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The Tale of Three Brothers
Story published July 14, 2012 · completed · 1 page · 15,124 readers · 22,705 reads
The Tale of Three
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The Tale of Three Brothers

There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely winding road, at twilight. In time the brothers reached a river too tretorous to pass, but being taught in the magical arts the three brothers simply waved their wands and made a bridge. Before they could cross the bridge however, they found their path blocked by a hooded figure, it was Death and he felt cheated, cheated because travelers would normally drown in the river. But Death was cunning, he pretended to congratulate the three brothers on their magic and said that they each had earnt a prize for having been clever enough to evade him.

The oldest asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence, so Death fashioned him one from and elder tree that stood near-by. The second brother decided that he wanted to humiliate Death even further and asked for the power to recall loved ones from the grave, so Death plucked a stone from the river and offered it to him. Finally Death turned to the third brother, A humble man, He asked for something that would allow him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death, and so it was that Death reluctantly handed over his own cloak of invisibility. 

The first brother travelled to a distant village, where with the elder wand in hand he killed a wizard with whom he had once quarreled. Drunk  with the power that the elder wand had given him, he bragged over him invincibility. But that night another wizard stole the wand and slit the brother's throat for good measure and so death took the first brother for his own.

The second brother journeyed to his home where he took the stone and turned it thrice in hand. To his delight, the girl who he had once hoped to marry before her untimely death appeared before him, yet soon she turned sad and cold for she did not belong in the mortal world. Driven mad with hopeless longing the second brother killed himself to join her, and so Death took the second brother.

As for the third brother, Death  searched for many years but was never able to find him. Only when he attained a great age did the youngest brother shed the cloak of invisibility and give it to his son. He then greeted Death as an old friend and went with him gladly to parting his life, as equals. 
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