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Wilfried F Voss

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Member Since: Dec, 2008

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This story is an excerpt from the first draft of "Painted Wings and Giants' Rings" by Wilfried F. Voss.

The rising sun continued to tickle Patrick’s nose, but he felt no desire to open his eyes just yet. His hand rose to his nose to scratch it.

“Yikes!” he called out as he realized the sand on his hands and nose, and he had to sneeze. He squinted his eyes, trying to adjust to the bright light and explore the surroundings. It took a few moments to realize that this was not what he had expected, not the beach near Puff’s cave.

Where am I? And where is Siobhan?

He stood up slowly and dusted the sand off his pajama and his hair. He took another look at the white, sandy beach and the ocean.

 “Siobhan!” He called for his sister into different directions, but there was no answer. “Where are you?”

“Mylady!” He tried again.

“We must continue our mission!” Still, there was no answer.

Is this still Honalee? I certainly would hope so.

There was, nevertheless, the lingering question of how to proceed from here. Should he stay and wait for the lady - with the help of the competent Puff, of course - to find him? Or should he take the initiative of finding her? After all, he was the captain of the famous Radio Flyer, and a captain should never abandon his ship for too long. Or should he try and change his dream?

Whatever rational solution a dull adult might have followed, Patrick, in his own way, decided that it was simply too boring to just sit around and do nothing, and switching a dream had always proven a difficult task to accomplish. So he thought it might be a marvelous idea to walk with the sun dwelling at the far horizon halfway above the ocean line to his right.

Walking barefoot through the warm sand was fun, especially when the sand got stuck between his toes and tickled him. He took an occasional turn into the shallow and cold waters to clean his feet, but he skillfully avoided the larger waves when they came in at great speed and tried to catch him.

He enjoyed the swooshing, swishing, crashing, chomping, slushing and churning of the ocean’s waves, supplemented by the squawking and screeching of the seagulls hovering above him, looking for an opportunity to steal the food he didn’t have.

And so he went on for not too long when he noticed what looked like the silhouette of a person about, as he estimated, between one and a half a mile ahead of him.

Is that my sister? What is she doing there?

Patrick accelerated his footsteps, and, finally, he ran.

A short time later, he realized the person in front of him was not Siobhan, but a young lady who, strangely enough, looked slightly familiar. She wore a white, long dress down to her feet, there were no shoes, and she held on tight to a beautiful red shawl with a flower pattern around her shoulders. Her dark brown hair was bound at the back.

Patrick couldn’t see her face as she kept her head down toward the ocean, and the sun’s reflection on the water created a blurry picture. He slowed down as he came closer, but the young lady appeared oblivious to his arrival. When he was almost close enough to touch her, he heard her voice as she called out toward the ocean and into the wind.

“Dear wind that shakes the barley free,
blow home my true love’s ship to me.”

She had spoken with a warm and melodic voice, and Patrick was touched by these beautiful words she had uttered. He stretched out his arm to touch her, but he hesitated when she turned her head toward the blue sky.

“Dear snow, white gulls upon the wave
I, like you, am lamenting, for my love.”

Patrick’s heart jumped when she turned her head to look at him. She smiled, and it was a warm and welcoming smile.

“Little fellow, are you on a quest?
I see your face, so much distressed.”

Patrick gulped, and for a moment he didn’t know what to say.

“Don’t be afraid, I mean no harm.
Come, entice me with your charm.”

Patrick smiled.

“I thank you, Mylady,” he finally said. “Actually, I was not afraid. It’s just that…”

He stopped in view of her eyebrows narrowing. She appeared confused, and then she spoke again, almost as mumbling to herself.

“What curious a tongue you speak.
Some help to seize it I must seek.”

Oh, now I get it!

Patrick thought for a moment before he answered, and he bowed.

“Your apology I must seek
for the curious tongue that I speak.”

Her face lightened up, and she nodded with delight.

Patrick continued.

“On a quest I am, it is true .
Some advice I need from you.”

Wow! That wasn’t bad at all!

“Some advice, I understand.
What is it, my little friend?”

She reached out with her hand to caress his cheek, and Patrick closed his eyes for a short moment, and he grinned.

I like her!

“I search for my sister, to me she is so dear.
I do miss her, and I wished she was here.”

Her face darkened and a single tear ran down her cheek, while she looked deep into his eyes.

“The yearning I do know.
It cuts your heart like a plough.
But don’t despair for your sister, dear,
Within a moment she will be here.”

His eyes widened in excitement. “Really?” he wanted to scream, but then he saw the reflection of a flying dragon in her dark brown eyes. He turned around and his heart was full of gratitude as he watched Puff sailing toward the beach and land in a respectful distance. He saw Siobhan jumping off Puff’s back. She landed safely in the sand, and, after tidying her pajama, she waved at him. She, too, was full of joy to see her brother again.

Patrick turned back to the widow with shawl, and he bowed again.

“I thank you, Mylady, you are so kind,
yet one more request, if you don’t mind.”

The widow nodded and, without uttering a word, she encouraged him to continue.

“My quest is not done, I am afraid.
To find my father I need your aid.”

The widow with shawl turned toward the ocean, and it appeared like she was listening to the wind. Then she spoke in clear words.

“On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the world and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road runs by
To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.”

Patrick was confused and he had to ask.

“My father dwells at the isle of Shalott,
near the many-tower’d Camelot?”

The widow shook her head.

“Only in riddles the wind does speak
for you to find the father that you seek.”

With these words she turned and walked away, but Patrick could still hear the widow with shawl lamenting for her lover.

“Whether he be in Africa
Or deep asleep in India.”

She kept on walking and lamenting.

“Seven years and seven days
No man has seen my woman ways.”

Patrick watched for a few more moments, then he ran over to Siobhan and Puff, and he hugged his sister with great relief.

For more background information on the Widow with Shawl see


       Web Site: Wilfried F Voss

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