Gina Lawless Books

February 25, 2012

Excerpt from Harbinger

Filed under: Excerpts — Gina Lawless @ 11:48 pm

Morrigan didn’t think it was fair that they got to go fight the creature and she had to stay home with the females and old men. She rode on the back of a snail gliding listlessly along a small narrow trail, with her knees up to her chest.” Hurry, hurry,” she said scooting forward to try to make it go faster, but the snail took its time. The creatures and insects of the forest amused her and she knew what they thought and how they felt. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a new development to her, because she had been this way since she was born. She sometimes felt that the others didn’t understand her completely and felt alone and isolated.

How she wished for a playmate. The other children wouldn’t play with her because they thought of her as being different, especially after the incident at the Blessing Ceremony. She had tried to talk to Elder Healer about this but the old woman just explained that she was special and she would lead an extraordinary life. That was all well and good, however it didn’t help her now. She wanted to frolic with the other young fairies and be part of them. The sense that she was an outcast occupied her mind too much of the time. When they saw her coming, they would give each other those strange looks and scatter. They would whisper about her and ignore her. How lonely she was and these strange feelings of energy that coursed through her made her want to scream and shout from the treetops.

Her slender hands held tight to the snail’s shell as they meandered slowly down a mossy path. The snail wanted to stop and eat though, so she climbed off its back and let him alone. Along the pathway, she walked solemnly looking about and inspecting her surrounds, everything still exciting and new to her. A small jog off the path leading into the forest trees caught her attention. She veered off the path into the dark dampness of the forest, the high canopy of tree leaves towering so far above her. There were so many interesting objects to discover and she inspected everything. The dried dead leaves that lined the forest floor, the small insects that rummaged underneath the leaves, the dew that clung to the blades of grass, the sway of the tree branches that the wind touched high above. All of these things she reveled in, taking in everything she saw as something meaningful and important.

She recognized a patch of wild strawberries and headed in that direction. They were so ripe and juicy looking, she had to dive into one. Head first she went, juice spraying everywhere. She pulled her head out, dripping red juice from the top of her hair down to her toes, and had a mouthful that she savored. Something odd caught her attention up ahead. Almost hidden by dead leaves and grass, a stone almost perfectly oval, covered in moss, protruded out the ground. What was so odd was the shape. It was so perfect, almost like it was hand made by someone. She wiped some of the juice from her face with the back of her hand and went over to inspect it. How odd, she thought, there is a man in there! She could see him in her mind. She smiled to herself, gave a hard rap on the stone, and put her ear to it to listen. It would be wonderful to find a new friend.

“Hello?” she yelled, “Are you awake in there?” She heard no reply. She rapped again. “Mr. Yallery Brown, do you want to come out?” “Go away! How do you know my name?” She heard a gruff muffled voice yelling back. “Mr. Brown, my name is Morrigan. Can I talk to you?” “No! Go away, I am sleeping!” He surely was a cantankerous thing, she thought. Nevertheless, she was persistent, so profound was her intent to find a friend. “You have been sleeping for a long, long time, have you not,” she bellowed to the rock. “Aye, but not long enough. I am still sleepy. Now go away for the last time before I throttle you!” “You’ll have to come out to throttle me, Mr. Brown. Please, please come out, Mr. Brown. I would so very much love someone to talk to!” Morrigan put a hand to her mouth and giggled, her excitement building by the second.

The stone slowly started to rise up, pulling the grass up with it. Morrigan grabbed the edge of the rock and lifted, grunting as she pushed it back to reveal a tiny old man cocooned in his own long white hair and beard all curled up like a baby in an egg. He was no bigger than she was. His scowl indicated that he was not happy at all. “Now what do you want little girl?” “I said my name is Morrigan. Are you hungry? You must be after all this time.” She grabbed a chunk of strawberry and offered him some stretching out her hand.  “I am not hungry. I cannot eat. I have no stomach,” the old man announced loudly. Morrigan looked quizzically at him cocking her head. “How can you have no stomach, how do you stay alive without eating?” “You ask too many questions and I am tired.” “But you are not answering my questions.” “All right then. I have no stomach, so I do not eat. I do not eat because I have no stomach. If I do, I will not fit and if I do not fit, I will not sleep well. Now, will you leave me be?” he yelled trying to pull the hollowed out stone back down over him. His tiny hairy frame seemed to creak with every movement.  She looked perplexed for a moment and then a broad smile came across her face and she wagged her finger at him. “You are trying to hoodwink me. You most certainly do have a stomach. Everyone has got one!” she said with a giggle. “You are a mean child to bother me so,” he replied lethargically. “I need my rest. Go away and bother someone else.” “Mr. Brown?” she asked. “How long have you been under this rock?” “Oh, I cannot remember. I found it one day and it looked so cozy, I just crawled under and went to sleep. Maybe# over one hundred thousand moons ago, probably more. I cannot remember. Please go away now.” “All right. But may I come visit you again someday?” “Surely, but please wait another one hundred thousand moons.” Morrigan pat him on his bony head and lowered the stone back down. She didn’t want anyone to disturb her new friend so she tried to position the grass back around the rock so that it looked as natural as it had before.

“Good night, Mr. Brown.” She yelled through the rock. She was very excited to have found a new friend even though he acted crotchety, she could see into his heart that he was sincerely an enormously kind man. She heard a muffled retort through the rock. Her wings glowed and quivered with delight. She had discovered something on her own, something amazingly wonderful.

A disturbing mental image suddenly flooded her brain. The others were worried about her and wondering where she was. She realized she had wandered off too far and decided to go back. It was too bad the others couldn’t read her thoughts in return, she could let them know she was all right. She would have to work on that later. But for now, she found her pathway back to the lair looking for her snail. He had inched his way going the opposite direction, so she flew back as quickly as her wings would take her, darting in and out of the dark green foliage. She wanted to explore the island more thoroughly, but if they were going to be worrying about her constantly, it would prove to be difficult. Now, she saw in her mind that Rian was becoming very agitated and concerned so she flew with such a great swiftness that the naked eye could not view her and before she knew it she was amidst the lair.

 

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