Narrator – OOG Giving 01

(K’ain’s slumber is deep. The pain and drive. The will to survive and protect. The instinct bonded together with training at such a deep level, there is no longer a difference. Childhood stolen. Innocence lost. Love destroyed.)

[I never wanted to love you. I never wanted to feel so deeply. It was your eyes, sweet boy. It was always in your eyes…]

“Mei’tii!!”

(K’ain sits bolt upright in the bed. Where is he? Where is she?!)

“Mei’tii…”

(His tears will not be held back. His strength is depleted and the emotions too raw. But her voice…that smell. Her scent. Wild flowers…)

(K’ain looks around for V’aliir but she is nowhere in sight. He flings wide the chamber door, fighting back the thing he’s long refused to call panic. Out into the hall of the inn – the smell of freshly snubbed candles wafts along the mild currents of the drafty building. He moves out and into the main hall, ignoring his friend Rogan asleep with his head on a table still strewn with the carcasses of defeated fowl and beast. Out quickly and into the street. The sounds of men moving debris and yet unattended injured rings through the mostly vacant streets. The orange of the soldiers’ fires tinges the very corners of the night sky.)

‘Ring ring-a-ling…’

(A bell. Something small and delicate. A bell so small, the kind tied to newborn kittens when predators threaten safety.)

‘Ding-a-ding….bling…’

(That sound. So delicate. So small. As not to awaken people weary to their bones, K’ain calls out as softly as he can.)

“V’aliir! WHere are you? My friend….V’aliir!”

(And again, the ringing.)

‘Ba-ding ding ding…’

(This time softer. No, not a bell. Metal. Frail. Dragged along by the wind.)

“V’aliir!”

(That feeling. That thing that spurs his heart to race along and raise waves of heat across his brow. He swallows hard.)

‘Ring-a-ring…ding ding-a-ling…’

(Small. Delicate. Frail. The glass vial hat holds a newborn’s first tears. A jewel of the princess’s crown, pried from its setting, falls to the stone floor raising the alarm that a thief is about. A ceremonial shard of crystal crushed beneath the foot of the Cóng Jasai Bakar to release the spirit of the First One on H’ora K’aiir J’oraii. A ring…)

“V’aliir! V’aliir!”

(He finds himself moving mere steps up the street in front of the inn, only to turn around quickly, moving mere feet in the opposite direction. What is this? A ring. The glass… The crystal… The shard… The jewel…. A ring. THE ring. The ring. The ring.)

‘Ring-a-ring-a-ring….’

(Up. High above the inn. High above where the night blankets the Wyrld in its deep, cool embrace. Up. High above the inn. He stops and peers upward. Up, to the highest point on the tallest peak. The high eves of the inn. Atop the wooden beam. Her noble stature, so beautful and elegant, lit from behind by lights at the wharf. )

“V’aliir. Come.”

(She takes flight, sailing upon currents born of the heat draining from the hand-hewn stones of the street below. She lands a few feet away with the delicacy typically reserved for courtly dancers of the highest pedigree. K’ain walks to her, bending slightly as he approaches. So familiar yet so wild. They are companions and strangers. Cóng Manii and beast. So young and so venerable. K’ain kneels down on one knee, and there…tied around the neck of the Cóng Jhet by a twine as thin as hair….a ring.)

[It can not be. Mei’tii. No. This can not be.]

(He kneels completely while at the same time, V’aliir lowers her head as if to present the ring to its rightful keeper.)

“V’aliir. Who put this around your neck?”

[Where did you get this?]

(K’ain takes the ring in trembling hands and the fires glow brighter across the battle-ravaged village. The light flickers across delicate gold of the now unmistakable ring. Her ring. Etched by hand with the scale pattern of her mother’s household. He had held that ring on the hand of his one true soulmate. He had moved it around her finger with his own, tickling her with its movement. Her soft giggle still plays over in his mind. He places the ring on his finger now and his companion takes flight once more. Up, up into the obsidian sky. K’ains eyes are filled with tears. What is this? Be it dream or cruel reality? Is this pain or a divine reminder of love?)

“Mei’tii.”

(And then….his stomach lurches, threatening to spill its scant content onto the ground. With each gust of wind with each dive and arc….with the beating of wings the impossibility of flight is yet an uneasy sensation.)

“What? Fligh…. What is this?!”

(He stands too quickly and almost falls. He then stumbles a few feet, arches his back and breathes deeply. Cool, cool sea air! Soaring, gliding…beautiful flight! With every beat of her wings, K’ain sees as she sees. The Wyrld below. The coast, the town the silent, noble moon.)

“Ha ha ha ha….I see now, V’aliir! I see, my sweet Mei’tii! This is your gift. My gods. My companion. My one true love. I see…clearer than ever before. Ha ha ha ha ha!”

(Rogan yawns and walks to the window, curious about the voice her hears in the street.)

“Davyn. Come. Bear witness to a noble Cóng Manii warrior….who surely must have lost his noble Cóng Manii mind.”