The Parting

by Zentara Shadowsoul

Despite the late night we both woke shortly after dawn. Once breakfast was eaten I saw to Ghost, as Ferantu packed away our belongings and cleared the hut. We chatted quietly, my grandfather giving me directions to An Reviniba as he led us down the trail and onto a broader track that cut roughly north to south through the forest.

“Here is where I leave you,” he said softly. “But before we part, I want to give you this. It belonged to your mother and I believe it is time you had it.”

I took the proffered bundle from him then shook it out, gasping as I realised it was a hooded cloak similar to the one Ferantu wore.

“Oh, it’s beautiful,” I gasped.

My grandfather smiled. “A Shay cloak. Woven in such a way as to hide you in the shadows of the forest, as well as elsewhere. Combined with your own skills it will keep you hidden and safe when need arises.”

The cloth shimmered, the hues of greens, browns, blues and specks of red, yellow and white melding together as the material shifted in my hands. Perfect camouflage. Quickly I took off my old cloak and put it on. My grandfather nodded, satisfied.

“Now you can truly be called Shadowsoul,” he whispered. “Grand-daughter of mine, you have grown into your heritage whilst with me, and your Shay abilities shine through you. You make me proud. But now, I must leave you, with blessings and well wishes for your journey. Be open to your gifts and let the way before you become clear. Farewell, Zentara, and let the forest and the spirits guide you.”

And before I could reply he stepped away and vanished into the trees, leaving me stunned at his sudden departure. But I had seen the tears in his eyes before he left and knowing he wasn’t one to show his feelings I realised why he had made our parting as short as possible. Sorrow welled up in me and I stood quietly, letting my own tears fall down my cheeks until Ghost nudged me gently. I put my arms around his neck, glad for his company.

“Yes, Ghost, you’re right. No use crying. What is done, is done. But I will miss him.”

Ghost whinnied in agreement. For a moment more I stood looking after where my grandfather had disappeared into the forest then packed my old cloak and mounted Ghost, turning him south toward the ruins of An Reviniba.

About Linda D.

A mixed media artist and writer from Sheffield, England.
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