The River Girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a house by the river. It only had three rooms: a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. It was a very small house, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in magic. You see, the house was made of wood found from the banks of the river.

The townspeople did not know much about the girl and her house; only that she had the unique ability to bring magic into their lives. Whether is be a simple cure for a cold, or the gift of making the crops grow, the girl's magic was used to help all of the townspeople.

To acquire the magic, the girl would enter her house by the river. The longer she stayed, the more magic she absorbed. Then, she would take one of three stones that she had found at the riverbank - stones that helped the girl retain her magic - and she would put all but a little of the magic into the stones. This way, she could keep the leftover magic in the stones.

Every day, the girl would visit the townspeople when the sun was at its height. She would conjure water out of thin air to cool their tongues. The girl would make food appear for those who had none. She would cause the wind to blow so that the children could watch the flowers dance. The girl would ask the townspeople what they needed most, and they would answer honestly. It was a peaceful time that was enjoyed by all.

But one day, a man and his troupe of mystics came to the town. They claimed that they had heard of a girl who practiced magic. The townspeople, assured of their safety, boasted of the girl's powers. This angered the man and his mystics. He demanded to meet the girl of the river.

The townspeople showed him to the girl's house. She had just finished tending to her garden. When she saw the gathering of people, the girl slipped her hands into her pockets and went to greet them. But the man and his mystics did not want a greeting;they wanted a challenge. They demanded that the girl use her white magic to defend herself against their kind of magic.

It is important to know that their magic was not the magic of love, sunshine, and rivers. Their magic was the magic of hatred, shadow, and bone. Knowing this, the girl immediately refused. But, the townspeople, although previously supportive, wanted to know just how powerful the girl was. They demanded that she agree to the challenge.

When the girl did not respond, the man and his mystics summoned spears, which they promptly threw toward the girl, their pointy tips aimed directly for her chest. The girl barely had enough time to summon a shield. She looked on in fear as the men gathered their strength and blew flames from their mouths. But, instead of aiming for the girl, they torched her magical house, immediately causing her physical pain while draining her power.

With her last breath, the girl chose to summon a shield of wind to protect the townspeople, knowing that they were in harms way. The man and his mystics, proud of their winning blow, turned toward the townspeople. With their powers still flaring, they drew arrows out of thin air and shot them toward the townspeople.

But, the girl's shield of wind protected them and turned the arrows in the opposite direction. They flew toward the man and his mystics, piercing each one through the heart. They dropped to the ground, dead.

The townspeople rushed to the girl, eager to thank her. But, all they found was a lifeless body; her spirit was gone. The townspeople mourned the loss of their magic river girl and her magic house, all the while knowing it was their fault that she had died.

The townspeople gathered the small girl in their arms and placed her on a charred board from her once magical house. They let the girl float out onto the river which she so loved. None of the townspeople noticed the three stones slip out of her pocket and into the river.

One hundred years later, a small girl, born of sunshine and rivers, walked to the riverbank. There, in the mud, buried deep, she found three stones.

The End.