Jenny: A Tired Warrior

It was raining, otherwise Ambrosius would have stepped out into the garden before breakfast. He stood in the solarium, alone save for Champion on his shoulder, watching the rain streak down the glass panes, watching the faint light and shining.

"What are you thinking?" he asked presently; his breath fogged the glass.

I do not think. Not as you think. I wonder.

A strong gust of wind blew the leaves from the trees: a fluttering cast of dull yellow jewels across the bleak landscape. The sound of the wind and rain made the solarium seem like the cupped warmth of two hands pressed close.

Ambrosius asked the Bird, "What are you wondering? For surely if you wonder, I wonder more."

But Champion shook his head and stretched his wings out, testing them, before furling them up and laying his cheek alongside the man's. Ambrosius fondled its breast-feathers. You are mistaken, two-legged child. For all my sight, for all I see, you will see more and - what is more - you will understand.

"Will I understand?" The reflection frowned back at him in the window.

Yes, Ambrosius. You will understand. It is a Law. You must, and so you will.

The rain slackened a moment, leaving for a moment a clear glimpse of the orchard ascending the hill in damson ranks, dripping and tossing with the wind. It was the look of autumn out there: every autumn would look just so. A cardinal would find momentary perch in an apple-tree and spill out its bewildered notes into the wind, then fly away, fly away a ruby in the roaring silver-grey.

You are thinking of home.

"Home, yes." Ambrosius tipped up his head to watch the rain come rushing down again. "Have you ever seen it?"

Champion's eyes flushed with a curious light, eager and sorrowful at once. No, Ambrosius. Home is yours. I will never see home.

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