One-Winged Truth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Feathers whirling around her, a young woman awakes on a cold and dark cliff. She awakes with no recollection of what happened to her and who she is. Along with the confusion of just one wing on her back.

Submitted: December 12, 2011

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Submitted: December 12, 2011

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She shivered violently and rubbed her arms in the hope of gaining any kind of warmth. She wrapped her thin, pale arms around her knees and hid her head. Her long black hair was the only covering she had. Wind blew and she shivered at the cold chill. She didn’t know where she was and what had happened. Her mind was a blank and only darkness about what had happened. She felt drops of water escape her eyes and it scared her. She sobbed. The night wind blew once again and silver feathers floated around her.

“Hey.” She jerked at the voice and hugged herself tighter. “Who are you?”

She didn’t know who spoke. She heard footsteps near her and an intake of air. She peered over her arms and met charcoal eyes. “Here.” He was handing her a jacket. She stared at him and images flashed before her eyes. A beautiful girl dancing along the beaches with golden hair flowing after her. She laughed and held kindness in her eyes as her footsteps were covered by incoming waves. The same girl holding him with teardrops in her eyes. She was departing on a ship, waving. She was promising to return. She shook her head and looked up to meet his eyes. He had taken a step back and stared at her with wide eyes. One wing arched from her back with loose feathers flying about her. She quickly stood up and threw her arms around him, burying her head onto his chest. He was stiff at her touch but she welcomed his warmth. After a couple moments, she felt his jacket cover her, placing her wing down once more to rest on her back. She heard and felt him breathe and this relaxed her. He gently pushed her away from him and gave her a nervous grin, his eyes still wide with shock. She stared at him without speaking. Her skin shivered and crept in the cutting wind. She yearned for the body heat that he had provided but he had taken steps back from her.

“I have no words.” He simply stated as he rubbed his golden curls, “I need to get you to a warm place.”

She understood his language and what he spoke but his shock at her wing frightened her. The wing was part of her and normal. It belonged there and needed no questioning.

“I am so cold.” She whispered weakly. She had never felt such a biting cold that seemed to creep into every inch of her body.

He looked nervously around him. The cliff was bare except for them. He looked over to the sea, “Please forgive me, Katia.” He whispered to the billowing waves as he went over to embrace the one-winged young woman.

He was warm against her pale skin. His arms enveloped her in a warm embrace but she still felt his stiffness as he tried to keep her warm, “Let’s go. I will take you somewhere warm.” He started to lead her away and she slowly walked alongside him. She looked over at the stormy sea and wondered if she should stay. This was now her only familiar place in her blank head. He led her down the hill and through the forest to a lonely cottage. He opened the door and they went inside. He immediately began to make a fire. She shivered in his large jacket. She watched as he bent over the wood and blew on it. She quickly went to him and put her arms around him, chasing his warmth. He was the warmest creature that she had ever felt. Their skin was abnormally cold. Whose skin? Her mind ached as she tried to pull her memories from the black abyss. He stopped what he was doing, “There will be a fire soon, you can let go of me.”

“You carry warmth.” She whispered against his shoulder.

He gently unlatched her arms from him, “Only Katia can embrace me. It was our promise.” He sadly said as he looked at her. The young woman’s hand pressed firmly in his own. She whispered something to him and laughed when a blush came over his face. They sat over the cliff and looked over the sea in silence. These images ran through her mind when his eyes met hers. The fire grew slowly and she neared it. The warmth from the fire was not as inviting but she welcomed it. He stood up and went to a small room. He came back with some clothes. He rubbed the back of his neck, “You can put these on until you can get some.” He was nervous and his face turned a beet red. He handed them to her and went back to the room.

It did not take her a long time to figure out how to put on the breeches. The shirt was overly large and hung loosely on her thin frame. Her one wing was pressed against her back uncomfortably. But she liked the extra warmth the clothes provided. She sat back down by the fire and watched the flames as they licked the air. She felt the heaviness of her eyelids as they started to close by themselves. She lay down on the straw mat and curled up. Her wings usually curled around her but now her one wing suffocated under the wool shirt. The fire crackled and she barely heard him come back into the room as her world turned black.

His white wings were blood-stained. He walked into the Marble Courtyard with a smug step. He still held his sword which dripped crimson blood onto the white marble. She sat with her back straight and her great wings folded neatly on her back. Her throne was made of golden feathers. Her eyes met his and she did not react to the blood, “What do we have to fear, Sister? Father left us prepared for this battle. They will not take our Feathered Throne away from us.” She stood up slowly and walked to stand in front of him. Without any words, she took his sword and wiped it on her white, silk gown. The red blood smeared on the clean material. She handed it back, “Father said that there was to be no blood-streaked swords in his hall.” Her brother smirked as he sheathed his sword, “Oh yes, Feathered Queen.”

She opened her eyes and grabbed her head; a silent scream escaped her lips. Her head pounded and ached. She held her head until the pain became numb. She slowly sat up and noticed that she was in a bed. She warily removed the covers and looked around. She was in the small room of the cottage that belonged to the young man. These were new memories that she eagerly held onto, everything else was blank. She stood onto the cold wooden floor with bare feet and walked through the small door frame. The young man was asleep in front of the fire on a small couch. He looked innocent like he never did anything wrong. She looked away and pushed the front door open. This was the only cottage among the trees. She walked onto the grass and stared at the green blades between her toes; white marble: the only surface she had ever walked upon. The small glint of a memory brought the ache back to her head. She looked up and saw the sun shining through the canopy of the trees. It was a still beauty. There could be no danger in such a calm place. Why would she think of danger?  She continued to walk up the hill. The cliff was where she yearned to go. Every step she took, she absorbed the feeling of soft dirt and smooth grass blades. She listened to bird’s singing their morning tunes and invited the salty breeze. When she reached the cliff, her breath caught in her throat. The wind had enveloped her in a swirl, pulling her midnight hair around her. The waves had calmed since yesterday and the water was at peace. The silver feathers swirled in the wind. She felt how her wing wanted to break free and to fly. She closed her eyes and fell to her knees. She could not fly. That is why she only had one wing. She was not able to fly, but where to?

“Aren’t you supposed to have two?” The voice was his. She did not turn to face him nor did she open her eyes. She heard his footsteps stop near her, “Angels usually have two wings.”

She opened her eyes and glanced at him. He was studying her innocently. His eyes were dark but so clear. They had not seen death or suffering. She averted her gaze to the sea, “I am no Angel.” She whispered, “I do not know who I am.”

He stood there silently and she knew that he watched her. Her wing was natural to her and part of her but to him, it was alien. She did not belong here.

“It almost looks like the other was torn off…” He quietly muttered as if to himself. She did not acknowledge him but allowed the wind to tease her hair. Her memories were lost but she felt at peace and still. It was a liberating feeling. 

“Listen, I cannot just leave you like this by yourself.” He said, “But you cannot stay here either. We have to find out where you are from.”

“Not now.”

He paused and waited, “What?”

“I do not want to remember right now. I want to be free.” Her voice came out of her mouth on its own.

“But how you are supposed to get home?”

“I do not have a home. This will be my home.” She pulled her knees to her chest, “This is where my first memory became alive.”

He was rubbing his neck nervously, “I can only help you so much…”

“You can leave me. I do not need your assistance.”

“But, you have a wing and that is going to bring trouble.”  She watched the waves and stopped speaking to him. This only unsettled him more. He finally sighed and sat down next to her, “I am sure that Katia would not have liked it if I allowed a one-winged woman freely wander our town.” He did not bother her but she knew she did not need him. This cliff was what called her. This was her place and it belonged to her.  “I am Lucien.”  She turned to face him, Lucien was his name. She stared at him. Her mind ached as she tried to recall her name. She placed her hands on her temples, “Hey, are you alright?” he sounded genuine. It was his voice that seethed every emotion he felt. 

“I do not know what I am called.”

His brow creased when he thought, “You lost all your memories.” But then his face lit up, “How about I just give you a temporary name for now?”

She searched his eyes and as always, the images of the girl flashed through her mind. The young woman was constantly in Lucien’s mind. She nodded curtly.

He leaned back on his arms and looked up to the moving clouds, “Sky.” Then his face turned red, “I am sorry if it sounds a bit strange, it’s just that…”

“Sky,” She looked up to the blue and her wing unfolded and tore a hole through the shirt. She stood up and the wind blew wildly around her, loose feathers flew around her but she suddenly fell weak when her mind began to ache. She fell back to the ground. Lucien’s charcoal eyes were wide and he stared in awe.

“If only Katia could see this.” He muttered but then a fleeting sorrow filled his eyes, “Is it alright if I call you Sky?” She nodded, “I am going to have to find you something that can withstand that wing.” He relaxed now as a careless grin appeared on his face. He looked over the horizon as the wind teased his golden curls. Perhaps the sunlit color showed his days of innocence? “Does it hurt?” he asked without looking at her, “The place where the other wing used to be?”

She felt the absence of the other wing deep inside her. The hollow feeling was dark and empty. It was not a physically pain but a deep mourning that pulled from inside her, “It is nothing.”

He did not believe her answer but left it alone, “I can’t wait to tell Katia about you.”

The feelings that Lucien felt for Katia was evident to her, his heart was with that young woman. It was Love. A feeling she had ignored and never cared for. A feeling cast away and put aside for her whole life. She knew this because her chest felt hollow just as the feeling of the missing wing. What was there to care for?

“I keep on speaking about Katia.” Lucien chuckled, “I apologize. She is my life; I guess I have nothing else to talk about.” He stood up and outstretched his hand to her, “Come on, you have not eaten yet.”

Sky stared at the hand that hung between them. He was looking into her eyes. Katia danced in the rain while laughing. The sea’s waves licked her feet as she ran along the shore. Sky took his hand and stood beside him. Lucien spoke of little nothings when they started their trek back to the cottage. Her mind was elsewhere. She stared ahead and remembered Katia from Lucien’s mind. She was happy and careless in every memory.

Her brother dropped him at her feet. She looked down to see a young man crumpled in front of her, beaten and bruised, “We managed to get ahold of the Gray Wings’ Second Prince.” Her brother said with a sneer, “I kept him alive so we could use him as a hostage.” The Prince coughed as he kneeled. His hands were tied behind his back and his gray wings were also tied, “I believe that he would be more useful to us dead than alive, Brother. He is, after all, only the Second Prince.” Her brother stood his ground, “Father taught us to think in strategy, Sister. He will be a useful pawn in our battle. We will win. The Gray Wings will not take the White Wings Feathered Throne.” She looked down at the Prince, “Very well, Brother, but no more Gray Wing filth in our Courtyard.” The Prince looked up at her with eyes the color of endless blue skies. He coughed and blood streamed from his mouth, “When did the White Wings become so corrupt? When did they make a habit of slaughtering innocents?” His voice wheezed in pain but he kept eye contact with her. His golden hair was blood-streaked and stringy. She did not speak but turned to her Brother, “His blood is staining the marble, get him away from the Courtyard.”

Sky nibbled at the bread that Lucien provided. He was chattering as he cooked some stew; most of his words were just background noise which she ignored. In a while, he placed a bowl with the hot stew in front of her. She looked at the floating venison before taking a small bite. She was surprised to find it tasteful and pleasant. She suddenly jerked when she felt his fingers on her shoulders. He immediately stepped back, “I am sorry, Sky, I just wanted to see if I could repair the hole in the shirt.” She nodded and could not ignore the warm tingling feeling his fingers left on her cold skin. He sighed deeply behind her, “I can stich it up but it will not be good enough. We have to go into town and get you proper clothes.” Sky returned to her food, “Can I?” Lucien asked cautiously as he showed her the needle and thread. She stared at it for a second but then nodded. She felt him move her hair from her back and began to sew the material. She felt him hesitate, “Sky, it’s still a fresh wound, maybe I should place ointment on it?”

“Do not speak about it, please continue.” She said quietly as she stared into the stew. He began to sew the large tear after a while. He was gentle and she felt the tips of his fingers, “Why is your skin so warm?”

The question seemed to throw him off since he stopped sewing. He chuckled, “I am just like anyone else. It means that I am alive.”

“Our skin was never so warm…” she stopped as the headache threatened to return.

Lucien noticed and did not question her, “There, finished.” He went away to put away the sewing materials. Sky placed her utensil down and stared at the cracks between the old boards. She had questions but she pushed them away. It frightened her that she did not know anything but it also gave her a strange peace. It was liberating, “Let us go to town and find you some clothes.” Sky turned to Lucien to see him wearing a straw hat and a grin. She stood up slowly and followed him through the door. When they walked outside, Sky could not help but look over to the direction of the cliff. Lucien was continuing his usual chatter which she ignored.  She allowed her lungs to absorb the scent of wildflowers, “Let’s go Sky!” Lucien called out. She looked over to his inviting smile and bright eyes. He slowly took her hand. She looked at his warm hand over hers and was not expecting him to break into a quick run, dragging her along. He laughed as they ran down the hill, dodging trees and shrubs. The wind caught her long hair as she tried to keep up with his pace. She felt her wing lifting off her back as if wanting to lift off. They slowed down at the end of the forest and he released her hand. He panted and leaned on a tree to catch his breath, “Katia and I always ran down the hill.” He spoke to the tree’s leaves with a faraway look in his eyes, “She was always the one dragging me along.” Then he stood up and straightened his vest, “Let us go Sky and I will buy you the prettiest of gowns.”

The seaside village was not far from Lucien’s lone cottage. It was not a large town but a comfortable one bustling with life as merchants peddled and villagers shopped. Sky was immediately recognized as a stranger when she and Lucien entered the town. He seemed careless and oblivious to the scrutinizing looks she received from the villagers. He merely chattered and greeted familiar faces. The environment was new to Sky and she stared back at the people who watched her. The images came as she met their eyes. She looked away from their eyes in order to avoid the sudden flash of images the people had stored there.

“Here we are!” Lucien said as he motioned to an elderly woman standing behind a peddler’s table. She smiled when she saw Lucien. Sky came to stand beside him.

“You bring me a customer, Lucien?” the woman asked when wrinkles appeared around her eyes from a smile. She looked at Sky with the same welcoming glance.

Lucien looked to Sky, “Margie is the best seamstress in all of Seaside Cove.” He shook his head, “No, in all of a Feather’s Country!”

The old woman waved him away and then paid her attention back to Sky, “A beautiful young woman such as this needs a gown to accent her beauty.”

“And she needs a cloak against the sea’s mist also.” Lucien added.

Margie agreed and began sifting through already made gowns on her table. She muttered to herself as she picked one off the other.

“It cannot be!” Sky stared at Lucien who became paralyzed in his spot with a look of shock as he looked somewhere, “It is Warren!” Then he ran off, leaving Sky with Margie.

Sky watched as Lucien ran to embrace a young man. The young man coldly shrugged off the embrace and was obviously not as delighted to see Lucien.

Margie picked up a gown, “Perfect!” Sky turned to the old woman and looked at the gown that Margie outstretched to her. It was a white gown with embroidered crimson flowers all over it. There was a lace up at the front. Sky warily took the gown and led a hand through a flower, peony. It was familiar to her, “Take it, dear. I do not want money from you and especially not from that sweet boy, Lucien.” She reached for a dark red cloak also. You can go and change from those ridiculous britches in my wagon.”

Sky stared into Margie’s soft hazel eyes. A fire raging while people ran, panicking and screaming, a young woman yelling out a name over and over again, “Thank you.” Sky quietly whispered. The kindness of the elderly woman pulled at the hollow spot in her chest. She went inside the covered wagon and changed into the new gown. She tore a hole for her wing to rest more easily against her back. If there were free-flowing silk gowns that allowed the wing to breathe, it would have suited her better. She placed the cloak over her back and only exited the cart when she felt covered enough. When she lifted her head, she saw Lucien, Margie, and the young man, Warren all staring at her. Margie clapped her hands together with pleasure, “I knew I would make the right choice.” Sky came up to Lucien and gave him his clothes.

“The gown does suit you much better than these.” He said with a shy grin. He turned to Margie, “Thank you kindly, Margie.” He reached into his pocket but she placed a hand on his arm.

“No need to pay. You helped me enough.” She gave Sky one more smile before returning to her counter.

Lucien turned to Sky once more, “This is my younger brother, Warren.” He gestured to the young man standing solemnly near them, “And here is Sky”. He did not resemble Lucien much with black charcoal hair and stormy gray eyes. He nodded back a welcome. It was an almost awkward introduction but Lucien made it comfortable with his easy ways, “He just came back from the King’s Own army and I really want him to stay with me while he is here.” Warren was silent; he looked away from Sky and gave his older brother a cold look. Sky saw a buried fury in those eyes. If Lucien noticed, he merely ignored it and gestured for them to follow, “With Warren back and Sky as a distinguished guest, I say it is time for a celebration.”

Warren stood his ground as Lucien began to walk away, “It was quite a weary journey. I think it best that I stay in the Lamb’s Foot for tonight.” Lucien’s face took on an expression of sorrow but it quickly faded with a smile.

“You do not need to spend any of your coins, it would be best to stay with me.”

Warren tightened his grip on the rucksack that was slung over his shoulder, “I could barely call that cottage a home.” He muttered. He began to walk away, “I plan on leaving the village soon in order to find work in the King’s City.”

Sky felt the tension between the brothers and the look that came upon Lucien’s face when Warren began to leave them tugged at her chest. She gently placed an arm on Warren’s shoulder before he could go farther. He was surprised and turned to look at her. His eyes met hers as if for the first time. He was quiet and the storm that brewed in his eyes seemed to mellow out yet none of his memories flashed through Sky’s mind just as everyone’s had, “I would appreciate your company also if it will not be too much of an inconvenience.”

Warren’s dark pupils searched her face as if at a short loss of what to say. He cleared his throat, “I figure that a few hours will not be too much trouble.”

Lucien’s grin lit up his face, he seemed to thank Sky through his bright eyes, and “Now then, let us go off to the shore!”

Warren seemed to wait for Sky to start following after Lucien. He acted a bit nervous when they started walking slowly. Lucien was stopping at vendors and buying products on their way, “How did you end up meeting my brother?” Warren finally asked after being silent.

She looked to see Lucien tossing his careless grin to people, there was an even more bounce to his step as he conversed with fellow villagers, “He rescued me.” Warren also looked to see his brother. He was quiet and did not ask for a longer explanation. She glanced at him. His brow was creased and his cloudy gray eyes seemed to full of hidden feelings, “You are angry with him.” She stated. Her brashness caught him off guard and he opened his mouth to speak but Lucien called them to quicken their pace. He closed his mouth and was silent again.

“There were no shores or oceans there.” She whispered when the aroma of the sea breeze surrounded them. When the horizon between the sea and sky came into view, Sky felt herself catch her breath. The sky could not have been bluer.

“There is not much that I missed about home but I cannot do without the sea.” Warren mumbled more to himself than to her.

Sky watched the waves roll in, bringing in foam to the golden sands of the shore. Lucien had already thrown off his sandals and products in order to place his bare feet into the salty water. Warren also dropped his rucksack onto the ground, “You have to feel the waves lick your feet, Sky!” Lucien called to her.

Warren stood by her side and seemed lost in the billowing waves of the sea. She was already barefoot and raised her skirts to touch the water with toes. The waves rolled back to cover her feet. The rush of cold water startled her but she stepped in deeper to stand besides Lucien who had gotten quiet. He was staring off to the horizon, “Is it not much better to actually be in the sea instead of just looking at it from the cliff?” he asked quietly to the sea breeze.

Sky closed her eyes so she could take in the rolling motions of the waves. Her new gown got wet at the bottom but nothing really seemed to bother her anymore. Her mind was clear and the heaviness she had felt in her chest dissipated with every wave.

 Her steps were quiet on the dark marble of the dungeon. She just barely lifted her silky white gown so the material would not get filthy. The White Winged Guards bowed when she passed them. She stopped at the only occupied cell. His face was the palest pallor and he was thin but his eyes still held the brightest of blues when they looked up to meet hers. He stood up from the black marble bench and came to stand across from her. His golden hair was losing its shine. He was a handsome man but the War of the Wings had dragged him down. His hands came to grip the steel bars that separated them. She stared into his eyes with a certain curiosity. A laugh escaped his mouth which surprised her, “How can someone so beautiful have so much evil in her?” She continued to stare at him and he did not break their gaze. There was silence except for the dripping of water from cracks in the marble ceiling, “I was curious, Prince.” She said. He smiled at her, “I do not believe that you are really so cruel. I believe that there is some good in you. I tried telling them all.” Another hoarse laugh escaped him, “But they do not believe me. You should run, White Winged Queen. You and your brother’s hatred and cruelty will not win this War.” His blue eyes never broke their fierce gaze. She turned from him, “I really do not see a point in keeping you alive, Second Prince.” But as she walked away, his words echoed in her mind.

“Let’s go Sky; I bought some of the Seaside’s villages best pastries just for you to try.” Lucien said. She opened her eyes to see Lucien walking back to shore; the bluest sky just like his eyes. The dull ache in her head returned. She lifted her skirts and followed Lucien back.

Lucien was pulling out pastries from the packages. Sky sat down on the sand across him. She looked to Warren who still stood, looking at the sea, “Please, join us.”

Warren seemed to break from his long gaze and looked down to meet her eyes. He slowly took a seat beside her. Lucien handed them both a pastry each. They all sat in a silence as they ate their pastries, all looking at horizon. It was peaceful. The waves seemed to beckon Sky back to the water and she felt herself wanting to walk in the salty water once more. Her wing was hidden beneath the cloak and felt suffocated. She wanted to uncover it and let it soar yet she knew it was not possible. Maybe there was a time when Sky was able to fly among the bluest skies and among clouds but that time was gone.

“One day” Lucien’s voice came as soft as a salty breeze from the sea, “she will come back and I can hold her once more in my arms.” He looked beyond the horizon when he spoke as if his words reached farther.

“No she will not.” Warren’s voice was strained. Sky looked at him and noticed his hand clenching tightly as if he had a difficult time holding anger back, “Katia is gone. You should accept this fact and move on.”

Lucien looked at his younger brother with a smile that held years of sorrow behind it, “She will be back soon. I know she will.”

“That is what you said three years ago before I left to join the King’s Own.” Warren continued in his strained voice, “It is either that Katia’s ship was swallowed by the sea or that she happily married on the Other Side of the sea and has her own family. You know this, Lucien, yet you continue to live your life in some kind of fantasy.” Warren’s angry stormy eyes glared into his brother’s, “Katia is not coming back.”

At that moment, images quickly began unfolding in Sky’s mind as if Warren let down his barrier. They were alone. Their parents’ gravestones joined the many victims of the terror-filled raid. The older boy held his younger’s brother’s hand with a new focus of protecting him. They lived on people’s kindness. They lived in the streets. They worked at any job they could. A young pretty girl teased Lucien; the same girl stealing a kiss from Lucien while people danced around them. Warren was alone. Katia was Lucien’s world now with a makeshift twine ring around her ring finger. There was a tearful goodbye between Lucien and Katia when her family was leaving to the Other Side of the sea. Warren knew she would not return but Lucien separated from the village and built his own secluded cottage to watch the sea. The young men died around him, ones he befriended and ones he only knew names of. The King’s Own army was unforgiving to the younger brother but it made him stronger.

Lucien’s forlorn smile only faltered for a bit when Warren spoke. Sky knew Warren kept his anger in by a thread. He stood up quickly and grabbed his rucksack, “I cannot stay here. I thought something would be changed but it has not.” Lucien’s face took on a look of horror as Warren began to stalk away. Sky stopped Lucien when he wanted to follow his younger brother.

“You are the reason he is angry. It would be better if I went after him.” She stated. Lucien searched her eyes for answers but he sat down with a beaten expression. Warren had gone to the forest and Sky walked quickly to catch up with him. He was making his way to the Cliff. She gently touched his shoulder and he stopped. He turned to face her. The storm in his eyes did not calm. He did not speak but waited tensely for her to speak, “Holding in anger for so many years will allow it to eat you up on the inside. You must forgive him.”

“You cannot begin to speak to me. I do not even know you.” She knew that he wanted to walk away once more so she took his arm.

“But I know.” She said. He stared in question at her. She placed a hand on his chest where his heart beat quickly beneath, “You feel something for me in here. I felt it.” Warren’s face took on a crimson shade but he did not move. He was silent and she noticed his eyes had lost the furious glint. She removed her cloak and loose feathers flew around them in the sea breeze. His eyes grew wide as he saw her wing spread out before him, “Your brother is keeping me safe until I can find the place I belong.”

“I, I thought your kind were only part of myths.” He stammered. He reached to touch her wing and his brow creased, “Where is your other wing?”

She folded her wing back and looked to the sea, “It is gone along with everything I ever knew.”

Warren’s face suddenly took on a look of seriousness, “You know that there are people that would put make a spectacle of you. You cannot let anyone ever see your wing. He picked up the cloak and handed it to her. The blush returned to his face, “I am glad that Lucien was the one to find you.”

Sky tied the cloak back on, “Will you stay with your brother and me?”

Warren’s hand tightened on his rucksack but he curtly nodded, “Only to protect you and help you find your home.”

Warren did not make eye contact with Lucien when they returned back to the shore. Sky stood between both brothers as the waves gently rolled onto the sand. The sun was beginning to wane beneath the horizon and loose feathers blew among the grains of golden sand. Lucien stood while the salty breeze teased his golden curls. He nodded at Sky with as a gracious gesture. She wrapped the twine around her finger and looked at it as if it was the most precious possession that she owned. She kissed it gently and looked up to meet his eyes, “Let us go home, it will get dark soon.”  He said as he started to make his way towards his secluded cottage.

Warren kept a close distance beside Sky as they followed Lucien, “Sky?” he asked quietly. She turned to face him as they continued to walk. He took his time as he found words, “How did you know what I felt when I saw you?”

Sky placed a hand over her chest, “I felt it in here. I think I know what he was trying to say…” Her voice faded when she remembered the blue eyes. She nearly winced at jolt of pain that went through her head. Before Warren could ask anything else, Lucien turned to the both of them.

“Here we are! I hope it can be your home as much as mine, Warren.” Lucien did not seem to be out of spirits. He held the same carefree expression as if nothing had happened. He went inside and they followed him. Lucien began to make the fire as Sky went to kneel by the growing warmth. She outstretched her hands to the glowing embers as they burst to life. She stared at the fire and heard Warren speak but his voice became a background noise. The fire crackling was where her focus lay.

When he walked into the Marble Courtyard, she was shocked to see him still able to hold himself up. She quickly stood from the Feathered Throne and ran to meet her brother. He was beaten, bruised and bleeding. He leaned heavily upon her when she supported him. The amount of blood on his back shocked her from her usual cold demeanor, “They cut me.” His voice was strained as he struggled against the pain, “The bastards cut me.” She tried to ignore the droplets of blood falling on the marble as she led him to the Throne. His White Wings were gone. He heavily fell into the Feathered Throne. His breathing was labored, “They should have killed me!” He hit the throne’s arm with a bruised fist, “Death is better than this.” He would not meet her eyes. He stared at the beautifully carved Marble ceiling instead, “I need to bandage you, Brother.” He continued to stare up at the ceiling, “Leave me to die.”

Sky woke with water-streaked cheeks. She felt her damp eyes in confusion. She looked around her and saw that she once again in the bed with a blanket covering her. She noticed that Warren was sleeping in a chair across from her but he awoke as soon as she stood up from bed. His eyes met hers and he stood also, “Sky, I wanted to speak with you but you were asleep before I could finish.”

She stared at him, “I have a brother.”

“Are you remembering?” He asked. She closed her eyes. The image of the bleeding young man brought the same sharp pain. She held her head and winced but held the image of him there, of his blood on her hands, on her silk white dress and on her White Wings, “Sky?” Warren came closer to her, wary about touching her but when she began to crumple; he took her into his arms and held her up, “What’s wrong?” His voice held a note of concern. She opened her eyes, tears streaking down her cheeks. Warren did not say anything else but carefully embraced her to him. She stood in his arms and slowly leaned against him. She could no longer recall the image of the young man. She could not recall if he had died or not.

“I do not think I want to know who I was.” She whispered into his chest.

Warren stood quietly for a while and spoke quietly, “That’s alright.” His voice became even quieter, “I am not sure about love but I want a chance to be with you.”

Sky stepped from Warren’s arms, “I never knew love. I do not think I ever will. You might think you desire to love me but your mind will be changed when you know me.”

“You will not even give us a chance?” Warren asked, his face became more and more crimson, “I am able to protect you as long as you stay by my side.”

“It’s time for breakfast!” Lucien’s cheerful voice called from the kitchen.

Sky looked away from Warren and turned to leave. He gently touched her fingertips, “Promise me that you will give me a chance.” She stood for only a moment but walked away without an answer. Lucien was humming and carrying baskets of food out the door when Sky went out of the small room.

“We’re having a breakfast picnic out on the cliff.” And indeed they were for there was a small blanket with food already set up for them to eat. Lucien sat down and smiled up at Sky, “Come on, let’s eat!” She knelt down and picked up food. Warren quietly came to join them also. He did not say anything to Lucien when he sat down. They ate in a silence that none of them minded for the sound of waves below crashing along rocks filled the air. When Lucien was done, he lay down and looked up at the sky, “I want you to know that I worried about you, Warren. There was no telling if you were alive or not.”

Warren looked down at his hands and didn’t say anything. Sky stood up and walked to be closer to the edge. She sat down at the same spot in which Lucien first found her. It had seemed so long ago. There were bits and pieces of her memory floating in her mind but putting in effort to connect them made the headaches return. It was as if she was not allowed to remember anything from her past. She looked at her hands and remembered his blood. There was so much blood coming from his back, how could he have survived? Her throat began to ache on the onslaught of tears that beckoned to come out. She had never cried before. Father had taught them not to. She knew the headache would come and stop her from remembering yet she desired to have something of herself, “I did not want to be like my brother and follow a girl around.” Warren’s voice brought Sky out of her thoughts. He sat beside her and stared at the sea but then turned to face her, “I actually even avoided them altogether. The King’s Own was an easy way to do so.” Sky looked at Warren; he was handsome with his dark charcoal hair and stormy gray eyes. Lucien had a more innocent look to him while Warren held the troubles of battle and loss in his eyes, “And here I am with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.” He chuckled with a small smile. It was the first time she saw Warren smile, “And she will not even give me a chance to court her.” He leaned back on his arms and looked once again to the horizon, “Maybe I was better off avoiding girls.”

Sky felt her chest and noticed that her heart beat faster, emotions and feelings toward anyone were not allowed. Warren made her feel something new that she never felt before. She had grown up not knowing how to feel about people that said these certain things to her, “I do not think you would saying that if you knew who I really was.”

Warren glanced at her, “That is why you should give me a chance to know you. I want to help you find yourself.”

“But what if I do not want to find myself?”

Warren slowly reached for her hand that was folded in her lap. She stared as he took it into his own. He held it and then looked into her eyes with blush, “Then I’ll help shape you into who you want to be.” Sky felt her heart start beating faster and did not pull her hand away from his. The feeling of her hand in his brought on the strange feeling of peace. She seemed to forget about her surroundings. She sat by his side and they looked to the sea together.

She held her head high up despite the chains that bound her feet, wings and hands. The Gray Winged guards led her through the corridors into the Throne Room. She stood alone in front of the Gray Winged King and his sons. She did not allow an inkling of emotion to escape her. She stared at the King with defiance and was ready to die with the dignity her father had told her she would, “Our very own White Winged Queen stands before us.” The King spoke. The Second Prince was bandaged up and stood to the left of his father. His blue eyed gaze did not leave her. The First Prince clenched and unclenched his fists while he glared at her, “You are so young yet you and your brother caused such discord between the Wings.” She stood straight and did not speak. The Gray Winged King sighed deeply, “Your father was a great man before he became mad.” Her eyes glinted with offence, “He was the greatest White Winged King in all the Winged Lands. There is no other above him.” She stated boldly. The Gray Winged King sadly looked at her, “She should be de-winged and thrown to rot in the dungeon.” The First Prince spat out. The Second Prince stepped up, “No. We will not show the same cruelty they ruled with.” The brothers looked at each other but before they spoke again, the King silenced them with a wave of the hand, “There is only one way I could punish the Queen.”

“I think that I will give you a chance, Warren.” Sky whispered. He looked surprised to hear her but then his hand tightened around hers and he smiled at her.

Lucien had stood up and walked up to them with his grin, “Treat her right, Warren.” He said as he put a hand on his younger brother’s shoulder. Lucien winked at Sky when Warren blushed, “I will leave you two here for a while then.” He said as he began to clean up the breakfast.

When Lucien began to make his way down the hill, Warren stood up and pulled her up with him. He held both of her hands, “I am new at this, Sky.” He admitted to her, “So you have to help me out.”

Sky pulled him along as she began to run down the hill just as Lucien had. She felt a laugh escape her throat when Warren began to run alongside her. They both laughed as if little children yet Sky felt her heart become light with peace. They panted when they got to the bottom of the hill yet they still held onto each other’s hands. He suddenly embraced her. She was stiff at first but then she allowed herself to hold him back, “Sorry but this is what I wanted to do the first time I saw you.” He muttered into her hair. Sky allowed her guarded feelings to fall away and she learned to enjoy them. Warren showed her all of the Seaside village. He took her places of his childhood and told her stories from his younger days. Sky prohibited the images of his past to flash in her mind but listened to him speak them instead. There was a Seaside fair that Warren took Sky to. He showed her to the dance circle and they danced the only way that Sky knew. She had never smiled so much or laughed. Warren was gentle every time he took her hand. He was patient with her and showed her all the dance steps. 

 

The sun was already setting by the time they headed back to the cottage. They stood a little away from it and Sky turned towards Warren. She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him quickly, “You did not need my help today Warren. I am happy that I gave you the chance. Now I am beginning to feel in here.” She placed a hand on her heart. He smiled at her and embraced her. They stood in each other’s arms before finally entering the cabin. The fire was lit and Lucien sleeping silently in the chair across from it. He held a piece of ring-shaped twine in his hand. Warren sadly looked at his brother and took a blanket to cover him.

Sky lay down in the bed and Warren sat in the chair across from her. They both gazed at each other until Warren fell asleep with a small smile on his lips. Sky looked out the window to the starlit sky. She did not fall asleep as she kept thinking of the cliff. She wanted to go and hear the waves beat gently against the rocks. She quietly sat up. Warren’s breath was even with sleep. She stepped silently and gave Warren one last look before she slipped out. She already knew the way to the cliff despite the darkness. She stood and removed her cloak, her wing outstretched and she felt the urge to fly once more. The wind blew feathers around her and when she took one, she realized she held a gray feather in her hand. She looked around and saw him: the young man with the bluest eyes and Gray Wings. He casually stood with his arms at his sides and a smile, “I knew you would not be creating havoc here.” She knew him yet at the same time, it was like a dream. When she willed the memories to come, her head began to ache. She grabbed her head and he came nearer, “Do not try to remember. It will be easier if you did not.”

“What are you doing here?”

His gray wings were grand even when they were neatly folded on his back, “I wanted to see how you were doing and to make sure my brother had not come down and killed you.” He said these words with ease and a laugh. She looked at him in confusion. He tilted his head a bit to the side, “Your brother is doing well by the way. I know he would have wanted me to tell you. He talks about you very often.”

Sky felt the tears at her eyes and she remembered blood, “My brother? He is alive?” Her mind was still blank but she felt her heart sink with joy and relief, “Why are you telling me all this?”

He knowingly smiled at her, “I wanted to. You and I both know that I cannot be here but I felt like it was my duty.” His eyes filled with sorrow when he spoke again, “Your punishment was cruel. Now you cannot be considered one of the Winged or Human with only one wing. I also came here for one more reason.” She looked at him and waited, “I can give you your name back.”

“Give me my name back?”

He nodded, “Yes. You forgot all your memories when we took your name from you and now I am offering it back to you.”

She stared at him. Why was he giving her the choice of remembering? “But it is not allowed.” She stated.

He shrugged, “What my Father and brother do not know will not hurt them.” He came closer to her, so much so that his large gray wings’ shadow loomed over her, “This is your only chance to know yourself once more.”

As soon as the words escaped his mouth, images of Warren and Lucien crept into her mind. These were new memories that were already treasured deeply in her blank mind. “Then I’ll help shape you into who you want to be.” Warren’s words echoed in her mind. She glanced into the blue eyes and smiled, “I do not think anyone would profit for me to gain my memories back.”  She desired to know her brother and to see him but the images she had before stopped her from wanting to know, “I will not take my name back though I thank you greatly.”

The Gray Winged young Prince sadly smiled. He looked at her one wing, “How are you going to live among humans with that wing?”

Sky spread out her wing and the feathers glimmered in the moonlight, “I am sure I will be fine.” She folded her wing, “Even though I do not know my brother anymore, please pass on my love to him. I am so happy to hear that he is alive.”

“I feel great sorrow in leaving one of my own to dwell on the ground. It is partially my fault that you are here.” He admitted, “And I will tell your brother. I had to convince him that it was best he did not come with me.”

“Sky?” Warren’s voice called for her in the darkness. The Gray Winged Prince stepped back towards the ledge.

“Farewell, I wish you the best of luck living on the ground.” He whispered and then stepped off the ledge. She watched as his large wings opened and he took flight. All that was left were loose gray feathers.

“What’s wrong Sky, why are you out here?”

She ran to embrace Warren and she felt tears on her cheeks but her heart burst with a new found joy, “Do not leave my side Warren.”

He was surprised but he held her, “I keep my promises.” They walked to stand on the cliff and watch the sea below them as it glimmered ethereally in the moon’s light.

 


© Copyright 2017 Irene Adler. All rights reserved.