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“The Legacy of Panellus” – FWG Flash Fiction for 5/4/2024

Bioluminescent tree fungus. It must be magical, right?


The prompt is:

 

 

THE LEGACY OF PANELLUS


 

The Grove had been tended and nurtured by the women of Rutherburg for centuries until the Purge of the Mages wiped out all but one of their members. Panellus, returning from harvesting the magic, glowing fungus, found her village burned and all of her relatives and friends dead. Fearful that the ravagers might return, she wrote down the location of the grove and its secret, then walked out of the forest into the wide world. Thus was born the Legacy of Panellus—a simple note, written in a script readable only by her descendants.


The grove was visited once per generation. Its location and the magic it birthed were secrets passed down through the line of first-born daughters in Panellus’s line. On her eighteenth birthday, Penelope and her mother sat on the terrace of their mountain estate. Her mother handed her a copy of the original note, which had long since crumbled to dust.


“This is the source of our family’s wealth. What you will find there is a thousand times more valuable than gold, for all the magical world depends on it, and only we know where to find it.”


The symbols, just squiggles to anyone not taught the runes from childhood, spoke to Penny loud and clear.


###


Two weeks later, Penny was climbing the Bavarian Alps at sunset. As the light faded and a mist rose from the forest floor, she spotted an eerie glow from further up the slope. It was fully dark when she stepped into the pine grove lit by bioluminescent patches growing on the tree trunks.


Careful to leave the mycelia which pulled life from the wood, she went tree-to-tree, slicing off the glowing fungus. Then she walked into the wide world to build her own fortune.


 

THE END

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