I do not know how to write a short story. I can’t do it very well at all. I feel tonight like I should write some brief burst of an untrue tale that lets me spin some fiction without swimming in the lake of my novels but I just can’t do the tiny pieces of story. I need them all to go somewhere larger. But I’ll admit I can’t do this and then try to do it anyway. So I’m compromising. This is a character piece for one of the people in my novel. It’s part of the story in a way, but still its own thing.
At the time it had seemed like a very good idea, like the very best idea she had ever had. The sun had cut hot and bright through the mist-heavy air, back when the world was younger and the water was woven thickly into the atmosphere. It was probably that very dewy youngness– of the world, of herself–that left her feeling softly drunk and very much at ease. Back then Mari had liked very much to travel in the upper places. She liked especially to visit the trees.
He had been in the trees when she first saw him, perched in the branches like a bird of prey. An owl bright-eyed with the hunt in the light of day. It was the very incongruity of him that drew her. He was fully human but, unlike others in the Thinn, he seemed to Mari a creature unto himself. He was not like her, but he was not like most humans either. He carried the memory of the water in his sinews, because even as he sat still in the oak he seemed somehow all fluid and grace. It was then that she had her very best idea. It was then that she fell so deeply in love with her very best idea that she committed to it forever, knowing even at the moment she thought it she could see the ends happening in the far off tomorrows, blood-drenched and then slowly draining, dwindling to dry. She could see how it would end her but somehow none of that mattered. It was all far-distant and the boy who was boy and bird and briny sea was right there in front of her.
She would do what none of the rest of her kind had ever done before. She would make a new life with the boy from the tree. She would do this not because she wanted to but because she had to. There really was no other choice.
Mariloneanna opened her soul to the joy of the sun and the water and the trees and put that joy into song.