Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Rule of 3 (part 4 of 4)

This is the last installment for the Rule of 3, which I have enjoyed tremendously. I think I’ll be re-tackling this idea (short weekly folktale) starting next week and taking this version of the story of Prince Ivan from the beginning.

In the meantime, here are the links to the previous bits, the original rules (very important for the conclusion), and the prompts for this week:

In Which Three Stories Go Their Separate Ways

Prince Ivan wept bitter tears.

“It’s too soon,” said the wolf.

“You do not belong here. You do not belong in one place,” said Taregh to the mayor.

A rumble erupted from the ground beneath their feet. “We are not alone,” declared the mayor, who was starting to look like he might be an emir. “The land is with us. Renaissance is with us.”

“It is my nest,” growled the simurgh, twice as big as a horse, her dog’s teeth glinting cruelly in the sun, her threat clear.

“Three,” counted the mayor, and in the distance the Roundeli Mountains seemed to stand up.

“Prince!” snapped Taregh, his cool breaking at last, and Prince Ivan swung his sword.

The gray wolf’s mighty head struck the ground with a sound that was altogether not as important as her life had been. The hide and body of the wolf fell away from a disheveled young woman who looked at Prince Ivan with great sorrow.

“It’s too soon,” she said again. “Now I won’t be able to save you.” She held a small crystal flask and a small leather bag.

“Who are you?” he gasped.

Taregh held up the sundial made of bone and caressed its edge with the feather of his quill. It was no larger than the span of his fingers, yet the shadow it cast from the sun crossed the length of the square, covering the town and townspeople in shadow.

“No!” cried the voices of three hundred and thirty-three people as one from the shade.

“Open the bag,” said Taregh, and the young woman did so, and the wind that surrounded Renaissance became a gale. The air of life gave the creature of wind and water strength.

“Break the flask,” he said, and the young woman did so, and with a roar, the creature of wind and water was freed in an explosion of a thousand thousand grains of sand.

The town itself screamed its agony and its rage. “It doesn’t hurt here!” shouted one voice. “We cannot bear another Tragedy!”

“If you stay here on this nest, you cannot share in stories” said Taregh in quiet empathy to the woman who had been an emir and who was now a queen or a president. “Renaissance is Re-Birth. You will bear it. You must. You are always Re-Telling. Now you must continue another story in another place and another time.” The quill spun the sundial’s shadow.

“But it hurts!” wept a man.

“Birth is pain,” said the young woman with the soft voice of experience.

“Who are you?” whispered Prince Ivan.

To the vanishing town and mountains, river, forest and desert, Taregh called out, “You have a marvelous secret,” and then they were gone.

“Where is the simurgh?” asked the young woman, alone on a steppe with Prince Ivan and the not-wizard.

“These are yours,” he answered, handing her a bag, a flask, and an egg. “They belong in your story. Not mine. Not that of Renaissance, which is shared elsewhere and by others.”

And then he, too, was gone.

“Where shall we go?” she asked.

“To seek Koschey the Deathless!” declared Prince Ivan from where he sat upon the white horse with the golden bridle, the cunning disguise of his friend the gray wolf.

“As you say,” she said, and with strides beyond that of any horse she devoured the distance. “I will save him when the time comes,” she thought.

“And yet,” Prince Ivan said to himself, “something about you is not what it seems,” and he wrapped his hands in her mane, trusting nevertheless.

Word Count: 597

Prompt: Relationships mend/ are torn asunder.

11 responses

  1. Good stuff, cheers. Looks like there’s some damn strong competition out there for the shortlist.

    October 30, 2011 at 4:57 am

  2. And…The End! What a journey it has been! And now begins the hardest part: the judging!

    October 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

  3. That was a good ending, thanks for sharing in our Renaissance journey.

    October 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

  4. Interesting ending. It’s good to see a happy ending, though. ^_^

    October 29, 2011 at 4:04 am

  5. I like the way there are still open possibilities at the end if your story.

    Beautiful writing!

    October 28, 2011 at 5:41 am

  6. My favourite quote: “the creature of wind and water was freed in an explosion of a thousand thousand grains of sand” … wonderful!

    October 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

  7. Man. Another wrap up that feels like there should be more ahead. Awesome ending. Turned out much different than I expected. :)

    October 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

  8. We have left Renaissance, but Renaissance may not have left us.



    October 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm

  9. Andrea S. Michaels

    I loved this:
    “But it hurts!” wept a man.
    “Birth is pain,”
    So true!
    And another thing that’s true for us now:
    “Now you must continue another story in another place and another time.”
    I’ve had great fun with Renassaince! :)

    October 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    • I had to have it a man that said that!

      October 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  10. Nothing is ever as it seems :) I like how you ended this without revealing too many of the secrets. I’m having problems letting Renaissance go too :)


    October 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

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