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Rodger Francis is a freelance artist who spends his time between projects trying to ignore reality and waiting for the mother ship to return. To see more of his work, check out his Web site at or or e-mail him at


The Desert Rose is a continuation of Rips in the Weave. Of course, I knew that when I sat down to write it. What I didn't realize until several pages in was how unraveled the fabric had become. I had my work cut out for me and, not being one to follow a pattern, I was genuinely surprised at the tapestry that emerged from the scattered threads.

As I wove the story, many people contributed their own vibrant colors and textures. John, especially, helped me understand the forces at play and the nature of the realms. Our friend Brandon helped me understand the dedication of a shaman. Donna One gifted me with feathers.

The Desert Rose was meant to be a love story and I believe it turned out that way. It is also a story of sorrow and loss, of anguish and joy, but most of all, it is a story of metamorphosis.



Sassafras heard her brother’s cry muffled by yards of woven thread and knew he was in pain. She spun furiously, along a thread, trying to reach him. The silk shot out behind her and she was compelled to backtrack and weave an intricate pattern, despite her brother’s need. His cry turned to a whimper. Strand over strand she wove, alongside a hundred others like her or a thousand. When did I learn to weave with my two legs? When did I grow four other nimble arms? Her brother’s whimpering had stopped. Strand over strand, she wove her silk threads. She lost herself in the rhythm of the weave, finally forgetting her sister’s betrayal and her brother’s pain.

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