[This story is Part 2 of The Pischachas of Aavri. You can read the first part here.]
By Morrigan Jonsdottir
Tom was one year younger than the century. This allowed him to miss WWI, being just seventeen at the onset of 1918. He still could have gone, but he had no idea how he could leave the farm for the indefinite period that the enlistment would require. For a while, he wondered if he had missed out on a great adventure. But later, after speaking to a couple of local boys who had gone, he became convinced that he had made the right decision.
By Morrigan Jonsdottir
Solveig Morgansdottir had been born in the forest and she spoke Powhatans as well as she spoke Norse. She had fifteen winters and her long red hair was congealing into dread locks, for she owned no brush or comb. She wore an open cape of red dog skin, that hung to the back of her knees, and an apron of the same. On a leather thong a small Hammer of Thor hung between her growing breasts.
She stood tall on a huge boulder. Her height was fixed and she towered high above others. From her stand, she could from far make out men and women thronging through her home on warm summer days. On cold winter days, all she saw was a vast field of snow, white and icy, surrounded by frozen cone trees. Her draped gown that was once creamy white has now turned grayish.
He dipped his paintbrush into a pot, pulling it out again with a quick, broad, confident motion. Amateur artists are careful with all of their tiny brush strokes, but the greatest artists work quickly and confidently. Before any paint had time to drip off, he thrust the paintbrush at the canvas above him, leaving a streak of soft purple cutting through the middle of the canvas.
The moon peeked out from a veil of darkness as grey mists enveloped dense, lush rainforests. The howling of wolves echoed, reaching out to the unseen horizons. Bone-stinging chillness seeped into thick, humid air. In the midst of still trees, eerie silence followed the howls of the stealthy gray wolves. Deep in the moonlight-infused forests, the sound of crackling fire broke the grim silence. The swift movements of two unfathomable figures appeared near the fire that had turned into roaring flames. Far away in the sky, a faint sound swept along.
Dodging, to the left first and then the right, then leaping above and crouching below and feinting forward and finally -
Jab! I aimed for his ribs but he was too fast and I only grazed his arm. I felt my palms sweating, so I gripped the dagger more tightly. He was out of reach now, and he looked as tired as I felt. We both took a moment to catch our breath.
By Deenusha Baskaran
The breeze was strong enough to push him up to the higher leaves he wanted to get to, but gentle enough that he didn't lose control of his flight. The higher leaves looked perfect to him. They were close to the leaking sap on the tree's trunk. They would give him a view of the area and a chance to see any predators. Most important for now, they were large and strong and he thought it would be perfect to hang from one of them as he rested from a long day of flying and eating.
Jao and Oyang walked past the garden on their way home. The light of evening made it look like something from a dream, or a fantasy. The cherry blossoms were a light, creamy pink. Looking at them was not like looking at flowers, but more like looking at pillows and satin sheets. You didn't want to smell them or pluck them, but rather lie down and be enveloped in their welcoming softness. There were labrador violets just beginning to appear, and their whites and purples were striking but not garish, as if they were eager to fit in to the garden's calm mood.