This section sounds sometimes like a western and sometimes like The Princess and Curdie. An excellent combination. And have you noticed how silent this story is? Each section has at least one conversation in it, but in between are stretches of weeks and months where there is hardly any sound even outside the man. The soundtrack to this film would be very sparse. I find this effective and would like to know what you think.
Along the way were wonders the man had never heard rumor of. Great plumes of steaming water that blasted upwards from barren rock. Small silverish creatures that looked as if they were made of molten metal and slid over rocky terrain like dripping rivulets. Swarms of glowing nightmoths that numbered in the millions and wrought the fields strange with luminance where there should have been shadow so that it seemed as if he rode at times the underside of some other world in which darkness shone and those things too solid for darkness to pass through cast about them instead shadows of fluttering light.
One night the man and horse were followed by a dozen lithe limberwolves more inquisitive than aggressive and the man gripped his blade unsheathed and kept alert to their movements in the field but was more curious of the bearing of the pale horse when it was asked to hold its nerve in such a hostile surround.
The horse rolled its eyes and laid its ears back but trusted the man’s calming voice and did not spook and after more than a league of such tense company the wolves caught some other scent and wheeled away to the north, leaving the travelers to their journey.
They slept that night in a meadow illumined by nightmoths and when they set out the next morning they crossed into a dead forest of blackened, moistureless trees and rode it for three days till the horse’s hooves were smutted by the passage over an endless carpet of ash that muffled all sound in that stillness. They slept in the ash and they breathed in the ash and they saw no creatures stir in that grey place save an unkindness of ravens alighting on spindly branches from which dark cinders dispersed and floated downwards like snow misremembered.
What was your favorite passage this week? Post it below! And then come hang out with us in the forum!
Did you know that Jennifer Trafton, the author of “The Wooing of Sophelia Stupe,” has a brand-new book coming out on Tuesday? It’s called Henry and the Chalk Dragon, and it is wonderful. You can preorder a signed copy at the Rabbit Room. Preorders come with two free coloring pages!