Everyone has a story to tell. This is the story of Jotha'Ebie found the Winged Ones.
(©SunBlind - August 2002)
It already seemed as if he'd travelled halfway around the world, but apparently is wasn't far enough. As the rain streamed over his wings, blinding his eyes, he knew he had to stop. He sought shelter beneath a large tree and let the sound of the water on the leaves lull him into something resembling sleep.
It was many weeks ago that he had started his journey. He once lived in a land of mountains and plains, he'd lived there for as long as he could remember. He'd never known his sire, nor his dam, but the resident herd had accepted him as one of their own.
Theirs was a life full of joy, and love and especially fun. Never a day went by that they did not race through the tall grasses or rise to the peaks of the mountain range to leave their hoofprints in the snow. But then.....but then...
Jotha'Ebie shivered, partly from the cold, partly from the memory-dream. The rain seemed to be even worse than it had been an hour ago, and now a chill wind had added its forces in an attempt the freeze the stallion where he stood. He turned his back to bitting cold and sheltered himself the best he could with his large wings. There was nowhere else for him to go.
But then what? It had been a beautiful night, as most nights were at home. The stars were clear, bright pinpricks against the black background of the sky, glittering soflty above the winged horses below. They were racing that night, racing up the moutain side, seeing who could reach the highest peak first. Jotha'Ebie was a large stallion, with powerful wings and he soon had such a lead on the others that they gave up the chase, giggling and guessing at how long he'd wait up there for them to arrive. He had a bit of an ego you see, and would probably wait a good long time under the assumption that he'd been that much faster.
Yes, he regretted that ego now. Had he stayed with the others, perhaps he'd never have known.
But though it felt as if he were reliving that fateful night, he had no power to change the past. Higher he flew, through the slight wisps of clouds which encircled the snow-capped peak. The air was thin and his wings had to work twice as hard, but he challenged himself, nostrils flared to breath in as much he could. He could see the peak now, but he was tiring....not much further...
Oh, why hadn't he stopped to rest....such stubborn pride.....
But the dream-stallion didn't even slow his ascent, stretching out his forehooves and they touched snow. With a triumphant whinny, he wheeled about, and reared up against the night, horn flashing with silvery moonlight.
He gazed upon the world around him, the wind fluttering through his mane. It was quiet up here. Peaceful. He was alone.
~Who is that?~
He looked about bewildered. He had heard a voice. It sounded far away, almost not a sound. The breeze seemed to tease him by blowing all trace of it away. He shook his head and laughed at himself.
~Where are you? Show yourself!~
He stamped his hoof angrily. He heard the voice again, and several others. They were ruining his peaceful meditations.
The wind had stopped, even the stars seemed to pause in their twinklings. The voices were growing louder, many voices, strange voices he had never heard before, in languages he did not recognize.
He grew afraid as the voices grew louder, stronger, and more of them added themselves to the soundless sound. He pinned his ears back to block them, but this did nothing to muffle their words. And what words they were! Now he could make some out, those who spoke languages he knew. The language of the humans which lived in this land. He could hear their words, their cruel words, their cold words. Words filled with hate and anger and despair. Yes, sometimes one voice laughed with joy or smiled softly with love, but most hurt and frightened him.
His shrill whistle pierced the night but the voices didn't hear him. He shoke his head and pranced about in the snow till he slipped on the ice and fell to his knees. He closed his eyes as the voices began to overwhelm him, consume him, drive him mad...
The stallion whispered as he awoke. The rain had stopped, the sun making futile attempts to break through the clouds. He stepped out from under the tree and shook himself dry, then paused and listened. Yes, he could still hear them. The thoughts of millions, hundereds of millions. They never stopped, though he had gotten used to them over time. He ignored their pain, their suffering, and their hate as best he could, though there were still times when he was sure he would lose himself to them, forget who he was, become one of them.
And so, that night, he'd left.
He couldn't bring these thoughts to the rest of the herd. These feelings that they wouldn't understand, and shouldn't have to. Along the way he decided he had a purpose, a reason for being able to hear the thoughts of all creatures around him, but the frustration of not knowing what this purpose might be was gnawing at him. He lashed out at the tree with a violent kick, then watched, angry at himself for losing his temper as the tree bled from the gash in the bark.
He turned in time to see another, pure white stallion standing neaby. He had spoken not a word but was filled with wisdom and knowledge. He'd been waiting for him. Silently he spread his wings and took to the sky. Jotha'Ebie looked around, and seeing no reason not to follow, he did.
He soared behind Elidan, then nearly fell in surprise. He could not hear his thoughts, his mind was as mute as his voice. He had allowed his name to get through, but nothing more. Eagerly Jotha'Ebie caught up to him, a place where thoughts remained silent was a place he wished to be.
*No. I have a burden I cannot share with you, so my thoughts keep to themselves.*
*I am a Seer, I alone can know what is to come. Sometimes I can save a life, sometimes I know I must watch them die. It is how it must be. Your burden is as great as mine. To know the great, and painful wound in the hearts of the world around us.*
Great. He wondered if perhaps he did a really lousy job he could get fired.
Elidan found that amusing. *No, because you will not do a "lousy job",* stumbling mentally over the foreign human reference, *It is not in your heart to stand by and watch this suffering.*
"Then I'm supposed to make it better. All by myself?"
*No, not alone. Never alone. I will show you...."
As they passed through the clouds his mind was bombarded with the warmth and welcomes of the Winged Ones. They surrounded the newcomer, obviously unaware of the nature of his powers. He searched for Elidan's thoughts amongst the others but he couldn't hear them anymore. He was never to hear them again. But the friendship which had started during that upward flight was never to falter through the years, giving Jotha'Ebie the strength to carry on, to do as his heart demanded of him.
Text © SunBlind
Painted Unicorns © Silvanon
Buttons and background from Borders by Silverhair