SmokeLong Quarterly

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Story by Catherine Talley (Read author interview) September 15, 2003

A tiny child walked gingerly through the cabin cradling something in two cupped hands. Once a bit of fluff rose slightly. She waited for it to alight before continuing. On reaching the ancient man in the wheeled chair she stopped, stretched out her arms and said “Here,” very softly.

“You found it?” he asked, incredulous, staring through clouded eyes at her glowing face.

“Yes. Is there time?” she whispered.

“Yes.” he replied, taking the bit of fluff from her hands…

He put it on a dark cloth, then lighted a candle nearby. She strained to see so he lifted her onto his left knee.

Ceremoniously he reached for a small golden box placing it atop the cloth. He slowly opened it, withdrawing a green leaf, a long red hair, and a reflective black rock, each in turn. Taking a square of gossamer silver he placed it perfectly on the black cloth, then added each of the items, careful to fit them together precisely. Finally he added the white feather then drew the silver corners together with a twist.

He looked very tired.

Reverently he placed the silver lure in the child’s hand.

“Now go. Find your dragon,” he whispered.

About the Author

Catherine Talley spends many hours a week laboring to support her habit of buying food and shelter. Her work is forthcoming in The Green Tricycle. In her spare time she is a fiber artist and writer. She lives in Maryland.

This story appeared in Issue One of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue One

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