Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

Excerpt from “The Letters” series

Here’s an excerpt from book one (in progress) of my fantasy fiction series “The Letters”, entitled “Oh, You Drained the Great Sea, Nice Trick”

     “Do you like my fish?” a tiny voice spoke from the doorway.
     “Oh yes, she is a beautiful fish,” Marten replied, turning to find a small, dark-skinned girl with two pig tails balanced across her nose.
     “He is a beautiful fish,” she corrected him.
     “Oh, and a handsome one, at that,” he assured her.
     “His name is Pen and he’s two years old and he is a Minoch fish from the great northern sea,” she instructed, her pig tails dropping to her shoulders.
    “A Minoch fish?” Marten replied, kneeling to look closely at the tiny white pet in his earthen bowl. “Such a small thing, Pen is, to be the fish of legends – to be the mightiest beast of the seas!”
    “And swallower of ships.”
    “Yes,” he responded, “and swallower of ships. And islands, too, I am told.”
    The girl moved forward to the bowl. She was almost as tall as Marten was while kneeling. “Really? I just heard ships.”
    “I heard islands, too. Small ones, of course,” he replied, a faint smile appearing on his face.
    “Hmm. Well, Pen hasn’t swallowed any islands.” Hesitant, the girl retrieved a pigtail and brushed her nose with it. “And not really any ships, either.”
    “No?”
    “No. But he does chew on his bowl,” the girl added with a little frustration. “My daddy told me he is a cousin of the big monster. He told me there was a mommy and a daddy fish that had lots of children and most of them were small, but one was big. He said the small ones had children that were also small, but the big one had something wrong with her and she kept growing, and all her children kept growing. They just get bigger and bigger and don’t ever stop getting bigger.” She paused, both of them staring at Pen. “Other than that, they are the same.”
    “Oh, very much so, I imagine.”
    The girl perked up, “Oh, except for the eyes. Can you see his eyes? They are pink. The monster has blue eyes, like the sea. Daddy says that sometimes when you look out across the northern sea at night and see sparkles, those are Minoch fish watching people.” Her shoulders drooped. “But I haven’t been to the great northern sea.”
    “What about little guys like Pen? Do they watch us?”
    She perked back up. “They sure do. In the morning, though. Look at the water in the morning and you can see Pen’s eyes sparkle. Or his brothers’ and sisters’ eyes, anyway. And you don’t have to go to the northern sea for that! Little Minochs are in every sea.”
    “Swallowing little ships?”
    “Chewing on them.”
    “Ah, of course.” Marten stood up and put his hand on the girl’s head. “You are the most delightful young lady I believe that – “
    A voice interrupted, “Don’t let her fool you, sir. If you befriend this one now, in ten years she will own you with her charms.”
    “Not ten years, old friend. Ten minutes.”

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