Three spheres comprised the world. The waters, the earth, and the skies. Upon first glance, it would seem that every creature lived in its own sphere. The creatures of the waters lived in the waters. The creatures of the earth lived upon or beneath the earth. But the world was not so sharply divided. And one of the spheres was not truly inhabited by any creatures.
The creatures of the skies did not live in the skies. They soared and fluttered, sometimes for long stretches of time, but a time would come when they need descend and perch.
Some creatures lived where these spheres meet. Some creatures lived part of their lives in one sphere and part in another.
Once, in a long-forgotten age, every creature could live in every sphere.
This was so because of an energy, a force that spun around and through the world.
The bear bore down on a wide-eyed little girl who swept a cloak of feathers over her shoulder and seemed to vanish. She didn’t really vanish. The little girl, whose named was Turtle, had transformed into a little blue bird that darted out from under the massive girth of the lunging beast. She swooped around and flapped and rose up into the air. On one side, the bird saw the silver harper playing her enchanted harp, trying to sooth the savage bear. On the other side was the giant, wider than three strong men, taller than a cornstalk. He wasn’t always so. He wasn’t always a giant. He was once a scrawny young man. The harper was once a traveling songstress. The bird-girl was once just a girl. All three were as they were now because of some magic beans. Continue reading
The little blue bird named Turtle flew over the same valley she had searched dozens of times over the past few moons. Something caught her eye and she alighted on a low branch of a beech. She had seen red. It was curious. She cocked her head to the left and the right. There was red dripping from the bushes below, smeared into the dirt. She might have thought it was blood if there hadn’t been so much of it that no creature could have shed that much. Save perhaps a giant. The thought made her ruffle her iridescent blue feathers. She heard voices in the woods. The voices of men. Of hunters. Turtle launched off the branch and swooped away.
It must have shattered or broken, falling from such a height, she thought. It must be gone. Her eyes were sharp, but even so, she had set herself an impossible task. She sought the tiniest of quarries in terrain covered with trees, rivers, lakes, and stone. For the flying Turtle sought a red bean.
Turtle kept her mouth clamped as the carriage she had been thrown into hit another bump. She had already bitten her tongue twice. She was certain she would have bruises on her legs, from knocking against something each time the carriage turned right. Her hands and feet were tightly bound, as was the sack into which she’d been stuffed. Her head and hands were on the bottom end of the sack. She had only managed to bring her hands up to cover her head.
Thus far, she had managed not to cry, and she took solace and courage from that thought. But as the carriage hitched up again, so came a hitch in her chest. She wanted to be a warrior someday. But this day, she was just a little girl…
He 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