phantomcranefly: The Tenth Doctor, with text:  "Why, oh why do I never learn to ascertain my time-space location on arrival?" (Default)
[personal profile] phantomcranefly
Or, How Janetha Rescued Her True Love from the Witch-Queen of the Centaur

Long ago, before my grandmother’s grandmother was born, there lived a girl named Janetha. And O! in those days the sun rode high, and the grass grew long, and the plains stretched on without end.

Now, Janetha was very brave, and very beautiful, and she could run far and fast, faster than any other child in her tribe. But she could also be very foolish, as the very brave and very young sometimes are. And so, when Janetha was three summers past her coming-of-age, her tribe came to a river, farther north than they had ventured in three generations. And they camped there by the river for a time, and on the other side of the river there was a great forest, full of soft-winged owls and great proud stags. Now, Janetha’s grandmother warned the tribe not to cross the river, for in that forest lived a band of wicked centaur, led by the sorcerer Tamlen who was the most wicked of all, and they would let none pass.

But Janetha would not heed her grandmother’s warnings, for she was young, and proud, and if something was forbidden, then there was nothing she wanted more in the world. So late at night, she wrapped her green cloak about her shoulders and stole away from camp, fording the river where it flowed wide and shallow over red stone, and entered the forest of the centaur. For a time she walked unseen in the shadows, keeping a wary eye to the trees, but presently she came to a clearing where grew roses of every color tangled wild about each other. Janetha abandoned caution then, rushing out into the moonlight to pick one, when a wild cry rose from the bushes.

She stood and stared, then, for the man who appeared in the clearing was no centaur, but tauren, bronze of coat and strong of arm, though his hair was muddy and snarled and he was clad only in leaves. “Leave these roses be!” he shouted. “How have you come here? None may walk in these green woods without asking leave!”

But Janetha was not afraid, and she answered him, “I will ask no leave of you, nor anyone, for it is not right that one should bar another from traveling where they will.” He smiled then and took her hand, and as she looked him in the eye, she whispered, “You are Tamlen, then, are you not?”

Janetha stayed all that night with Tamlen under the roses, and in the grey light before the dawn she tied her muddy green cloak around her shoulders and walked with him back to the river. But when they came to the bank, he stopped and could go no further, though she asked him to join her and walk together under the sun. Tamlen would not speak, but let go her hand and stepped back into the forest, and so with heavy heart and hoof Janetha turned away from her newfound love and returned to the tent of her father.

So, I've missed my goal of one post a week, but I figured I'd get the first half up while it's only a day late. I keep underestimating how long it'll take me to write things.


phantomcranefly: The Tenth Doctor, with text:  "Why, oh why do I never learn to ascertain my time-space location on arrival?" (Default)

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