Worth Keeping

Rules by Cynthia Lord

On the next shelf are paint bottles and stacks of paper, everything from thick watercolor paper to flimsy sheets of jewel-colored tissue paper. And lots of things I’ve collected: shells, rocks, a tiny glass elephant, a blackened old skeleton key my grandmother found in a chest but which unlocks nothing. I kept it because I like how it feels in my hand, the heart shape of the top and the jagged teeth at the bottom, and because—Not everything worth keeping has to be useful.

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Her Royal Highness

Air by Monica Roe

“There she is!” Ale says suddenly. “Her Royal Highness,” I follow her pointing finger to the queen bee, bigger than the rest, with a cluster of other bees surrounding her like flower petals. I admit, I don’t always pay close attention when Ale goes on about her bees, but I know the queen is the boss of the whole hive.

Air by Monica Roe

Details

The Girl and the Witch's Garden by Erin Bowman

Everything was so well maintained. Looking it over again, she noticed a new detail: the paths that wove through the garden didn’t meander pointlessly. They formed a shape, the outline of a butterfly, just like the door knocker she’d rapped on the estate’s front steps.

The Girl and the Witch’s Garden by Erin Bowman

Jeweled Beetle

The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal

Even as he made the transmission, Biddle noticed movement on the radio. He held it farther from his face and saw an enormous beetle perched on the dial, beautiful, with shimmering faceted wings and silvery legs. If it hadn’t moved, he would have taken it for a jeweled trinket.

The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal