Lys: A Silent Bird

Aithne chuckled. "The princess is finished, and so all are finished, eh?" But she obediently rose and put the rest of her food into a napkin.

She took a moment to say goodbye to Caleb- heaven only knew what he was to do today- and went out to the garden to sit and wait for the baskets.

A bird alighted on a branch nearby, and trilled out a few notes before suddenly stopping, as though choked off. She quickly turned towards it, and found the bird fine, but silent. And suddenly she realized they were all silent. There was bustle, but it was all human bustle. No crickets, no birds, barely even wind.

It was as if nature itself had caught on to the danger coming- as if the whole valley was collectively holding its breath. She began to feel as if she herself could not breathe, and willed herself to remain calm.

But the valley suddenly seemed confining, and she wondered if it was not to be a snare by the end of it all.

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