Idle Tale

This is a super short story, for those with super short spans of attention! More a scene really, I suppose.

The light of the low autumn suns filtered lazily through the dry rustling leaves of the ancient trees. The dense fog that had ushered in the day was mostly gone but there remained a slight, stubborn mist which now appeared magical as it transformed the sunlight into hazy golden shafts tinted with rose by the smaller red sun.

Caevalonia’s dark, eldritch forests were never the safest of places to travel, infused as they were with strange magics and populated by creatures both fantastical and dreadful, where ancient evils lurked in the deepest of glens and malicious faeries sought to lure unwary travellers into their secret bowers but this day there seemed a gentle, unusual calm in the air.

This may have had something to do with the three particular travellers upon the forest path this day. Where these strange, ill-fitting individuals travelled most kinds of trouble kept well away.

The Daemonslayers were on the long journey home from Caevalonia’s north east, following the old elf road through the Elaran Forest. All was quiet save the gentle rustling of the trees and whispering as their assorted mounts swished through gold and brown fallen leaves.

A slight breeze stirred and a few caramel-coloured leaves cut loose and swirled in lazy circles toward the waiting earth. One brushed the tip of Blackjack’s right ear, making it twitch. As it continued its earthward tumble he lazily reached out and snatched the leaf from the air. He regarded it with the passive curiosity of the extremely bored. It was a broad mersa leaf, its six jagged-edged points curled and crisp.

“Make a wish!” Soul said suddenly.

He looked at her, “What?”

“You caught a leaf.” Blackjack maintained his blank look and Soul made an exasperated little noise and explained more fully, “If you catch a leaf as it falls, you can make a wish.”

“Codswollap.” Blackjack snorted but, since there was not exactly much else to do as they rode, he decided to humour her, “Fine. I wish that-“

“No, not out loud!” Soul exclaimed, wondering why the dracosvulf was being so dense, “Wishes don’t come true if you tell anyone what you’re wishing.” She had thought everyone knew that, including Mr-I-Know-It-All-And-I’m-Never-Wrong here.

Blackjack rolled his eyes then closed them, pretending to look like he was concentrating really hard on making his wish come true.

Turning in his saddle Shade observed the pair of them curiously with a baffled smile. There was something unreal about seeing a cursed dragon upon a dire unicorn making wishes on leaves. He saw another leaf cut loose and drift earthwards close to Soul and watched as she reached out for it, leaning far to her left. But just as it came within reach a sudden gust of wind blew it further away. Soul made a grab for it, over-reached, over-balanced and slid with a squeal from Gor’s saddle to land in the mud in the middle of the path. With a sigh he turned the Steed and rode back to help her up, casting a withering glare at Blackjack who just laughed as he went past.

Looking from Soul as she righted herself from the undignified heap in which she had landed to the leaf he held up for inspection Blackjack smirked. “You know what, Mech’? Mayhaps there’s something to your old wives’ tale after all.”


All characters, places and anything else portrayed in this story is copyright 2005 to the author, Isabelle Davis (Drakhenliche), and may not be used without express permission. Meccha/Soul (c) Elsa Lai 2005

Comments, questions, whatever, can be addressed to me at the forum.