Monday, March 25, 2013

Prompt: “The Lake of the Sapphire Waters, from which elven jewelsmiths make the most beautiful star sapphires in the world.”

Thanks to Wanderings the in the Fantastic World for the great prompt today!

Bandiel sat in silence next to his father, gathering the warmth of the cheerful fire. At least the rains had cleared, and the moon was rising full and bright overhead. Soon he leave his father and face the last part of his journey alone.

His father passed him a long reed pipe, and the fragrant herb smoke tickled his nose. Bandiel took a long draw and closed his eyes. He already felt light-headed from his three-day fast. The herbs would open his eyes to the World Beyond, but he still had to bridge the gap himself. He took a deep breath and stood, laying a hand on his father’s shoulder. His father’s rough hand reached up to cover his own.

“Fair speed, my son. Fair findings,” his father said, bringing his flute to his lips to play a tune of safe passage and good fortune for Bandiel’s journey.

He left the warmth and brightness of the fire and headed up the mountain. The trail was smooth and worn by years of passage, and Bandiel’s elven sight needed no more light than the moon. As he walked, the herbs began to take effect, and he saw with double vision, the World Beyond overlaid on the World Herein. It was night there, too, with clouds covering the moon. Nothing moved across the landscape in either world. Bandiel had hoped to see some fantastic creature in his glimpse of the World Beyond. He reached the crest of the mountain and looked down into the Lake of Sapphire Waters. He would have to settle for water dragons.

Under the moon’s light, Bandiel stripped off his clothes and folded them under his cloak for any warmth they might hold on his return. If he returned. He shivered, from the cold, he told himself. He could have no doubt when he entered the water. From his pouch, he pulled the emerald nugget he had wrapped in gold wire. If the water dragons accepted his gift and allowed him to harvest the star sapphires from the lake, Bandiel would be recognized as an elven adult, a novice jewelsmith. If they didn’t—

“I come in peace and good faith to honor and trade with the mighty dragons of Sapphire Lake.” He held up his offering and spoke loudly as he waded into the water. Expecting water colder than the air, he was surprised to find it warm and soothing. With a last shout, he gripped the emerald in his fist and dove under the moon-silvered surface.


Bandiels’ father waited while the fire died down and the embers glowed gently in the cold night air. His own journey had been very different, out on the Golden Sands of the Kashani Desert. He pushed away his fears for Bandiel; he had to keep faith in his only son’s safe return. Hours passed, and the moon crossed over the mountain, leaving him in darkness. She would shine on the lake until dawn, lighting Bandiel’s way. Sleep called, but he was honor-bound to keep vigil until Bandiel’s safe return. Or morning. He shook his head. No, he told himself firmly. Until Bandiel’s safe return.

Nodding against his walking staff, he heard a scuff, pebbles, then a step. Racing feet. He jumped up and saw Bandiel running down the mountain path towards him. They collided in a tight embrace.

“Well, son? Did the water dragons accept your gift? Did you do it?” he asked breathlessly, clapping his hands on his son’s shoulders.

Bandiel’s smile lit his face, and he held out his fist, opening it to reveal the largest star sapphire ever seen in the World Herein.


Dogs in house:

Naxos label, Eternal Baroque

Time writing:
30 minutes

March word count:

1 comment:

  1. Prompt: “The Lake of the Sapphire Waters, from which elven jewelsmiths make the most beautiful star sapphires in the world.”

    Hector dipped the waterskin into the warm lake. He felt it filling, becoming progressively less difficult to hold below the surface. But it was so slow! He looked up furtively. "Anyone coming?"

    "Just get on with it!" said Julian. The other boy shifted from foot to foot. "You're wasting time being worried."

    "You haven't seen them," said Hector. "Worrying about the elves is no a waste."

    "Huh," said Julian. Hector suspected Julian only knew the elves as those scruffy traders that passed yearly through the village. But Hector had snuck up to the lake and watched them scooping up reflections of stars from the lake's surface. These elves were different: stronger, younger, more confident.

    And when the leader had turned, his shining eyes seeming to pick out Hector's exact location on the dark hillside, Hector knew they were more than the villagers gave them credit for. And yet he still rose to the dare to steal some of their sapphire water.

    He lifted the full waterskin from the lake. It was far heavier than just a skin of water should be. Perhaps this had not been entirely a good idea. He stood and stepped back from the shore. The waterskin vibrated and a deep note, like a distant bell, seemed to come from inside. Not a good idea at all.