In the place where I live it is said that if someone does not wear these shoes, those who fell into the ground will take you down with them, and you, too, will become a part of the land’s history.
I could not stay like I promised, so I took father’s satchel hidden underneath his bed and followed the smell of him. If I could not smell anger, I could at least smell my father, wandering the valley bloodthirsty and violent. In the search for my father, I found someone else. Another man, smelling for something angry, with only one eye and a tangling beard. He was distinctly foreign.
“Where did you get those shoes?” he asked me.
I told them that the good graces gave me whatever I had.
The man smelled my skin and laughed. “You smell like fresh meat,” he said. “You smell like you expect to be killed and eaten alive. What kind of boy would run around this fog like that?”
From the mountainside I watched a giant crane fly down beside me and place two of its feathers onto my feet for flight.
“Let me go to find what I seek,” I said.
I left with these things, the only things left in a house barren. I left wearing the leather-bottomed shoes grandmother blessed before she died. I left mother nibbling on her fingers in want of food.
A woman from the mountain dressed in dragon scales walked down towards me. Her feet were as bare as mine but that did not seem to matter, because wherever she stepped her feet did not make a sound. “I hear of a man who can perform miracles. He walks across the soil without danger and carries with him his father’s ring. Are you this man?”
The woman in dragon scales glided up the mountain and vanished in the mists. The needle bade me to follow her snow white hairs that glistened like silver strands of dew.
Forms circulated around my body on all sides and I could no longer breathe. Lungs tight and waist constricted I watched as my skin turned into the color of soil. I could no longer distinguish my body from the mountain’s.
As soon as my parched, cracked lips touched the cool water of the clear spring, my tongue began to hungrily lap the coolness into my throat to fill my stomach, to fill my blood. The last time I had coughed with a wet throat or laughed with a satisfied stomach had been so long ago. The rushing of the waterfall that fed the spring I was drinking from drowned all sounds from my ears so that I was left in a world where all I need worry about is swallowing this fountain of nourishment. When I had had my fill, or as much as I could handle at the moment, I stood and viewed the paradise that surrounded me: the lush vegetation that yielded precious ruby apples and pears yellow with inviting ripeness. All around me were luxuries I had never imagined I would live to consume.
I saw the familiar clearing with my father’s chopping block and the axe he used for splitting wood on the ground beside it. Home. I ran through the trees, the wind in my ears, my breath leaving my throat in heavy huffs, my feet slapping the earth beneath the trees of these woods, these woods that had stood between myself and my home for so long.
With each step I took, the people of soil tried to clench my feet harder and began to pull me down.
Before I entered the foreign kingdom, a general dressed in black and red wearing white paint asked me who I was and how I came. I told him about my shoes, about my needle, and about the creature I had slain. His eyes opened in delight, and he scribbled down my boasts on a parchment of yellow paper.
“As a child, my son could dance along the soil so quickly that the men who died and live in the ground could not catch him. Prove this to me now,”
Father began to tell my story (with added embellishments and nuances) of rescue and courage to the others.
A familiar gold and silken robe of dragon scales was placed in my hands on account of me killing the creature. For an odd reason I could not help but feel regret. The girl with the white hair and her foxlike sibling did not mean any real harm but only wanted to protect the mountain as the men of soil bade them do.
A girl with snow white hair came to the house later that day, looking for the man with the leather-bottomed shoes and coat of dragon scales. She told me she was betrothed to that man who had taken her creature form and made her human. She reminded me of the mountain. She was beautiful.
This is a ‘StumbleUpon’ Generated Fairytale that I created on the Brown University website
Post your stories or your links and share with the “class”.
☮ & ♥