by Esther Davis
“Paddle down the creek,” the Phoenix Spirit said, “until the cherry grove mists over, and the waterfall’s tumbling deafens your mind.”
For forty-nine years Feng paid his dues in the Land of Spirits. Now came his second chance.
Jade and opal carpeted the creek bed. Only the occasional stir from Feng’s paddle reminded him that water, not air, separated his sampan from the gemstones. Pink cherry blossoms lined the shore.
Feng let his eyes feast on his surroundings one last time—the green carpeting, the double suns shining above, the creatures and spirits eying the curious traveler. He imagined returning from his mortal voyage, this time entering the Land of Spirits with a clean conscious.
He mustn’t fail…
Read the rest of “Born of Flame” and other short stories in A Dog, 3 Cats, and a Dragon.
I love drawing inspiration from ancient stories and mythology. I based “Born of Flames” off of Chinese folklore, then added my own twists.