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The Land Of The Glass Flowers

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Aren squinted as the sunlight hit his eyes. He shifted on the saddle of his horse, trying to make himself comfortable. He had been travelling for weeks and comfort was the last thing that accompanied him. He pulled the reins of his horse until it galloped at its fastest, blowing off puffs of dirt with every beat of the hooves.
The horse was white as snow and moved as fast as a desert gale. Snowsand, he called it. As the sun drooped past mid-sky, the landscape turned soft, and he felt more life all around him. Birds floating on their gracious wings. Patches of grass here and there. "I’m getting close." he thought.
Aren opened his mind as wide as he could. He felt thousands of lives buzzing in the surroundings; little birds, preying hawks, hundreds of insects. But no sign of any human. He felt the shrubs and grass and tiny flowers hidden by them. "But not the ones I’m looking for," he said to himself.
His stomach churned with hunger, but there was no time to stop. Aren was tired to every bone, and often the thought of stopping and going back came to him. But he could not afford to do so. He had travelled hundreds of leagues in the past few days and he wouldn’t let it go in vain.
With a jerk, Snowsand hammered away his thoughts. Aren looked up, seeking any danger. He was stunned to his core by the sight that lay ahead.
Flowers. Big and small. Of all colors he could imagine and more. All still as mountains even in the rushing wind. He drew Snowsand to a trot and opened his mind again. "That can’t be!" The flowers were humming with life, in the cradles of leaves and stalks, all hard as glass.
Close enough now, he hopped off his horse. He had heard of the Flowers of Glass since childhood, yet never truly believed in them. Until that moment. He walked up to a flower. It was a pale purple. The sunlight caught at the corners of its glass petals, giving them a golden, surreal glow. It looked terrifyingly beautiful. With a shaky hand, he touched a petal. Like a current of shock, a force crept into him, bringing a sense of enchanted happiness, rendering him free of all sores and pains. He felt free, redeemed.
Aren paced back to his horse and climbed up on the saddle. After one last glance, he drove Snowsand ahead and rode on. Amidst the garden of glass and beyond. Towards the mountains that reached the sky. Towards life.
He was amazed by the wonders on earth, although he had seen very little. He would see more, he knew. He did not know when his journey ended, or if it ever did. He did not care.
"I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep."



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