One day, when the world was new and humankind not yet a forethought--there lived two little old grumpy gnomes beneath the knoll at Edmond's Steading. They were wizards, both of them masters in the ancient arts of flame, spirit, water and dust. To pass the time it amused them greatly to dabble with the elements of nature, and prank the other--to see who could unweave the others weaving.
The stouter wizard, (he had forgotten his name thrice over, but currently called himself Ryniomlosu) was mixing a potion over his stove when he heard a loud explosion down the tunnel.
A great cloud of dust soon followed, but Ryniomlsu was not interested. He was crafting a ring--a water ring that would allow the wearer to control the essence of water he was nearest too. There were 19 rivers this side of the Isles--and those 19 rivers were the rivers he hoped to relocate to his fellow gnome's study this evening, hopefully accompanied by a surplus of very bewildered fish, and an angry selkie or two.
The ring had 18 stones of crystallized water already attached, and Ryniomlsu could feel the keening of the water coursing through the ring, a powerful summoning that sounded almost like a siren's song. He readied his soldering tool--holding the last bead in place. The earth shook again, as Ryniomlsu bonded that last node into the ring, holding it up triumphantly towards the light.
And that is how the desert was born, Maria. Are you ready for bed now?
No? You want to know what happened next?
Well, my dear, a quest was begun--a quest by elf and fae and nymph alike--the quest for the ring, to save the water and the lake creatures that Rynimlsu had unknowingly trapped inside his bauble. It is said that when the rock walls shook in response to the wizards immense spell that little bit of dust fell into his caldron, and his spell was altered, my dear, locking all that water and trapping all those poor souls forever beneath the glass.
But don't fret, love! Everything will work out in the end. Lets get some sleep. Yes, tomorrow I will sing you the lullaby of the Shadowmere, the legendary horse princess, who turned all her suitors into frogs.
I later used this story as a jumping off point to start my first novel, The Quest to End The Desert. This short story was inspired by a vintage shop I curated and used to run.