Week Eight Beth Peterson
Lucinda patted the sun-warmed stone of the gargoyle’s shoulder, then pointed out the engraved “M” low on its backside. “And this is the one that your ever-so-many-times-great-grandmother Mattalie turned to stone on Walpurgis Night, 1305.” She glanced lovingly and with approval on her own daughter and granddaughter. “Never forget, no matter normal human prejudice or actions, it is our historic and sacred duty to protect them, and ourselves of course, from those from Outside.”
Week Five Beth Peterson
“The Sound of Choice”
Snap, pop. Maya shook her head in derision as the militia moved past her down-slope. They thought they were being quiet; to Maya’s trained ears, they may as well have been blaring trumpets as they went.
As they began to move into denser undergrowth, Maya sang very quietly to the plants around her. Obligingly, leaves and even branches shifted to give her an unimpeded view.
Maya snaked through the undergrowth, watching. These were scarred perpetrators of infamy. Narrow-eyed, they peered around themselves for evidence of vulnerable villages or people.
All but one. One had his eyes wide open. He seemed to welcome the forest around him, not accuse it of some unnamed crime. This one was truly seeing the world around him.
Maya made a quick decision. He should not be forced to remain with the tainted ones. He must be brought out from them and given an alternative choice. Quietly she began to sing.