Friday, February 19, 2010

The Mentor

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Warden" in Mirror Shards and also to Suzanne Young's "Friday Funday" in Flashy Fiction.

Ananda had led me along the holy path and now he sat under the weeping willow on the cliff's precipice. Clouds shrouded the river valley.

"Banu, please sit here with me," said Ananda.

Wispy branches of the willow tree dropped below me and I saw the edge of the pitted black rock I sat upon. Beyond the world was gray. Ananda was quiet his eyes closed as he looked into the mist. I knew what was expected. To close my eyes and see the stream waters washing past me and to open my soul. I was scared. The words flickered within me like the conflagration of a forest fire. Their forked levinfire writ with characters that glowed in red. If I let them loose, if I made one mistake, the world might be unrecognizable. The mist tasted of mildew.

"Banu, you still sit here on the Jade Peak." Ananda had opened his eyes. The black pupils were large and I could get lost there. "Join me in the stream."

My throat was tight and I could hear my breath scratch as I sucked for air. "But, I'm scared."

"Of what?"

I opened my mouth wide and a tendril of levin white escaped out and lit the mist.

"Those are a gift --"

"A gift?"

"Yes, a gift of the words of creation. Not everyone has them. You have two choices: either to surf the stream and mold the world with your words, or to let the words die. Which will it be?"

I closed my eyes and stepped into the stream. Out of the mist I built a river valley and a fishermen's village.

"Yes, that's it."

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