WINNER: Vignettes of a Dying World
Ahhh, it’s so nice to announce a winner to a competition. The pleasure of saying “Yes, this person… Nay, this victor did scratch their head many a time, and erase words, and mumble, and moan… But through the sweat of their brow, they have-”
Too over the top? Probably. But nonetheless, it’s always nice to announce that passion, and it’s my pleasure to say that the individual known as Rap Three Times has won themselves a copy of Endless Legend. And here, for both your pleasure and mine, is their winning entry (A little over word count, but forgivably so):
Notes On The Mad Fairies
Scanning the merchant’s wares, your eyes pick out a leather-bound book. The spine reads “Notes on the Mad Fairies”. Opening it midway, you begin to thumb through the book.
…that thrice blessed day I heard the singing. Oh how sweet that sound, how to ever describe it? Should I compare it to birdsong, or music, or the rhythm of droplets on a flowing stream? Should I speak of my tears or the blush on my cheeks? Maybe I should babble like a madman hoping for something coherent to come out? Neither my hand nor my mouth could ever satisfy my heart!
You skip ahead.
Despite those years at the College, I could never fully explain what happened that day when I first heard the elven-song as it sifted through the trees. In truth, those minutes/ hours passed as a dream from which I wished never to wake, and the harsh ache of the silence when indeed I did eventually awaken shook me so grossly to my core that I shivered and trembled for I don’t know how long. In all my like, it was the emptiness I felt afterwards that hurt and stung the most. The life I had treasured and clung to happily was now shown to be dreary as mud, colourless as spittle and weary as death. Nowhere could I rest, never could I be content until I could again hear that wondrous and magical music that sprung from their mouths.
You thumb further ahead.
… I know that the music I heard was their song of the hunt! They say that one who hears it is forever marked, and indeed I would believe these rumours. It has been many years since that night and not one day has passed that I haven’t thought about it. My life has been changed irrevocably.
More pages are passed over.
There are beasts prowling outside my tower and once I heard one scratch at my door. The heavy oak will withstand a great deal, but I find myself wondering what is drawing them to my lintel.
Today, my last servant finally deserted me. He says I am cursed but if only they knew! I am not cursed! I am blessed! Can’t they see that? Damn those fools, their noise only cluttered my ears. I give them all leave to go, begone and never bother me with your petty things.
You skip to the last page, the writing here is sloppy and almost illegible.
I haven’t slept for days. I think, no, I’m sure I heard the song again. Just outside, in the forest. Yes, I’m sure. They came back for me, they called to me. I was at the door but then they stopped. Ahaha! They are clever ones, they know how to tease me. I have been humming what little I can remember but my heart can never make that music. The animals, they leave me gifts in the way animals do. I recognised one of the bodies, it was a servant I once had, a stable-hand. I must go to them, whatever the outcome…
The book ends abruptly here.
You throw a few coins onto the table and put the book into your satchel, your path to the Wild Walkers becoming clearer still.