I wish i had a good book.., p.1
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       I wish I had a good book to read., p.1
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           Lea Carter
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I wish I had a good book to read.


  I wish I had a good book to read.

  (A collection of short stories)

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual

  persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Written by Lea Carter.

  Copyrighted 2013 and 2014

  All rights reserved.

  Table of Contents

  Year Short Story Title Rank Awarded

  2011 Shop Full of Rainbows Honorable Mention

  2012 The Elephant in the Room Gold

  2012 Man Enough Bronze

  2013 Venture Silver

  2013 Discovery Honorable Mention

  2013 Times 2 Honorable Mention

  2013 ICU Honorable Mention

  2014 Making History Honorable Mention

  2014 While it Lasted Declined

  2014 Mending Fences Declined

  2014 Time Will Tell Declined

  Author Contact Page

  Other works by Lea Carter

  More to come!

  Shop Full of Rainbows

  (2012)

  Orrin shifted his pack and glanced up at his human friend. She was pretty enough, in human terms, to catch a man’s eye, but too young to know it. Besides, she was only interested in earning her Master’s sash at the moment. Silda, Queen of the Elves, had complimented Eva on her first carpet, and Eva had never quite recovered.

  “We’ll never find it standing here,” he observed loftily.

  Eva shot him an amused glance. It was her private belief that Orrin lived in her village rather than with his own people because he was tired of being treated like a youngling; which was probably why they got on so well together. She had been the first youngling to be taken as an Elvin carpet apprentice in nearly a century. And now, she was eager to prove herself a Master.

  Turning her attention back to the horizon, she pointed.

  “There,” she said decisively. “Let us hurry.” The sun would rise soon, and scorch the mist from the ground. If only it would create a rainbow in the process… Time enough, she told herself, to hope for rainbows after you’ve reached the spring.

  Reaching the spring of a rainbow before the rainbow does is essential to obtaining the most vibrant colors. Once the rainbow makes its second connection with the earth, the colors immediately begin to drain away. Most carpet makers of her time preferred waterfall rainbows, which never touch the ground and are always vibrant. But somehow those rainbows just didn’t have the power of a free-form rainbow. The old rumors were proving themselves true – a carpet made from a waterfall rainbow just wouldn’t fly as far.

  Eva reached the spring just in time! Dropping her pack hastily to the ground, she drew her shears. Already the sun was tingeing the mist colors…at last, the rainbow burst into full color. She waited as long as she dared, then deftly trimmed the rainbow off at the spring.

  By now, Orrin had arrived, and together they made short work of stowing the rainbow. It would never do to be found out. A Master’s carpet is necessarily a private thing, created from the very soul of the artist.

  -----------------------------------------------------

  Eva could barely concentrate while working at her father’s shop. It was hard enough to remember prices and make currency conversions without having dreams swimming through her head. And how time was dragging!

  Between eight and ten, she sold only one carpet. Between ten and one, she designed and discarded half a dozen carpets in her mind. It didn’t help that she was surrounded by a room full or rainbow carpets, all carefully done in the popular colors and designs of the period.

  From one to two, Eva assisted a vague young man. Because of her own indecision, she was more sympathetic than she might normally have been. The only thing he seemed sure of was that he didn’t want an ordinary looking carpet. Since that was all the shop carried, she eventually had to recommend another shop.

  Finally! Four came, and she left. Hastening to Orrin’s, Eva threw herself into the work. It took the rest of the night to separate and twist the colors into useable thread. It should have taken longer, but Orrin had taught her an Elvin trick or two that she put into good use.

  From that day on, Eva was torn between two realities. While working in her father’s shop, she was merely a clerk, an uninteresting source of information. But while working in Orrin’s mill, she was an artist, a magician! Finely spun threads of all colors slipped through her fingers, creating a masterpiece! The closer it came to completion, the harder it was to stop the shuttle in its flight, to sleep, to eat.

  ---------------------------------------------------

  Orrin looked down at his human friend. She was the first thing he saw when he managed to tear his eyes from her carpet. Curled up on the floor, her head pillowed on her arms, she was more at peace than he had ever seen her. And so she should be. Only an artist who gives their all is truly at peace, though never for longer than it takes for the next inspiration to flower in their hearts.

  Orrin’s hand settled gently on Eva’s hair.

  “Well done, Master,” he said simply. “Well done.” Then he turned and went up the stairs to his living quarters. This was a very special day.

  Breakfast had been half-done when he went down, as he had every morning, to check on her progress. Now he moved the pans off the heat and hurried to dress. Everyone would know what today was when they saw him in his regalia.

  As for Eva–Orrin carefully dusted off a heavy wooden box. He had been saving this.

  Traditionally, a Master’s regalia is presented to them by their Master, on the day when they cease to be an apprentice. Orrin’s clan had made this gown especially for Eva.

  “Orrin,” called a sleepy voice from the mill. “Orrin, are you awake?”

  “Indeed,” called Orrin. “Come up, youngling,” he winked at his reflection, delighted to tease her this one last time, “breakfast will be spoiled.”

  ---------------------------------------------------

  First honor was given to Eva’s father, by her own choice. Eva followed Orrin shyly into her father’s shop, the carpet in her arms.

  “Good sir,” called Orrin, catching her father’s attention, “I have a carpet to sell today.”

  Her father frowned, unhappy at seeing Eva with Orrin when she should’ve been working. He was going to have to speak to her about giving up this foolishness about becoming a Master. Few people… His jaw dropped as Eva flung the carpet upon the air.

  The early shoppers crowded around, admiring the fine workmanship and exclaiming over the detail. Eva had chosen a design similar to her great-grandfather’s, a great old tree, spreading its roots over a map of the land. To personalize the design, she had added her symbol, a rainbow spring, to each corner.

  “This…is yours?” Her father asked, raising his eyes to hers.

  Eva nodded, and watched him closely. Would he buy it? Or would she be forced to peddle it from shop to shop? Perhaps no one would…

  “Keeper,” said a lean older man, “do you intend to feature this carpet?”

  “Of course,” her father answered immediately. His awe of his daughter’s workmanship had not dulled his business sense. “Are you interested?”

  “I am. But what of the price?” Responded the older man, raising his eyebrows.

  Eva listened in shock as her father named a sum fit for an Elvin carpet. Then, as they began to haggle, she forgot about money and buyers. A new idea, for her next carpet, had come to her.

 
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