Possessing the Grimstone - By John Grover

Chapter 1

“The First People traded their wings so that we may fish in the rivers and farm in the fields. It is because of them that we now run across those same rivers and span the fields in the blink of an eye.” –Old Wivering legend told from generation to generation.

1200 Years Ago

The winged man raced through the air, his heart threatening to burst from his chest, wings fatigued, and arms aching from the weight of his load. He spun through the clouds and ascended even higher still. He was charged with a mission that could not fail.

In his talons, he carried a piece of the stone, a third of it. The smooth surface glinted emerald green in the sunlight, the white carving of the Grim Rune was unreadable in its current form. To hold the piece actually dimmed his heart and tugged at his soul, but it was time.

The pieces could not be destroyed, but they could be lost, hidden from those who walked the ground, or swam in the seas: those who would put it back together and harness the light and the dark, and perform miracles that should not be. They would enact deeds that no sane person should witness, and rule over a world that had nearly lost its soul.

He was commanded to not tell the other two where he would take his piece, and it had to be done quickly before it was missed. The magic that separated the stone would eventually die, and then the stone could reunite. That was why the pieces had to be moved as far away as possible from one another.

After, none were to ever speak of it. No one in the world would know where all three pieces lay at rest.

He went east, passing over the salt lands to the Red Coast and across the Fifling Sea, where the mist hung lazily on the horizon. His people never flew out beyond the mist, and now he was lost within it. They weren’t sure what was on the other side of it—it obscured what may lie beyond. It swirled and rolled as if alive, but never faded away, never burned out in the light of the sun.

The mist reached out to him in tendrils, threatening to coil around his arms and legs. He wasn’t sure if it was truly alive, or if the piece of stone had unusual effects on it. He tried to soar higher, but the mist only followed him.

He pushed on, flapping harder and harder, panting. There was something solid in the distance, a shadowy shape. He thought it might be land: perhaps islands, or primordial forests, or subterranean caves. He raced toward it.

The mist thinned, and he saw it at last. He stopped mid-flight. A burst of energy shattered around him. Was it magic? The remnants latched onto his flesh, singed his feathers, tore at his warrior’s mask, clamped onto his talons, and pulled him down.

A scream escaped him as pain surged through every fiber of his being. His soul split into two, and he fell from the violent sky.

The piece of stone tumbled from his grip and into the unknown.


Today—the Year of the Ram’s Horn by the Wivering Calendar

Pim worked in the field with his father and younger brother. Their yellow-blond hair glinted in the sun, the same color of every Wivering’s hair from the smallest child, to the most wise and elderly.

His stunning blue eyes focused on weeding out the fire grass from around the rows of wheat. Sometimes, at night, when the moon was visible, his eyes glowed in the dark. Pim was one out of every ten males whose eyes did this. His dad’s did not, nor his brother’s.

He looked back at them, harvesting blue corn into their sacks, and wondered why his brother always got the easy work.

Only because he’s younger, He thought to himself. But I learned to tend rows, as well as to gather before his age. They baby him.

Pim finished the last row, and, with a spring in his step, dashed to his father and brother in under a second, using the natural ability all of his people had: the power of fleet.

“Pim,” His father looked up at him sternly. “Do not use the fleet so casually. It will tire you quickly.”

“Sorry, Father, I didn’t want to miss the rest of the harvesting with you and Tal. Is there any left to do?”

“A little over there. And don’t run.”

“Yes, Father.” Pim put down his hoe and picked up a