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Fiction

The Storyteller's Guild
By Aaron Malcolm

Introduction:

     The Storyteller's Guild is a slowly growing group of storytellers, young and old, seasoned and fresh, who all serve a common goal, to master and live the art of good, un-aided story telling. The group has several tellers within it, from weathered retirees simply looking for something to pass the doorway of their house for. Others are college students looking to bring imagination and inspiration to those with very little or none at all. Some are told from truthful experiences where others are simply products of an imaginative childhood which ever it may be we will never know for it is written as a Guild rule. Those rules are:

The source of your story shall not be known.
Nothing written can be viewed during your telling.
All stories should be tolerable for all audiences.


     I am pleased to be able to bring you the exploits and several of this guild's most magnificent stories. I do hope you enjoy.

     I must apologize for the quality of the stories written, they are a spoken to written, word for word adaptation of the stories as told to me. The little details that make such stories step from 'good' or 'great' to 'magnificent' or 'spectacular', such as gestures and facial expressions are not included. Since such expressions are not and cannot be easily written, I have chosen not to attempt such a task.

     The first story is from Meredith Ledbetter, an outgoing and charming retired woman who works for the guild to bring the exploits of her more youthful days to upcoming generations.

Meredith Ledbetter's story amongst peers

     Now sit back and relax as I tell you a story of when I was a little girl. I was away from home for my first time without the company of my parents on tour of Europe. This was typical practice for art students in their fall sophomore term at university. This was a self-guided tour that one can take with or without a group. Me, being independent since birth, toured without an accompanying group. The tour took me into the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland on a brisk late-fall evening. The bus trip was long and bone jarring and not one that I would likely survive these days. The bus stopped me at a lonesome street corner lit only by the light of a brighter then usual waning crescent moon. I walked, with bag strapped over my left shoulder, along the firmly compacted dirt and stone roadway and up into the driveway of the large manor that was to be my boarding for the night. The walk seemed to be effortless as my attention was drawn more to the moonlit countryside then on my destination. This was at a time before the popularity of external lights so all that could be seen was hazy silhouettes of trees, tall grass and even the rolling hills lit only by the silvery light of the moon above.
When I arrived at the heavy wooden double doors of the great manor and raised a loosely clenched fist to knock upon the door, the door opened. The door slowly creaked open with the sound of iron on iron to reveal a squatty older woman dressed in a plain dress and apron and faded blue scarf over her head of graying hair.
     "Come in, we have been expecting you," the old woman said with her heavy Scottish accent. She waved her open hand from the doorway into the house with arm extended and I followed the arm into the house. The interior of the house was an old-worldly mix of woods and stone. A large stairway led up to a small platform that led up into two separate, smaller stairways facing adjacent to each other. Long tapestries were hung from the wall, at least two stories up, and swayed down to about knee height from the floor. I could also see four columns of stone that appeared to hold up the second floor.
     "Are ye hungry? Thirsty? Wish for a nightcap?" she asked me just inside the doorway. I agreed to a small bite to eat before retiring for the night.

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