Apothecary Tales

c h a p t e r  5

inverno insights

Apothecary - Seasons Playing Cards - Ch4

that night was particularly brutal...

That night was particularly brutal.

            Stretched out on the ground, the boy silently cursed himself. He'd come all that way to find the bandits, and in the very moment when he'd perhaps done so, he'd revealed himself to be a perfect coward.

            He'd let himself down. And his grandfather.

            As tears curled around from the corners of his eyes, the boy prayed hard for sleep. He prayed for his grandfather's health, as well. Yet the fear that the strangers had lit up in him refused to darken. What little sleep he got was interrupted by nightmares: frowning, wolf-like faces drifting toward him from the shadows...

            He clutched his grandfather's carving in his hand, so tightly that it nearly cracked his flesh. The harder he gripped it, the more focused his thoughts grew and with it.

            Soon the bark began to create a soft greenish glow. Soon they were crisp, clear, focused – sharp.

            And he saw in his mind's eye the smiling face of his grandfather.

            Not the grandfather he'd known in recent days, but the earlier one...the curious and spirited one!

            As he clutched the carving, he gained understanding and insight. Somehow, deep inside, he knew that he hadn't let his grandpa down – not at all. He wasn't sure how but slowly he felt a shift and knew something had changed. In fact, he suddenly – strangely – felt calm and centered.  As his eyes drifted closed the boy failed to notice the subtle glowing from his hand. Between the gaps of his fingers the bark had changed from green... to yellow.