Falen snapped upright in bed, eyes bulging, and hands clawing at the blanket.

The images were vivid in her mind as her chest heaved, wing feathers trembling.

She threw off the blanket, and pulled on her outer clothes, fumbling with her belt and she kicked open the door, scuffing the lintel and causing the other occupant of the room to stir.

“Falen? Go back to bed.” A voice mumbled at her, but she was already leaving, sliding a window up and jumping out, pushing off the side of the building for a quick start.

High above the town, the night air whipped past her, her wings beating out a frantic pace, fuelled by the images from her dream.

Her shoulders ached by the time she reached the deep forest, forsaking stealth for speed as she winged past the patrol routes, and dove down, easily finding her old house in amongst the trees.

She landed on the balconey, and the fear rose up in her when she opened the curtain. There was no light in the room.


“You came.” The voice was tired, barely a whisper, but it was triumphant.

Falen padded over to the bed, sitting down on the edge. “Nothing would keep me away.”

“I knew you had the gift.” Her mother raised a shaking hand, and cupped her daughter’s cheek. “Take my things, they are yours now. Don’t let them take them from you.”

“I promise mother. I will keep them safe.”

Falen could just about see the smile on her mother’s face, and the whisper that came through it, “Dream well, my daughter.”

Falen held her mother’s hand on her cheek long after the eyes had closed and the skin had cooled.

The vibrations through the wood told her off Fae approaching. She folded her mother’s hand over her chest and smoothed her wing feathers down. In the pale light of the dawn she could see a bag sitting by the bed. Her mother had been prepared for this. She picked up the bag, and settled it between her wings.

On the balcony she looked back on last time at her mother, as the door opened and members of the guard that she recognised came in. As they spotted her, she turned back and took off, leaving the shouts echoing in empty air.

It was only when she was in the air that she wiped her face with the back of her hand, the tears running back over her face in the wind. She didn’t know whether to bless or curse the dreams that she had inherited from her mother. Bless them for allowing her to say goodbye. Or curse them for being the very thing that took her from her mother’s side in the first place.