"Tell me again about the trees of your homeland Lero."
"The trees of Calindon stand taller then the mountains. I remember them well from when I was young and climbed them. Well attempted to anyways, I never made it to the top of one, you see."
Outside the sands of Eluverix Strand blow fierce against the fading exterior of the slave houses. In the room on the other side of the wall sleeps her father.
"Promise you'll take me there one day Lero."
"I promise Stasia."
I held her left hand and glanced over to Stasia's right hand. A white linen bandaged was tightly wrapped around her palm.
"So the trees reach the clouds?"
I nod my head, "Yes and the birds of Calindon live in the upper perches. They have wingspans the size of a house."
"I swear on my mother that its true. They are the color of a rainbow and sing the most beautiful song. At sunset they play in the clouds."
"You think I could be a bird in my next life?"
"I wouldn't rush to find out Stasia. As for myself I plan on living forever."
She shook her head at me before breaking into a coughing fit. She wiped her crimson stained lips with her right hand. The clean linen bandage now marred with blood specks. I lifted up the glass of Clover tea to her dry cracked lips. She imbibed the clouded liquid and breathed heavily as she laid back against the head board.
I saw her blue eyes swell with tears. Inside I felt my spirit crush under the weight of her sadness.
"Strange how life goes isn't it? So many wonderful things coming and going without ever leaving a mark."
"It doesn't mean they weren't important sometimes the things that have gone leave a subtler impact."
"Will I live forever in Calindon like you?"
I nod and give her a weak smile.
"You'll always be young there beneath the trees of Calindon. No masters or wicked folk can cross the boundary."
"Do they weep in Calindon?"
"No one weeps for the dying for death is not the end in Calindon."
I see the flicker of a peaceful smile on her pale white face. Stasia breathes a few more times then looks to me.
"I'm ready for you to guide me there Lero."
I stand and lift the frail girl in my arms. Without a sound or tear for her passing I fade away on the way to the distant shore of Calindon.