“The Huntress in Moonlight” – Flash Fantasy

The Storyteller Writing Challenge

*    *   *
Are you a Storyteller? What inspires you?
What stirs you to pick up your pen, open your word doc. and write?
I offer TWO prompts for you to CHOOSE from:
 An Image prompt and an Other prompt. 
1. THE Image PROMPT
For this weeks image prompt, tell us what is evoked by this image.
What is this haunting environment? What story tumbles from your imagination?
Why is she there? Who is she?

The Talented Artist this week is - Artist: Agus - http://psdholic.deviantart.com/

“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?”