We have a large, well established mall in our county, but since I can't afford to get out much, I rarely go there. Several weeks ago, however, my wife asked me to go to the mall and buy something for our grand-daughter's birthday from a store she liked there. The place was no longer in business and had been replaced by what you might call a bazaar for local artists and craftsmen. Out of curiosity, I decided to check it out.
The store was filled with beautiful works of art, hand made jewelry, pottery, racks of embroidery and sweaters, but no books. Well, writers are artists also, right? I approached the owner and asked about the possibility of selling books written by local authors. She loved the idea. For what I thought was a reasonable monthly fee, she would set up a display just inside the front door that would be the first thing people saw when they entered.
Since I know a large number of local authors, I soon had enough people interested so that each person's share of the rental is only $5. Even if we only sell a few copies, the potential of getting our names and titles out in front of thousands of readers for that price will be worth it.
I will get the books and money to her by Friday. She'll set up the display on Saturday and it will be ready for the first of the month on Sunday. At the end of May, I'll post the results of our first month in the mall and any positive (or negative) issues that came about.
I don't know if anyone reads the scenes I try to post every week, since no one comments, but here's another. Navon and his companion, Moonlight, (a large, female mountain wolf) step through a portal, unaware of what awaits them on the other side.
Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.
Navon, Moonlight at his side, stepped through the first arch as the last words of the Deluti spirit followed him. “Remember, young Navon, others will look at the world with a different eye than yours, but it does not mean they are without honor.”
The world they entered resembled nothing he had ever seen before. Rolling hills of grass as far as the eye could see, with scattered stands of short bush like trees. At this distance it was impossible to tell what kind of leaves they had if any. The sun shone directly overhead in a cloudless blue sky so expansive, Navon suddenly felt very insignificant.
Sweat formed on his brow and he could feel beads of moisture trickle down his spine as Moonlight’s tongue hung out. A sweltering wind at their backs brought with it a sound like a blacksmith’s forge combined with a stampede of cattle. Navon spun around to be confronted by the source of the noise. Fire! A wall of flame over ten feet in height stretched in both directions as far as he could see. In front of that wall were hundreds of animals of all shapes and sizes running for their lives.
His legs had already reacted to the sight and started pumping before Moonlight’s mental image of running burst inside his mind. The faster animals pulled alongside and passed them by. Moonlight stubbornly stayed by his side even after several attempts to send her a command to run ahead and save herself. Not used to running in this kind of heat, Navon could already feel himself slowing down.
His lungs struggled to keep up and his legs felt like burning stumps. Mixed in with the sound of the fire were the screams of the animals not fast enough to outrun the flames. The temptation to look behind was not enough to overcome the fear of what he might see, until Moonlight sent him a mental warning.
He took a chance and craned his neck around to look. Not far behind, a beast, larger than any bull back at the keep, bore down on Navon. He also saw that they were losing the race to the fire. The skin of the beast blistered and turned black as he watched. Somewhere he found the strength for another burst of speed or did the ground begin to slope downward? Ahead of them appeared a solid line of dense vegetation with animals bunched up against it trying to force their way through.
The sound of screaming animals as they clawed at each other and at the barrier, combined with the roar of the flames behind him, threatened to overwhelm his mind. He could not think. Was this the end? If it hadn’t been for Moonlight, Navon would have stopped and given up right there, but her constant mental encouragement kept him going. Maybe he could find a way to climb over the top without being trampled by the frantic animals trapped there. The forgotten beast behind him had a different idea. Just before they reached the hedge, the beast’s nose appeared between Navon’s legs and with a powerful thrust of his head, propelled Navon over the barrier to land in water.