Chapter Links & Complete Story in One Page
Seek and You May Find (or not)
“I never realized being a hero was so exhausting,” Grace thought as she paused to catch her breath. “Perhaps that’s why so few people do it.”
She looked around and realized the houses were all empty: the women were off gathering along the beaches and the men were hunting. Unfortunately, while they hunted with considerable effort, they rarely actually found.
Not even the daft poet was around. He had left the door to his empty cottage open with characteristic lack of care. HE neither hunted nor gathered, but traded with the Fey for food and tools, exchanging his silly verses for the necessities of life, much to the chagrin of the other men. Grace had to admit he was more useful to the colony than the unsuccessful hunters.
Her eye lit upon the ship’s bell, one of the few pieces of metal salvaged from the wreck. It was only supposed to be rung in emergencies. “This,” said Grace to herself, “qualifies.”
The pull-rope on the bell had clearly been rigged for taller people, Grace thought as she tried to reach it. The frayed end was tantalizingly out of reach. She could brush it with her fingers. Nothing more.
Taking a quick look around to be sure there was really no one watching she bent her knees and took an awkward jump flapping her hands together over her head where she hoped the rope would be. Apart from making her skin smart where her palms smacked together it had no effect, although she managed to keep her footing on landing, which she counted as a minor triumph.
She jumped again, this time catching hold of the rope and hanging on. The bell gave a single loud clang as she was left dangling, her toes barely brushing the ground.
Inevitably, Yee-Ha chose that moment to finally come out of the forest and ask if she was in need of assistance.
Grace opened her eyes, which had been tightly shut as she swung gently from the bell’s pull-rope, and gave the young Fey an exasperated look. “Do I look like I need help?”
“far be it for me ~ to disagree with beauty ~ but may I say… yes?”
Grace bit back an acerbic reply and focused on the practical, “Ring me.”
Yee-Ha looked perplexed for a moment, then caught her gist. He was no taller than she was, but he didn’t have to be. He put his hands tentatively around her waist and lifted her up easily, surprising her with his strength. The bell gave a gentle “ding” as he lowered her again.
“Harder!” she told him, and he raised her again more vigorously, then again and again until her head was bobbing up and down with the force of the motion and the bell clanged out its call loud and far over the forests until the branch holding it gave way under their combined weight and sent girl, boy, bell and branch crashing down in a final cymballic heap.
“Was that loud enough? ~ my graceful girl companion ~ whose weight lies heavy?”