3. The Three Elements


The heat of the sun was intense. The fire warmed his limbs, as strong as a kiln.

His dust-encrusted eyes flashed open.

At first, all he could see was the blinding sunlight in the cloudless sky. Staggering to his feet, he gazed around a red desert.

He took a step forward into this strange world, fighting back confusion.

His lips were dry and he knew he must drink from the stream that trickled through the boulders. The sun was fierce, so he knew he must keep to the shadows of the canyons. The thorny bushes tore his skin, so he knew he must stay on the open ground.

Where was he?

He stared at his hands, covered in the red dust of the desert. For the next few – hours – what was time in this place? – he wandered through the landscape, experiencing each new sensation.

At last he came upon a rocky outcrop on which perched a jet-black raven. At the raven’s feet lay a glowing ball.

He crept closer and picked up the ball. A strange tingling came over him as it slipped into his body.

Heart, he thought, as the blood thudded in his chest and through his veins.

The raven spread its wings and soared into the sky. Overcome with desperate longing, he began to run. This heart filled him with a surge of emotions and feelings which rose and fell like a bird.

The raven had soon flown far away. His heart now burned with sorrow and rage.

Something moved in the gully below. A slender gazelle, at whose feet lay a golden light. Careful not to frighten the delicate creature, he edged forward, picking up the light with his hands.

Soul, he thought as the fire filled him.

At once the soul quietened his impassioned heart, and he felt a great calmness. He stood upright, aware of a sense of completeness.

The day was drawing to a close. He climbed to the top of a ridge and watched the setting sun. Clay, heart and soul had fused together, the three elements of man.

The hand of the one who had placed him in the desert, was pleased with the day’s work.

 *  *  *  *  *


This is the third of the “Fiction by numbers” series and my contribution to the 13th Floor Paradigm Mythology Workshop 4 – Creation. The task was “to take your mind for a walk and create a Myth”. “The idea is to draw attention to how by using your creativity, you can weave and create magical stuff that will be both intriguing and believable, even to yourself.”


8 responses to “3. The Three Elements”

    • Thanks Luciana! There’s a little bit of everything in that story!

      Oscar Wilde wrote a fairytale “The Fisherman and his Soul” in which the soul without the heart had no feeling. I thought the heart without a soul would be overwhelming, and finally got to weave that idea into a story!

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