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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Hearth

The woman pointed to the stone hearth and Maddie sat, waiting for her to speak.

The space in the cottage was small, filled with any manner of things that would make it look as though it were the perfect Hollywood set as noted in a screenplay as “Int. Crone’s Cottage, night.” The only thing missing was the cauldron that should have hung over the flames in the open fireplace.

“Warrior child,” the woman said, and Maddie closed her eyes briefly. This woman was, perhaps, the only person in the world who still saw Maddie as a child.

“Warrior child, you’ve come a long way. What do you seek?”

“Grace,” Maddie said. “And peace. And hope.”

“These things. Are they lost?”

Maddie hesitated. “I hope not.”

 
 

Warmth

The last bit of summer was drifting away, the light faltering, colors turning to bronze and gold before the inevitable cold started to take hold.

Orange leaves on the dirt path, dulled by the coming darkness. She paused to look at her compass. She wondered if she’d ever get used to this, this constant reliance on outdated technology. Would that she could just carry an iPhone like normal people.

She slipped the compass back into its pocket and felt for the dagger at her hip. Still there. The path lead her forward.

Ahead, she knew, was a small cottage, older than any could possibly guess, where the woman lived. The hearth was warm there, she remembered, and the woman wise.

 
 

Woods

A small branch snapped under her foot and all other sounds, the night sounds, went quiet.

“Careless,” the voice said to her, not quite angry, just shy of taunting.

She stopped dead. It had been a very, very long time since she’d heard that voice. She began to fall.