Grief of The Artisan

107 24 18

He was struck down to worthlessness.

His body would barely function.

His mind was thin and brittle.

Calefas felt he had been cursed and thought he knew why.

He had made pottery with shapes that were forbidden---shapes that went beyond functionality---shapes that were sensuous.

Calefas had sent for the Shaman, Tezil, and prayed he would still be alive when the Shaman appeared...


Tezil was on his way to Calefas' workshop.

He began to notice activity on the forest floor---worms in the hundreds were squirming on the ground.

He stopped to sense their intention---noticed they were all making their way in the direction of Calefas' workshop...

He uttered a short chant then continued on.


Calefas had to be brought out of a swoon after Tezil had arrived.

His first words were:

"I am only fit for the worms..."

Tezil countered with:

"Why would you say that?"

"Dear Tezil, my body barely functions and I may not know who you are at any moment..."

"Well, you know me now and now we must begin our work."


After applying a medicinal salve to Calefas' forehead, Tezil led him out to the edge of the forest, propped him against a rock, and began to chant in the ancient tongue.

The salve was keeping Calefas alert and he began to plead:

"May my life end now if I have insulted the gods! I fear for my soul though I know not what sin I have committed! Speak to me!!"

Tezil stopped his chanting and said:

"Calefas, the gods will not speak to you. They won't even speak to me; but, I may be able to help if you will stay quiet..."

"I will...", Calefas whispered as he tried to stand, falling in a heap.

Tezil helped him back onto the rock and motioned for him to sit still and stay quiet.

Soon, the worms, thousands now, approached them.

Tezil stooped and snatched one, placing it on Calefas' lap.

"That will help the others find you..."

"You feed me to the worms?"

"Hush, Calefas. Worms cannot eat a body that has not yet decayed. You work with the clay that these worms have helped create. Be still..."

Tezil continued his chant, Calefas attempted to remain calm, and the worms began to cover his body.


Hours later, in the workshop, Tezil brought Calefas out of his deep slumber.

"Calefas, rise up! Claim your health!"

He sat up and rubbed his eyes.

He swung his legs off the bed and stood.

He stretched his limbs and said:

"I feel fine..."

"Yes, now we must work on your mind..."


Deep in the middle of the night, after much conversation, Calefas asked:

"So, I was overtaken by my own creations?"

"Yes, Calefas, your creativity broke the bounds of convention and your mind thought you had broken some law. Your worry was so profound it ate into your body."

"Dare I show my latest work to others?"

"I think you should dare; and, be prepared for some shock as well as some praise from others."

"What of the rulers?"

"I will visit Besoun and Hekal and tell them you have been blessed by the gods..."

"Will they believe you?"

"They will or they shall have my curse..."


Calefas displayed his wares at the market.

Many were purchased, some were broken by enraged citizens.

Besoun and Hekal didn't believe Tezil's explanation of Calefas' new creations and found themselves compelled to live in the forest and subsist on worms...


If you can't wait for me to put all 31 stories here (one per week), head over to and look in the left side-bar to find all the stories---that side-bar also has a free book of poetry and a free novel :-)

If you liked this story, please consider giving it a vote...

Next story on Tuesday (USA-time), Dec. 8th :-)

Strange FantasiesRead this story for FREE!