River Mist Tales: The Glass Ball

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.

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The Glass Ball

The child stood three feet tall, with tight curls, golden red, coiling around her head, falling down her back.

Her eyes, wide with curiosity, glanced around the small group of children whose loud cries of play had been silenced as gaze met gaze, and small hands hid a small ball behind a small back.

The child appeared without warning, without sound, without disturbing the birds or startling the dozing cat, appeared beside the tallest evergreen in the back garden of number 38 Winborne Gardens, appeared as is she had stepped out of the tree itself.

Arabella, the eldest daughter of number 38 Winborne Gardens, took a deep breath, smoothed down her skirt, slipped the small glass ball into her pocket, and walked toward the unexpected guest, a practiced smile upon her lips in welcome.

“Hello,” said Arabella, “what’s your name?”

With a quick glance backward over her left shoulder, her gaze flowing into the trees, then returning to face the approaching daughter of the house, the child asked “Are you a human girl?”

Laughter filled the air from the assortment of children now standing in a crooked row behind the eldest daughter of the house.

With a stern glance from Arabella, silence fell upon number 38 Winborne Gardens, as Arabella, again smiling, said to her guest, “Yes, I am, and, please, if you are not, what is your reason for visiting my garden.”

Shuffles and sniggers were heard creeping across the lawn, stopping as they met the back of the eldest daughter.

“I’ve misplaced a gift from my father,” said the curly haired child, “and I must have it back.”

“Perhaps if you tell us what the gift is, we can help you find it,” said Arabella feeling a heavy pull in her pocket, a growing warmth.

“Oh eldest daughter, you have my gift, and I will have it returned, for the glass ball has its own desires and you will not be able to control it.”

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