A Dark Fable
Copyright © 2011 Mitchell Wylie
Late rural pastoral summer in a small back-road village. Somewhere within a large, loose, but otherwise normally quite secure domesticated land, though villages are spaced at frontier distances here, a day or three’s ride apart. Only the one road, though it branches at each second way station. This hilltop site is families of shepherds and farmers, and has its priest, a smith and two sons trained to the blade, a pack of rangers of the wood.
And our heroine.
The local mystery of the season — a dishonestly kindness-addled Anórà trader, camped by the commons barn all summer. Like all his mystical wandering caravan folk, he trades from his cluttered wagon of varied bins of needfuls and knick-knacks, sweets and delicate fabrics. But strange for his or any kind, he has for these weeks been nigh surreptitiously swapping gold coins for copper in “mistaking” a silver coin’s change, seeming farsighted and colour blind, and thus confusing the sheen of metals.