*Presented here complete, a historical Ontyre tale taking place in the elfin homeland of Mythwyll located in western Ontyre.
M’Ameth, follows her brother to a dangerous, uncertain destiny atop a steep peak pursued by the certain death she’s already witnessed.
For M’Ameth, who committed a serious transgression as a child, grief is an additional weight to carry.
M’Ameth rubbed legs growing numb. It didn’t help. Nothingness encouraged surrender. Maybe it was better to stop and cry forever while lingering screams opened wounds in the most vulnerable places inside. Remembered cries were hollowing her out.
Maybe it was better to remain empty.
“Come now, you’re slowing down. It isn’t far to the top.”
The memory images gave way to L’Wreel beside a stunted pine, his hands on his hips. For a big brother of twenty years he was more patient than most, even for an elf. For him, she could manage a smile, even if she was cross. Well, maybe a meager smile. After all, he tolerated her mischievousness.
And he’d always protected her.
She wiped at sweat collecting on a dirty brow. It became ash-like muck on the back of her hand. She smeared it on her tunic. “You’re legs are longer and far more used to climbing peaks than mine. I’m but twelve years.”
L’Wreel grinned. “And it is but a little mountain. Little more than a hill. Quite perfect for one your size.”
“But I’m tired.” She swept her hair aside. Was her light hair now black with ash? She set her feet and twisted towards the valley.
The sharp rebuke brought her back around. Too fast. Her feet shifted on the needles underfoot and balance took flight. She lunged for a sapling. It bent, but didn’t snap.
His big hand wrapped around her arm and lifted her to the saddle between tree and slope. Always he was strong enough for them both. He was authority. She was irresponsibility. “There now.” His smile flirted with sinking and returned. “We must reach the summit before another summer storm moves in.”
She fought her long hair again. There’d not been time to…
No, she couldn’t think about that or he might become cross.
“I don’t understand. Why must we reach the top? Won’t they…?” She closed her eyes and her shoulders pulled in tight. They were coming. They had to be coming, and they’d never give up.
Despite all that happened she didn’t want to die. Was that selfish?
Before her eyes had fully teared, L’Wreel crouched before her. “Hey, we need to focus on reaching the top for now. Then you’ll understand.”
He grasped the end of her sleeve and wiped her cheeks. “Do you remember the rhyme I taught you long ago?”
Sniffling, she sought the safe place where pleasant memories dwelt. It was still there, but crumbling where tears leaked inside and rotted the floor. What did she know about fixing what was broken? What did she know about anything?
He melodramatically feigned disbelief. “You mean you can remember more than one?”
She chuckled. “Of course.”
His laughter was taut mirth, the hand tousling her hair lingering as if memorizing the texture of her locks. She flashed a pouty scowl and removed hair from her eyes again. “Okay, how about the one about the gryphons.”
“But, I’m forbidden to sing it.”
*To read the remainder of Gryphon Gray please join me on the website HERE.
©March 2017, Christina Anne Hawthorne