A prologue, foreshadowing things to come.
|Once there was a little boy that did not understand death.
Where others saw lifeless bodies, his onyx eyes showed broken things. Things which could be patched up and fixed quite easily if one knew how.
Wandering the dense woods where he lived, the boy came across the carcass of a songbird. He observed it for a time, watching the pale maggots crawl over the brilliant blue feathers. Shifting weight from foot to foot, the boy bit his nails until he came to a decision.
Leaning forward, he breathed upon the motionless animal and waited expectantly. The dead bird began to writhe in spasms, shedding larvae and feathers as it thrashed. Clapping hands in delight, the boy laughed as his new friend opened a cracked beak and let out a gurgling squawk.
“Come on, you can do it!" He cheered on the abomination as it attempted to stand up. Flapping broken wings, the creature wobbled as it balanced on its only leg. “Good bird!” It chirped a few strangled notes at him. Although the undead bird had no eyes, they were lit from within by a dark light.
If he wasn’t so entertained by his new pet, the boy might have noticed a creeping darkness surrounding the grove.
“Mikros.” The cold voice hissed with displeasure. “What have you done?”
The bird shivered and huddled close to its new master. Mikros gently hugged it to his chest. Grimly he turned to face his guardian, eyes burning with defiance.
“I’m keeping this one.” He said as the creature peeped quietly.
The humanoid shape before him roiled in anger, shadows twisting into wisps and reforming.
“Once again you disobey me.”
Beneath the fury, the voice was tinged with sorrow. Mikros sank to his knees as the shade floated towards him. Stinging tears fell from chubby cheeks as he clutched the bird tightly. There was a hole inside his chest that gnawed and ached terribly, a longing for something he could never have.
The form reached out and gently wiped away the tears with an ethereal hand. “Oh child…” It whispered, tenderly caressing his head as he wept.
“It’s so lonely out here…” Mikros sobbed bitterly. He could feel the bird fluttering nervously in his grasp. “Why do we have to be so far away?”
The figure said nothing. They sat in silence until his eyes were dry again.
“Are you ready, Boy?”
Biting his lip, Mikros nodded.
“Open your hands.” The specter commanded.
Slowly, Mikros held out the frightened animal. Shaking, it cowered as feathers fell from ragged wings. “Promise you won’t hurt it?” He asked, voice wavering.
“It has long forgotten pain.”
This answer seemed to console him and he placed the bird on the ground before the shadow. It choked out a cry and turned to face Mikros as the darkness smothered it.
When the gloom lifted, it was motionless on the forest floor.
“Come on Child, it’s time we returned.”
He took one last look at the frail, blue form and whispered a goodbye.
Then the mysterious pair vanished into the undergrowth, leaving the ancient trees to murmur quietly amongst themselves.