Four Quills of a Tale- as scribed by Elias Kent (Entry 6)

(Four Quills of a Tale is a folktale about losing one’s creativity and the struggle to regain it)

Entry 1

Entry 2

Entry 3

Entry 4

Entry 5

Where was she, my precious girl who stood by my side village after village? Who filled me with such light!? Such color!? Now, my trustworthy companion, my leader, had left my side.

Hours, perhaps days later, I heard the distinct and distant sound of her honk. It lifted me from the cold ground and my feet followed where my ears lead.

A swirling fog of color engulfed me as if I were trapped inside a tube of colored glass. My arms flailed and, clearing the fog from my vision, I happened upon an old wooden bridge. I hesitated, but only for a brief moment. Goose’s honk continued calling me forward.

On the other side of the bridge, my body became heavy and light at the same time. My eyes were drawn to a beautifully welded lamppost reaching toward the stars and alive with a small, enticing flame.

At the post’s base stood a bald man of abbreviated stature. How curious he was! With one eye, he stared in his hand-held mirror’s reflection and seemed to look behind him with one eye, while staring forward at me with the other.

“Name?” he asked, rudely.

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Katarina by CDW

 

Four Quills of a Tale (as scribed by Elias Kent) – Entry 4

(Four Quills of a Tale is a folktale about losing one’s creativity and the struggle to regain it)

Entry 1

Entry 2

Entry 3

I stroke the feathered quills between my calloused fingers with care, unsure what to expect. Katrina the Great Storyteller has been my shining star atop the tallest pyramid and, if the old woman is correct, Katrina will soon be revealed. But what if my grandiose impression of her becomes one of  disillusionment? As a General orders the march forward, my duty calls. I inhale a breath of courage and place the first goose feather quill between my fingers. I insert the quill into the ink.

What is this? The quill refuses the ebony ink, repelling it like water on a duck. My hand trembles, but calms when the nib forces my press upon the parchment.

It is because of Goose, my muse, that this is, my final story, will be written and subsequently told. I trust that you, Mr. Kent, will not become tiresome or burdened with this charge, but instead, ultimately enlightened and fulfilled.

            I drop the quill. Yes, I am scribing. But these thoughts, these words, this handwriting, is not my own!

The quill rolls decisively toward my trembling hand. I have no recourse but to, again, place the first goose-feathered quill between my fingers.

I never abandoned you, my listening friends. Not with intention. I once was a soul of brilliant color. Sometimes, my hues of imagination were bountiful and my flowers bloomed from gardens sweet. I tilled the soil, deep in exploration of dreams, and stirred fertile ideas in the rich black earth.            

            Once discovered, I took the gems to flowing rivers, cleaned them, and analyzed them with curious and appreciate eyes. Oh, how I loved those times—when Goose and I traveled the countryside sharing tales of imagination with you! Even now, I smile remembering how Goose fluffed her tail feathers with bravado when amongst the listeners.

            And then the colors of my imagination began to fade. Weeds in my gardens multiplied like diseased cells. I yanked and pulled, discarding the bad, hoping the good would conquer. Sometimes, the scarce treasures bled around my hand and trembled with frustration like a blank canvas waiting for paint. Particles of uncertainty coursed through my veins. I tried to find the voice within my stories and the stories within my voice. But they had vanished, as if stolen by thieves in the darkest of night.

            What could I offer if not my stories?

to be continued ….

Four Quills of a Tale- as scribed by Elias Kent (entry 3)

Dear bloggers, I need your help. After rediscovering something I wrote a few years ago, I am recovering the story and editing as I go. Is this a worthwhile project? Have you read the last two entries? No pressure, but any comments or advice will help me in this endeavor. Thanks so much!

(Four Quills and a Tale is a folktale about losing one’s creativity and the struggle to regain it)

Entry One

Entry two

Alas, I remember something new.

“There is a canteen in fine leather casing on the kitchen table,” the old woman had told me. “Drink from it and quench your thirst before you depart.”

Stitched into the leather were gems of topaz, emeralds, rubies and other fine stones I did not recognize. I had picked up the canteen only to realize something anew. The colored gems where not gems at all, but oval splashes of color flush with the leather, yet so vibrant, I felt I could have pulled them off and filled my pockets.

Upon her suggestion, I had pulled out the cork and drank the refreshing liquid allowing its contents to soothe my questions and irritations. Then, quite peculiarly, my heart began to pound and my palms moistened. It was then, the first time in my months of travel that I yearned for home.

Unmoving from my desk, I Elias Kent, find myself dubious regarding the box before me and the old woman who allowed me to take it home.

Yet, the villagers never waivered in their faith of the free-spirited Katarina. And why would they? In her ingenious manner, she had mesmerized her listeners with a prolific and creative tongue. Tis’ the reason for their bewilderment when she disappeared.

Months went by and when traveling carriages, horsemen, and tradesmen heard no news of Katarina, her admirers fell into despair. Some became angry calling her “The Great Deserter.” Some believed she had become ill or had been taken by thieves who held her captive for her stories. Other speculators believed Katrina had given so much of herself, that she faded into the darkness like cold ashes blown into empty air.

I force myself to look down from these thoughts and pick up one leaf of the parchment. Exquisite it is! Like a jeweler feeling gold for the first time.

But what is the scrawl? Have my eyes defrauded me? Why have I not seen this before?  I pick up the small square of paper and read:

These feathers, made into writing quills, came from my goose, my muse. Trust them to write the story but know that…

The remaining words have faded away like our Katarina. I am no longer deterred. Her story must begin.

 

Four Quills of a Tale -as scribed by Elias Kent (entry 2)

Entry 1

(Four Quills and a Tale is a folktale about losing one’s creativity and the struggle to regain it)

As you can imagine, I was agog with surprise and confusion. I had traveled miles and miles in search of the mystical Katerina and there, in that small cottage, my journey ended with an old woman who merely handed me a box of quills and folio of parchment.

Now, as I stare at the items before me, I can only muster the shake of my head. How can these things help me discover what happened to the Great Storyteller?

I do not, dear reader, relish the idea of keeping you in the dark, nor do I intend to quicken your despair. I do, however, require you be provided with a parcel of background about our magical storyteller, thereupon allowing you to not only feel her heartbeat, but its unfortunate absence.

Katrina traveled far spinning her tales so clearly that villagers felt like clay being molded by a gentle potter’s hand.

After departing each village, her cascading auburn hair and multi-colored skirt disappearing into the distance, her tales kept the residents alive with exuberance as if she had dribbled potent nectar from a sorcerer’s cup over the entire town, leaving them enraptured.

The oft-feuding townsmen became docile. Fussy children played with a new aloofness. Hardworking laborers rejoiced as they leaned over hot melting irons or carried objects twice their weight. Women washing clothing in the river disrobed, danced, and splashed one another as if small children.

Katerina had given them something they had all been longing but were unaware they lacked – something new and tantalizing. Something fresh. Exotic stories of gold raining in a forest, a two-headed serpent who entertained himself by singing opera while he ate, a feathered boy whom the red-beaked eagle thrillingly hunted.

Then, after time, Katrina disappeared and it became my life’s focus to find her.

And now, I stare at the quills next to this parchment and work up the courage to pick up the first of four.

 

 

Four Quills of a Tale – as scribed by Elias Kent (entry 1)

If my newfound knowledge was an honorable truth, these four newly acquired quills upon my desk will finish the tale. Then you, and I, will finally discover the truth of what happened to this beloved woman.

I must inform you that I do not consider myself an author. I am a historian. Tis’ the reason I took it upon myself to discover how and why she disappeared and left the countryside in such deep despair that they deemed it “The Reign of Drought.”

Hence, I traveled this side of the globe gathering bits and pieces of her existence from contacts with perfect but willing strangers.

If the old woman in the cottage was correct, that she was indeed the last to see Katrina the Great Storyteller, then, according to her, these four newly acquired quills she gifted me will guide my weary hand without waver or indifference to me.

Yet, they remain untouched on my desk.

Yes, I stall to pick up the first of the four. I have traveled too far and if disappointment awaits …

I allow my mind to stray from the quills. I think of the nameless old woman with the silver hair who rocked to and fro in her chair, her thin hands folded on her petite lap, the oil lamp dimly lit in the corner of her one room cottage.

“Please ma’am,” I had said. “I have traveled many paths for an answer and carried with me many questions. Your path is my last. Will you unburden me?”

She peeled her eyes away from her lap and looked at me for the first time. “My dear Mr. Kent,” she said in a whisper of age yet one as clear as a robin’s song. “There is never a last path, nor a last road. Only a last breath.”

And then, she gave me the box.