Sometime Last Week: Chapter 4

A Different Point of View

The human is imbecilic. The human is dangerous. The human is beyond our help.

Oh Margravine, your strength is waning and I cannot stop your demise. That is the way you have chosen to go, but you promised we would be spared. You said we could save the world you made. Yet, the world crumbles still. What have we done wrong?

The esteemed flock follow me now. The traitor, with heart as black as her wings, is removed. Doesn’t this please you? Hm, I think it does. You have finally come, as we knew you would. I am just relieved that ridiculous pigeon didn’t have a chance to achieve the leadership. Your children are safe with me. Do you care? Of course not.

I am tired of this world. The sun shines too bright here. And it should be dead already. The Margravine flew here so long ago and then she died. It should die with her. That was to be the result of the dissolution. A world for a world. The Margravine deserted us, though we love her, and came to this place. Isn’t it right for this place to replace ours in death, as it did in life? Beloved Margravine, may your blood find rest here as your spirit found rest here in life.

Actually, the fire in your blood does burn here. Something we did, at least, started the process. I feel the fire every moment, working on the land. But it hesitates. Why does it hesitate? Something stops your killing fire. I cannot tell what is working against us. The human simply watches as we watch. It is not her, or the other one in that house. I believe the house is just a vessel, a post office for you to send your messages to us. But why did you send your bones to her? She is stupid. So ignorant and soft, I can’t even speak to her. But you chose her. This, I must think on, Margravine, dearest.

The dissolution went perfectly. When last came the windy moon, we cut the Count into his bits and drowned the fool in mother’s milk. Then sent we bits and milk into the void to console your dying heart and sever your ties to our world. That was the injunction you sent to us. Why did it not work? Were you not consoled? It’s true, the fires stopped that day, and the rivers ran clear. But the wind did not return and the lands still shake. Were you only a little consoled? Perhaps you did not like to leave our world so easily? Is there hope that you love us a little?

But no, I cannot delude myself. We are a duty to you, a strong bond, but certainly not as strong as love. There is another reason you remain, half way between there and here. You cannot bring yourself to destroy your creation, though you love us not. And yet, you will not leave our world at peace while this one falls apart in our place. There is something here that restrains you. They are not yours. They cannot love you as we love you. Why do you spare them?

However, you do spare them, and so must I. I love you too much, Margravine, to hate something you so obviously care about. I say care about, because I cannot bring myself to think of the possibility of love. You do not love. You cannot love, dearest. Can you?

But I do hate the human you sent your bones to, Margravine! At least, I resent her immensely. She thinks she’s got something here but she just meanders through her worthlessly short life too preoccupied with unchangeables to see the worth of the things in her own house. Last week I saw her in that infernal chair, looking at the messages this house has gathered for her. She looks but doesn’t see. She listens but doesn’t hear. Will she even see your bones properly? I don’t think she can hear you, Margravine. But I am growing beyond that, Indomitable One. I will trust you even here. Let it be. You have chosen. I will go back and see what the human is doing. At least I can make sure she doesn’t lose your box, dearest.

When I turn back from my meditative flight, I see that the Imperical Magistrate of Care and Forward Thinking has kept me company. The human has named her Henwyn, which is, strangely, a bit easier to keep in my mind when I am in this world. I am glad Henwyn chose to accompany me today. She embodies the Margravine’s sharp wit, but also a bit of the Count’s bumbling compassion. The brush of her wake as she turns back toward the house with me is comforting.

“She didn’t choose this, you know.”

I sigh in response. Henwyn’s company may not be as soothing as I thought. Whether I want to listen or not, she continues,

“The girl just wants to live a happy life, and we came barging in. We brought problems that will overwhelm her.”

“They were already her problems too, Firefli–”

I cut her off. “This human, this world took the Margravine from us. It is because of our loss that these problems started. Can we change the messenger the Margravine has chosen? No. No matter how much we wish this human gone, or how practical it would be, we cannot change what has been done.”

“The girl is more than a messenger, Fireflight. And the girl isn’t the one who called the Margravine from us.”

Henwyn stresses the word “girl,” but I am more shocked by her use of the human’s name for me. I should have expected it, but hearing it still shocks me. This world is creeping in. The human is infiltrating us. Is this what the Margravine wanted?

“What do you mean the one who called the Margravine?” I push my thoughts past the names.

“You know what the Margravine searched for, Fireflight. She found it here. But it wasn’t the girl, so stop hating her. We have to work together to finish this.”

“I know we do. That’s why I came to meditate. I am resolved. The Margravine has chosen. Fear not Henwyn, I have decided not to hate this… girl. I know you will help me keep my resolve. But do please stop calling me by that awful name.”

“It’s not awful, Fireflight.” She flicks her tail with a smile. “She was quite apropos with our names. Besides, you use the names too, and I don’t mind. But thank you. I am reassured.”

The attic window looms before us and I continue down the stairs as Henwyn settles on a dusty roost. I want to begin immediately. There will be much to explain to the girl. It is best to get it over with. She is not in the food room where we left her. My heart starts to race before I realize that I can hear her in the other room. The room with that chair. My heart continues to speed. But that is just ridiculous. The chair poses no harm. It is just another of this house’s objects. I round into the room and land in front of the offending recliner.

The girl sits, staring up. I look up, but there is nothing on the ceiling. It is a strange human gesture. Suddenly, I can feel the Magravine’s box. It sits in the girl’s lap and I realize it must be speaking to her. I am surprised she actually asked the question. She actually listened this time. But I am also concerned that she will drop the Margravine’s box. It looks particularly precarious in her lax fingers. I take a step forward, and she snaps her head down. My heart beats faster still. Stupid heart.

“I’m still hungry.” She states, stands up, and walks out the door.

Infernal girl. But at least she heard the box. That will make my explanation easier.

And I am surprised. Pleasantly surprised.

Louise Warren

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