Ancient Magics

 Kokopelli's Flute by Will Hobbs

Tepary Jones hiked to the ruins of the ancient city on the night of a total lunar eclipse. He had always felt the magic of the forgotten spaces, but tonight the place seemed especially alive, its pictures of animal and mystic figures telling pieces of stories long forgotten.

He had his golden lab Dusty for a companion and a bag of pinyon nuts for food.

The scurrying of packrats broke the silence. Like Tepary himself, they preferred the hours of night. He listened for the noises of owls and other desert creatures. Tepary was shocked when he heard the voices of two men echoing across the stones. This ruin wasn't on any map; only a few locals knew where to find it.

"This is going to be a five-thousand-dollar night." The second man laughed and said, "Ten-thousand-dollar night. This place has never been dug before."

They were pothunters-- thieves who ripped into ancient sites, and dug out what they wanted, not caring that they were destroying the treasures of the past. Across the wall of the Picture House were etched two large petroglyphs of Kokopelli, the spirit whose magic flute could make corn grow before your eyes.

And, during the lunar eclipse, the power of the Ancient Ones grows stronger. These pothunters might carry guns, but they reckon without the knowledge of forces unseen and one very determined Tepary Jones, whose brush with magic will change his life forever.

The Sleep of Stone by Louise Cooper

Ghysla knew they were meant to be together. From the moment she saw Prince Anyr she fell deeply in love with him. Of course he was handsome! But he was also thoughtful and kind, preferring to take long walks in the forest and by the sea rather than go hunting or carousing in the town. She watched him from a distance for a long time, finally braving to show herself. Ghysla was overjoyed when he called to her across the waves, and she eagerly came to him.

He stroked her brow and talked softly to her. She said not a word to him, but with a flip of her mighty fins she rapturously fell back into the water, somersaulting in the cold depths. For today Ghysla, last of her kind, had chosen to be a seal. In the weeks following she might be a deer, a pony, or even an eagle soaring in the sky, but always she would stay near Prince Anyr who came to marvel at how the creatures of the woods and waters sought his friendship.

Many days passed in just this way, and with each interlude Ghysla became surer of the love between them-- though she would never let him see her true face.

Ghysla was in her natural form on the day she saw the bridal party travelling to Anyr's castle. The eyes in her pinched, owl-like face clouded with tears of rage. Ghysla's membranous wings trembled with fury, and she bared her sharp fangs with the awful realization that Sivorne, beautiful daughter of a faraway king, was destined to be Prince Anyr's bride.

She could not believe that Anyr would want this child-woman when he and she had shared the truest of loves. So Ghysla plotted a revenge that would use the force of half-forgotten magics to eliminate her rival and deliver her heart's desire.