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|I'm not sure whether this is a story about a deep friendship or something different, a sort of mental bond. However, the story is about saying goodbye. |
I wish all goodbye's were this easy.
This is part of a series in which I'm writing about the magic leaving Earth, and magical/mythical beings leaving with it. Feel free to write your own story! Must be about a mythical being, and involving the loss of magic. What does your character/characters do? Do they go into hiding, flee the planet, perish along with their powers?
It is up to you ^^ But don't repeat characters already done - keep up a variety.
So far, I've written this story - unicorns and elves, and another involving dryads.
The surf rushed forwards in a great surge, and bubbled noisily over the pale silver sand, the foam gilded by faint moonlight.
The surge reached the dry shelf upon which a single figure stood, and rushed around her bare toes before retreating like a cornered animal. Out in deeper waters high waves crashed to those running beneath them, foaming white horses erupting out from under the breakers. The stars were eclipsed by running streamers of grey cloud, but they did not threaten rain, they merely veiled the sky from those who would watch below. Yet the moon battled her way bravely through their clinging embrace, and filtered light dappled the sand in shade, accentuating the smooth rolling curves of the dunes, shimmering on the hard-packed wet flats.
A seabird had obviously just been walking along the beach; the delicate three-toed prints of a gull were imprinted in the white sand. The waves ran with high childish laughter over the tracks and crumbled the edges.
The woman who stood with her feet submerged in the surf looked out across the bay, her keen eyes following the faint distinction on the skyline that was where the ocean met the dark velvet sky. All her senses were straining; her body tense, like a cat ready to spring, she stood gracefully poised upon the strand.
When the sound came, it was faint, a high keening cry that seemed to fly upon the wind, but at the same time come from beneath the ocean. The woman’s head lifted, and as it did so her silver hair whirled out behind her, and if anyone had been watching, they would have seen that her ears were elongated and elegantly pointed.
The moonlight caught each strand of her hair, turning the silken tresses into a molten oscillating river of glittering silver.
Beyond the rushing surf the keening cry came again, and this time the beauteous sadness behind the cry could be heard.
“You…” The elf, for it was she, breathed out smoothly, her voice sweet and musical, her exquisite face lighting up with a smile of deep joy.
Out upon the open waves, a faint white light could be seen shining from somewhere under the water, and the surface above it began to ripple, more than was usual from just the wind. The elf stepped off her high dune, but did not utter a sound as her feet were submerged in the roaring tide. The wisps of silk that clothed her billowed out about her slender form, making the shape of her blur and flicker.
The peculiar cry sounded once more, and this time it was louder, closer; the elf stood in the surf, feeling the sucking pull of the tide, the moonlight caressing her skin with soft touches.
“Come to me.” She whispered, holding out her arms in an embracing plea, her soulful blue eyes fixed on the light that was steadily travelling towards her. The water above the light began to bubble and roar, spray exploding high into the air. The white surf around her lost its cool, lingering embrace, and warm tendrils began to creep through the water. The sky above trembled, and the clouds raced away, leaving the sky above the bay clear. Faint thunder rumbled in the far distance, an echo of a warning, that the cover would soon return, but the woman ignored it, ignored everything but the light that shone out of the water.
The water bubbled higher and higher, great spouts of boiling water shot into the air. Waves splashing playfully over her feet became uncomfortably warm, but she did not notice, nor care.
“Please!” Her voice held a desperate tone, as though the light would disperse, but at that last plaintive cry it wavered then pulsed, and raced towards the shore, building up a huge bow wave that towered above the beautiful immortal. She watched it approach without fear, her eyes filling with tears of silver-grey, her slender, delicate fingers folding around each other as she clasped her hands before her.
A shape began to emerge from the wave, as the light hit water shallow enough, and the elf’s face broke into a heartbreaking, watery smile.
“Return to me.” She murmured, holding out her arms once more, and watched as the dark shadowy shape erupted from the water and sped towards the sand. Water flew from its darting figure; the drops hissing as they hit the surf, foam flying from beneath whatever it was that approached the elf.
And then the shadow was touched tentatively by the moonlight, and caught in its iridescent glow; a black stallion.
But not an ordinary stallion; from his broad forehead there grew a gleaming horn, spiralled and fluted, so perfect that any sculptor would have fainted at its exquisite flawlessness. The horn was as black as night, but the moonlight caught it, and as the horse galloped towards the shore, it rippled like molten obsidian.
The elf watched as he lowered his head, the wickedly pointed horn aimed for her heart, and sped up, hooves pounding through the waves. She did not shy away, nor show fear on her beautiful face, but instead smiled gently, and welcomed the animal with open arms.
The unicorn, for that was what he was, bounded towards her on feet that seemed to skim the shadowed waves, moonlight striking his coat from all angles. Before he hit her, he skidded to a halt in a shower of pale sand, and rose gracefully in a rear of greeting. The elf smiled, and as the great hooves thudded to the sand, she let a gentle hand reach out towards the flaring nostrils. Water cascaded down heaving flanks, and the unicorn shook his mane, water droplets flying like ice onto the elf’s skin. She laughed, and stepped forwards, the sea now swirling around her calves, and the unicorn lifted his noble head; pressed his nose against her fingers. She felt the warm pulse of life beneath her fingertips, and stroked the velvety fur, trailing her hand up to stroke the flickering ears, then walked around him, letting her fingers touch every inch of the wet fur. The stallion remained still under her inspection, turning his head so that he could see her, then as she reached his head again she flung her arms around his muscular neck and embraced him tightly. The great head leant over her shoulder and nuzzled her affectionately, but there was agonised sorrow in his gentle eyes.
“I missed you, my shadow.” The elf maiden whispered, bright tears in her eyes, and the unicorn lifted his beautiful head, remembering the happier days spent in life and laughter, galloping through fallen leaves in an autumn forest, racing the winds across lonely mountains, running to battle their foes across a wide plain. The laughter, the tears, the joy and sadness, all this the stallion remembered.
But now…there were the darker memories. Those of his kin, graceful, beautiful, children of light and joy, cut down for their horns, elf-children, captured and tortured, dragons slain for their hoards, dryads and nyads retreating back into their natural forms, never to dance again. He remembered spin-drift sent up from the hooves of pegusai as they skimmed over sparkling blue bays, fleeing from the arrows of man, the ferocious call of a territorial firedrake as men, mortals, surrounded it, the gleaming feathers of the phoenix as they fell never to rise again.
The elf knew what it was her companion dwelt on, and buried her face in his damp fur, as silvery tears fell from the liquid, dark eyes. Both cried silently for the friends they had lost, loves long-gone, happiness drowned in sorrow. And then the elf took the great head in her delicate, graceful hands, and looked deep into the soulful eyes. And understood the sadness in her companions cry from beneath the waves.
“A last ride.” She whispered. The unicorn’s gentle head lowered, then rose, a simple nod, and bent his knees, lying down in the silver sand. The elf lifted a slender leg over his broad smooth back, and settled herself, winding white-knuckled fingers in the midnight-black mane. She felt the solid muscle beneath her stretch and ripple as the unicorn pushed forwards with his front legs and clambered steadily to his feet.
His spirited head lifted, and they both looked to the north, away down the long stretch of white sand, mile upon mile of uninterrupted beach.
“Fly.” The elf whispered to her companion, and he reared up, higher, higher, his hooves pawing at the inky-black sky, blotting out the stars for an instant, then he dropped to all fours and sprang forwards, his ears pricked, eyes bright with a joyful sadness.
The elf leaned low over his neck, strands of his mane stinging her face, feeling the wind rush with glee through her silken hair, feeling her love for the stallion overwhelm her senses.
“I don’t want to say goodbye.” She whispered, and her words were immediately caught and borne away by the wind, but she knew that he had heard. His ears flickered, and he leapt a log of driftwood in their path, sailing through the air and landing in a spray of sand on the other side. His hooves churned the ground beneath them as he galloped on, and the elf clung to his mane, lost in her sorrow and exhilaration at this, their last ride.
The elf looked to their right, at the foaming surf, and as if reading her mind the unicorn swerved and raced towards the water, exploding into the waves with a tremendous leap. Then he turned again and soared along parrellel to the beach, about knee-deep in the water, spray rising about his legs and falling with a cool patter against the elf’s bare legs. She gripped his mane in her hands, and didn’t know whether the water trickling down her cheeks was tears or seaspray, and didn’t care.
It seemed like many years before the unicorn slowed his pounding strides, and dropped to a smooth canter, and the elf lifted her elegant head. Towering above them was a jagged promontory, a cliff reaching high above the waves, the water crashing against it with force enough to drive white foam high into the air.
Both the unicorn and the elf nodded as one, and the unicorn lengthened his strides, swerving around driftwood and patches of stone, boulders and rock-pools, leaping and dodging, the speed of him bringing tears to the elf’s eyes. She felt her sorrow overwhelm her, and tears of loss joined those that were swept away in the wind.
The stallion surged up the rise, his muscles powering him over rock and grass, until they stood upon the cliff, the wind howling around them, and the moon staring down at them.
The elf untangled her fingers slowly from the wiry black mane and slid from the unicorn’s broad back.
“We are the last.” She murmured, looking out at the dark water, and the stallion turned his great head and nuzzled her, until she cradled him in her arms, and he felt her tears soak his fur.
“I don’t want to say goodbye.” The elf whispered, stroking a gentle hand down his neck, tickling and stroking at the same time.
The stallion lifted his head and shook it violently, the dark as night mane falling forwards over his liquid eyes. The elf looked into his gaze, and that was all; no more words.
She let her hand fall from his curving neck, and looked into his noble face, one that she knew so well, and nodded in return.
Goodbye, my friend. The stallion half-reared upon the brink of the cliff, then left the elf’s side and trotted away, turning and facing the elf when he was a few dozen feet away.
He neighed loudly, bobbing his head up and down, pawing the ground with one great hoof, then sprang forwards.
All liquid grace and fire he galloped, his strides carrying him forwards, flying over the ground, seeming to barely touch the moon-kissed grass. He lifted his head, and his mane and tail streamed out behind him like spun silk, wavering and oscillating around him.
The elf watched with tears trickling down her cheeks unheeded as the unicorn gathered himself together at the brink of the cliff and leapt, sailing out into space.
Giving voice to a small cry of loss, the elf threw herself forwards, and clung to the rocks at the edge of the cliff, staring at the shadow falling towards the ocean.
As she watched, the stallion righted himself mid-air, and hit the water. But instead of a collossal splash, he landed upon the water as though it were solid ground, and as if he had dropped merely a few feet rather than hundreds of metres.
Smiling, the elf sat up, and there was no shock in her face, nothing but a sorrow deeper than the boundless oceans.
The moon burst forth from behind a cloud, and its ghostly brilliance gilded the ocean waves where the stallion stood, his head lifted, staring up at the cliff where his companion stood, her arm upraised in farewell. The unicorn reared up in reply, cavorting and dancing upon the surface of the water, barely disturbing the waves beyond slight ripples where his hooves struck them.
It seemed another age before the stallion stopped his dancing, and dropped to all fours, his head still lifted towards the cliff. Then he turned his head towards the horizon, over which dawn would soon be making its presence known, and set out at a smooth gallop, flowing over the water without a sound.
Upon the cliff, the elf watched, her arm lifted, until the unicorn could barely be made out, and saw his final rear, heard his final, ringing call.
Then he was gone. The elf stared around her, at this new world, governed by mortals and their petty ideals, the beauty they had marred, the lives they had destroyed, and felt no anger, just sorrow. She dropped slowly to her knees, and lay down in the grass, her silks billowing around her in the wind, and nestled her head in the dew-soaked grass.
Her eyes began to dim, a pale mist seeping over her vision, and she clasped her hands upon her breast, and let her eyes close.
Her chest rose, fell, rose, fell, rose…fell… and did not rise again. The ghost of a breath escaped her pale lips, and with her last breath, magic itself, the flickering flame once so strong, faded and died.
|Forever...||Cat on the doorstep|
|Dancers 4||Son of Night|