Sybel was sixteen when her father died. Before that time, Ogam had taught her to touch the minds of their timeless Menagerie. She had learned to almost lose herself within their thoughts, to be them in a way that left impressions on her own mind forever.
But now he was gone. They had spoken little, but she found that she missed his presence, his there-ness. From when she was small, she had always sensed him near her, touching her mind like a feather. Even when she grew older, and he withdrew, giving her privacy, she could still feel him, just on the other side of her call.
His death was not entirely unexpected. Her mother had died, as she was born. And though the Animals did not die, Sybel had always known that one day she would. As would her father. No, his death was not a surprise. But her feelings were obscure; some ancient embedded sadness had caught hold of her.
For the first time completely on her own, she reached out to touch minds with their—no, her Legends. She was not sure why. Perhaps it came from the same instinct that made her sad.
Ter, she called.
And in her mind, she felt the freedom of hawkflight. She saw each raindrop glisten within the wisps of clouds that he passed, creating curtains of rainbow brightness that he sped through with an ethereal cry. The sound of his call spread across the complete, utter silence of the upper air. The clouds shook. The rainbows flew in showers about his wings, and the sun, ever-bright, was blinding in its brilliance upon the heavens.
Joy, he cried to the still air around him.
Joy, he spoke to Sybel's mind alone. I wish you joy, Ogam's daughter.
Eyes closed, Sybel came back into herself slowly. Thank you, she said silently.
Do not forget, he replied.