The Meeting of Ways, the Crossing of Paths

As was the way with many of the holidays celebrated by the Tatterfolk, the celebration of the turning of years was one met with quiet joy and deep contemplation. They had so many holidays for there was so much meaning to be had in all the world, on all the roads they traveled. The very difference between the paths all would walk in their lives was worth celebration.

Crossroads, though, were a special thing to the folk.

The Meeting of Ways, the Crossing of Paths was a holiday of the New Year and the crossroads beheld nothing but promise—to abandon what was behind them, with deliberation or with a fond wistfulness and to discover with joy or trepidation of what lay in the next step, in the next path to be taken.

This path, this night, brought Marianna into a dark wood and she mused that some never returned on this path that invited them in. Some paths were easy to walk and comfortable. Some seemed to speed the wanderer on their way even in the murk and cold of winter, crocuses and daffodils framing every step. Some, though, some were dark and foreboding, but this was the way of paths and the way of life.

Indigo dust slipped from her fingertips, touching the edges of the dark way.

There was something that was hunting her, prowling like liquid shadow that slipped through the edges of her vision. No matter how learned she was, how many secrets she knew, in the end she was still one of the Tatterfolk and the magic within her drew the hungry things of the world like a warm fire draws a traveler on a cold night.

Tonight, though, she walked the path that she laid, colored dust trailing behind her. The holiday would save her. When the thing came close enough to try and strike her she murmured words over the dust on her palm.

“The path turns away.”

With those words, by the time the dust fell to the ground  and the talons of the thing dug furrows in the earth, Marianna was gone.