Wings of Mercy

Write stories as told by your kin, either to fill Legendary requirements or just for fun.
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Wings of Mercy

Post by Dizzy_Kat »

A story originating in Stories for the Long Night

It had been a very long day and Bite found himself too tired to contemplate the trek home. Or rather, too tired to deal with Night Father’s questioning of why he’d disappeared all day. The older buck had been even more obsessive if you could believe it since Bite had returned from his journey through the obelisk with stories of visions and places-between-places, all connected to the Harbinger.

Even here, in the company of still more kin, it was calmer and quieter than the lands his clan occupied near the tar pits. He lay, Bat draped over his back, and rested his head on his hooves as the mingling of voices circled around him trading stories.

It was entirely too soon though when somehow attention shifted to him, calling on him to participate. “I am no story teller.” He tried to pass the turn on with a shake of his head. It was no use though. Bite thought hard. He could tell of his trip… he was tired of talking about that. It already occupied too many of his thoughts as of late. But the zikwa he’d lived among? They had shared stories.

“The zikwa have a story. I heard it below.” He started, resigned. “Of an enormous bat that only appears once a year. When the…” What was that phrase the zikwa had used? It’s visuals had stuck with him, surprising him given he thought zikwa were blind to such details. “When the leaves still have their color but the creeping frost twists and spirals along the water’s edge.

“The great bat sleeps for twelve moons but on that one night, the cusp between fall and winter, it emerges from its deep cave and casts the shadows of its wings across the surface. The darkness is so all-consuming that not even the moon can stand against its strength.” He paused, trying to remember the stories about the bat creature.

“They say it was born of a zikwa mother. A doe, too close to clutching was injured by a wild creature and unable to make it back below ground in time to lay her eggs. Her sacs, strung in the hollow of a dead tree far away from the safe shelter of the brood mothers creche, suffered in the cold. Try as she did to warm them with the heat from her own body, one by one she felt them grow cold, their gentle pulsing fading to stillness. As she too succumbed to her injuries, she curled around the last remaining sac, desperate for it to live while she did not.”

“In the days that followed, scouting parties of zikwa found the hollow where the doe had passed. There, her skeleton clean and gleaming lay among the discarded remains of four sacs. A fifth, tucked almost perfectly beneath the doe, had only a single split neatly exposing its clean interior.

“The following winter the creature appeared, leaving a trail of intact skeletons across the surface. Each one picked clean and lay as if sleeping. The zikwa who told this story claim the MotherFather saved the final child, giving it the shape of the zikwa’s familiar and tasking it with providing quick mercy to those doomed to not survive the winter’s chill.”

He had tried to recite the words as he’d heard them but Bite of Passage was no storyteller. (559 words)
word count: 581
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