“And so the Dire-wing fluttered down so graciously onto the old man. He was at his final moments in life, and this is how you knew. That little butterfly would always appear. Some say it was the Grim Reaper in the form of a bug; come to take their soul away. Some say it is a messenger of death to speak to you your fate. But no one knows for sure. No one lives to tell of it.” Alois sat back in the old wooden chair and stared proudly at his sister. She always intrigued by his fables. But the one about the Dire-wing interested her the most.
“So…before we die, we will see the Dire-wing?” Nara asked, awe struck and rocking back and forth.
“That’s how it’s told!” Alois stood up and grabbed a log from the small pile near the fireplace and carefully placed it atop the others. The golden sparks danced through the air and disintegrated after a short while. Nara stared into the fire and smiled.
“I wish I could see the Dire-wing…” She muttered under her breath, forgetting to realize she had just wished upon death.
“Don’t think like that, sister. You are still only a child. You have many years to live. If you really want to see it, you’d have to be by someone who is dying, or has died. But you don’t want that either.” Alois moved over to the small, foggy window that stared out into the streets of Wildrun. “Mum said we have to stay inside. That maniac is still out there,” Alois paused and turned towards Nara, giving her a scared look. “Some say he’s an Orc. Seven feet tall…” Nara’s eyes widened and she curled her knees against her chest.
“B…but he only attacks people on the street…r…right?” Nara asked fearfully, not once taking her eyes off of her brother.
“I don’t know, Nara. Maybe if he gets bloodthirsty enough, he’ll come barging right in…” Alois turned nervously and stared at the heavy wooden door. It swung open in an instant and Nara began to scream. Alois even jumped back. Their mother rushed inside and shut the door behind her, staring in confusion at her screaming children.
“Hey, hey! What is going on?” she asked frantically, setting down her basket and removing her covers. Alois sighed and started to laugh. Nara stared for a while at their mother, and joined in on the laughter. They laughed so hard, that Alois even fell to the ground. “I…” Their mother was speechless. She sighed and moved into the kitchen to put her newly purchased goods away. “I want you kids to go to bed, it’s getting late now!” She shouted from within the house. Alois and Nara sighed, but obeyed their mother. They moved sluggishly to the room in which they both shared and snuggled into bed. The darkness of the room loomed about as the candlelight was fleeting.
“Hey Brother..?” Nara asked into the blackness.
Nara thought about what she’d say next, but figured she probably shouldn’t.
“Umm, never mind. Good night.” Nara rolled over and pretended to sleep. But that was the last thing on her mind. She waited for hours, or minutes? She couldn’t tell. All she could hear was the soft sound of a light rain and her brother’s slow breathing. Nara rolled over and strained to see in the darkness. Alois was indeed fast asleep. She carefully removed her covers and stepped onto the cold wooden floor. She crept soundly along, holding her hand out to reach for the door. She exited the room without notice.
The fireplace flickered weakly as the flames struggled to stay alive. Nara stopped moving and listened carefully. No one stirred. She sighed with relief and crept to the door. She grabbed her mother’s coverings and slipped on her leather boots. She grabbed the iron handle and pulled it slowly. Wind and soft rain fluttered into the house and the fire was extinguished. She began to shake in fear, and from the cold. She stepped out into the barren streets of Wildrun. The street lamps were swaying back and forth and creaking eerily. Only some stayed lit.
Nara walked cautiously down the streets, unknowing of her real intentions. Perhaps she was looking for death? Or was she waiting for death to find her? She knew how dangerous Wildrun could be at night, especially with the rumors of a murderer in the streets. The only thing she knew is that she wanted to see for sure if the Dire-wing was real. Nothing had fascinated her more than that single creature. She begged Alois to tell her the tale nearly every night.
Nara turned suddenly at hearing a scuffling noise. She isn’t sure what she saw, but she knew that something had moved into an alley about two houses length from her. She turned to her path again and quickened her pace. The rain was continuing to fall gently onto her and the city. She heard a creak and quickly looked in its direction. But it was just a street lamp swaying. Fear had gotten a hold of young Nara. She heard a subtle laughter and swiveled again, walking backwards this time. She bumped into a wall and braced her hands on its surface; but this was no wall. Walls did not give heat. Walls did not breathe. And wall certainly did not reek of blood and iron.
Chills erupted down Nara’s spine and she bolted forward in a panicked state. She sprinted down the streets of Wildrun, not daring make a sound. Her path was lost; she could not see her way back to her home in the darkness. She turned lefts and rights, making directions in her head that told her, this is the way, go!
Nara stared at a large wall that sat in the back of an alley street. The wall was made of cobblestone and stretched far up into the sky. She turned at the sound of heavy breathing and stared at an enormous figure that towered in front of her. Nara slouched down onto the wall. She could feel nothing, inside nor out. The figured bobbed up and down with every hulking breath. It’s large iron sword, jagged and rusty, dripped with fresh blood. Its red eyes illuminated in the abyss of the night.
Nara felt a soft touch on her hand. She lifted it slowly to her face and stared at the crimson wings, the black body, and the small beading purple eyes. The Dire-wing flapped its wings softly to balance itself on her quivering hands. She could feel tears drop down her face, and a smile follow shortly after.