All the Myths Are True
A MythPunk Story by Arveliot
It was a familiar dream.
The blue glow of the aurora blazed in the moonless sky, so brightly it painted the shadows of trees onto the snow at her feet. The frigid air burned in her nostrils as she pulled it into her lungs, and bit at her eyes between blinks.
A thousand footprints marked her path through the unscarred snow, the shadows within each step dancing like smoke in a teacup as the shifting aurora flung the shadows about.
Ahead of her, arrow straight, lay a path of teal snow, constantly shimmering as it caught and cast the shifting light. Above her, swirling blue lines that trickled their spectacular ink painted the sky, fading into the black as they were replaced by still more colour.
On a night like this, it was easy to believe in magic. To believe in the strange things that lead her out.
Like the strange sights at Lake Lebarge.
At the end of her path lay a lake. Now a bowl of ice in the cold clutch of winter, the hazy ice was milky and thick, pimpled like a curling rink, and slick as treachery.
At the heart of the lake, cloaked in snow, an old steamship lay atop a small island. The exhaust pipes bowed from the weight of age, and much of the hull had crumpled; folding into itself until the ship lay over the small island like a man crumpled over a couch.
But it wasn't the ship that called her out, wandering beneath the northern lights. Drawing close to the ship, she could see the plume lazily blooming above the smokestacks, and yellow light glowed from one of the small windows.
She drew close to that window, too short to see through it, but close enough to wrench at the handle of a nearby door.
The door creaked open, its hinges screaming in irritation as she managed to wrestle it open a few inches. She peeked through the open slit and had to shut her eyes and turn her head away.
Heat pushed at her like hand, thrusting her head back and bathing her face in hot, dry air tinged with the smell of a campfire. She blinked a few times, forcing her eyes to focus.
She saw a man.
He rested on a chair, surrounded by fire, in a room where tongues of flame lapped at the walls and swirled along the roof. The man, his heavy duster unbuttoned and his warm hat resting on the arm of the chair, turned and seemed to notice her for the first time.
"Come in or stay out, girl, but close the door!" he said.
The dream always ended there. She couldn't even say if she had shut the door. Her next sight was always the white stucco on the ceiling that looked like a maze on one of those children's place-mats.
"Honey, are you okay?" came the familiar, plaintive voice from just outside her door. No surprise, there was no room for that in so familiar a ritual. But the routine hadn't dimmed the compassion, and the question never came with any judgement.
Having spent four years in high school, the absense of judgment in her mother's concern made the woman that much more awesome than anyone else she had ever met.
"I'm okay, mom. You can come in," she said, sitting up and taking a moment to compose herself.
"Alma, was it the same dream again?" her mother asked, as she opened the door, leaning on the handle and using the door as a shield.
YOU ARE READING
Tevun-Krus #49 - Best of 2K17Science Fiction
Well, we here at Tevun-Krus have been doin' this sort of thing since 2014. What is "this sort of thing"? Best-Of issues, of course! And 2K17 is no different-- That's a lie! Best of 2K17 is different, in that this time we wanted* to bring you 38 bran...