Wisdom on the MountainHala struggled up the mountain step by painful step, hunching her shoulders against the cold, but she would not give up. The Cursed Wisewoman’s advice was her last hope; if she could not find her, she might as well die here.Sharp edges cut her fingers when she had to climb a steep outcrop.. Icy wind spooled her breath from her lungs - but the sight when she crested the obstacle took it away entirely. An old oak tree, more trunk than branches, huddled in the lee of a boulder. An old, lined face formed of craggy bark was too clearly visible to be a trick of the light.When Hala approached the Wisewoman of legend, a creak announced the opening of her eyes. Yellow-brown and baleful they regarded the human woman.Hala swallowed and took a few deep breaths, gathering thin air in her lungs. “Honoured Wisdom, I request your help.”“Yeeeers, of course you do. And what do you have for me?”“I…” This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. And the
Second ChildhoodMarco picked up his son and took him away from the wail-filled bedroom, so his wife could take care of her father. Over the last months the old man had deteriorated; by now he was so confused he could hardly speak, and threw tantrums like a toddler. His little grandson at the same time had grown quiet, watching with wide eyes. The boy knew his parents thought his grandfather’s behaviour disturbed him. That was all right. He also knew quite soon they would be thrilled with how smart he would turn out. The same had happened a lifetime ago.