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Allure of Heaven


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I stir uneasily in my sleep, feeling a painful twinge flare through my back, driving me awake.  Groggily, I wake, only to feel a small trickle of cool water touch my warm head, bringing me slight relief from the thick air in the tent.  I resist the urge to wipe it away, as it courses down my face, before being absorbed by the blanket.


Outside, the soft patter of rain almost lulls me back to sleep, before another droplet of water ran down my face.  This time, I wipe the offending drip away, and glance overhead, noticing the rent in the fabric of my tent, exposing the clouded heavens.


Another jolt of pain shoots through my back, and my hand drops to caress one of the several scars that criss-cross my back.  My fingertips trace the puckered skin, a final remembrance of the beautiful white wings that once adorned my back, that carried me high into the heavens, that folded around me as gently as my mother's arms.


"I'm sorry mother..." I say softly, and give a slight, bitter chuckle, "You warned me, but what did you know?  You too hidebound, too fearful...you didn't know anything.  Hiding up there in the clouds, like a bird in a cage.  But I was going to be different, I was going to change the world.  But no one ever told me that the world would changes me too..."


I close my eyes, a small tear snakes its way down my face, becoming one with the accumulating moisture.  I sit there in the silence once more, when I feel another twinge in my body, this one much more gentle, but just as urgent.  Shifting my position slightly, I lay my hand on the slight curve of bulging belly, and feel another kick.  I smile, the bitterness lifting slightly, until I think of him...


"I will love you forever," I said, as I remember that fateful night, "I...I never felt this way about anyone before.  It...is like I'm free again, that I'm soaring the skies...without leaving the ground..."


"You laughed at how cliché it sounded, and I laughed with you..." I whisper, "You were right to laugh...I should have known...I should have known better.  I learned the lesson the first time all to well...and in my happiness...in my arrogance...I forgot all about it...what goes up, must come down.  By Baervar, I hate that phrase..."


I press my head against the tent pole, using it to support my weary brow, fingering the small gold ring on my hand, when I notice that a small shaft of moonlight is now peaking through the hole in the roof, illuminating the swell of my abdomen.  


I glance accusingly at the pregnant moon above.  Then, my frown disappears, as even the effort of being angry taxes me.


"I would have done the same thing.  You said that there were wonders on the earth, and I dared you to show me...and yet, when you beheld the marvels of the skies, and the promise of even greater spectacles to come, you went forward without a second glance...much as I would have done, I suppose..." I say, raising the ring to catch the light of the moon on its shiny surface, recalling the promises, the dreams it held.


"But even a dreamer must awaken sometime..." I whisper, twisting the ring off my finger, laying it on the ground, the darkness enveloping it...

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