The Curse of the Tooth Demon

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In those days, there were doctors of teeth already, just as there are now.  And in those days, the doctors of teeth were avoided by most, just as they are now.  The doctors did their best, just as they do now, the good ones that is.  One such doctor of teeth did his best, but failed to root out the deep infection that had taken hold in his patient’s mouth, an infection that had seeped from the teeth to the gums to other teeth, and then began creeping to the patient’s brain and his heart.  The man—the patient—was past middle age but not yet old.  He died of that infection.  A painful and bloody death. Continue reading

The Mora

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It was a time when dragonflies could flutter all the way up to the moon, when the flickering of a hummingbird’s wings was faster than lightning.

It was a time when the growl of thunder signified the coming of a catastrophe, a cracking of the earth, a roiling of the seas, a shuddering of the heavens.

It was a wild time.

And into this time was born a creature that her mother called Mora.

*** Continue reading

The Cosmic Hourglass

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The Cosmic Hourglass was not truly an hourglass.  It measured time in eons, not hours.

Much was contained with the Cosmic Hourglass.  Much sand was contained within the Cosmic Hourglass.  The sands of time.  And each grain of time was allotted to the elements of mortal life.  And so, some said, there were many sands within the Cosmic Hourglass.  The sands of sleep.  The sands of destiny.  The sands of joy.  And the sands of sorrow.  And a multitude more of sands. 

All that could be perceived, known, and felt by mortals was contained within the Cosmic Hourglass. Continue reading

The Traveler and Her Three Shadows

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When the world was made, every person was given one and only one shadow, but one of the beings who were assigned to be caretakers of the world decided that he would give a gift to his people.  Their lands were rich with life and their songs to him were sweet.  So he decided that he would give each of them an extra shadow. Continue reading

The Forest of the Dasollagi

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“Wait until you are within the borders of the forest before you open the box, else you have failed before you have begun.”

With those words, the schoolmaster turned away and left Naji alone before the borders of the forest.

Naji entered the forest with no other possessions but that box, as the test required.  He carried no water, no food, no clothing but what he already wore, no bedroll, nothing to trade or barter with.

But that is what he had chosen.  A box.

*** Continue reading

A Handbook of Universal Truths

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I glanced at the clean white bandage wrapped around her left hand and a good ways down her wrist.

“It’s going to be all right,” I said.  “I’m here to help.”

The steely-eyed woman sitting across from me in the booth gave a single nod.  She wasted no time on small talk and launched straight into her first question.

“The Axiom Enchiridion, ever heard of it?” Continue reading

The Thief, the Fairy, and the Raven

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The thief fell from the tower’s upper window.  She had lost her precarious grip on the pitted brick.  She remembered that she should roll herself up into a loose ball to protect her head and neck.  But by the time she remembered, she had already struck the first branch of the tree in the orchard below.  Then she struck another and another.  Scratched and thrashed and bounced about, she finally reached the ground, thankful that the soil was soft.  She lay there for far too long a moment.  The breath had been knocked out of her.  And she feared moving for fear she might discover that she could not. Continue reading