Raven’s Thousand-Wings

As the world pressed a cold morn, darkness so constant; I had no reason to believe it was day or night. I thought I forgot what light was. Life was only about change. Nothing stayed the same. My childhood dreams crushed because they didn’t “fit” a person like me. Why bother to go on? There were no music boxes with a dancing fairy ballerina. Mother began preliminary planning for my funeral.

I fell asleep one night, after the hospital went as silent as hospitals may. I was smiling. Didn’t think I’d survive this latest offense to my body. My eyes too damaged to shed tears, but one thought remained before my awareness went into darkness too.

“I wish I could see Evale’s smile. The one lie he did utter, I guess … I was holding out on an empty promise.”

A veiled and cloaked and robed, tall, male figure with the largest wings I’ve envisioned, passed one of those magnificent feathered graces over my body. There were so many wings, so beautiful. Black feathers, as dark as beyond the stars, and silvered stardust scattered amidst those feathers. Feathers I thought would cut with how sharp they seemed, but as that single wing of many swept me from crown to below my feet, these feathers were soft. Comforting.

Rest now, take this moment for peace from me.

“Ah, you did return. Are you here to take me home? Thank you.” The lunar wind picked up, rustling the impassive veil. I hesitated to sink into my induced slumber. “You … you’re … are you sad?”

I didn’t want to think of it. How I had to lie and twist and turn my tale for everyone who would listen, and for what? To stop stirring the pot. To have a place at this table. To hear those words I wanted since childhood, “Welcome home, wanderer-as-snow.”

A glint in that ever-changing chroma, the veil pulled only the softly hued hint amongst shades and matrices. The room brighter than I’d seen it before. Ancient and revolutionary, familiar and undiscovered. There it was, the smallest upturn to a side of his mouth.

My heart gladdened. “Whaddya know, you are capable of smiling for me.”

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Knowing our soul is ever to keep.

When I woke, the morning staff were surprised. Family had a fright. I somehow survived that darkest night. A recovery blazingly streaking across a twilit sky, I was discharged and attended the clan’s Christmas gathering.

We’ll change the story we were in.

“How?”

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