The Storyteller Writing Challenge
Why is she there? Who is she?
“The Huntress in Moonlight”
Copyright 2012 by Shan Jeniah Burton
She seemed to have forgotten I was there….
I sat on the wide branch, my back pressed into the trunk – cushioned and cool where the mosses caressed my shoulders; rough and warm where my lower back pressed against bare bark – watching her.
She never seemed to notice her beauty, yet she wore it naturally, with ownership I had never seen before. I couldn’t pinpoint what differed from the beautiful, petulant queens of the high school court…Shirana, Beverlee, and Aspen, who made the boys slobber over themselves like fools, and dismissed the rest of us with something that might have been contemptuous if they didn’t look at walls and teachers the same way…
~~ Perhaps those girls believe their appearance entitles them to privilege. I find that attitude most – illogical.~~
I clutched my head, nearly falling. “H-How —?” I asked, pressing myself backward, as if Tisira was going to attack.
I felt her, now. She was amused – and concerned that maybe she had lost my friendship. She found me enjoyable and interesting.
She walked a little away, her tank top revealing just a bit of a midriff that was slender and muscular. Her long skirt swayed with her, and she bowed her head to study her toes, making her short, shiny black bob fall across her face…
She was silhouetted by the enormity of the full moon, which leaning in as if to tell Earth some wonderful secret….
A sceret about Tisira, maybe……
Without warning, a small flock of birds winged straight at us.
I yelled, and this time I did fall out of the tree- well, half fell and half rolled, but, still, I hit the ground with a rattling, graceless thump.
When I looked up , Tisira had a small, hawkish raptor perched upon her shoulder. She was whispering to it, and the bird seemed to be listening. The rest of the flock circled, then landed in several trees around the edges of the clearing.
“I am not a human high school student,” Tisira said. Although I hadn’t seen her move, she was offering me a hand up, which I gladly took. Hers was calloused and strong, and I noticed a long, fine scar running from the back of her hand to just short of her elbow. “I am a Tacivaarii Huntress.”
In my mind, there was a sense of what that meant, but I could also tell that there was more – much more than I could ever understand.
“You read my mind, and command birds of prey.”
She steadied me as my knees threatened to collapse.
“It’s not reading your mind, exactly. I could, but I wouldn’t. I share the strong thoughts and feelings you project outward…..Father says that I always will, no matter how hard I attempt to shield myself. I’m sorry it troubles you.”
She helped me to sit on a low stump where, hopefully, I could keep from further embarrassing myself with my clumsiness.
“As for the bird, I don’t command her. We have a symbiotic relationship. We share information about prey, when there is mutual benefit in doing so. And we share feelings, sometimes.”
“Tisira – I don’t understand. About you, about this huntress thing; about reading my mind – or whatever the hell it’s called; about that bird. But most of all, I don’t understand why you’re telling me this.”
“There is something within you that needs to know, Sarah. You care, and feel, and seek. We are kindred, in ways that language can’t express. You’re ready for what I am, and what I have to offer – a symbiotic relationship of our own.”
That made me nervous. We were a long way from help – there were no houses for at least a mile in either direction. No one to run to for help, no one to hear me scream -
Tisira looked at me with glowing eyes, as the bird cried into the night….
And suddenly, a lynx crouched where she had stood…..
For a moment, I stared, and then a shaky whisper emerged.
“Wh- what do you want with me?”
- British ornithologists track cuckoo birds migration route (phys.org)
- I is for Intuition (shanjeniah.com)
- Point of View vs. Perception (leonawisoker.wordpress.com)
- Going to the Birds (dirtnkids.wordpress.com)