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  • Writer's pictureΜαρία Βερμίσογλου

Portals are Messy Sneak Peek

In December, a Greek magazine published my short witchy story. It won the first place and was featured in their magazine. It was the first time one of my stories was published in a magazine. I was so proud.

They even had someone narrate my story with cool sound effects. Sadly, it is only in Greek, but below, you can read the full story in English.

If you want to take a look/listen to the story, anyway:

Portals are Messy

It was a snowy evening of December, cloaked by the darkness of the skies.

I caressed the cat on my shoulder as I gazed at the snowflakes out the window. With a wave of my hand, the backpack settled on my shoulders. “Ready to go, Una? The other witches will be waiting for the annual feast in Ellisstone Covert. It’s a pity Freya won’t join us, but the promise must be honored.”

I hovered over the deep snow, relishing the stillness of the silence. The heart of the oak tree blinked when I pressed it, and the cloak of rainbow lights skyrocketed in the sky. A gurgling sound assaulted my ears, and the earth quivered.

Una meowed loudly.

Something was wrong.

A tower of colorful packages dropped at my feet before the portal faded.

Flames melted the snow around my feet as I clenched my jaw. “So much for my holiday.” I glared at the sky. “Freya, it was your turn and you know it!” No one answered, but a paper flew into my hand, inscribed with a date. “And it’s two days before Christmas. How am I supposed to make it in time?” I snapped my fingers, and the presents piled inside a woven basket. “So typical of Freya to ditch her responsibilities. I’m sorry, Una. It looks like the holidays will have to wait.”

After covering the East side of the world, dropping presents in the houses of the unaware sleepy residents, I halted.

It was the middle of the night, I was on duty instead of partying and on top of that, the screeches in the corner betrayed the presence of demons.

"Freya, if I see you again, I will kill you."

As on cue, a heart made of light frizzed, revealing a witch with a playful expression on her face. "Hey, sis."

I squeezed my hand in my pocket. "What's up? You dumped your duty on me, Freya!" Sparks cracked the pavement. "It's not a joint effort. A witch shall deliver the presents every year on her own!"

Freya smiled. "Demons have drastically multiplied, Holly. I can't fight and deliver at the same time." She threw some glittering dust at the corner and smoke covered us. "What do you say, sis?"

Freya was right, but that didn't mean I was a fan of her plan. I sighed. "Fine. I'll deliver and you fight them off. You're more creative."


Freya ignored the voices and read from a long list. "The west side is tricky since there are a few clusters of demons, but you're fast. I finally learn how to—"

"—talk less, deliver faster." I hauled Freya away from the demon, who pounced on the sidewalk.

Freya threw wooden cubes that circled the demons.

"Run!" Freya urged, and they rushed in the empty roads. The explosion shook the entire block. "More are coming! Next bunch of deliveries are through these streets. I'll cover for you. Be fast."

Freya climbed on top of a bike. She clapped and toys bounced around her. "Who wants to play with me?"

I left her to distract the demons with the exploding toys and weaved my way through the lines of houses. I flew on each roof, sending each present into a different location.

The Aurora Lights shone brightly one last time on Christmas Eve before the sun shooed it away. As I sent the blue package with the pretty wrapping to settle on the mantelpiece, my breath fogged the misty air. "We made it. I can't believe we delivered all the presents in less than twenty-four hours."

"Isn't that great?" Freya wiped her hands on her pants and grinned. "I can't wait to see the smiles on their faces."

The lights of the house across from us lit up and the rushed footsteps of children seeped into my ears.

"Look, mom! The Christmas witch came after all. Just a day late!"

Thank you for reading. I wish that 2023 brings you great beginnings and many lovely things. Stay magical! ~ Maria

Maria Vermisoglou is an International Bestselling author of fantasy and paranormal with an obsession for witches. She loves throwing her heroes into impossible situations. Maria draws inspiration from books, travel, and…the ceiling. (So blame the ceiling!)

Maria started writing when the stories she read became too boring and the voices in her mind too loud.

When she's not writing, she loves a good ride on the fantasy dragon, but a book can also be exciting, along with a cup of tea.

Nowadays, you can find her in Athens, exploring the mysteries of the ancient world.

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