A Small Note Held Down by a Tiny Green Stone

Nobody noticed until the next morning, when the village seemed to erupt into a concentrated mass of worry and anxiety.

She had taken her things, quietly and in the night. Her parents had awoke to find that the fire had nearly died, and a small note held down by a tiny green stone.

"I'm sorry," the note said, "but it was time."

Time for what? the anxious villagers wanted to know. They missed Lucy, who washed the clothes and cleaned the homes of the village's more elderly members. They missed Lucy, who told them stories, and more importantly, listened to the stories they needed so desperately to tell.

Where could she have gone? they all wondered.

Everyone wanted to place blame, it seemed, and in less then three days' time, several less sensible members of Lucy's quilting group believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the boy on the corner of the square had murdered Lucy in her bed, chopped her up, and fed the pieces to his horse.


Up on the top of the mountain, the old man turned his face to the wind, and to the stars that winked out of their cerulean blanket of sky. He sniffed the air, which flowed across his body like the undercurrent of the ocean.

A slow smile spread across his face.

She had heard. It had begun.

And now he could die in peace.

The End

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