“There is no cure,” the baker said as she peered into the mage’s eyes.
Joanie loved her gramps, but she most certainly did not love clowns. Still, as she sat against the wall of the playroom that her grandfather had made for her, she held onto the little clown doll with the dark fuzzy hair at the sides of his head, the tiny purple hat on his bald head, the blue shirt, and the red pants, and the ever-smiling face.
She waited for him to answer her questions.
Some years—not every year—fierce winds blow from the north, and the old folk mutter about the ride of the indestructible king. And they cast about their narrow-eyed glances at those who might have summoned such winds, by taking something they shouldn’t have.
The tale is not such an old one. Here it is told.
The baker and the blacksmith were gathered around the inn’s fireplace on a frozen blustery night. The fire was roaring and the wooden pillars from which the inn was built were stout and sturdy. Yet with every patron who entered, a sweep of snow and a shock of chill air barged in. It was late, and most patrons had retired to their rooms. But some remained in the common room, finishing the last of their hot mead or a late meal. Or hoping that the innkeeper would overlook it if they fell asleep by the hearty fire instead of retiring to their frosty chambers.
“Mars, help me. Help me, Mars.”
Betty Garimonde wasn’t dead. Mars could see the slight rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Her body was so frail that when he lifted it, it felt as if all her substance were gone, and he was only lifting her skin and her bones. The light, not just sunlight, but even the light of the torches, seared her skin, so that Mars had to keep her covered from head to toe with a cloth. She looked even more so like a corpse when he did. Maybe she was close to being one. So there was nothing to lose now.
“What do you think, Spencer?”
“Doesn’t it belong to the people that live in this area? Inherited from their ancestors?”
“The ancestors of the people that made this lived far, far from here, my boy.”
There are people in this world worth saving.
Zoe repeated the mantra to herself as she gingerly pulled the sheet away from the skin of her back. Her back was aching, itching, burning, roiling, and writhing.
There are people in this world worth saving, she thought to herself again. There are people in this world worth saving.
“It is me, or does it look like it’s breathing?”
Raj placed a hand on his pointed cap to keep it from falling off as he looked up the trunk of the most immense tree he had ever seen in his life. It would probably take fifty kids to stand around it and hold hands to surround the trunk. He gulped. Meg was right. It did look like it was breathing. Maybe it was just because of how big it was. Looking up at it was dizzying. That might have been what was making the tree look like it was breathing. At least, Raj hoped so.
This week’s story will be posted by midnight on Sunday, November 6. This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s third year.
Thank you to everyone who read even one of the fifty-two stories I posted during the third year. Thank you for your precious time and your interest. Thank you for supporting my dream. Thank you for being a part of Storyfeather, Year Three!
Year Three was a challenge. The overarching theme I was aiming for was the elements and the senses, in stories inspired by and often in the form of myth and legend.
In an effort to improve my drawing skills (and further serve the stories), I joined the Inktober challenge, drawing and inking one image every day for the month of October. The Sunday images were Storyfeather-related. Now that there are over 150 stories on the site, I hope to do a bit of re-organizing to help with navigation. I also hope to do release the Storyfeather podcast in the coming year, to provide an audio version of each story. As the site develops, the core challenge will remain the same, a story a week.
A lot happened in the year three stories. Stars were incubated in the hearts of humans, a tortoise raced a cheetah, someone escaped from the underworld, a potion was brewed, a divine drop of blood was guarded, and an inventor made a map that could lead to realms unknown…
Here’s to seeing what Year Four brings. Thanks again, Mighty Readers.
Long Live Stories!
We think of them as separate. We learn of their natures when we are but small children. Fire burns. Water flows. Earth turns. Air blows.
But as we grow older, we learn that the natures of the great elements are not so separate.