Fiction Saturday, Uncategorized

Katerina’s Journey

Katerina had no idea that she would find her destiny with a unicorn, a rough journey, and three guards who wouldn’t hesitate to kill her. Not at all. She was too busy listening to her grandmother telling old stories while working on a beaded bag.

“Is that story really true, Nona?” Katerina asked, reaching into her sewing basket for more of her special blue beads.

Nona smiled. “That is for you to decide, dear Katerina,” she said. “Would you like to hear another story?”

“Yes!”

Nona finished preparing the vegetables for dinner and set them aside. “Well, when I was your age, my nona told me about a tree whose flowers had the ability to heal all sickness. There was only one of this tree, and it was in a forest far away, deep in the mountains.”

Katerina stopped her beading and stared at Nona. “Really, Nona?”

“Yes. The story goes that someday, someone will find that tree and use its healing power for good.”

“But what. . .”

“Katerina! Katerina!”

Katerina looked up from her beadwork. “Coming, Father!” she called. Hastily putting her beadwork in its basket, she jumped up and brushed the dirt off of her skirt. Pushing open the cloth door, she stepped outside, blinking as the bright sun hit her eyes. “Yes, Father?”

Her father frowned as he led his unicorn to the stable. “You need to take the unicorns out to pasture now,” he said. “They cannot eat all the grass in the village. How many times have I told you, Katerina, the unicorns must be in the pasture in the morning? The sun is already high in the sky. ”

Katerina hung her head. “Yes, Father. I’m sorry I forgot.”

Running inside, Katerina pulled her embroidered bag from under the bed. Stuffing her book and beadwork inside, she quickly ran to the corral.

“Starlight! Blossom!” Katerina called, rattling the gate. She knew that if she called Starlight and Blossom to her, the rest would follow. “Come, girls, it’s time to go to the pasture!”

She laughed as the unicorns began racing towards her. Pulling open the gate, she let them run out. Picking up her bag, Katerina whistled. The unicorns wheeled around, facing her, and she began walking towards the pasture, knowing that they would follow.

Arriving at the pasture, Katerina watched until the unicorns settled down to eating grass, then nimbly climbed her favorite lookout tree. Once up, she pulled out her beadwork and began sewing, all the while keeping an eye on the unicorns. 

“Katerina! Katerina!” 

Katerina jumped, nearly falling out of the tree. Peering between the branches, she saw Ohu, her father’s assistant, running towards her. “Katerina, come down, please!”

Hearing the urgency in his voice, Katerina lost no time in jumping down from the tree. “Ohu, what is it?” 

He didn’t answer right away as he tried to catch his breath from running uphill. “You. . . must come home. . . quickly,” he said. “Your father is. . .very sick.”

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