As I read the other stories this week, I realized that I too was thinking of aggression and revenge. I would have written about hunters and death. But I looked again at the picture and thought of how beautiful this creature was. Why couldn’t this be about love?
Again the rules and the challenge are here on Miranda Kate’s blog. And again, please join in. It’s better with friends.
Summoning the Muse
She soared the night sky as clouds tiptoed across the moon’s face. Her sharp eyes pierced shadow and branch but nothing moved. Unsettled, she dropped lower, gliding a mere featherbreadth above the treetops to search again; it was nearing moonset.
Perhaps he wouldn’t come.
Perhaps he’d broken free.
The thought pinched inside her. When he’d first summoned her to his little isle of green in that plastic world, she’d been irritated. That he had the power to do so was unnerving. That he dared to … angered her. But she no longer hated him.
She felt a tug of energy. He had come after all.
She swooped into the woods, landing softly atop last autumn’s moldering leaves. Shedding her avian demeanor, she followed the call on human feet.
* * * * * *
He felt her before he saw her. It was always the same: anticipation flooding his veins with ice and storm; his heart thundering like a heavy downpour. He kept his eyes down as she approached, his hood covering his face as he knelt within the circle. The first time, he didn’t think it would work. The first time, he’d only sought inspiration to fix his songwriting, a thing as flat and uninspired as his life. Now, music paled in comparison to her azure eyes.
On silent feet, she came to stand at the edge of the circle. He glanced as high as her shapely calves. The feathered edge of her dress was almost as dark as the night itself.
“You called, Simon?” Her voice stirred him with a sensual magic.
“Yes, my lady,” he murmured, “as it please you.”
“I am not pleased to be summoned, mortal.” Though her words were sharp, her voice no longer held a deadly edge. Their argument had become ritual.
“Then resist it,” he said.
“You know I cannot undo this binding.” Though she had been murderous at first, he felt her softening toward him.
It’s time, he thought. Time to change the dance.
He let the silence linger as he stood, pushing the hood back. His pale hair was undoubtedly sticking straight up like tufted straw, but he would take the chance to look his fill, to memorize every angle of her perfect features. The way her midnight hair curled over her shoulders, adorned with cerulean feathers that tumbled down to form a dress. And her eyes like gemstones, shining and brilliant.
“Tell me why you’ve brought me here,” she said, impatient.
“You know why.”
She paused, startled. “Have I not played the muse enough for one man’s lifetime?”
“I don’t want that anymore.”
She cocked her head and paced the circle examining him. When she stopped, her eyes were wide and unguarded.
“What you seek is death,” she said.
He raised his arms to the side in surrender. “So be it.”
* * * * *
Anger swelled in her.
“I do not kill fools,” she said and walked away, back straight and hips swaying. She felt his hunger calling to her but she resisted the urge to turn. To say there was a way. If he wanted it enough. If she loved him enough.
But did she? Perhaps it was merely his youth which delighted her, that short hot spark of mortality burning in his eyes. Or the scruff of beard so unlike the men of her kind. Maybe the deference he’d shown from the start was the cause, so much like a lover, not a warlock.
He is not for you, she thought. He is mortal. She kept walking.
“Sianith, please!” he called.
Her heart-name cut through her musings. How had he found it? And why didn’t she strike him down for the offense? Not that she could. As long as he was within his circle, he was the master. She turned with hooded eyes.
Outlined in the moonlight, he stood vibrant and so mortal she could smell it. He held her eyes and stepped out of the circle. “I love you, Sianith.”
She could only stare at his foolishness. If she cared to, he would be a toad now, or worse. But his words echoed and found a home somewhere inside her.
“The next full moon,” he said into her silence, “will you come if I do not summon you?”
Willfully, she wanted to say “no” or even “perhaps.” But her heart answered with a whispered “yes” before she took to the air with a flap of cerulean wings.