Agner Learns to Fly

Skiing Jane Huie 2020 MCAC Art Exhibit.jpg
“Skiing” by Jane Huie, exhibited with the author’s story.

Agner had always wanted to fly. He sat in class and studied the magic as hard as any other child in his village. He practiced the words and songs, the motions of the hands just so. He endured his old teacher’s imprecations and worked as hard as he could.

But still, Agner could not fly.

He spent long hours skiing in the forest at the foot of the great mountain with only the birds themselves as his companions. He listened to how they sang and chattered from treetop to treetop. In time, he sang and chattered back and they heard him and answered him. Agner, who could not fly, and the birds, who could, became friends.

One day, they told their friend a secret, about a locked room and a jewel of great power and how the owner of that jewel would be the true King Under the Mountain. But, they told him, there were many guards, as lean and hungry as any wolf in the forest. They knew how to get Agner in, but to get away, Agner would need to fly.

# # #

As the sun broke over the great mountain in the east, all the townspeople woke to the sound of a great clamor and pursuit. They threw open their windows and saw a small figure hurtling down the mountain on skis, bent like a stooping falcon. Every moment, he gained distance from his lean and hungry pursuers, who growled and shouted at him. In his hands, a great jewel gleamed, its corona trailing behind him like the tail of a comet.

Agner flew through the town, laughing.


This is the first of three stories I wrote for the Mattawoman Creek Art Center’s 2020 Winter Open All-Media Show, which is a cooperative effort of the MCAC and the Charles County Chapter of the Maryland Writer’s Association. Got all that? Good!

In short, the center invited us writers to look over a whole host of art pieces, choose one or more of then, and write something inspired by piece. We weren’t limited by genre or style (some wrote poems and I think I saw at least one that could have been a song), only by length. Whatever we wrote had to fit on a regular letter-sized sheet of paper. Practically, that meant a story no longer than 300 words. We had roughly a day and a half to write the stories we wanted to write.

This is the first of three stories I wrote for the exhibit. Due to my schedule, I ended up writing all of them in a total of four hours or so — from concept to formatted and e-mailed manuscript. Not bad, huh? I didn’t get a chance to meet Ms. Huie so I can’t tell you what she thought about the story I unearthed from her work. You’l have to stand in for her. Let me know what you think!

I’ll post the other two later in the week.