tCheap</a> demanded a story from me. Well, actually, a story from anyone, as long as I didnt dare to comment on her poem. And so, being a gentlewoman, I complied. Not very promptly, but I`m a little slow like that. 🙂 Here is my story to share!
“Once upon a time, when the world was small and wild, there lived a ghost in the woods. She would creep through the underbrush, and catch rabbits by the ears when she was standing right beside them, silent and unnoticed. The villagers all around spread stories of her cunning and treachery, stealing their cows and pilfering any small bits and pieces they had left unguarded. Even many a guildhall would wake in the morning, sounding the alarm when they found in surprise that their stores had largely shrunk in the night.
Not all of the townsfolk were so simple and naive, however.
The good mage Bilfurn, traveling aide to villages in need, passed through this town one day in the wake of such an uproar. Caught in the misery and fear of the unsuspecting town folk, he promised to end their plight. He did not believe in the stories of her ghostdom, nor in her invulnerability. He felt brave that he could defeat the girl when she must have grown complaisant with her security in the stories that had spread of her false strength. Casting a spell, he concealed himself as a fluffy woodland rabbit, leaving only small circles spun round his eyes where his spectacles were normally held to let anyone know he was not as he seemed.
But, as always happens, there came a fateful time when her stomach groaned and churned. Unfortunately, one blue twilight, she felt the desire to go rabbit hunting again. She ran through the brush, as was her way, silent and sure footed as her friends the mice. She crept up to one little fluffy rabbit with curious rings round his eyes, and found with anger that she could suddenly move no more!
The mage before her assumed his proper shape. “You, troublesome wench, will be taken back to the villagers. Your fate will be dependent on those you have so often harassed.” She begged and pleaded with him, finding her lips and face could move if nothing else. When he would not listen, she broke into sobs.
“Why do you weep, if not in a guilty conscience, as you have said to me you are innocent so many times in this last hour?”
“Why,” she said, “Because I am, and yet you will not listen to me. I haven`t stolen nary a thing”
“Oh?,” he asked, the word full of doubt, “How so?”
“Why, because I never took a single thing that did not belong to me and mine already!”
He rocked back on his heels, a little shocked by her outlandish statement. “Nothing, nothing that was not yours, when you have stolen from the baker, the goldsmiths, the little old grannies and the smith?”
“Not one of those things were theirs! Not one. Nasty thieves, the lot of them.”
“Well, that is a harsh claim, but it is no wonder you have made it in your predicament. I would ask you to hush now, as I have no more interest in your nonsense, and I intend to rest now before we ride out tomorrow.” For it had grown dark while they had spoken, and the woods were large and likely to trap any late travelers.
So she grumbled and groaned, but laid out her bed things with the new mobility he had granted her with. She stretched out and looked at the stars, caught in her memories and the love of one who had moved to the sky.