Some Butterflies on a Cold Winter’s Day (from my Patreon page)

I thought I would give you a taste of the story I uploaded to Patreon this month.  Remember, if you sign up for just $1 a month, you will get the full story plus all the ones that have already been uploaded.  In addition, I will continue uploading stories from my collection Mystics and Misfits.  You can can sign up here my Patreon page.

Lepidoptera (excert) by Robert Garbin

With a look of determination, Maia followed Diocles along the winding paths of the sacred groves.  Diocles was twenty now and two years older than her but he never spoke down to Maia, even though next year would be his time to enter the Wood of Calling and find his place among the Sindain people.  To Maia’s dismay a new seriousness had put distance between them where they had been inseparable before.  Today they were going to the Shrine of Memory to see the great works the ancestors had created before the thousand year war with the Hadar.  The costs had been great for both peoples, yet the Hadar refused to relent; all entreaties were answered with weapons.

Ahead, Diocles turned and waved impatiently.  Sensing the tension in her beloved bother, Maia quickened her pace as the paths shifted with the magical pull of the Wood of Calling.  She recalled the fear of her first encounter with the shifting pathways of the shrines that circled the great Wood at the center of Sindain life.  Falling to her knees, Maia had cried in terror as the shifting landscape confused her senses, leaving her feeling lost.  Her brother had calmly lifted her up and firmly held her hand as he demonstrated how to follow the flows surrounding the Woods.  Maia now moved with the ease of a sailor plying the great seas she had once heard about.  Catching her brother, she slipped her small hand into his powerful grip, a grip that was firm yet gentle

 The paths seemed longer than usual today and by the time they reached the Shrine of Memory Maia needed to catch her breath, which felt wrong to her.  She felt something was trying to draw her attention to something important.  Her mother had told her to always be aware of the paths between the Groves and Temples since Sky Father spoke to the Sindain in subtle ways, a path may take longer to remind you to have patience or to strengthen your body.  The sight of a wounded animal may guide you to a healer’s life or a hunter’s existence.  As Maia climbed the steps to the Shrine of Memory, she could not shake the feeling that Sky Father had taken personal notice of her, drawing out the paths to get her attention.

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