For the next few weeks, I will be featuring the work of fellow members of the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors (RWISA). Please check back each day to see an eclectic sample of fine writing by these talented authors. Today I am pleased to present: WENDY SCOTT and her original short story: “NAVIGATOR.”WENDY SCOTT
by Wendy Scott
Luke’s body whirled through the portal in a kaleidoscope of starlight and rainbows. Burnt ozone stung his nostrils, and his stomach roiled as if live dragonflies flitted inside. He clutched his grandfather’s palm tighter, the only connection anchoring them together while they spun into the void, guided by the compass in his grandfather’s other hand.
“We’re here.” His grandfather’s words whistled with wheeziness.
He released Luke and turned away, pocketing the compass, but his old man’s movements weren’t quick enough to hide the tremors or his shortness of breath.
A mountain breeze, tinged with smoke ruffled the tussock grasses underfoot. In the valley below, Luke pinpointed a chimney on a cluster of shacks beside fenced paddocks. Had the old man’s sense of direction faded and cast them adrift?
“Follow me.” His grandfather rolled his shoulders back, lifted his head high, and led the descent.
Mindful of their journey’s mission doubt dragged at Luke’s feet. At only twelve, would he be found worthy? He didn’t want to think about his grandfather’s declining health if their bid was rejected.
Metallic scent tainted the air as they skirted past the dwellings; a one-room cottage, barn, and a smithy. Orange coals smoldered on the forge, hammers, and tongs lined up in military precision, but the pockmarked leather apron hung empty from a hook on the open door.
Without pause, his grandfather guided Luke out the back to the horse corrals. A bear of a
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