Parchment I

It is strange to write again.

I stared at the page for some time, my hand on the pen. My hand holding the pen. The pen IN my hand. See, words are strange. Slippery. I think it would be easier if I could write in stone-cast, the language of the Dwarves, my mates. Too bad I can only speak and sing it, but I know less runes than a child would know. Stone-cast is simple. Tie rope here. Put fish there. A storm is coming. The food is ready to eat. Sleep now. Wake now. Pass the ale.

But the words of my own tongue are not so simple. But still I find them. They step out of the shadows, out of memories, as I need them. I don’t like them much.

But it feels like duty. There’s a word I used to hold tight in my fist. The writing, pulling the words they taught me back through my mind and onto this page. It’s part of what the Dawn wants. No, demands. Slippery. The dream was not a request, it was a command.

The angel fell into the dark woods. Its wings snapped like sailcloth in the wind. It hit the black earth and lay still. Then it tried to push itself up but the earth held it. Root and stone like hungry mouths, pulling the angel down. I can see it with my waking eyes. The angel pushed itself up, free for just a moment – its face mad with pain and rage, it choked and then golden blood coughed out of its mouth in a rush. It sank into the earth and there was nothing left, not even a drop of the shining blood.

The Dawn sent me that dream. After ten years I felt His hand on my face and I knew it was a truth. A true command. I woke with tears on my face and a pain in my heart, horrible. Horrible.

It is his will that I carry His light again. That I leave my mates, the ship, and the sea. Tomorrow we land and I will go, I will dig up the trunk we buried, Captain Barak and me. And I will take what sleeps there and I will go.

Where I do not know. The Dawn calls me to follow so I will go east. The sea is ready to forget me. I have business to the east.

The Dawn commands.

I will find the angel’s grave. I will pull him up. And I will burn. No, destroy? End. I will end it.

Ten years, nearly eleven. Why now? Why me?

I do not know.


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