I follow a lot of writing prompt blogs on Tumblr, for those days I just can’t get my motor going. Came around one the other day I really liked, and I really liked the snippet that came of it, so have some more Kortan.
“Write about a journey that takes longer than the stay at the destination.” – dropkickwritersblock
The journey to and from the summit took over a fortnight, near half a month spent away from the work in the fields. But to see the stars on this certain peak on this certain night… Kortan’s father swore it would be worth it. Kortan’s eleven-year-old feet did not agree. His younger sister could ride—and so could he, if he would swallow his pride and shift—but he walked for all eight days on his own two feet, more or less.
The Lover’s Tears, they called it, when Li’Daea wept for her sister and her lover both, one descended into the underworld to retrieve the other. Kortan didn’t know about all that, but he knew the sweetbreads they carried with them were made from the first of the summer’s wheat and the last of the summer’s berries. And that he wasn’t to have any until the best of them had been given up in thanks, a symbolic well-wishing for Dareiya’s long journey.
Surely, it couldn’t be any longer than their own.
But the great bonfire of the camp at the top of the peak was the biggest he’d ever seen, and he met a girl with hair like spun copper who stole from him his first kiss, and the sweetbreads made by the distant caravans were even better than the ones he’d coveted on the trip up.
And then the stars began to fall.
Great swathes of starlight, racing across the sky and leaving shimmering trails in their wake. Hundreds of hundreds of stars, more than he thought were even in the sky, falling and falling, crashing from one end of the sky to the other. From the peak, they could see all the way to the sea, see as the weeping stars fell past the horizon, into the dark waters of the dead. It filled him with awe, and terror.
Kortan never forgot those stars. Even as he fell through the darkness himself, he knew himself to be a star, a tear that Li’Daea herself had wept.