Adorned with a crown of jewels, she sat regal on her throne, watching the comings and goings of her subjects below.
Her gnarled knuckles ache with the pain of age and cold as she directs the brush this way and that across the upright canvas. Darkness is her comfort, her old friend, her nightly blanket. Darkness because eyes clouded by cataracts require no light by which to see.
They knew him as The Shadow and spoke his name in whispers for fear of reprisal. He’d robbed six nobles in the last month alone, and now The Shadow had his sights set on a seventh.
It came in the night. A rage-filled howl shattered the peaceful air of the valley, screaming its promise of pain and death. Zihao’s eyes flew open. He pushed himself up from his futon and grasped the hilt of his sword. Fear clawed at his stomach; he fought against it, and won.
She felt it before she saw the first clouds shadowing the horizon. The gentle breeze changed swiftly, picking up speed, gusting through her feathers, urging her, fly! fly!
“Are we doing the right thing?” Fran’s voice quavered around the laboratory. “He’s been gone for so long. What if we can’t bring him back? What if something goes wrong? So much has changed since he was last awake—”
Mother and babe slept soundly, she beneath a grey blanket and the child nestled in a crib at the foot of the bed. The glass of the bedroom window pane fogged with the heat of Saoirse’s breath as she stared in at the pair. The sleeping woman was fair and beautiful, exactly Odhran’s type. He always picked the finest mortals to bear his offspring.
If I could have a superpower
A power of any kind
Without a doubt, I think I’d pick
The power to read your mind
Ask a man to name a fearsome animal, and you’ll likely hear Great White Shark or Box Jellyfish, perhaps Funnel-web Spider or some variation of Bear…