Weaver

Jordan E. McNeil [she/her] writes fairytales, rages at videogames, and takes selfies with goats. Her work can be found (or is forthcoming) at Arsenika, Liminality, and Sad Girl Review, among others. She can be found on Twitter, @Je_McNeil, and at Patreon.com/JordanEMcNeil.

Kat Weaver’s illustrations can be found in Lackington’s, the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows anthology, the American Historical Association’s magazine, and elsewhere. Her portfolio website is http://kathrynmweaver.com, where you can also find her written publications. Her novella, co-written with her wife Emily, is forthcoming from Neon Hemlock in 2022. They live in the Twin Cities with their two birds.

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