A continuation of the conversation between the Clerk and the Firefly. (This is a co-write by Betsy Birkholm and I)

The Firefly's three steps

"Are you still there, Clerk?" Firefly turned around gently and realized that she was flying far too quickly. Clerk mumbled an answer, something about 'pitch black', but didn't ask her to slow down or wait up.

Flitting on, Firefly decided to simplify this whole thing. She herself had learned not so long ago, from an ageing sage, that as a teacher, she'd do a whole lot better if she could learn the Path of Truth through wisdom instead of knowledge. The tricky part had been to embrace simplicity. Pride stood in the way, for she had always felt childishly embarrassed until acquiring two University degrees. Knowledge and learning were big in her books. Wouldn't the Clerk have the same problem? How would she pull this off without hurting his ego, or him hurting hers by making fun of her?

She knew she would have to take that chance.

Flashing her neon-green best, she thought to herself, "Three is an easy number!"
Three simple steps to have him tailgating her through the dark.

"Clerk?" I promise to slow down. I have three easy steps for you. Do you want to hear them?

Grumbling a curse as he stubbed his toe for the umpteenth time since setting his feet on this dark trail, he stole a moment to consider his situation.

Not too long ago he had been safe and sound in his study, his trusty pen in one hand, a quaint old book in his other and now he found himself following a beacon of light like the wayward character in a children's tale. Foolishness! But then, it felt oddly inviting and adventurous. For he was a man used to words and records, old tallies and tomes older still. All of which held the promise of musty safety to a simple clerk. Not that he didn't enjoy his flights of fancy, but they always dissipated like morning dew whenever there was enough work to do. A man of duties, a man of words. And now, a man in a faerie-tale. He chuckled.

Firefly halted again, and turned a querying look his way. Feeling like an obstinate old fart, he stopped his progress as well and took his time to steady himself. What he would do now was a leap into the unknowing, and as such it felt greatly daunting to him. He cleared his throat before answering in a hoarse voice "Aye, I'll hear them, Firefly."

Pretending to be neither too thankful for his gruff, however positive reply, nor over-anxious to share, Firefly darted joyfully on ahead. She thought she had learned through a cluster of not-so-easy lessons to move with more caution and far less speed: land instead of flitting onwards, whispering instead of shouting.

"Well. at least, I didn't shout!" she said quietly under her breath, trying to stifle the tremendous joy she felt.

Then it occurred to her that she hadn't even responded yet. "How silly of me," she murmured. "When am I ever going to stop making excuses for feeling so full of joy?!"

She knew full well the answer. One of her tiny offspring had just the night before had the audacity to say," Not everything is one huge glowing rainbow, Mom!" She knew she was still hanging on to something very near to her and although he was not yet dry behind the wings, she took to heart whatever he said.

Nonsense and enough of it! She knew this trail like the back of her wing and was determined not to let baby firefly, nor Clerk make her budge from what she had grown to love so dearly. Utter foolishness to make up excuses for anything SO worthwhile.

The moon was not only full in the night, but red as blood. Thus, it gave off practically no light to help Clerk and Firefly. They were both, in their own way, admiring its unique beauty. Somehow, firefly knew this; but, then so did Clerk. They thought amazingly alike and beyond comprehension, this is what would bring them together later on. Not so much the words, as Firefly was thinking.

Short story by Thomas Selnes The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 968 times
Written on 2006-12-07 at 16:23

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liz munro The PoetBay support member heart!
Dear Thomas,
I enjoyed this a lot,
what is the 1st part?
I am looking forward to
reading the next istillation :)


You have a big and what seems like a truthful heart, shadow! You're forgiven! :-)

Hope you'll bear with us, as the novel proceeds, qnd give us some honest feedback. We certainly could use it.


I apologize betsy and Thomas, it was not my place to comment so poorly.
But I haven't seen Thomas in many moons so I guess I miss him.
And these texts about the firefly are quite good.

I think this text is absolutely priceless!

Skuggen - you're in for a surprise! This is just a tiny tidbit; just an excerption of an entire novel. So brace yourself, sit back and enjoy as long as it lasts!

betsy firefly

Too long, didn't read.