Silent Serpent Under Sea

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Digital drawing. A sea serpent, facing forward, floating in water. At right, near bottom, the head is directed downward. A crown of spiny fins extend from the back of the head and around the face. The serpent’s body extends up and then arcs down and loops to the left. The end of the tail is directed up to upper left corner and ends in spiny fins. Fins also arc along the top third of the serpent’s back, and one set closer to the tail. Some of the scales bear glowing marks that appear like characters or letters of an unreadable language.

“Some of the tunnels in other regions have been closed.  Some even filled in.  We’re lucky that the ones in our region have not.”

“The magic shoring up these walls is ancient, Gramps.  Are you sure it’s safe for us to be down here?”

“You’re the one who wanted me to bring you,” my grandfather said.  “Anyway, I thought young eyes would be sharper.”  My grandfather banged his fist against a seam of enchantment.  It glowed a bright turquoise in response.  New magic.  The afterglow softened to a whisper of pink that signified the ancient magic that I had just doubted.

My young eyes traveled up to the low arched ceiling of the tunnel, the transparent ceiling past which I saw nothing but darkness, and the occasional shadow flitting by, belonging to the strange and hardy creatures that somehow lived at the bottom of the deepest ocean.

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A Dream Unto Death

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Digital drawing. Sketch of a structure roughly shaped like a tree but made up of disproportionately sized animal bones. The trunk is the bones of an elephant leg. Sprouting from above the foot bones are curled horns, labeled at right “horns of a markhor?” At the top of the trunk are the bones of a human hand, fingers splayed out in the suggestion of tree branches. Extending from some of the branches are the bones of cat tails and bat wings, one at right labeled “bat wings.” Capping two finger bones are the skull bones of a penguin, labeled at left “penguin skull (reminiscent of plague mask).” A third penguin skull sits atop the bones of a cat’s tail. The sketch is labeled “Tree of Death” at the bottom. Above the title and to the left of the sketch is written the following in a calligraphic style: 25 October. Her dreams grow ever more frantic, ever more heinous. I have attempted a sketch based on the details gleaned from her latest nightmare.

13 September
“I’ve been summoned to your side,” I said, taking a seat in the chair beside her bed.  “In the hopes that I can help guide you back to the world of the living.”

She coughed, cleared her throat, smiled at me, and said, “I have been waiting for you.”

The waking dreamer was lucid on the day that I met her.  Though she was lying propped in her bed, she didn’t even appear weak or pale.  I was quite surprised.  But then I looked into her dark eyes and perceived in their depths a hidden truth, a weary soul, and a cautious calm.  She was indeed haunted by the journeys that her mind and even her body had made in the weeks prior.

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Panofus

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Panofus spoke the last words of the spell and flicked his raised fingers in the proper precise configurations.  As he did, another sudden quake struck the tower.  And the room filled with gasps and cries of fear.

One of the children in the group of unpracticed mages standing before Panofus pulled away from the old woman who was holding him.

“What about you?” the child asked just as he began to fade from view. Continue reading

Death and The Healer

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Death and The HealerOnce, long ago in an almost forgotten age, there lived a healer of great skill and great compassion.  Her name was Gwenmir, but she was known as the healer Wen.  The healer Wen became well-loved in her village for her skill at easing pain and healing wounds so severe that it seemed she would snatch people from the clutches of death at the last moment.  She stitched up flesh with the skill of a fine tailor.  She cooled fevers with herbs and special tinctures.  She mended broken and even shattered bones with potions from the inside and splints from outside.  News of her arrival raised hopes and lifted spirits.  The sight of her face was said to be like the sight of sunlight after a dark and fearful night. Continue reading