Filling the Storyteller's Chalice, #365StrongStories

Filling the Storyteller's Chalice, #365StrongStories by Marisa Goudy“You look like you’re in agony, dear one.” “Oh, I’m not. I’m just… It’s the next story.”

“I thought you were happy with this arrangement. The chance to take the stage in the square each day… It’s such an honor. And I’ve heard wonderful things.”

“Of course you have! You’re my husband,” she closed her eyes and pinched at the bridge of her long nose. “I do love doing it and I feel the good of it. I just don’t have anything left.”

“Nothing left! You told me that you were born a storyteller and I’ve never doubted that for a moment since we met.”

“Oh, but you know what it is to be tired when a deep place within your mind's worn through. Like all the creative fires has been put to bed in preparation for a night that just may not end.”

“I’m a glass blower, wife. When the fires go out I bid the apprentices to stoke them hotter than ever and I make thick tumblers for the publicans.”

“Ach, you’re no help! And I have to get up on the stage in less than two hours.”

“You are the Rememberer for these people. You hold their chalice and you wield their sword. Only you dare speak all of their dreams and their fears. You know the secrets what makes them proud and what makes them glad they weren’t born to some other savage race - no matter how rich their kings or fierce their warriors.

“Tell them of the goddess you love best,” he said, leaning forward to tuck the stray curls behind her ears. “Tell the women about how she stands tall in battle and how she births a dozen sons without dread. Tell the men about the swell of her breast and the warmth of her mystery. Tell the children that she holds the keys to the fairy realm. And, when you come home, tell me how you’re just like her.”

The storyteller sighed, but as she closed her eyes, it was not with weariness but trust. Trust in the man who held her chalice and called her to take up her own sword. Trust in the stories that guided her and everyone who gathered when she raised up her voice.

Sometimes this storyteller's chalice feels empty... If you'd like to contribute a story to the #365StrongStories project, read the submission guidelines here.

The Lottery Myth, #365StrongStories 9

The Lottery Myth, #365StrongStories by Marisa Goudy“Did you buy our tickets, my dear?” He kissed her temple as she leaned close to him. Just back from the marketplace, she had stopped to see her husband in his workshop. The crucible where he heated the sand to make his delicate glass bottles and globes burned hot, and she moved behind him and placed her hands on his shoulders while he worked. “I did. I chose all our lucky numbers.”

“I like it,” he said, still distracted by his work.

“Do you? I just want the whole thing to be over. No one can talk of anything else. The rich merchants are leaving the royal gatehouse with sacks full of chits. As if they needed anything more! And the poorest people, I hear, are not buying bread because they’re spending all their alms money on one single ticket.”

As he prepared the materials for a gold vase commissioned by one of those rich merchant’s wives, he murmured, “Ours is not to judge how people spend their money or do anything else. Haven’t you told me that before?”

“Yes,” she sighed. “But I still don’t understand it. Why would the prince decide to share a portion of his fortune with just anyone? Is he looking for entertainment, watching the people stand in line and boasting about what their lives will be like when they live the life of a royal?”

“I do admit I prefer imagining a life of plenty to worrying over next month’s profits.”

“Me too, me too. I just keep wondering, do you get a portion of the man’s misfortunes as well when you go to collect your winnings?”