He didn’t like the sun when he was a boy, thinking it scorched his raven wings. Only later did he learn, that it was his wings absorbing the sun all along.

Still, he begrudgingly played outside with the other children — whose only reason to be so welcoming and warm to him was either because of their parents’ commendation towards his “geniusness” and his most esteemed breeding — just so baba doesn’t have to worry. Made friends, even, who all seemed so interested about what spells he could wield instead of what feelings he was emoting.

It didn’t matter, for their smiles are infectious, and for the most part he can pretend entertainment. By the time other children were bound to go home he would wonder to the ponds, comparing the orange reflections of the setting sun to the bright blue of the day in recent memory. The murky bottom seemed more settled in the latter, but he still used to prefer the former for it meant the approach of night, when mama and baba will finally return home from their lengthy excursions to the human world, or really wherever the Creator send them.

One day, he found himself holding his father’s hand before the pond, the little boy’s reflection smiled idiotically at how beautiful even the murky bottom of the pond looked with its faint reflection of a bright blue backdrop clouded by the snowy white of his father’s wings.

“Baba, watch this!” He was a bundle of idiotic joy, reaching out for the pond to call forth first a ripple, then others that followed, before a clear bead formed, spiraled into a sphere that glided its way to its summoner.

In the middle of it were several small silver fish, wondering why their world moved so but mostly in excited indifference.

He recalled the way his father ruffled his hair, admired his control of the life forces, then asked him, “Do you remember why the Creator give you such an ability?”

“To protect!” He recited, only realizing then his father guided his hand down, setting the water sphere back to its rightful place.

“You have to remember what that means,” It wasn’t a reproach, but a statement that he was privileged enough to hear as a boy.

He asked himself what that meant even today, “to protect.” Was it for his family? His kind? No matter what he seemed to be failing, sinking into the murky bottom of a pond he never remembered so deep, becoming food for silvery fish.


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