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by Jonathan Wood

Another new writer debuts today here at the cabal. Mr. Jonathan Wood, farragonist and exile of Albion, presents a story that's finely balanced on the edge of darkness...

The girl, all grief and acne, slit her palm with the piece of flint. Blood like petals fell onto the grave stone of her love. She swore never to speak again. A year later, her therapists richer but bewildered, her mother asked, what do think you’re achieving? The girl was struck by the futility of her actions. She once more spoke, requesting books on occultism, spirituality. Her overjoyed mother complied unquestioning. The girl knew what she wanted to achieve. Him. Him back.

The girl turned woman pressed the flint to flesh once more. This time it was a lamb beneath her blade. It’s was warm on her cold, aching limbs. Her fingers hurt from grubbing herbs. She was older, but none the wiser. Her love was still gone.

From time to time she took lovers. One would not leave, even when she turned him from her bed. She did not understand his devotion. She had nothing to give him. Yet he was helpful, useful, he propped up her hope when it sagged with her skin, recessed into her wrinkles.

As years passed she remembered her mother, long gone back to the earth. She remembered waiting until her mother was asleep, until the pebbles struck her windows. She remembered the taste of her love's lips... And had his lips tasted of strawberries? No. That was another, some gypsy boy she'd once had.

Finally she found the final spell fragment she needed. She and her disciple went to the hills, to the high sacred places. But her bones were old and she struggled. Her apprentice too now knew the touch of the years, but he used spells he'd learned, and his strength flowed into her. They came to the reflecting pool at the hilltop and he lay down, closed his eyes, said he would rest a while.

She stripped, stood and saw her body's reflection in the moonlight. Was that hers, truly? It was some old worn-up thing. And what would some teenage boy do with a body like that? What boy would not flinch back? She looked at her disciple at her feet, his breath fled from his body, the last of his strength ebbed away, and she cast her spell.

When he sat up, she leant him her strength, and he stood. Slowly they made their way back down the hill, leaning upon each other for support.


Usually the stories here are a form of horror... and so is this to an extent, but damned if I don't think this also a romance. Wonderful and interesting, I definitely look forward to seeing your work here again.

Posted by: Arete | October 28, 2008 7:09 PM

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

Posted by: Jonathan Wood | October 29, 2008 1:57 AM

You don't know the crimes he committed to be banished from these shores.

Posted by: Len | May 8, 2009 7:34 PM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

Posted by: rorUnsado | September 29, 2010 10:52 PM

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