True Love | Randi Hoekstra

Sitting at the kitchen table, I felt a little queasy. For the last few days, my hair had been coming out by the hands full.

I could hear the buzzing of the clippers as my husband prepared to cut off the patchy hair that remained. Soon, all traces of my dark curly locks would be gone. My head would be shiny and bald.

The buzzing stopped. As I felt the warmth of his lips touch the top of my naked head, I knew I could survive this cancer. Surgeries, chemo and radiation were no match for true love!


Randi is a 19-year survivor of breast cancer. She attributes her survival to the love of family and friends. This story is her first attempt at flash fiction. Previously, she has written for Press One in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She is currently taking her fourth “Life Stories Writing” class at UW Whitewater.

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/07/true-love-randi-hoekstra/

The Princess Who Married the Frog | McKenzie Richardson

He was awfully bossy for a frog.

“Let me eat from your plate.”

“Let me drink from your cup.”

“Let me sleep on your pillow or I’ll complain to your father.”

So sick was I of hearing his croaking frog-voice that I threw him across the room. Then poof, he was a prince.

Later renditions of our “romance” will say I kissed him. Don’t believe those.

He never said why he’d been cursed, just declared we’d wed and live happily ever after. But I am not a princess to be bossed around.

Perhaps another witch would do me a favor.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her flash fiction is featured in Black Hare Press’ anthologies, Oceans and Hate. She has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration, 433 Lighted Way. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/ | Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/04/the-princess-who-married-the-frog-mckenzie-richardson/

Midnight Magic | McKenzie Richardson

The old crone smiles down at the man before her, although she does not much like being called an old crone.

Sparkling blue wisps of magic, like berry-dyed mists, sweep around them, stirring the airborne snowflakes that reflect the winter moon.

She advises him not to think of it as a curse, but rather a gift. It’s all about perspective after all. In time he will grow to understand her words.

Then, with a final twitch of her head, she is gone, leaving the prince alone in the forest. It is now up to him to decide his own fate.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/04/midnight-magic-mckenzie-richardson/

Cold | McKenzie Richardson

Snow flowers fall from the darkening sky, shedding their pearly petals, which blanket the ground in a soft coating of purest white.

The tears on the woman’s cheeks freeze almost as quickly as they spill from her eyes, liquid born more from frustration than sadness. The puny fire slowly burns before her, but each flimsy flicker foretells its imminent demise.

Her hands, tucked snuggly beneath her arms for warmth, tremble at the thought of gathering more frozen branches in the darkness. She squints against the cold, glaring in the face of adversity.

She will survive this night in the woods.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/03/cold-mckenzie-richardson/

The Frost | Nascent Ederren

How I had missed that air of silent chill, and the glow of flame which carries through the mist of winters loving embrace.

Once full of green and life, the woods and fields seem devoid of all things, save for the majesty of pine and the unworldly glow of holly.

The silent sounds of the falling snow echo about the still and quiet world. A world bathed in white, sleeping yet living at the verge of life and death.

To the fire one returns, to drink and remember the year which passed. To celebrate what too will come.


You can find Nascent Ederren at: https://ederren.wordpress.com/home/

This post can now be found at: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/02/the-frost-nascent-ederren/

The Beginning of Winter | McKenzie Richardson

The moon glowed overhead like a skull freshly cleaned of its coverings, the dark night typical for this time of year, a blackness a person could get lost in.

Down the empty road ran two dim figures, shadows darting hand-in-hand. They were breathless when they reached the graveyard, heavy exhales spilling out like unfettered spirits.

The thin layer of an early snow crunched under their boots as they slipped through the gates. They say the veil between life and death is thinnest during Samhain. What better time to go looking for ghosts? You never know what you’re going to find.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/02/the-beginning-of-winter-mckenzie-richardson/

Blood Lines (IV) | McKenzie Richardson

This is the final part of McKenzie Richardson's story, Blood Lines.
You can read the previous parts here: Part I, Part II & Part III

Carter and Mariette spent the rest of the autumn celebration talking in the moonlit garden, connecting over the shared pressures of coming from such esteemed families.

Passersby might have been surprised to see the pale skin of a member of the Vanium family consorting with a Consalez witch. But the garden was thankfully empty.

“What are we going to tell our parents?” Mariette asked.

Carter was quiet for a moment, then confidently took her hand. “We’ll figure it out when we get there.” Mariette smiled and leaned her head against his shoulder.

Then the conversation returned to things more magical.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/02/blood-lines-iv-mckenzie-richardson/

Blood Lines (III) | McKenzie Richardson

To read Blood Lines (I), click here...
To read Blood Lines (II), click here...

If he’d had any blood in his veins, it would have rushed to his cheeks then. Did he just ask out one of the most powerful witches in the last century?

She stared at him, wide-eyed and speechless, then burst out laughing.

After a moment, Mariette wiped her eyes and composed herself.

“My apologies,” she said in a well-practiced stately voice. “Were you working up to saying that all night?”

Carter nodded, shamefaced. He turned to float back to his own side of the ballroom, but Mariette grabbed his hand.

“That’s really sweet. I’d love get to know you better.”

You can read the final part of Blood Lines by clicking here.

McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/01/blood-lines-iii-mckenzie-richardson/

Blood Lines (II) | McKenzie Richardson

To read Blood Lines (I), click here...

Without further contemplation, Carter allowed his feet to float him through the crowded room. All Hallows’ Eve was the biggest party of the year, the only time the Vanium family would be caught dead (or rather undead) at the same event as the Consolezes.

Carter glided past the dancefloor, displaying an impressive sharp-toothed smile in response to those who greeted him. But he did not allow himself to be detained for long.

Before he knew it, he stood before her. Mariette look up at him, confused yet curious.

“Will you go out with me?” he blurted in one shaky breath.

To continue reading Blood Lines, you can find part three here...

McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/04/30/blood-lines-ii-mckenzie-richardson/

Blood Lines (I) | McKenzie Richardson

Carter exhaled deeply, steadying his nerves. Today was the day. He was actually going to do it.

Across the ballroom, in a little alcove, he could see her: the dark-eyed Mariette Consolez, the eldest daughter of one of the oldest and most prestigious families in town. A witch well-known for her knack for divination.

And he was going to ask her out.

All of that would have been pressure enough.

But there was one other detail that complicated things even further. Carter came from the other most powerful family, a family of vampires.

And their families had a long-standing feud.

To continue reading Blood Lines, you can find part two here...

McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her work has been featured in various anthologies such as Mutate, Electromagnetism, and Doomsday, as well as online publications. Her first novel, Heartstrings, was published in 2018. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com For more updates on her writing, you can follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/  |   Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/04/30/blood-lines-i-mckenzie-richardson/