It had been lying on the concrete inside the white stripe of paint that delineated the parking spot he’d taken. And when Rix opened the door to step out of his car, his left foot landed beside it. It glinted in the noon sun as if newly minted. It certainly looked newly minted, but it couldn’t be. He marked the year on the coin. It was the year he was born. Rix smiled a little and put the coin in his pocket.
The Horn of Plenty it is also called, for in ancient times, when gods walked the earth and magic was as common as pebbles are now, it provided a never-ending supply of fruit and grain.
Rare is the bard who knows and can sing of the Cornucopia’s true legend. They would sing that after his victory against the Titans, who ruled the earth before him and his kin, Zeus was in such high spirits, in such a mood to celebrate his triumph, that he turned to one of the great golden rams who served to draw his chariot and he broke off one of their horns. With his godly powers, he hollowed the horn and commanded it to produce fruits and flowers and nuts and grain for all the gods and all mortals on the earth to eat and enjoy. For Zeus had just become king of thunder and lightning and sky. King of the heavens.
“It is our task to maintain balance,” the god in the gray robes said. He lifted his head up, even though he was half again the sword-smith’s height. He cast his gaze downward.
The sword-smith knelt before the god and bowed his head. When he raised it again, his eyes were full of grief and disbelief. “How can one woman threaten the balance of the world?”
The gray god’s brow creased slightly. “Many ways. By questioning the gods for one, as you do now.”
The sword-smith bowed his head again. “I only seek to understand.”
“It is not your place to understand the will of the gods. Only to accept it.” The gray god’s voice was soft. His tone gentle. But the sword-smith would later remember that it was the first time he heard something else in a god’s voice. A tremor. Of doubt.
Zia had a singular passion, and she believed, a destiny, to play guitar. She began playing when she was twelve years old. She’d asked for a guitar for her birthday, hoping for an electric. Her father bought her a steel-stringed acoustic instead. Seven years later, she bought herself a blue electric guitar and named it Duke. Zia was a talented guitarist, but her talent didn’t hold a candle to that of her friend Edie, whose instrument of choice was the fiddle. Thick as thieves, peas in a pod, cosmic sisters were they, even after one of them sold her soul to the Devil.
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Storyfeather Year One, Copyright © 2014 Sanjay Patel.
This week’s story will be posted by midnight Sunday, November 9.
In today’s post, I want to thank everyone who read even one of the fifty-two stories I have posted thus far on Storyfeather. Thank you for your time and your interest. Thank you for supporting my dream. Thank you for being part of Storyfeather, Year One!
A story a week for a year. That was the challenge I set for myself when I launched Storyfeather in November 2013. I actually did it! And I will keep going. The fun, the frustration, the sleep-deprivation, the awkwardness of explaining to others what that deadline is that I have every week, the last-minute scramble to revise and edit and to conjure an image, the victorious nod and dopey smile when I post yet another story…it is all worth it. I hope to add a few more elements to the site in the second year, such as a store. Some of that is in progress. In the meantime, I’ll stare at the above image and pat myself on the back for just a while longer.
The above image is a picture I took of artwork created by Sanjay Patel to commemorate Storyfeather’s one-year anniversary. Each image block represents one of the stories from the first year in the order it was posted. A lot happened in the year one stories. Magic beans, a portal in a boy’s stomach, a journey to the afterworld, aliens, furies, telekinesis…
Here’s to seeing what year two brings.
Long Live Stories!
Where is the red one? Where did it fall?
The little blue bird named Turtle flew over the same valley she had searched dozens of times over the past few moons. Something caught her eye and she alighted on a low branch of a beech. She had seen red. It was curious. She cocked her head to the left and the right. There was red dripping from the bushes below, smeared into the dirt. She might have thought it was blood if there hadn’t been so much of it that no creature could have shed that much. Save perhaps a giant. The thought made her ruffle her iridescent blue feathers. She heard voices in the woods. The voices of men. Of hunters. Turtle launched off the branch and swooped away.
It must have shattered or broken, falling from such a height, she thought. It must be gone. Her eyes were sharp, but even so, she had set herself an impossible task. She sought the tiniest of quarries in terrain covered with trees, rivers, lakes, and stone. For the flying Turtle sought a red bean.
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