Only Fools Prevail

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Digital drawing. A composite image of two faces with a soft diagonal border between them, cutting from bottom left to top right. At top seen in left profile is a face looking down and having a pleasant almost smiling expression, short curly hair, and a high loose collar with edges curling down. At bottom is a face in three-quarters profile facing right, looking forward with a distant almost dreamy expression, short wavy hair, and a straight collar.

Once, there was a realm where scholarship was much admired and much desired.  A trickster fairy appeared one day and kidnapped the king, leaving behind a riddle that even the youngest child in the castle could solve before sundown.  The king’s highest advisor presented the answer.  The fairy, being bound by his own promise, had no choice but to return the king.  But he tried again, and again was thwarted by the learned and agile minds of the king’s subjects.  Yet he tried again…

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The Last Night of Grief

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Digital drawing. Facing forward, a creature with three dog-like heads with different colors of fur. The heads emerge from serpent-like necks from a central body with the top half of three legs visible, standing. All eyes are glowing. All the snouts are contracted as if growling. All ears are perked up. A forked tongue emerges from the head at right. Snake-like fangs drip a drop of venom from the head at left. Behind and above the heads, an armored segmented body is visible extended up out of frame. Extending down from top left of frame is a segmented spiked tail curling upward. Behind the creature is the opening of a cave.

“Before you kill us,” the philosopher said, standing before fangs dripping with searing venom and six pairs of blazing eyes, “let us ask you a question.”

The philosopher felt her heart beating within her chest.  She winced at the feeling.  It was not painful.  Just sad.  Her heart knew this was the moment of her death and it was still aching to keep her from it.   

All six of the creature’s eyes were on her, but she was most directly in front of one pair in one giant dog-like head.  She knew this one’s name.  This one was Lucte.  The name meant “grief.”

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A Realm Without Rain

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Digital drawing. Silhouette of a hooded figure seen from the back and from waist up, standing in front of a large window with twelve panes. Two glowing translucent wings, delicate like a fly’s, emerge from the figure’s back. The window is framed with dark fuzzy curtains. Outside, gray clouds loom overhead. A few spots of light and hazy shapes are visible past a haze of rain, falling at an angle. A few drops and trickles of water appear on the window glass.

“Tell me of your wanderings,” my sovereign said, as I bowed before them.

“I bring gifts and I bring tidings,” I said.  I gestured to the pallet of goods from the land I had recently visited. 

“Have you found a worthy place?” my sovereign asked, ignoring my gifts.

I raised my head, but kept my eyes lowered.  “Yes, sovereign.  Worthy, but…I encountered a great challenge.”

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