(Resurrection Reunion 2)
Note: This got away from me. sorrry.)
From the Journal of Ellowenni Chandler of Rustlen Alley
A Memory of the 5th of SummerMoon, in the year 230.
I remember that day, after the Riots and ended, when we were left to pick up the pieces of window and the bodies.
She was dead, that little girl. A street rat, yes, but she was a sweet one. She helped with the washing when my own girl was busy elsewhere. I don’t know that I ever learned her given name, just what she was called. Sparrow. It suited her, she was a bright little thing, her hair streaked browns and honey colors, her eyes dark. And always she was singing some little song.
But she was killed, in the riot. Riots seem like the answer to a bad thing, but I pray to the Goddess and Her brothers that my neighbors will see sense the next time there’s trouble. What will rioting do? It didn’t bring back those the City Headman murdered. It didn’t stop his vile magic. All it did was get that little songbird killed, and broke some windows.
We all came to stand at the grave yard, we mothers of Rustlen Alley. We knew the little ones, them as were Sparrow’s sisters and brothers, we knew her. Keeping them all would have cost more than we had, but a pie goes out the window when there’s extra, and pennies get left in the washing they do. We lived together, a family of sorts, even with walls between us. Mother Lily, the baker, gave out pennyloafs to them this morning, and we all came together, at the edge of the forest where the folk with no money are buried.
It was a boy who spoke the prayers and kissed her forehead, a blood-brother of hers, from his speech. Thias, the one as what nearly got killed, who exposed the Headman. I guessed he blamed himself, for the riot and all. Maybe he should have, and maybe he shouldn’t, that’s for the Goddess’s judgment, not mine. But my heart ached for him, and for little Sparrow. My little girl, Lea, she sobbed into my skirts. She’d not seen death before, but she wanted to come. So I brung her. Lea went up, and said a few words of her heart, a memory of sharing a meat pasty one wintereve. Then others, street children, Mother Lily, Sarri’s man, all to bear witness of Sparrow’s heart and life.
And then- Goddess and Brothers, I’d never seen the like. I dare guess I won’t see it again until I pass from this world. There were whispers from the crowd, and a girl, pretty as the moonrise came out of that wood like she’s walking on air. White as milk, with hair all dark but for one strip that gleamed silver like the Moon, she knelt down and put her hand- tiny and frail- on little Sparrow’s pocked cheek, and hummed a little song, Sparrow’s tune. But she’d put words to it, words none of us heard at all. I know because I asked, after, Mother Lily, and Sarri’s man, and any of the street lads, and they all shook their heads.
Because whatever it was, it was magic, pure as moonlight. That strange girl with eyes like silver looked at us all, and kissed Sparrow on the forehead, just as her brother did. My grandchildren will call me a liar, but I know what I saw, and what Lea saw. What we all were Witness to. I swear it by the Goddess, what I write is Truth. That little girl was dead. And then, she wasn’t. She opened her eyes and out of her mouth came that tune, and then Thias and the girl were singing it, the three of them and we all started humming it because what else was there to do but stand and gape?
She was dead, I helped bathe her body and set her broken arm and then she was in her brother’s arms and not a one of us could keep from sobbing. It was a Miracle, I’ve no doubt, like all them histories I’ve told my Lea, all; them stories they tell at Temple. That little girl breathed in and out and in again, and the silver girl slipped back into the woods. No one saw her leave.
I’ve asked after her, but no one ever seemed to know what became of her. Mother Lily always said she was Lanree reborn, come out of the Silver Tree to do the will of the Goddess. But somehow, that story never did sit right in my heart.No. She wasn’t an age old hero, she was her own self. What that self might be, I can only guess. Because after the fuss had calmed, I left my Lea hugging Sparrow tight, and looked at the spot where she’d stood. I remember clear as day what I saw, and it wasn’t bits of Silver Tree or Moonsilver. It was a trail, like a deer track I used to follow when I was a child myself, gathering berries. No footprints, only hoofprints... and caught on the brambles, a single hair, gleaming silver as the moon.