The Ace of Pumpkins

Standard
Digital drawing. At center, a woman facing forward, seen from waist up, sitting at a table. Her face is in three-quarters profile facing right. She looks forward with right brow and the right corner of her mouth raised. Her bent right arm rests on the table in front of her. Her left hand is raised beside her, holding a fork with a piece of food on the tines. On the table in front of her is a plate full of food. In front of the food is a name card with partially visible letters that say “Ace of Pumpkins.” At left is a small hourglass and two wine glasses. At right is a folded napkin wrapped in a band and a bowl filled with liquid, and with flowers, flower petals, and a bundle of herbs floating within.

Four High Houses ruled the great city.  All the other houses were left to vie for their favor—whether the lower houses liked it or not.  The Ace of the House Pumpkins had been invited to dinner at the House of Clovers. 

It was a custom, a tradition of the house, to invite one and only one guest from among the lower houses.  And it was a custom for this guest to be the guest of honor at the dinner.

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A Carnival of Cakes

Standard
Digital drawing. Background, a two-layer round chocolate cake with a slice cut out, with orange frosting, chocolate glaze on top and dripping down the sides, and overlapping round orange slices wrapped around the bottom. Tall glowing triangles of sugar candy crown the top. Foreground left, a square piece of two-layer cake with sprinkles, frosted with whipped cream, topped with three berries in a diagonal, and sprigs of tiny leaves. Foreground right, a square cake seen from top and along on corner, with frosting piped at the bottom and top borders. The word “Farewell” is written on the top. The word “Level” is written on the visible sides. A shadowy hand emerges from right and reaches for the cakes. Another hand grasps the first at the wrist.

On the eve of the winter solstice, ever since I can remember, my brothers and I have played a game that only we can play.

It’s because we made it up.  We made it up together.  I would have let my brothers decide everything.  I was the littlest.  I didn’t know as much as they knew.  I didn’t know anything.  But they told me that was the point.  No one knew anything in the beginning of their journeys.  They only started knowing things by going on the journey.  By making decisions before they even knew what the right decision was.

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