Notes from The Story of Jasmine continue:
The powerful dwarf-warrior rests his weapon and laughs, “Well, you picked yourself quite a name!”
Jasmine straightens up. “And what would you know of this,” she replies in a royal tone.
He noted the change in her demeaner. “Of ‘Jasmine,’ I know little,” he replied. After a short pause, he continued, “Only, it reminds me of some poetic nonsense I was made to always remember when I was very young:
‘As a warrior lives, a warrior dies,
But you will glide on the wings of the skies.
When the Axe-wolf of Winter’s made the land lean,
Seek out the white flower Jasmine.
In the shrine where the white rocks rise,
This is where your destiny lies…’
“I never wanted to be a victim of prophecy… so I’ve tried my best to forget it. And here you have me remembering it…”
Noting that the sun had almost set, he picks up to leave, turning toward the river. “Where are you going?” she calls, then follows him to the base of the bridge.
“Ah, just as I thought.” The dwarf invites Jasmine into a small cave carved from the riverbank beneath the bridge. Where many fires have been kindled in the past, he renews the fire place. Among bones and other morose debris, the crackling flames illuminate coins and other valuables robbed from many countless travelers above.
Regarding each other with caution, an uneasy companionship develops. She discovers the dwarf’s name is Glynn and that he is traveling to Oxfed.
For a moment, he seems puzzled when she asks if Oxfed is near The Great White Throne. He laughs, replying that many years ago his people had hoped those mountains had riches to mine but their hopes were all but dashed. Ever since, his people called that mountain Fool’s Hope.
“You are a strange one,” Glynn remarks, as if seeing her for the first time, “You know things you could not possibly know, yet you can’t walk through the woods without stumbling!” Jasmine frowns and returns a look of defiance.
Leaving the warmth of the fire, Glynn impales the heads of the cut-throats on their own pole-arms and places them for all to see at the end of the bridge. In death, as in life, the two heads bob in the wind, watching over their bridge, to mock or to be mocked.
© 2018 DARLENE