It Is As You Say

By Msaka

When things began, it was so, and so.

There was a tribe of simple people, people who lived off the land, people who lived for the Hunt. They studied and honored their prey, and never took more than they could use.

As such things go, there was a man, and there was a woman. The man was tall and dark as night, and the best of them all with all manner of weapons. The woman was the shade of the coppery sunrise over the plains, and when she smiled, it was as if she was the sun itself. The man and the woman loved, and so she smiled very much.

It came to be one day that another man came to the village. Long of ear and pale of skin, he called himself by a foreign name but the people came to know him as the Trickster. He twisted and stole the best of the tribe, and one of those he took was the man who loved and was loved. The villagers told the woman to forget him, for none who had fallen to the Trickster's tricks had ever returned. But she followed anyway, for such is how things go.

And so it was she tried to bargain with the Trickster, tried to offer herself in his place. And the Trickster lived up to his name, and took her soul, and gave her only his dead body to hold in return. She cried for a day and a night, her tears forming a lake in which no fish could ever live and no plant would ever grow, and then she stood. The sun went out, for she would not smile again.

She went and traveled for a hundred lifetimes, for it was her curse that although she no longer felt alive, she would not age and die. She took up the sword, the staff, the axe, the mace, every weapon she could find, training herself to be like her lost love. She came to live for the only thing she had left, the Hunt, and hunted every kind of beast that could be found.

And where she went, the Trickster followed, for it was not in his nature to release something that was once his. And he would whisper into her ear the nature of his tricks. And she would say, "It is as you say."

And she no longer smiled, and the sun no longer rose.

I swear to you this story I tell you is true. If it is not, may the Trickster himself find me.

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