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Edition 29: The Old Man in the Mountain by Tom Howard

The man Denara had her eye on is missing, and she may have made a catastrophic mistake. An old legend tells of an aged helper of the mountain, so Denara decides she has no choice but to fix it. Tom Howard weaves a seaside community, beaten down by time, unawares of looms behind them. -SY


The unexpected silence woke her. For the first time in Denara’s life, no raindrops fell on the roof tiles over her head. She left her bed, pulling her homespun robe around her, and made her way to the kitchen. Her mother, tall and thin, stared out the window at a morning sky lightened much too early.

“The rain has stopped,” said Denara.

“Don’t worry,” said her mother, returning to washing the breakfast dishes. “I saw blue skies for two hours when I was your age. It’ll start raining again in a few minutes.”

Denara scooped chunks of fish out of a bubbling stewpot into her bowl, appreciative of the stove’s warmth. “Would you like some breakfast, Mom?”

“Why did the rain stop?” Denara asked, pushing the bits of fish around in her bowl and hoping her mother had a logical reason for the rain stopping.

“I don’t know,” replied her mother. “It might have something to do with the low tide last night. Your father said he’d never seen the ocean that far out.”

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