Fantasy Science Fiction coping Quest fairy tale quests Family fable death alien planets

The Land of Stone and Stars

By KJ Kabza
Dec 9, 2019 · 4,287 words · 16 minutes

From the author: Crushed by the loss of his only daughter and last surviving family member, Jackrabbit knows what he must do: venture to the permanently dark side of his homeworld, "the land of stone and stars," so he can find his daughter's spirit among the dead and bring her back before she ascends with the others into the sky. But the journey across the extremes of the planet's habitable zones is hard and bewildering, and for Jackrabbit to succeed, he must lose even more.

When the priest laid Jackrabbit's child on the hardpan, he pointed her bare feet shadowside. Jackrabbit stared at those feet. They bore ten perfect toes, so small and gray—gray as ash.

The priest, Thorntree, began the slow funeral song. He laid the tools for her journey on her ash-gray chest: a warm coal, a skin of water, a new pair of boots. "Look down to your shadow," Thorntree sang to her. "It points the way home, to the land of stone and stars, where the blackness of the sky lets the...

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