River Mist Tales: The Bouquet

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.


 The Bouquet

It was a birthday tradition, a bouquet of daisies picked in the morning complemented by whatever greenery was available, and something found.

This year Lessa found a feather, bright blue, from a jay, reminding her of the Stellar jays back home.

Lessa gathered the white petaled blooms, the pale green sprays of fern and tied the bundle with long blades of grass braided together.

She even tucked in a few slender branches sprouting pink tinged maple leaves, finally placing the precious blue feather front and center.

Satisfied with the generosity of the cheerful bouquet, Lessa gathered her pack, climbed down to the crooked streets, and headed towards the shrouded woodland park at the western edge of Bordertown.

Newly arrived, Lessa had been given much advice, and warnings, about the unpredictable mix of technology and magic, warned about how something as simple as mailing a birthday card could go very wrong, so Lessa had procured a translocation spell from a reputable source, at an exorbitant price rendering her cashless and impatient for her first attempt at real magic.

Luckily Blue and Skye, twin musicians from Montana, had been looking for a housemate, someone willing to do the housework, a fair exchange for room and board, never asking Lessa if she had money or not.

Skye had recommended the shop on the busy Eastern Boulevard, across town, had recommended asking the proprietor what sort of spell was needed to send a bouquet of flowers back across the border, back home to Hoquiam.

Lessa had considered a simple card, well simple compared to what the shops here offered, but if she could use magic, well, why not try for something more creative, and a bit traditional.

Preparing the bouquet was a bit tricky, finding the daisies proved challenging, but a stranger, a willowy woman whose age was only hinted by the soft lines around her deep-set, wine hued eyes, intrigued by the recent arrival, allowed Lessa free roam of her terraced garden for one hour, in return Lessa would perform a future favor.

Having memorized the instructions for the translocation spell, Lessa found a secluded shady spot amidst three tall oak trees, she placed the bouquet on the ground, took three steps backwards, closed her eyes, envisioned Tammy’s front door, threw the dust mixture from the tiny linen pouch in the direction of the bouquet and spoke the foreign words, repeating them three times.

Tammy didn’t have the courage of her childhood friend, backing out at the very last moment from running away to the legendary Bordertown, still she missed Lessa, and missed their birthday rituals, all this she considered as she opened the front door finding a withered bouquet of daisies and ferns, tied with long grasses braided together, and a bright blue feather tucked front and center.

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