Linda Maye Adams

Writing in Public, Story 4, Scene 5


Cover showing a rugged stream as a man stands on a rock overlooking it5

Morgan insisted that Eleri eat before she go back out to the stream again.  She was glad he insisted on cooking this time.  She was shaking more than she wanted him to see.

Her belly comfortably full, she walked back down to the stream, stopping above the spot where her magic had run aground.  She could see where the tear had to be now.  The streaks of silver, like sparks, flowed out of that spot.

More than earlier.  A lot more.

The food in Eleri’s belly turned to rock.  How was she supposed to do this?

She might have turned around right then and there if she’d been by herself.  But Morgan was already spreading a blanket on the ground so she could sit.

“No sense in being cold,” he said.

Woodenly, she sat, trying to find a spot that was reasonably comfortable.  Roots were everywhere.  She stuck her hands in her coat pockets to keep them warm.

“You can do this,” Morgan said.

She wanted to yell at him to shut up.  Bit it down.  He was trying to help, even if he was annoying her.

The magic curled up inside her fearfully.  The stream was so near, and it did not want to come out.  It didn’t trust her.

Maybe she didn’t trust herself.

Her mouth was dry.

Gently, like she was calling a squirrel to feed out of her hand, she coaxed the magic to come out.  This time, it didn’t surge out, but inched out.

“Just want to have a look,” she told it.

She felt Morgan’s hands on her shoulders.

Now she dropped into the magic, riding it, looking at the water from its perspective.  To her, the water had looked clear and cold.  To the magic, it sparkled with bits of decaying twigs and leaves.  Sediment swirling.

A small, thin fish darted past her.  A light flashed, then went out.  The fish went limp, dead.

She must have stiffened up, because Morgan squeeze her shoulders gently.  “Easy.  You’re all right.”

The fish had died so fast!  It wasn’t just the people and the animals, everything that lived in the water, even the insects.

She hovered within her magic sense, drawing closer to the spot near the old tree. The roots were like a knot that hadn’t figured out what to do with itself without the dirt.  The tear—and it was a tear—was right next to it.

A hole, like Morgan had described it.  Not in the water, but just there.

It was, perhaps, three inches and more like a cut in the skin that gaped.  Silver light glowed through it.

What was causing it to gape?  Not the current.  Like her magic, it didn’t have any direct impact on it.

Maybe start with one of the corners?

She guided her magic in.

Her eagerness and fear made her move too fast.  The magic touched the corner of the tear.

Light flashed.

She jerked back instinctively.  The last thing she saw before she withdrew was the tear.

It had gotten wider.  She’d made it worse.

1 Comment

  1. Oh, oh.

    Like

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