Saturday, March 11, 2017

Story Fragment #7: Magic pebbles

Murgatroyd Largen was walking along the beach, muttering to herself and looking for more magic pebbles to add to her collection. It was just after high tide, on the day after the full moon, which seemed to be the optimal time for discovering new pebbles.

Most people would think that her "collection" was just a velvet pouch of some thin, flat pebbles, but Murgatroyd knew better. A self-proclaimed witch, she had felt called by each pebble she gathered, and each had come to her at precisely the time she needed the power it possessed.

As she wandered the shore, occasionally reaching toward a particular pebble  to see if she could feel it drawing her in, she failed to notice the young man on a unicycle who was approaching her. Just as she registered his presence, he quickly reached out, grabbed the pouch from her hand and sped away.

Later that afternoon, after a most disappointing visit to the police station--where she had basically been laughed out of the building upon reporting the theft of her magic pebbles--Murgatroyd sat in front of a roaring fire, drinking a cup of tea and absently stroking the fur of her beloved cat, Periwinkle. A loud, persistent knocking at her door pulled her from her melancholy reverie.

Opening the door, she found herself face to face with a young man she didn't recognize--but looking beyond him, she saw a unicycle lying in her yard, so she knew precisely who her visitor was.

The young man stammered as he began to speak. "S-s-sorry to bother you, ma'am, but I wanted to return you pouch and apologize for my behavior. I'm the person who stole from you this morning--I thought your pouch would contain money, and I have debts to pay. When I got home, I found nothing but pebbles. I took one out, and as soon as I touched it, I felt this irresistible  need to return the whole thing to you."

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