Deep blue light was cast over all the rough rocks and sand of the sweeping desert plain, by a slowly setting blue sun. In that sunset desert, there stood an imposing figure, one with black smoky skin, the smoky texture of which seem to swirl around a dim red light. His eyes, as the build of this creature suggested it was male, were glowing yellow with in black slits for pupils. Ragged grey hairs jutted from its ashen scalp in every direction, frayed and twisted with age. Hidden just underneath this bird’s nest of hair were the points of two small horns barely jutting out from the creature’s head. Despite horns and these unusual features, he stood on two feet. From the creature’s back, long wavering shadows, like tattered cloth, waved in the wind from their mooring place on its shoulders.
In his cruel red claws, the creature held a grim black bow made of bone and the branches of some long dead tree. With its other hand, the creature reached for a quiver on its hip, selected a long black shaft with crimson feathers and a nasty looking barb on the tip, and knocked the arrow. He drew it to sight the target, and let fly.
“In his walk, Gerhard stumbled upon a small village. The welcome sign said that he had just reached the Village of Dum, birthplace of the great hero Tweedle-Dum. It seemed to be abandoned, so Gerhard searched around at his leisure. Whoa! Right in front of him stood a massive troll in bright clothes, reared to attack. Gerhard was about to run, when he noticed that it was merely a statue. But, he thought, how did the villagers make a statue with such life-like color? This was no paint. Recovering from the shock, Gerhard entered a hut and looked around. There wasn’t much to see, so he exited, and found himself staring at a large cave at the foot of a mountain. He would have to explore that later, but now he opened the book in his bag and lifted it into the air. After a few seconds, the telltale chime and glisten were cast from the page, and he brought it back to his level and began to read,
The Village of Dum is a quaint, rather fascinating little settlement of red thatch roofs and many, brightly clothed trolls…
Gerhard slammed the book shut and stared at nothing. Trolls? He had only heard of them in legend, yet he knew enough to not need the book. That statue in the town square was a troll that had been caught in the sunlight! He shivered, not from fear, but from the cold. The sun was setting, and he began to see torchlight coming from the mouth of the cave. Running at breakneck speed, Gerhard hid behind a column and waited….”
–an excerpt from “Adventures in the Rabbit Hole” by RS Jacobs, 2006
Life without fantasy
lacks a soul;
fantasy without life
lacks a spine.
—RS Jacobs 2011
Photo taken at Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs, Arkansas.