Return 2

The creature was a fascination; the captain hadn’t come back in hours and no one had thought to call out. When our band crested the ridge, the few children left to us ran down the muddied, rocky slope, heedless of the exhausted, wordless bleat of warning that came from an over-protective few. The fallen thing fell silent and reached for them as they came close, and they crowded round, grubby fingers eager to touch it, their mudstained hands leaving redgrey fingerprints and smears. Our captain stood and carefully watched them explore, watching, too, the skything, as it struggled to respond to each querying touch. At last, overwhelmed, it lifted its voice in song, and the astonished crowd drew back, holding its collective breath. That is how we found them, surrounding and surrounded by it. It sang as though that were the only way it knew to speak. It sang as though its voice were Music itself. It sang, and we listened, with no thought to the lengthening shadows, or the coming chill.

Return — Return 2 — Return 3Return 4

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