Category Archives: Short Story

12. Goal in Sight

Incredible! this is what is drawing me irresistibly nearer, a castle high on a hill.  It’s beautiful and the sky seems to know that this is my destination, it is alive in color, the hues of pinks, blues and yellows are amazing. The castle is evidently my destiny but what awaits me there? It’s huge and the hill is almost overwhelming.  Can I find my way all the way up?

gardnerscottage-Edinburgh1500I look at the Magic book, it confirms my suspicions, the final star on the map is within the castle. Oberon and I look at each other and then at the castle.”Well, I’m not getting any closer by just staring at it, am I?  Let’s go”  Here at the base of the castle is a beautiful garden, I’ve rested for awhile at a fountain studying which way is the best way to approach this hill. There’s no way, I can climb it, so I will go around.  I’m sure I’ll discover many wondrous sights along the way.  The garden is rich in color, there’s even a clock made of flowers in the corner, someone is lovingly grooming and planting this garden. I come to a small cottage, it must be the gardener’s because it is as beautiful as the garden. The gardener comes out to greet me, “We’ve been expecting you, you only need to take the road to the left then go right, the next right is the road to the castle.” I look confused, I didn’t even ask, how did he know what I needed?  How did he know who I was?

It wasn’t that warm of a day with the clouds overhead, but the trek up the streets and around that hill manage to get me warm.  I was thankful when it starting misting rain, I just hoped I didn’t get caught in a downpour. I wasn’t anxious to be soaking wet when I arrived at the castle.  I didn’t know who I was to meet there.  Surely a king or queen, I had to be at least a little presentable.

Along the way, there were many small shops that caught my eye, and the aromas of the small cafes were enticing. My stomach started growling, I was hungry, but curiosity beat the hunger and I continued on. I crossed a bridge when I took that right turn the gardener talked about and saw the castle looming larger. My heart beat faster as my pace sped up.

alnwickcastlecolorfulclouds

Feature Photo: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photography by Candace Stauber
Story Photos: Gardeners Cottage, Edinburgh Gardens, Prince Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Alnwick Castle, UK. Photography by Candace Stauber

Advertisements

11. Compulsion

Having gathered my senses from such a profound dream, I gather my belongings, my rucksack, and Oberon. Deep within my bones I knew I had to continue my journey, I had a destiny awaiting me. I “needed” to be somewhere soon.

My companions, the Artists, were still caring for their convalescing sister. She still needed to keep quiet for awhile. But the village was close by, the farmers were nearby and they could find assistance among those in town.

As for me, I said my farewells, opened the barn door to a new morning. Storms in the distance worried me, but my trepidation had eased because of Teddy’s message the night before. I felt a strength within I didn’t know I had.  Obie and I set off on yet another path, this time there were no trees or forests to protect us from the Dragon’s sight.  The morning was cool, you could tell rain was in the air, you could smell the sweet scent of ozone.

MonarchButterfly-ButterflyPavillion2015-10-02Butterflies were fluttering everywhere, they seemed to follow us as we traveled. Every fork in the road, I knew instinctively which path to take, every obstacle in the road, we avoided or overcame.  I was being led by some invisible force to a destination, I was compelled to follow and I had no fear. Every path, every fork I took, the butterflies followed. Knowing butterflies symbolize renewal, I felt renewed this morning, I actually felt at peace and happy for the first time in a very long time. The road began to even out, from a rocky road to gravel and then to a well worn smooth road.

In the distance, I saw my objective, large and looming, I hesitated. It drew me closer.This is so beyond my wildest dreams, this is magnificent. What possibly awaits me there? Why does it pull me so?

 

Feature Photo: Morning Clouds in Englewood, Colorado, Photography by Candace Stauber
Story Photo: Monarch Butterfly, Butterfly Pavilion, Louisville, Colorado. Photography by Candace Stauber

1. Reflections

As I sit here on this rocky outcropping next to the waterfall, I feel the refreshing mist of the spray on my skin and the shade of the trees cools the air around me. Suddenly I hear a cry above, a shadow silhouettes the sun. I look up but it’s not the feathery wing of a bird, but a much larger wingspan, a leathery wing with sharp dangerous looking talons at each end. A serpentine tail flows like a kite behind the dragon that doesn’t see me yet.

Quickly I duck behind the boulder at the edge of the stream. I wait for the dragon to glide silently into the horizon of the setting sun.

Suddenly a glimmer appears in the quietly trickling stream. The sun has hit the water at just the right angle and it sparkles in my eyes. Catching my attention to the reflection in the water, I noticed there is something lying on the bottom of the river bed.

Checking to see if the dragon has decided to return and feeling safe that it has not, I wade into the stream. It’s not deep, only to my calves, but it’s icy cold and swiftly running. Carefully getting my footing I wade to the middle of the stream, there lodged between the bases of two boulders in the river bed I find the object of my search, the object reflecting the sunlight. It is difficult to grasp, its slick and slips through my fingers as they begin to freeze in the cold water. I need to get out of this stream soon. I’m so cold!

Finally, I feel it begin to give way, and I pull it from the water, its round but thin, shiny and about 3 inches in diameter. It looks a little like a mirror, but not exactly. It’s got clear blue tinges of color. It seems to be made of some sort of crystal. But, when I look at it I can see my reflection, I see myself and the sky above. Is there a shadow over me? I turn around quickly, but there is nothing there. Maybe it’s my imagination.

It begins to get late, I’m cold and wet. I have to find shelter. I need to make camp somewhere safe and out of sight from the dragon. I want to study this disk more closely. This disk, this strange object gives me tingles, every time I look at it I seem to see myself a little differently each time. Every time I look into the disk I see more than I expected, the landscape changes behind me as well. What’s going on?

Photo: Lair of the Bear Park, Gunnison, Colorado. Photography by Candace Stauber, 2015