Slab is busily firing his kiln for the last time before he makes his big delivery trek to the eastern slope of Middle Hillock. He must time it just right. For to get to “The Castle of the Heart” he must pass through the Valley of Ashes and the lair of Char, the last dragon to guard the the Stone Gateway to the Wise Old Tree….
Just as the Valley of Ashes is made of layers of dragon bones from Char’s ancestors, and fallen trees blackened by snores of ancestral dragons’ ancient slumbers. … The Castle of the Heart, is made of layers… layers of castles whose heartbeats have moved on, making room for quicker pulses to thrive. and if Slab were to have a sense that he was being watched even on his hidden days and nights, he is right. For far in the distance stands the silhouette of a one-winged bird, glancing longingly towards the castle. Never once does he turn his eye from the direction his wing points. Never once does he rest from his vigil.
…For Slab, this trek is easy since he has the fortunate design of a day in between everyone else’s’. So as easy as Slab’s clay forms into pots, Slab easily slips through space and time as he rolls his heavy load of pottery up to the castle doors.