The All-Mother’s Path

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Forty days Muirdain had walked the path of All-Mother Macca through the wilderness. Her fair skin was burnt crimson and her hair was a fiery tangle of curls and thorns. Her scabbard hung empty by her side.

By the foot of a green hill, where stone steps carried on the ancient path, she met a woman, clothed in rags, her eyes milk-white and her teeth rot-brown. The woman called to her.

“Pilgrim, have you water for an old woman?”

Muirdain stepped past her.

“Spare a moment.”

Muirdain kept climbing.

“What brings you to this road?”

“Penance,” Muirdain replied. “The Queen asked that I walk the All-Mother’s path. Only then may I earn my sword again.”

“Then stop and spare me some water.”

Muirdain didn’t look back.

The All-Mother sighed. Three times she had tested the knight and three times Muirdain had failed.

She did not give fourth chances.


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and J.S. Brand for providing the prompt photo!

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