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Far From Home, Part 3: More Stonewoods for September - Laura Wise

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September 24th, 2011


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10:44 am - Far From Home, Part 3: More Stonewoods for September
This morning I tried to run outside, but the world was all fog and steam; it was more like swimming than running, except less refreshing. August has gotten all up in my late September, and it's awful. (Added adjectives: As I went up the street during my run, another jogger passed me. "Hi. Is this gross or what?" she panted, and I said, "Nasty," and she said, "Disgusting." All of those words apply.)

I am so ready for proper autumn, I can't tell you.

So let me turn again to this autumnal Stonewoods story. Part Two here ended thusly: Now her real work begins. Now her real terror rises.

Onward!


Morgan lies so still there, stretched out on brown velvet sofa as if indeed he is a leaf on a pile of fallen fellows. He is so pale, and when she bends her head to him again, the scent of burning rises stronger.

This is malicious magic, striking at heart and glamour. With every soft breath, he falls further away from her.

She cannot save him without his help. The first task is to wake him – and although her voice has served once, it likely will not serve again.

His greenstone will, she believes.

As she runs up the stairs to their bedroom, she silently blesses the day that his brother Rhys, difficult, untrustworthy Rhys, brought the Guild-stone to Morgan. Its return might have been meant as punishment, but it is a source of enormous power.

She thinks of that Letitia-child, of what was meant as an autumn gift. Was it death the woman meant, indeed? There is a tangle here that Queen Alice's sword must cut through – later. She runs faster.

The greenstone is kept in their bedroom, resting on its scarred leather pouch in a wooden bowl of Morgan's making. Always it glimmers, giving good light to the darkest day.

Morgan's light is faint now, but it yet lives.

She fights through the fear, makes her hand steady, grasps hope and the stone. Then she runs again.

Morgan lies so still, so pale, falling, falling. She sits on the sofa beside him and takes his left hand. At the chilling rigor of his fingers, she closes her eyes for one last terrified breath. When she opens her eyes, her intent is queenly.

When she puts the stone into his palm, she kisses him. Then, a command: “My heart, I charge you in the names of stone and branch, of wood and word. Use your greenstone. Use your father's gift.” But it is in Alice's voice, softer, more loving, that finishes, “Wake to me.”

The moment is endless, endless as the sea on which they journeyed from old home to this, endless as exile, before his breath changes. He's trying to reach her, she can feel his effort in muscle and bone and heart, he's trying so very hard. She grasps his shoulders, grasps hope. “Wake to me,” she says again.

His mouth works once, twice. His eyes open. “Alice,” he says.

“Morgan, oh, Morgan--”

“My heart.” His voice is faraway. “The day we arrived in this land. The blue...the book.” Pain writes itself in the next words. “The journal. The day we arrived. Three words' curse, three words' counter.”

Then his fingers open, the stone rolls out of his hold, and he's falling, falling from her even as her grasp on him tightens.
….............................................


May your Saturday bring you better words than mine (in several senses [grin]).

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:stateless82
Date:September 24th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
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Gorgeous words- I love 'three words' curse, three words' counter'
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, S! Thank you for indulging me. :-)

Hugs and a good day to you!
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From:cindergal
Date:September 24th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
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I love the "three words' curse, three words' counter," too. And a book comes into play... :-)
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
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'Books' and 'music' will both come into play here, in my twisted way of responding to requests. :-)

Thank you, C, thank you, and a lovely Saturday to you!
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From:paratti
Date:September 24th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
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Meep.
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for meeping, L, and for reading. :-)

Lovely Saturday to you!
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From:stevie_carroll
Date:September 24th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
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And now I'm intrigued about the journal.
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
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Tomorrow! :-)

Thank you thank you, Stevie, for reading and kind words. Happy day to you!
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From:anne_d
Date:September 24th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
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Well written and compelling, this is especially neat - Three words' curse, three words' counter

*Anxiously pacing waiting for next installment*
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Tomorrow! :-)

Thank you for reading, A, and thank you for kind words, and a good end to your Saturday!
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From:mobile_alh
Date:September 24th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
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A mixed blessing, getting yesterday's and today's chapters together...one less cliff-hanger to await, but now I feel even more urgently the need for Alice to succeed...

wishing you some of our sudden autumn air. Still summery, but crisp withal.

::hugs::
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
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I am clutching at your autumn air as I am clutching at your kind words. ;-)

Thank you, ALH, thank you. You are kind, and I hope that Saturday is kind to you.
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From:mamculuna
Date:September 24th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
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The image of him falling, and the power of the stone--shivers.
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From:laurawise
Date:September 24th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, M, for reading and responding -- I really appreciate both.

Happy Saturday!
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From:heron_pose
Date:September 25th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
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So.... firstly, sympathy in re: muggy.

Second, this story is so gorgeous; I hope good things for the Stonewoods, of course (stone and branch, word and wood) -- I do have some confidence that Alice will prevail.

I find myself hoping that you will get to flesh out this universe one day. It has a great deal to recommend it! :-)

::HUGS::
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From:laurawise
Date:September 25th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
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Thank you, H_P, thank you for kind sympathy re hideous humidity and kinder reading and words. :-)

I'm glad the story is pleasing you!

Thanks thrice, and hugs for a good Sunday!
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From:gwynnega
Date:September 25th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
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Eek!
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From:laurawise
Date:September 25th, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, Gwynne. :-)

Happy Sunday! [hugs]
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From:janus_74
Date:September 25th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
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very nice as always :)

Hope the weather breaks for you, summer has pushed its way into our autumn too.
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From:laurawise
Date:September 25th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, T, thank you. :-)

(And happy day before your birthday, too! [hugs])

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