Author: Alone in the Desert PM
About a young girl afraid for her father's life, and the meaning of Stormwings. StandaloneRated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural/Fantasy - Words: 512 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-11-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1555401
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The world in which this story takes place belongs to Tamora Pierce. The idea and words of it, as well as all participating characters, are my own.
She'd heard the story from her father and her father's friends. Those horrible monsters that soldiers and their loved ones learned to hate were not there by chance. They had intention -- a mission. They dedicated their lives to discouraging warfare. They were hated where they ought to be loved -- ugly where they should have been beautiful. Such a noble mission did not seem to fit these twisted, unpopular freaks.
Keren dreamed otherwise. She dreamed of the angels of silver heaven who would bring her father home from the battlefield, keep him living and safe from harm. She slept alone in the nursery, and dreamt. Between nightmares of last rites and razing enemy troops, she dreamt. In her dreams the shaming caricature of a loyal soldier bore new and prouder shape.
An emissary of peace stood in her dream. Respect pooled around him, almost tangible. His mouth spoke only the unflinching truth of a griffin. His face was almost human, almost not, close but distant and critical. His voice tore through walls and borders and closed minds, unignorable. Within him glinted green and gold flames of healing.
Keren sniffed. The smells of herbs and sea salt filled her nose. Barefoot in her nightdress she stood and shivered. Outside on the balcony someone moved. Thinking it was her mother, Keren pattered off to her. But the figure on the balcony was alien and inhuman, perched on the railing, watching her through silent eyes.
"Who are you?" breathed Keren.
"I am the first Peacewing," answered the creature, and the light of the full moon gleamed coldly on his silvery wings, legs and tail.
"What's your name?" asked the child.
The Peacewing smiled, and his gray eyes were suddenly kinder and friendlier. "I don't have one, yet. But thank you for dreaming me, all the same."
"Will you bring my daddy home?" Keren asked hopefully.
He smiled again, sadly, and shook his head. "I won't make a promise that I don't know if I can keep." Somehow, Keren wasn't surprised at his answer. Then she asked, with a pang of regret, "Will you always be alone?"
"There will be others," the Peacewing assured her. "I'll need their help. There is so much work for me in these realms."
"You should go start it soon, I suppose," said Keren. "Goodbye, then. Come visit me when you have some time and tell me your name."
The Peacewing smiled and took off. As he flew up into the night sky he circled once over the balcony and cried, "Thank your again for dreaming me, Keren of Queenscove! Peace be with you!"
When she woke in her bed and saw the early morning light through her mother's white curtains Keren almost cried. The Peacewing was nowhere to be seen and he'd not told her if he was real or not.