Do you remember sitting on the carpet in front of your teacher in first grade? You had the nicest teacher, the best storyteller, the one who put the right emphasis at exactly the right spot because she’d been reading these stories to children for years, but all you knew was that she had a gentle voice, and she smelled pretty, and when she read you a story, you were there. We always called them magic carpet stories. That is the atmosphere I’m striving for here. While not all our storytimes will involve happy endings (or, as mentioned previously, endings at all), that feeling of getting away, of being a part of it, of being welcomed and embraced into the magic is what we look for here.
And so I could use your help. Input, thoughts, suggestions, questions… all are welcome. Stop by in the comments, or shoot me an email at kat(dot)morrissette(at)gmail.com. I look forward to leading you all in our very first Magic Carpet Story. Gather round, boys and girls!
She ran, stumbling past her little encampment of rebels, falling against a tree, where she leaned as her stomach bucked and heaved her lunch into the snow. She pushed at her hair, trying to stop it from slipping in front of her mouth as the sickness continued.
A hand reached forward to hold her hair for her, and she didn’t question it. She let the long fingers, the wide palm stroke her bangs back from her forehead as she recovered. Her breath sobbed in and out as the tears slid down her cheeks.
Taking a fistful of snow and wiping her mouth, she turned to face the owner of the hand. Her brows slammed together in bewilderment. “Simon?”
He smiled gently, his black eyes somehow glowing with compassion. “That’s me,” he said.
She shook her head, slightly dazed. “But… you’ve spent the entire journey avoiding me. You made it clear that you don’t like me. Why… Why are you helping me now?”
He ducked his head. “It’s not that I didn’t like you. I wasn’t sure if we could trust you. I don’t really want to go into it now.” He flicked his glance towards their fellows.
“Okay,” she muttered, unconvinced.
“Come on, let’s get you by the fire and you can tell us what happened, alright?” His thumb brushed her cheek, which flamed with colour. She jerked to her feet and stood braced against the tree, shaking like a leaf.
He shook his head slightly and slipped an arm around her waist. “Lean on someone a little bit. You’re human, just like the rest of us. We know you’re not invulnerable. Let us help you, for once.”
“I’m the leader,” she whispered, her voice raw from both emotion and being sick. “You are following me. You trust me to guide you in the right direction. How can you have that faith in me if I can’t even support myself?”
“That’s what this is about? You want to prove you’re worthy to lead us?” He gaped at her. “You’ve done that ten times over by saving our lives, by telling us the truth, by providing for us. You don’t have to pretend to be perfect. That’s their goal, not ours. You can’t preach the beauty of imperfection and then turn around and strive for the exact opposite. That will cause you to lose our respect. Not seeing you cry, or laugh, or hurt.”
She blew out a slow breath and her eyes slid shut. Her mouth firmed before she looked up at Simon again. “You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry. But I can walk. You helped me, and I needed it. I thank you for it. If you could help me once again, I’d like to see everyone gathered by the fire. But I need to get there myself. That has nothing to do with wanting perfection.”
He narrowed his eyes at her for a moment before nodding his assent and walking away to gather her people.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s story fragment. As always, thanks for reading!