Starling and Leveret

Standard

“Is it true that you once beat Hare in a foot race?  It can’t be true.  But is it true?”

Tortoise sighed.

He continued walking along as the little black bird flapped around him.  She landed on a nearby branch.

“I’ve heard that you’ve seen the world from above as a bird does when she’s flying.  Is that true?  How did you do it?  It can’t be true.  But is it true?”

Tortoise sighed again.  But he also smiled.

Starling was young and eager.  But she was also persistent.  And she was also perceptive.   She noted the smile on Tortoise’s face.  She understood what it meant.  He had expected her to grow tired of asking him the same questions day after day.  But she had done so for five days now.  Perhaps he would deem her worthy enough to deserve some answers to her questions. Continue reading

Lexinkeo

Standard

“Me for?  For…me…only?  No, not.  For all.”

Quin peered at the man who was her mentor, her friend, and now, her charge.  It was late, and they were both tired.  But she believed that she understood what he was trying to say, as he took in the flurry of effort that was being directed toward the singular aim of helping him.

Just me? he was saying.  What about everyone else?

She had learned to listen to more than just his words in the five years that she had been studying with him, or rather, he had taught her to listen to more than just his—or anyone else’s—words. Continue reading

The Piecemeal Cake

Standard

“By accepting this challenge when you are so obviously unready for it, you are jeopardizing the peace meal—“

“No, you’re jeopardizing the peace meal,” Jae said, as she took a step toward her challenger.  “By your obvious poor example of what peace means.  There is no graciousness or humility in your demeanor.  There is no generosity or compromise in your attitude toward those who have been chosen—or even those who did the choosing.  By questioning me, you are questioning, doubting, and disrespecting those who chose me.”  Continue reading

Lost and Found at the Hotel Gloaming

Standard

I noticed the magician when he slipped in behind the last person to enter the golden-walled elevator, and I sucked in a breath.  I held it, half-subconsciously, as if it would make me invisible to him.  It did not.  I started feeling thudding of my heart as soon as he started turning to people, one at a time, handing them scraps of paper, touching their hands.  I exhaled when he turned to me and handed me a scrap of paper too.  He grinned and told me what I was supposed to do the next time he called upon me. 

When he turned away, my gaze began to dart around the tiny box in which we were all trapped, looking for a way, any way, out.  I glanced up.  I glanced at the large tall man whom I could easily hide behind, if he weren’t so far away.  I saw no way out, and so I took a deep breath and braced myself for when the magician’s attention would once again return to me. Continue reading