Worth It (225 Words)
It was a beautiful sight. Daria leaned over the boat edge, letting her hand trail in the water. The current pulled past her arm, troubling the reflection of fireflies and starlight. The moon shone clear, and the silver glow lit the world like another kind of day, bright and enlivening.
“Do you think it’s worth it?” she asked.
Ruad was barely awake, resting in the boat. At her question, his eyes half-opened.
“What do you mean?”
The Patron (275 Words)
There was an artist who was known to paint one picture. Always it was the same, the same distant gray-green mountains and the dark, hilly plateau where the city had once stood. With only that one image to offer, people lost interest in the man’s art and his house would have fallen to ruin if it wasn’t for the attention of one customer.
She visited him every day to see how his new work was coming. Whenever he finished, she bought the piece, giving him a high price without waiting to hear what he asked for. No words were ever exchanged between them. That, like his art, was a ritual never forgotten, never changed. Who the woman was in her rich strange clothes, with her frightening piercing eyes, no one knew. They knew the artist, and knowing what he had lost and the disorder in his mind, they were afraid to ask him.