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24th of March 1897


The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

The next morning, the boy opened his eyes to the branches and the skies and the chirping of birds. His bag was under his head like a pillow and his cloak placed gently on his body. He looked around; he could not find the crow.
“Dear crow?” he cried out, “Have you shrunk so much I cannot see you any more?” His voice grew quiet, “Or have you finally flown away from me…”
Slowly he gathered his belongings. As he fastened his cloak, he heard singing, a gentle tune and a soft voice.
The boy followed the song. It lead him to a stream near the clearing. At the stream there was a girl, around the boy’s age, singing a song, bathing. Her hair, black as the night, reached down under her waist. Her head was topped with a crown of flowers. The boy was barely able to breath. He smiled, so filled with happiness, and sat onto the grass. “So, I have healed you after all,” he whispered and hummed along.
After a few glorious minutes the girl spotted him. She smiled warmly, grabbed a blanket of leaves and wrapped it around herself like a dress. With bare feet she walked on the grass towards the boy. Her right arm was held within a perfectly fitted support. Bright eyes looked at the boy.
The girl stopped two steps short of him. The boy stood up.
“I must thank you so,” she spoke. Her voice was like the ringing of a bell, like the gentle caress of a summer wind. “For your kindness, for your care. For your understanding.” She stepped forward and placed a kiss upon the boy’s cheek. Again, she smiled.
The boy’s face flushed.
“I only did what was right,” he murmured, “Nothing more.”
“You did much more,” the girl said, “If not now, then before. You are as much a part of this forest as any blade of grass. You never take what you do not need, and give back to the land whenever possible.
“My name is Val,” she continued, “And I would be delighted if you were the protector of this forest.”
Tears appeared in the boy’s eyes. He wiped them away. “I- I am not sure if I could-” the boy stammered.
“I believe you could. It is what you have done for so long. You love the forest… “ the girl’s face became flush as well, “You-”
“I love you,” the boy said. And it was true.

Art of London

Letters From The Surface, Part VII
Welcome Back
By Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

I had just arrived back in London. On the islands, I had received letters of praise and belittling. One such letter was from a fellow at court:

“I have heard of your work overzee. I am sure that when you return, you will receive a warm welcome from the noticeably powerful.”

When I returned, I began hallucinating. A jungle. But I could return to London, no nightmares remaining.

When I entered the Shuttered Palace, I knocked three times. I came to write another opera. After that, all shall be well between us. I was greeted fondly, but cautiously. I then found my rival, writing a film of slanderous material.

Well. This would be interesting.

News of Art, Art of News

Public decency rampant in decadence; Art strikes back in irony

In the latest display of the Ministry – yet another public burning of books – the men of the aforementioned organization have gotten their comeuppance. Just earlier this week, as the men were burning volumes of (what they deemed to be) scandalous poetry, a certain zee-fairing epic written on the back of bandages was included. This epic, rather long and written on bandages of a length to match the work, welcomed the flames with a gusto, as if aware of what was to transpire. Slowly, the flames crept up, inching ever so farther away from the flames – and directly to the cart of the Ministry. Oh what a display! Not even fireworks bring us such pleasure! While lacking in coloured flare, it was brilliant. The men nigh trampled over each other in an attempt to douse out the flames, one’s jacket even catching from the effort. In the meantime, busy hands of bohemians, artists, and even one brave Rubbery worked together in an effort to save what could be saved. In total, nearly a fourth of the works to be burned had been recollected! (Even including one of our own Gazette’s editions)

All of London shall rejoice today, dear readers. The works have been, naturally, brought to a safe place for archiving and occasional midnight readings.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Where to go in life when things seem so stagnant?Reph

Dear Reph,
The zee is the best place to think about the future. There is freshness all around. Try the honey, dear.


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