an excerpt from my book, “Limora Gate” — faucon
She would not have known of the stream bed beneath her feet save for the tactile crunch of hidden gravel. Only in early summer did a trickle eke its way down this shallow course, now buried in leaves and windfall branches. She followed. Down to crack in the shale wall where it was swallowed up again to appear as if by magic in a spring below somewhere. Up between patches of dried up ferns. Up through hints of velvet moss. Up to an elfin cave behind a thorny bush. She lay on her chest to breath in the cool, most air. There was water still! And music! Tiny chimes as crystal drops rained on a hidden pool inside. Limora cupped her ears to shield out the rustle of the pines.
Ping-g-ggg. Ploink. Pledupe. Now stream appeared at the lip — a special balance of birth and death having been achieved in this crack — womb and tomb the same. She reached carefully in — barely large enough — an adult never could. Her fingers dipped as in a font of holy water to touch three stones — three alone, no bigger than pearls. Dare she? One by one she extracted them to lie on a leaf by her chin. She thought to take one — but which. They seemed the same, yet cannot be, formed as there were by antiquity. She closed her eyes and listened to the thunder from the tiny cave — a storm raging within — her soul that is. She sensed a movement. Open! The tiniest frog imaginable had emerged from the pool’s protection. It could have been a fly had she not have been so close — irony. Its skin slowly changed to match the color of the leaf — then gone; only to appear again on the farthest stone.