Wings of the Phoenix

By Faronon Star Wolf

Daybreak had come and gone before either side made an attack. The watcher was amused until she realized that she had seen the same men working side by side just a week ago.

She felt she would never understand humans.

Mental probes danced like electricity over the field as the watcher gathered the reasoning behind the bloodshed.

The common soldiers didn’t know why they were fighting their friends and family. And the commanding soldiers didn’t know much more. The rulers behind the two fighting sides were the only ones who knew the true reason for the war: something one had called the other when they were children, some fifty years ago.

The watcher spread her wings, wings that would have, only a few years ago, caused her to die like the rest of her kind had.

The fighting faltered as an unnatural, sorrowful song filled the field. Soldiers pulled back, relieved that they could stop fighting friends and family. The rulers paled, recognizing the source of the music.

She appeared then, landing in the center of the battleground to regard the people who pulled back from a creature considered extinct. She was singing the sorrowful song. An embodiment of flame, rainbow of feather, she, through her song, projected her sadness and confusion. She sang of her grief of the death of the rest of her race, for the world that was slowing dying, and, yes, for even the destroyers of her race, for those who were lying here now, dead and dying. She sang her disapproval of rulers who would throw their followers’ lives away over something done fifty years ago. All it would take to silence her right now, the rulers knew, would be one single arrow, when she was distracted.

All it took was one arrow.

She shrieked, exploding into flames that engulfed the entire field. The fire surrounding the soldiers did not burn them. Smoke blinded them for a minute, and then was blown away. The field was only burnt where the phoenix had died.

The two rulers were never found.

Daybreak came again, finding the soldiers working together to build a temple on the scorched ground in the center of the field.

The rainbow feathers, value increased tenfold because they were from the last phoenix, were placed on the altar in the temple.

Sometimes it was said that the feathers still burned as if the phoenix lived on.