Cast Shadows - Ch. 15a .OLD."We've made it."Snapdragon's words fell out of the gray air as thick and cold as the heavy flakes that kissed our lashes and veiled the world ahead. No one seemed relieved. Snapdragon almost appeared disappointed, and his eyes traveled back into the canyon, searching through the overhanging limestone and echoes of the river as if there was something we'd left behind. But he was right--we were out. The terrible glitter of quartz riddled stone fell away to each side and opened into a white and silent world. If possible, winter seemed heavier here on this side, and wilder, but Ponpa said it was because the storm had rolled from the east, and the mountain we had cut through the heart of shielded the valley beyond from the worst of it. Whatever the answer, I paused at Snapdragon's announcement and gazed toward our coming journey as if the dark silhouettes of evergreens I could see through the rush of snow were staring back."What about the monsters?" The voice was Cricket's, and I turned f
Cast Shadows - Chp. 14 .OLD.I do not have the gift of my mother, that weavers magic that makes the threads of old legends burn alive in the eyes of those who listen. I had only my clumsy memory. My recount of life since late summer when Id escaped the Belton farm began messy, looped up in places when I remembered important details too late. In retrospect, the entire escapade lay out uneven and wrinkled, and my inability and inexperience showed up more painfully than ever. The Outliers often asked questions to fill in pieces that had slipped, or where they could not, apparently, quite believe my account.As I spoke, however, the knots smoothed and the threads of the story wove together again, becoming fresh after months away from them. I could hardly believe as I spoke about the trade fair, about Perton Kradles death, about Whim and Ribbon, and finally Cherry and the fights that it had all happened to me. It was as if I had taken the mantle of my mother and was telling fireside stories to eager k
From Jeroia, Children's RhymeTomorrows morning waits beyondThe rim of the Southern worldBut yesterday is slipping fastBehind the sea unfurled.The North remembers days beforeThe moon was bathed in redAnd yet the Western shadowVermillion wings has spread.Far beyond the bitter stonesAnd the rolling crash of the sea,Look out from icy mountains.What in the East do you see?