by Jennifer Hykes
Read by Laurice White
A PodCastle original!
The man called Dirt was a master of riddles. It was his only gift.
He was not a riddler himself. From the time he could speak, he always called things exactly what they were and nothing else. He had tried, once or twice in his childhood, to craft a joke or to weave a pair of clever words together. But every time he tried to twist something sideways, he found that his tongue would not cooperate. So he stopped trying to be clever and went on his way, moving through his life in a straight line from day before to day after. He worked the fields on his family’s farm, he carted vegetables to market, he paid his respects to the temple gods at all the appropriate times. He grew tall and broad of shoulder, but even in the prime of his youth he moved with the deliberate calm of old age. He was not a riddler.
But he was a master at solving riddles.
Jennifer Hykes lives with her husband and two cats just outside of Pittsburgh. She is fond of books, moonlight, and good yarns, both in the narrative and fiber sense. Her stories have appeared in Abyss & Apex and Betwixt.