Mythical Drabbles: ‘Come Play’ by Gabriella Balcom

Today’s Mythical Drabble by Gabriella Balcom is based on Japanese folktales of the river-dwelling kappa. Enjoy!

Come Play

Gabriella Balcom

Nine-year-old Fumio heard splashing and ran toward the Mogami River. Glimpsing children playing in the water, he smiled. But his eyes widened when he neared them and saw their yellowish-blue skin.

Although small, the beings in front of him weren’t even human. They had monkey faces, wore turtle shells on their backs, and had liquid-filled depressions on the top of their heads.

“Come play,” they said, beckoning to him.

Fumio hesitated, biting his lip, but their laughter and friendly smiles reassured him, and he waded into the river.

The kappa surrounded him. After cucumbers, children were their next favorite food.

Gabriella Balcom lives in Texas, works in a mental health field, and writes fantasy, horror/thriller, romance, sci-fi, and more. She loves great stories, forests, mountains, and back roads, and has a weakness for lasagna, garlic bread, tacos, cheese, and chocolate. She has had 240+ works accepted for publication, and was nominated in 2020 for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award. Gabriella won second place in JayZoMon/Dark Myth Company’s 2020 Open Contract Challenge, and her novelette, Worth Waiting For, came out recently. Her book, On the Wings of Ideas, and novelette, “Free’s Tale: No Home at Christmas-time” came out in 2020, and two other novellas pend publication. Her Facebook author page:

Work published with INSIGNIA STORIES

Mythical Creatures of Asia (Insignia Drabbles Vol.3.)


Mythical Beings of Asia (Insignia Drabbles Vol.4.)

Read more Mythical Drabbles here

Featured Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

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