The Palliative Spore – Flash Fiction


Inspiration for the nodestone. Photo via Google Images.

From the breath that she had placed the nodestone where Jeniah could not help but find it, Aletris had known that she must, as the counterbalance, create a path to healing, or at least some bettering, against the time when the Trueborn’s need for the tool lessened, because, even then, it was a certain thing that she, who could cling so tightly to her Otherworld prey, would not relinquish it without much struggle – struggle that, after all that had gone before to weaken her, might kill her –

As the nodestone would, too, without protection.

And so, there must be a means by which the poisons of the tool could be lessened, so that the Trueborn might, in time, come to a place where she could heal safely…

The stone she would keep, Aletris knew, until and unless she secured a better trail to lead her to Kaivelt. No poison, now, could be more dangerous to either of them than losing what had been forged in pain and anguish, and which was, in the end, the only hope, now, for either of them.

She had never created such a thing, and, in the beginning, while Jeniah raved with Huntlust and the deeper passions of Kaivelt’s fiery madness, she had little enough time to consider it. This daughter was a danger now, to herself and all others, and that bore watching, constantly, so that she could shield the rest of her children from it, leaving only the intruders defenseless against her skill and cunning, for even their strange light-bending weapons could not help them if they took note of the need to draw them only as their throats were being torn from them.

And, still, she was the world, and the only home any of her children had ever known – save this one, who could feel as Kaivelt did, and was coming to know his wondrous worlds – the desert world, the water world, and the strange world that forged its own path through Everdeep.

It was a good thing, the distracted time of sending prey away from the Trueborn’s need to rend them, not for true hunger, but for bloodlust; it allowed her a fine understanding of the full scope and shape of the madness, and so her panacea would be fit to the need, created solely for that purpose.

Like the nodestone, it must appear in a place and at a time when Jeniah would be drawn to it, because, if not, there was no way to force this one, now, even if she would.

A glowing thing, that grew only in the shade, in restful places….but not one that needed ground to srping forth in, for the Trueborn was more a creature meant for the trees, and most often took her shelter in a bower or upon a limb.

When the Trueborn fixed her maddened energies finally only on the interlopers, Aletris began her study, creating, rejecting, creating again, testing, adding a bit of this and removing a bit of that…

Until, finally, she looked upon a delicate spore that blew upon a wind she conjured just for it, to land in the mossy place on a wide high lifepine branch, just the type of place that would draw the Trueborn when she must have a bower for her Matehunt.

Inspiration for Aletris’ cure…

With delicate weavings of sunlight and shadow, rain and time, the spore grew into a lovely mushroom, its creamy skin flecked with hints of iridescent orange in ever shifting patterns, and aglow from beneath, as the nodestone glowed, only this the soothing orange glow of a fire succumbing to hunger, slowly…

She examined her creation, and saw that it was, indeed, very good, and perhaps, just what was needed.

She rested, then, and, when she was recovered, set herself to create a forest of the spores, so that she would not miss the next place where the Trueborn ceased her ravenings….