The glade is calm, as the glade always is. Swans glide across the pond, returning to the reeds to care for their young. Herons float gracefully from the air to the water, quietly dipping their beaks to grab toads from the silt. All around the Ban Sidhe, white robes covering their white skin, go about their daily routines. The youngest help their mothers tend to the gardens, while others throw pots, scribe scrolls, and tend to the needs of their cottages.
One mother however has other worries. Salane strides with purpose around the water. Her coal-black eyes betray no emotion. Like all adults of her kind she has learned to master her passions. Each step barely disturbs the grass. The glade’s wildlife ignores her as she rounds the far end of the pond walking away from her village and into the meadow beyond the trees. The leaves on the ground do not stir as she steps over them and into the sun.
Before long she spots her quarry hiding in the high grass of the meadow. The young girl kneels the dirt, eyes closed, head held high. Her mouth opens and a high, clear note sounds throughout the meadow. As Salane approaches the singing gains in volume and she feels it in her very soul. It hits her like an arrow in her chest and though she can never fully understand why the tears flow. She stops and listens intently as the child’s voice fills her mind
Everything stops as the song takes over everything around them. Each bird, each burrower, and each snake in the field is frozen in place, straining to comprehend the sound filling their being. The grass itself bends toward her and the air goes still. The meadow belongs to this small Ban Sidhe, for this moment as she sings, until her efforts slow and fade into the renewed wind.
“Zaphyr,” Salane approaches her daughter “why are you not with Cantor Rhys and the other young ones?”
“Ohhhh…” the girl starts. “Mother, I did not know you were there.”
“I now child. Now answer the question please.”
“I don’t need lessons mother. I know how to sing.”
“Yes, but do you know why.”
“I…” Zaphyr hesitates, “I think so.”
“Well when you know so, then Cantor Rhys will say you are ready. Until then, you are not to miss a single lesson. You have talent daughter, but you require discipline. Our gifts are not to be taken lightly. You know our history. You know their cost.”
“Yes mother.” Her head sags.
“Now no pouting.” Salane lets herself smile slightly. “You have missed today’s lesson so you may help me with other chores.”
“Yes mother.” They walk hand in hand back to the glade. The daily tasks required to maintain their traditions, and their safety, await them.
- Multicultural Children’s Fantasy & Science FictionBooks (imnotthenanny.com)
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- New Adult Fiction Author, Kristie Cook (ellacolblog.wordpress.com)