Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Writer in Residence – The Legend of the Golden Flower (Part Three) by Paul Andruss

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

You can read the story so far The Legend of the Golden Flower

PART 3

Beyond the ancient shrine, the village road deteriorated into a treacherous track, twisting through steep sided hills covered with pine. Here the thin dawn light was sucked from the sky by a canopy of black needled branches. Even snow could not reach the forest floor, but lay in scattered drifts obliterating fallen trees, moss covered rocks and who knew what else, leaving them shapeless and sinister.

Okurimono never ventured beyond the town in all her eleven years. Ucosan’s tales of the world were all she knew. Ucosan said mountains were deadly places where evil yokai dwelt; wicked mountain Jami, spider demons and giant man-eating centipedes. There were aobōzu, ghostly blue priests that steal children, bloodsucking spider women and shapeshifting spirits. Racoon-kami that turn into cyclops-priests, mountain weasels with curved razor-sharp claws, and badger-kami in the…

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