With this excerpt we come to the end of “The Places Beyond the Maps” as well as the end of Wingfeather Tales. We’ve had some good forum discussion about these stories—conversations about dragon hunting, the risks of friendship, where we got stuck and what we loved. You Featherheads! I enjoy you. It’s good to dig into this stuff together.
What a full, rich story this last one was. So hard. So unexpectedly graceful at times, even in the midst of those hard places. Like the glorious number One Thousand, so satisfying to count to. I was hoping for a paragraph or two that would close out our book club with poignancy and beauty, and this part was perfect.
The man was curled on his side in the middle of a shallow river whose waters rushed dark and behind him the darkness grew while before him a clear light spread like the refractions of diamonds and yet there was no source to it but it was everywhere, and he knew that he had been crossing that river though he had no memory of his first steps into those waters or of why he had lain down in it.
He tilted his head and listened now because there was a lovely music, and at first it had seemed far away but it drew steadily nearer and the man felt himself stirred by the melody fierce and joyful, and he sensed in it the beginning of something like a kindling of a flame in his bones, a stirring that was both within and without and that was calling him to rise and he thought that it must be the music of the whatever-came-next, the music of the forever wild and unmapped lands, of the places beyond all maps, urging him on across that last river, and it came to him with a sense both of nostalgia and of expectation that it was a music he had known before or perhaps always known and had always heard in the wind and the stars and in the beating of his own heart like a melody that had never ceased playing though he could not quite yet name it, and he craned his head towards the source of it and opened his eyes.
What was your favorite part of this week’s reading? Post it in the comments!
See you in the forum!