Threads of Silver: Chapter 12 ©

Gitano followed the oblivious old dwarf straight to the cottage where Adala sat in view of the attic window. From a nearby tree top he watched as she wove intricate patterns into a piece of blue fabric identical to the ones he had just seen in the market place and the song she sang was so enchanting it almost felt like the stones themselves would soon come to life. The merchant knew he had finally found his prize. Silently he slithered down the tree trunk, mounted his horse and set his course for the palace city.

After two days of long, wearisome traveling Gitano finally stood waiting in the king’s private chambers with a blue woven blanket tucked under his arm. His head hurt, his body ached and somewhere in his soul the feelings of guilt began to make him very uncomfortable. He shifted his weight to his right foot, then to his left, then back again to his right. He cleared his throat and stared at the ornately painted ceiling. “Oh come now!” he muttered to himself “You don’t even know this weaver. For all you know she could be as wicked as the king! Just do your duty and be done with it.” Suddenly the great silver doors burst open and startled the merchant out of his one-man conversation. King Dempsy waddled into the room with an unusual feather plume rising from the collar of his royal blue robe. His cheeks were red and his eyes were wide with impatient excitement. “Well, have you got what I want or not?” he demanded. “Of course, your majesty.” replied Gitano recovering his composure. Bowing low he unfolded the blue blanket. “I have found your magic weaver, your majesty.” King Dempsey reached out and fingered the intricate patterns of the soft blue fabric. “Truly exquisite.” Said the king with indifference “But if this is actually from the magic weaver then this blanket should make me sleep in peaceful bliss… or so the legends say. Obviously there is only one way to find out if that is true.” With that he snapped his fingers and ordered his servants to take the blue blanket and prepare his bed chamber. “Wait!” said Gitano as they snatched the blanket out of his hand “What am I to do until you’ve completed your test?” King Dempsey smiled a cruel smile, snapped his fingers and began to waddle out of the room. Before Gitano knew what was happening two burly guards seized both of his arms and began to drag him down a side staircase. “Wait! What’s this all about? I haven’t even told you the location of the weaver! I demand an explanation!” King Dempsey casually turned around to face the enraged merchant and said in a cold voice “First of all, I am the king and you demand nothing of me. Second of all, I am well aware that you have not told me the location of the weaver which is why you will spend the night in my dungeon until I have verified the validity of your claims. If the blanket does what it should then we will chat in the morning. If it does not then you will face the gallows at dawn. Very simple I should say.” Gitano felt all the life drain from his face as he watched the ridiculous form of King Dempsey disappear behind the great doors. His arms felt like lead in the vice grip of the guards and his feet barely met the ground as they led him down a dark stone hall way. When they finally came to a stop Gitano was shoved into a tiny cell with nothing but a straw mattress and a bucket. The poor merchant rubbed his sore arms, leaned against the cold stone walls and slumped to the floor. “Curse that confounded King!” he growled under his breath “Who knows if there even is such a thing as a magic weaver and now I am probably going to be hung by that ridiculous peacock for getting involved in nonsense! Nonsense!” For the first time in Gitano’s life he felt he did not have control of the situation and it made him angry, scared and enraged all at the same time. One minute he wanted to punch the king in the face and the next minute he wanted to simply run for his life. He tugged at his thick, black hair, looked up at the grey ceiling and then sighed a sigh of resignation. There was nothing to be done but try to sleep and wait until morning. Curling up on the dirty straw mattress, his eyes drooped but his mind kept reaching for the hope that somehow the legends were true and there actually was such a thing as a magic weaver.

(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton, all rights reserved 2013)

Threads of Silver: Chapter 11©

The sun rose in the crisp morning air and a gentle wind rustled the leaves outside the bedroom window where Jinx was just waking from a deep sleep. It was market day and the old dwarf was as grumpy as he usually was when he had to go to town. He stumbled out of bed, put on his trousers and headed to the kitchen where Adala was making fresh biscuits. “Good morning!” she said cheerfully placing some hot tea and a fresh biscuit on the table. “Are you all ready for market day?” Jinx just rolled his eyes sarcastically as he took a sip from his mug and replied “You know I don’t care for crowded places and all those crazy merchants tryin’ to sell me stuff I don’t need, but it’s gotta be done so I do it.” With a knowing smile on her face, Adala gently kissed his forehead and said “You take such good care of me, how can I ever thank you?” The old dwarf couldn’t help but be softened by the girl’s sweet spirit and a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he finished his biscuit. When he was all done he put on his wool coat, cap and boots and turned to go. As he reached the door way he stopped and watched Adala clean the breakfast dishes while humming a soft, almost haunting melody. Somewhere inside of him the feeling of fear began to wrap its cold fingers around his heart. He couldn’t understand where it came from or what he was afraid of but it was most certainly there.

After, what seemed like an eternity Adala noticed him still standing in the doorway and asked “Is everything alright, Jinx?” The old dwarf shook himself out of his contemplation, cleared his throat and replied briskly “Of course it is! I’m just movin’ slow this morning. I’ll be back soon, my dear, keep safe ‘til I return!” He walked quickly to where his donkey and cart were waiting outside, trying to forget the feelings that seemed to tug at him from some dark, unknown place. However, as he set out on his journey Jinx grew more and more troubled. His thoughts kept drifting back to that night when Adala had thrown the silver garment into the flames and begged him not to tell a soul about the special thread or the power that it possessed. He couldn’t help but wonder if maybe it wasn’t really over… if maybe talking to Grenada was really a terrible mistake. His mind swirled with so many thoughts he barely noticed the time passing and if wasn’t for a deer almost running him off the road he might have missed the turn off for the market place all together. When he finally approached his destination the hustle and bustle of the crowds began to draw his attention away from his fears and back to the task at hand. “Ho there, Jinx!” came a friendly shout from a tent directly across the road. It was Old Macintosh; a stout old man with wild gray whiskers who had been friends with Jinx for over a decade. Jinx smiled and brought the donkey to halt beside the tent. The two men greeted each other warmly and quickly got lost in conversations about the weather, the bad roads and the ridiculous food prices. They didn’t notice the well-dressed, dark-haired merchant who was now strolling by to peer inside Jinx’s cart. When his eyes fell upon the stacks of exquisitely woven blue blankets, a smile of satisfaction curled the corners of his mouth. “Hey! Can I help you?” said the gruff voice of Old Macintosh. The mysterious merchant casually turned around and said “Now Mac is that any way to talk to an old friend?” “Gitano? Why I usually only see you when you come by the shop, what brings you out to the market?” “Well, you know buyers are getting picky these days so I thought I’d come see if there was anything interesting to be found out here. I just now noticed these blankets and they are quite exquisite… I don’t think I’ve ever seen the like. Tell me where do they come from?” Poor Old Mac shifted uncomfortably and replied “Well… uh… Jinx, he brings ‘em. We uh… we don’t really know who makes ‘em… but they sure are the finest! Can I interest you in one?” Just then Jinx came up from behind and eyed the merchant suspiciously. “Who’s this?” he huffed. “Oh this is Gitano he’s one of the merchants who visits my shop every month. Gitano this is Jinx.” As Old Macintosh made the introduction Gitano smiled warmly and stretched out his hand to the dwarf. Jinx huffed again, half-heartedly shook his hand and walked to the cart to start unloading. Unruffled, Gitano turned Old Macintosh and said “You know Mac these blankets are simply too exquisite to pass up, I will just take the whole lot of them. Can you give me a good deal?” Old Macintosh’s eyes lit up under his bushy gray eyebrows and Jinx nearly dropped the blankets he was holding in his hand. Of course Macintosh made him a deal and Gitano paid an errand boy standing near-by to take all but one of the blankets to the local inn where he always stayed. Now with all his merchandise sold Jinx was grateful for the excuse to leave the market early and after saying farwell to his old friend he saddled his donkey to go home. Little did he know that following in the shadows at a safe distance behind him was Gitano, and the fears that had troubled him on his market day journey were soon to become reality.

(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton, all rights reserved 2013)

Threads of Silver: Chapter 9 ©

The morning sunlight danced on the river that wound itself beneath Adala’s window as she sat drinking her steaming cup of tea. It had been a month since she had used the silver thread, but the memory of that night in the attic still troubled her mind. She had told Jinx not to breathe a word to anyone about the silver garment, but somehow she felt that the secret was going to come back to haunt her. Her thoughts trembled at the idea of unlimited knowledge in in the hands of the wrong person; she knew very well that knowledge without wisdom to guide it is nothing more than vain ambition and vain ambition is the birthplace of much evil. Adala was so lost in her contemplation that she didn’t even hear Jinx come in through the door behind her. “I gots ye threads and bought potatoes at the market just like ye asked!” he announced as he hung his coat on the peg next to the door. Adala jumped at the sound of his voice and nearly dropped her teacup on the ground. “I’m sorry my dear, I didn’t mean to give you a fright… I thought you heard me open the door.” Jinx said apologetically. “It’s alright, I was just lost in thought that’s all. Do sit down and have your tea before you go out to work in the garden.” replied Adala kindly. Jinx sat down in his usual spot on the oak bench and Adala came and sat beside him. Feeling like she could use some conversation to divert her mind, she put her arm in his and began to ask about his trip to town. “Town was too crowded as usual…” he said in his gruff sort of way “…but I did see Miss Grenada and she sends you her best regards. She asked me how you liked the silver thread she sent you and I told her that it was mighty good of her to give you such a gift but that it had magic too great to use… She said that was a shame but –“ “Oh Jinx!!” Adala cried interrupting his sentence “How could you say anything about the thread to her? Don’t you remember we agreed not breathe a word to ANYONE!” Now Adala rarely burst out at the old dwarf and her manner was so distressed that Jinx didn’t quite know what to say. “Please tell me you didn’t say any more?” she begged. “Well I – Well I – I don’t know. Honest, Adala I didn’t mean no harm! I just thought since she was the one who gave you such a nice gift, I ought to tell her what happened to it. I told her it had too great of magic to use and she said that was a shame but she always knew you to do the right thing and that was good enough for her. I don’t think there’s any harm in that?” Adala began to feel a little bad for her outburst, but the thought of anyone else knowing about the silver thread chilled her to the bone. She put her head in her hands and let out a little moan of despair. Poor Jinx put a fatherly hand on her shoulder and said “I’m sorry my dear, truly I am. Please don’t fret so! I hardly think anything will come of it… no one outside of this village even knows you exist much less where to find you and Grenada would never do you any harm… Please forgive me!” Adala slowly raised her head, wrapped her arms around the old dwarf’s neck and whispered softly “Of course I forgive you. I just hope you are right my dear, Jinx. I hope you are right.”

(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton 2013, All Rights Reserved)

Threads of Silver: Chapter 6 ©

It had been almost a week since Jinx had brought back the silver thread from the shop and Adala now sat at her loom in the attic running it through her thin fingers. She could not imagine what she would make with something so lovely and was almost afraid of what powers it might possess when she sang her magic song, but today curiosity was getting the better of her. She secured the threads to her loom and then with skillful motions began moving her shuttle piece in and out of the ends. As she began to sing, her voice carried the enchanted song to the glittering silver threads. However, instead of the threads absorbing the rhythm of her song they only took in the words. Of course, Adala did not know this and she continued to work long into the night until all of the thread had been woven into an exquisite piece of fabric. The candlelight in her little attic danced across the silvery cloth making it look like sparkling diamonds draped across her lap. Gently she ran her fingers over it, marveling at its beauty and wondering what would happen when she wrapped herself in its folds. After what seemed like an eternity, she slowly removed the gray wool shawl she had been wearing and gently slid the silvery cloth across the skin on her arms and shoulders. No sooner had she done it than her head began spinning; words and images began to flash inside her mind like all the knowledge in the world was suddenly being poured into her all at once. She groaned and her head sank to the floor with a thud that startled Jinx sleeping in the room just beneath the attic. Not wasting a moment, he leaped out of bed and dashed up the rickety wood ladder to her side. Adala was motionless on the floor. In a panic Jinx shook her violently, desperately shouting her name until slowly her eyes began to open. She looked up at him confused, then noticed the silver cloth shimmering on the floor next to her, which had fallen when Jinx shook her. She sat up quickly and began to relate all that had just happened; then gripping both of his shoulders she said with desperation quivering in her voice “This silver cloth possesses great power! When it touched my skin I felt like all the knowledge in the world was suddenly in my mind… who knows what someone could do with such ability! We must destroy it and never speak of it to anyone, ever! Do you understand?” Jinx looked into her intense gray eyes and nodded in solemn agreement. Taking her wool shawl, Adala quickly wrapped the silver cloth inside of it and then hurried down the ladder to the fire place where she tossed the whole bundle into the flames. Jinx slowly came down the ladder and stood beside her. They stood watching the fire consume the mysterious piece of silver cloth until there was nothing but embers left. Finally, Jinx cleared his throat, adjusted his night cap and gently took Adala’s hand. “Come my dear, it’s all done now and it’s time we were getting some sleep.” Adala smiled a weary smile and said “Of course you are right. Let’s be off to bed.” She turned to go but as she trudged up the ladder and curled up on her straw mattress in the corner of the attic, she knew sleep would be impossible for her.

(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton 2013, All Rights Reserved)

Threads of Silver: Chapter 4 ©

“Why Jinx, wherever have you been?” Adala exclaimed as Jinx came bursting through the wooden door. She had been preparing hot pottage for lunch with chunks of potatoes and fresh baked bread. This was the dwarf’s favorite meal and Adala could not understand why it took him over an hour just to go to the thread shop when he knew it was waiting for him. “Aye Miss Adala, I gots somethin’ to show ya!” said Jinx as he hurried right past the food. Out of breathe, he reached into his basket and carefully unwrapped layers of brown paper to reveal the glittering spool of silver thread! Adala dropped the wooden spoon she had been stirring the pottage with. “Jinx! Where on earth did you get something so exquisite!” she cried. “It was Miss Grenada! She says she got it from one of her merchants at no extra cost so she saved it as a gift just for you!” Adala gently took the thread and ran it through her fingers, admiring how it glistened in the sunlight. “I have never made a garment from something so lovely. I’m almost afraid of what might come of it.” She said wrinkling her brow with concern. “Aye, Miss Adala but it does seem a bit of a shame to waste a gift so fine. Maybe you could make yourself something nice for a change.” Jinx was always trying to take care of Adala and convince her to take better care of herself, but the weaver of such exquisite fabrics typically preferred to clothe herself in simple garments made of plain linen. After thinking a moment Adala replied “Well, I certainly have no use for something so lavish but still… It does seem a shame to waste it. Perhaps I will think of something special to make soon. Shall we eat?” And with that she tucked the thread into her apron pocket and kissed Jinx on the forehead. Jinx smiled at the small, white haired girl and sat down at the simple oak table near the fireplace to eat. Adala sat next to him, sipping her tea and listening to him tell her all about his trip to town. She always enjoyed hearing Jinx talk about his visits with the townsfolk but at that moment her thoughts kept drifting to the little spool of silver thread resting in her pocket.

(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton 2013, All Rights Reserved)

Threads of Silver: Chapter 3 ©

It was a beautiful fall day in the kingdom of Eben and Jinx was in an unusually good mood. It was time to pay a visit to the thread shop and while he normally complained about the long walk or how expensive thread was these days, today the sunshine and crisp air had made him almost delighted to go about his errands. As he walked into the shop he was greeted by the smell of fabric dyes and the friendly salutation of the shop’s owner, Grenada. “Well, Hello there, Mr. Jinx!” she said warmly as she shuffled her way to the front of the store. She was quite elderly, with stooped shoulders and hair silver as the moon on a cold night. “Hello, Grenada! Fine day isn’t it?” replied Jinx. “It is a fine day indeed Mr. Jinx! Come for your usual selection of threads today?” she asked quizzically. “I surely have! Miss Adala is almost run out of her blue and green threads and I suppose the purple and orange are already gone considering all the weddings we’ve been having these days!” said Jinx. “Well, don’t you worry now Mr. Jinx, I’ll get ye all fixed up and…” she lowered her tone and motioned for Jinx to come closer “I gots ye somethin’ special today too.” Jinx drew closer as Grenada reached inside a drawer behind the worn wooden counter top. Pulling out a spool of dazzling silver thread she slipped it into his hand and closed his fingers around it. Jinx gasped and protested “Why Grenada! You know me an’ Miss Adala can’t be affordin’ nothin’ fancy like that! Why we can barely afford the colored threads we do buy!” “Aye, aye, aye Mr. Jinx, don’t you carry on so! One of my merchants came through day before yesterday and gave me this thread as a little somethin’ extra for always buyin’ from him when he comes to town. I didn’t pay nothin’ for it so I saved it just especially for Miss Adala as a gift! Now take it and don’t say nothin’ else about it!” Well, Jinx knew there would be no arguing with Grenada when she had made her mind up so he carefully wrapped the glittering thread in some brown paper and hid it beneath all the other spools. He thanked Grenada and then hurried on his way back home to show Adala the unexpected gift of silver thread.

(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton 2013, All Rights Reserved)

Threads of Silver: Chapter 2 ©

Now the kingdom in which Adala and Jinx lived was called Eben and it was ruled by a vain, arrogant man named King Dempsey. He was pale, short, very round and had a pinched sort of face with a pointy little nose. He had an insatiable desire to be admired and his bitter jealousy burned towards anyone that he saw as being more knowledgeable, talented, or handsome than he was. Each night he tossed and turned, fretting about what people thought of him, which of course made his face appear even more pinched than it naturally was. However, this was not the worst to be said about King Dempsey. Nearly twenty years ago he had been married to an exquisitely beautiful Spanish princess named Isadora, whom he was sure would make him the envy all of his peers. The princess, who became his queen, was not only lovely but kind and possessed many talents. She was an exquisite dancer, enchanting singer and spent much of her time among the people, listening to their problems and doing what she could to help. The queen also had very special book that she simply called The Book of Wisdom. It was an account of the Great King of creation who made himself human to save the world from a terrible curse. He was the essence of true love, ultimate sacrifice and the wisdom that gives life to all things. This she read to the people on her visits throughout the kingdom. As she spoke the words of the story, her silvery voice would carry it like a song straight into the hearts of all who would listen and before long the entire realm began to pulse with a sense of life like it had never known before. Of course this did not please King Dempsey at all. He had wanted Isadora as a beautiful ornament to adorn himself with, but instead he got a queen who completely outshined him in every way. He felt discarded by his subjects, which caused jealousy to seethe inside of him until he could stand it no longer and he began plotting to get rid of her. However, before he had the chance to carry out his evil plans, the Queen became pregnant and soon gave birth to twins; a boy and a girl. At first the King was happy and for a time his jealousy towards Isadora softened.

Years passed and the twins grew to be as enchanting and lovely as their mother, which meant the King’s jealousy once again burned towards his family. Sadly this time he would succeed in his efforts to get rid of them. On a dark, moonless night King Dempsey sent assassins to kill Isadora. The Queen tried to escape and got as far as the outskirts of the forest before she was finally caught. No one knows what happened to the children, not even the king, for their bodies were never found. Some say that they must have been drowned in the river; others say they remain locked in some forgotten chamber of the dungeons but in truth, no one really knows for sure. Even the queen’s precious Book of Wisdom mysteriously vanished. Of course, King Dempsey claimed it was all the work of criminals and even put on an impressive display of mourning to obtain sympathetic attention, but everyone in the kingdom knew that he was the reason for their disappearance. When the King did not get the admiration he had anticipated, his temperament became darker. Everyone was forced to continue on with their duties as though nothing had happened but the feeling that all the light in world had been snuffed loomed over the kingdom like a cloud of suffocating smoke. The village festivals slowly disappeared and even small celebrations seemed to have lost their warmth; the gardeners could no longer hear nature’s sweet songs and their tasks felt like the purest drudgery; the artisans lost their sense of purpose and most of their work was completely devoid of creativity. Thus the kingdom became a very sad place indeed. But in the quaint little town where there was a magic weaver and an old dwarf, a whisper of life still existed and it wouldn’t take long for the King to find it.