Once upon a dark and stormy evening, in a small cottage,
there sat a lonely story teller. She was as dazzling
and radiant as the noontime sun, so fair was she that
no one but her blind father could concentrate while
near her. She dutifully learned what few stories he
could teach her, but could find no one able to teach
her more. Her beauty was so great it caused any man
and woman to stare speechlessly. To her it appeared
as if they were listening, caught in the spell of her
father's stories. Obliviously, she lived with the
fear that soon she would have no stories left to tell.
Indeed, she only had only a few left. It was upon that
cold and blustery night that a small dragon unlatched
her front door and walked in.
Her range of stories didn't tell her what to expect from
small dragons that visit in the night. Though she had a
good idea that it would involve the death of numerous
knights before she herself was eaten, or rescued.
"Hello," she said, with some trepidation, "can I get you
something? A drink or a story? What would please you?"
The dragon just curled up near her hearth and watched her
through half closed eyes. She edged towards the door,
but thought better of it when the dragon snapped his tail
So, despairingly, she sat down across the room from the
beast, where she nervously fumbled with the ends of her
braided hair. The weight of the dragons eyes laid upon
her like the cast iron kettle hanging in the palace hearth.
She feared that she would soon be eaten or carried off into
the storm at any moment. She cried, until she remembered
that her father would tell her stories in the night to calm
her frequent nightmares. Out loud, she began telling The
Raven's Tale, one that always warmed her heart, to pass the
time and take her mind off her fate.
She told the tale as she never had before, putting the
last of her energy and life into the characters, making
them almost real enough to touch, real enough to know.
So wrapped up in her story that she forgot about the
dragon, and the cottage. She was there, alive in her
story, in the raven's world. As she neared the end,
it dawned on her what had happened. Confused and dis-
oriented, she lost consciousness, worn out from the
effort of forging a world and living in it. Back in
the cottage, her body slumped in her chair, The Raven's
Tale left unfinished. Through it all the dragon sat,
watching her, blinking only rarely. When the storm
subsided, the dragon lifted his green body from the
cold hearth and let himself out.
(to be continued...)
It was the cold that woke me, I think. I opened my eyes to
a world I didn't recognize, to a place I'd never been before.
I've always lived on another plane, in another realm.
Occasionally other minds touched mine, reaching into my
fairy-tale world. One story-teller in particular felt very
real to me; I felt as though I knew her as well as she knew
me. She wove words wonderfully well!
The last time I felt that story-teller's presence in my world
was the night before I woke up here. She seemed somewhat
frightened at first (I received the mental impression of an
angry dragon, somehow), but she gradually relaxes as she spun
my story for whomever was listening to her. It's odd, though -
I don't remember her leaving my mind that night...
That was two days ago. I've done a bit of exploring in this
world, though I'm still unsure of where I am or how I got
here. There's a blind man who lives in this cottage too;
he seems kind. Other people in this village don't speak to
me, they only stare. I can't help but wonder if I'm
exceptionally ugly or malformed in some way.
I've not wandered far from the cottage though; I'm not confident
yet that I can find my way back. Still, the image of the story-
teller's dragon stays in my mind. I think that the dragon might
have something to do with why I'm here, but I'm not at all sure
what or how. I'm not even sure how to go about finding him.
(to be continued...)