The Union of the Spyglass

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Digital drawing. Composite image. Center, a floating island wreathed with glowing clouds, surrounded by a wispy net of light. Behind the island, a circle encloses a partial view of the moon at top and a night sky. Encasing the circle is a square, showing the same view of the sky. Top right corner shows bolts of lightning. Top left corner shows colorful sparks of light. Along the bottom stand a row of twelve people seen in silhouette from the back, each person holding one hand on the shoulder of the person standing next to them. This square is flanked by thin panels. The right panel at bottom depicts a partially constructed ladder beside a support tower. The left panel shows a spyglass or telescope angled to view the floating island. A final set of panels flanks the rest of the image. The scope extends into the final left panel. Thick gray fog or clouds appear at bottom. At right middle, three smaller floating islands are chained together with bridges. The sky above displays colored gases. At left, a net of light extends and expands from one corner of the island. A larger overlay of the circle showing the sky and moon sits to the left of the whole image. A smaller overlay sits to the right.

Not in the beginning, but early in the history of the world, many mortals suspected that the ones who called themselves gods were shirking their duty of properly governing the world.  Some responded by entreating the gods.  Others by railing against them.  

But a few decided to try answering the question of what it was that the gods spent their time doing if they were not doing what was expected.  

It was known that the gods lived far above the earth and somewhere below the stars.  Their abode was not visible to mortal eyes, but if human sight could be extended, perhaps human eyes could see the comings and goings of the gods, and follow their course to where they landed in the mortal earthly realm. 

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The Once-God Rampion

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Digital drawing of a person seen from the back walking away. The person is barefoot and wearing a flowing skirt or dress. Wavy and curling strands of hair in different muted colors flow outward and back from the head, entirely obscuring the top half of the body. One strand on either side is connecting to the tops of trees and appears to be absorbing the trees. A strand on the left is connected to a purple flower with five petals, a rampion bellflower. Hazy foliage frames the image's bottom half.

She was far too kindly, and therefore looked upon with disdain by her fellow gods.  The other gods feared that the balance of power was being tipped too much toward mortal creatures, to whom the kindly god had given many gifts.  The kindly god argued that what she had given the mortal creatures shifted the balance by such an infinitesimal degree that all the gods could give what little she had given to the mortals, or else she could give all her power, and it still would not equal what the gods possessed. 

To teach her a lesson, the other gods diminished the kindly god by half.  

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The Waking of J

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And then he woke up.

He huffed out a breath and gasped.  He was covered in sweat, even though the room was cool.  His eyes were still shut, but he felt the wetness gathered at the rims of his eyelids.  He squeezed and a tear rolled down from the corner of his eye and wet the outer rim of his ear.

Right away, he calmed.  The intensity of whatever emotion he’d been feeling that brought him to tears just vanished. Continue reading

The Telescope of True Sight

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Telescope of True Sight Image 3“Ours is a family of seers,” Gran would say, before she began one of her tales.  “But like everyone we can choose whether to look or not to look.”

Then she would tell us, a varied collection of her grandchildren, of what she had seen when she chose to look.  We’d listen raptly as she told us stories about all the odd items in her collection of treasures from her life.  She had the usual things that people had: birth certificate, diplomas, love letters from Grandpa, pictures of her children and grandchildren, books, trophies, vacation souvenirs, and so on.

But she also had things that people typically did not have: a petrified dragon scale, pearlescent flecks from a unicorn horn, a shard from the sword of a giant, a seed from a long-extinct and legendary talking tree, and so on.  Every odd treasure of hers had a story to it.  And every story was an adventure from her own life. Continue reading

The Green Magic Bean

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Green Magic BeanHe was a peasant, the son of a farmer but not a fair farmer himself.  After his father’s death, the farm had produced little worth selling at market.  Still, his mother sent him on that day with some vegetables she had grown in her garden.  Sickly looking turnips and dried out carrots no bigger than his little finger.  He never made it to market.  For on the road, he was waylaid by a stranger who offered him a better price for his wares than he thought he could ever get at market.  The boy accepted the offer.  He thought himself clever, and he dreamed of how delighted his mother would be when he returned home with five magic beans. Continue reading