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Far From Home, Part 7: September and Stonewoods - Laura Wise

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September 28th, 2011


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06:54 am - Far From Home, Part 7: September and Stonewoods
Today has started rather badly -- the Blonde Dog, having found Bad Things to Eat in the backyard, spent a night being sick, which meant that sleep was hard to come by -- and looms ahead with skyscrapers of work. So tired, alas, so tired.

But I comfort myself that at least I finished this Stonewoods piece, even though I didn't manage to work in "music." Here, nevertheless, ends this story and my September postings.

Onward, for the last time!

In Part Six here, we ended with When his arms come around her, she allows her tears to fall. They are warm, tasting of salt and another forest's rain.


An hour later Morgan, still unsteady and ill with the after-effects of malicious magic, calls the school.

Alice, making them a second pot of Morgan's best tea (brewed with extra dragon's tongue for power), hears only fragments of the conversation. Gone away, and Yes, office cleared out and We can manage for a week or so, don't worry and Thank you, Ms Brown, you are indeed a life-saver.

“Your secretary run away?” she says neutrally after Morgan hangs up.

“Yes, apparently,” he says, and then gently nudges her aside so that he can tend the brew himself.

His hands are as sure as ever, despite his sickness. She thinks of leaf wrapped around stone, hand wrapped around hand, life around life, and she links her arms around his waist and rests her head against him. His heart beats strongly, she thinks, and she relaxes fully for the first time since the phone call.

He finishes straining the tea – he has a method, oh, Morgan has a method for everything – and then pours two mugs.

As he stops pouring, she says, “My heart, can you tell me yet what happened?”

He slides the green-striped cozy on the pot before answering. “It was as you might imagine. Letitia walked in with the cursed... pumpkin –” the word a laugh and a groan at the same time – “and offered me a gift from her grandfather. I was half a moment too slow in warding myself, and she cut into the thing.”

“You didn't know she was mage-stock?”

“No. I'm not entirely sure she herself was a practitioner, but in any event... No. I must be getting old.” He drops a spoonful of honey into her tea. (As she often teases him, he needs no further sweetening.)

“Say it not.” She kisses his neck, bare between chin and shirt. “I am, my heart, a year older than you.”

His smile is all Morgan, wicked around the edges. “I would never be so ungallant as to remind you. But it's good to face the truth, my queen.”

The fear is still too close for her to chastise him properly, so she contents herself with a frown and an extra spoonful of honey.

Together, holding their steaming mugs, they walk outside into their private wood. Without the need to discuss it, they make for the oak tree anchoring their north.

Morgan stops ten paces away from the tree, just at the edge of its thin forenoon shadow. “Brother oak,” he says with a respectfully inclined head, “I thank you for your kind gift in my hour of need.”

The red-gold leaves of the oak rustle overhead in acceptance, in another forest's wind.

And Alice and Morgan sit down at the base of the tree, as they have sat a thousand thousand times, their backs against the rough trunk and their feet in drifted leaves dappled with sun and shade, and drink their tea.

Her true worst of times will come wrapped in dark, unforeseen. Alice has had a taste of that worst time today. But she rests her head against Morgan's shoulder now, and is home.
.................


May your day be full of good end-of-month things!

(24 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:winding_path
Date:September 28th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
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I have finally found a minute to catch up on your story (right as it is wrapping up, of course).

This was lovely, L. A very nice diversion early on a Wednesday morning.

But you do leave me wondering what was up with the Mysterious Secretary and her Pumpkin of Doom.

May we look forward to a future installment?
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
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Re future installments: Probably not. ;-) Ash Joy has done his worst via his granddaughter....

Thanks for reading, W_P, and a happy Wednesday to you!
[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:September 28th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC)
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Loved it.

Pets you and poor blonde dog.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, thank you, L!

(The Blonde dog is up and moving, but I don't think she feels much better.)

Hugs and a good Wednesday!
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:September 28th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
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Oh, that was lovely. [hugs, healing for the Small Blonde One and rest for yourself]
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, A! For kind thoughts and for reading this story. :-)

Have a wonderful Wednesday.
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:September 28th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
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You know, while I do love your fanfic, I think your original work is even better. The Stonewoods are unique and wonderful, and when these stories are published, I'll be right up there in line to buy the book.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
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That's a lovely thing to say, Anne_d. Thank you again, and good wishes for your Wednesday!
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:September 28th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Sweet but ominous, that ending. A beautiful image, though.

Thanks so much for this! I keep wishing I had a huge thick volume of their story, and hope some day we will...

And hope something will Heal the Wound for the Small Blonde Dog, and for you.

Edited at 2011-09-28 01:49 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much -- I'm glad the ominous note comes through, but they are safe for now. :-)

Your reading and your feedback have been very kind and encouraging indeed. Thank you twice!

Happy Wednesday, from a recovering Blonde Dog as well as me.
[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:September 28th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
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I'm sorry you two had a rough night, hopefully you can catch up on sleep this evening.

Lovely ending to the story. I really do enjoy reading about the Stonewoods.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, T, for kind thoughts about bad nights and equally kind thoughts about the Stonewoods. :-) I really am grateful for your reading!

Happy Wednesday!
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From:cindergal
Date:September 28th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
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I got a bit behind, but was able to catch up today! What a lovely ending to this story, if a bit foreboding. I am glad they are safe for now.

And I hope the blonde one is feeling better, and that you are able to get some rest, soon.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, thank you, C! You are v.v. kind to read, and to worry about the Blonde Dog (who went to work as usual, but was still a bit under the weather earlier today).

Cheers and a fab Wednesday!
[User Picture]
From:mobile_alh
Date:September 28th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
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I do love me some wistful foreshadowing...

Thank you for sparing the time to share more of the Stonewoods, especially under the circumstances.

Wishing you more rest tonight and a fully recovered SBD as well.

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
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I am compulsive enough that, once started, I have to see it to the end. ;-)

I'm glad the ending pleased, ALH, and I'm grateful for your kind comments and good wishes alike! Happy Wednesday! [hugs]
[User Picture]
From:gwynnega
Date:September 28th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
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That was lovely!

And I hope the Blonde One feels better soon.

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, Gwynne, for reading and for kind wishes for the Blonde One! (She seems to be improved, so long as I keep her from her worst impulses of digging up Stuff in the backyard).

Hugs hugs and a good end of the day to you!
[User Picture]
From:stateless82
Date:September 28th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
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My morning was such that I had to wait until evening to be able to read, but so worth waiting for!

Poor puppy and poor you! I hope you both have time to recuperate this evening.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 28th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
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Oh dear for your morning! [sends hugs]

But thank you for reading, S, thank you twice. :-) And the Blonde One is definitely better now... so long as she is kept from bad things.

Happy...Wednesday into Thursday. :-)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 29th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
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The day's done and dusted, at least. And the Blonde Dog's recovered. :-)

Happy Thursday!
[User Picture]
From:stevie_carroll
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:31 am (UTC)
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A beautiful ending there.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 29th, 2011 10:42 am (UTC)
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Thank you, Stevie, thank you!

And a fine Thursday to you, too.

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