Isellta free-fell into the darkness. His wings curved lifelessly towards his front. His feathers ruffled as the air rushed past him.
He did nothing to stop the fall. He offered no resistance.
He let it happen. Until he felt it. A strong tugging on his breastbone.
He heard it. A voice in the dark calling to him, “Isellta! ‘sellta! SAY MY NAME!”
Isellta opened his eyes and looked down into the dark.
The tugging increased and spread throughout his body.
In his arms.
In his neck.
In his head.
Throughout his wings’ trec lun bones.
In every rib.
All along the arches of his pelvic bones.
In his femurs.
All the way down to his ankles.
Into his toenails.
Threatening to debone him unless he yielded.
He raised his head. The same darkness loomed over him, but he was there.
Robin was there. His tangerine scent tanged the dark.
“My Isellta. ‘sellta. ‘sellta!”
His voice pulled at him.
Isellta opened his eyes. “uh. uh. uh…” He had no idea where he was.
He didn’t know if he were lying on his back or on his chest.
If he were clothed or naked.
If he were alive or dead.
Yet, for some reason, thinking was no longer impossible. It was difficult, but not impossible.
And he knew that he needed to think.
It was essential that he figure something out.
He needed to think.
Just like he needed to breathe, he needed to think.
Isellta struggled to inhale.
The white star beckoned to him, like a bonfire beckoning to a person lost in the cold.
“uhh. uhh. uhh.”
He looked up at the star. Longing possessed him.
Isellta winced as his headache surged.
Need to think.
Need to think this through.
“uhh. uhh. uhh…”
“uhh. uhhh…uhh.” Isellta turned his head towards the Robin hidden in the shadows.
If Robin…is there…then.
His headache worsened.
His breath froze up in his throat.
Robin can’t. He. He can’t be…
Isellta’s breath escaped as Robin bit harder.
His headache throbbed.
“you aren’t. uhh. uhh. uhh. not Robin. Not my Robin. Who? What are you?”
“What?” Robin released his grip on Isellta’s finger. “What are you talking about? I’m Robin. You know I’m Robin. I smell like him. I feel like him. I sound like him. I’m scarred like him.”
Isellta focused on the star. “Let me see.”
“What?” Maybe it was Isellta’s imagination, but there seemed to be a certain amount of panic in that one word.
“Let.” His body seized up on him, but he tried his best to keep his gaze fixed on the star.
The nae bi sha watched Isellta’s seizure with a great deal of anxiety.
I shouldn’t have tried to take a bite out of him this soon. I should have waited. It’s my third mistake. But I’m so hungry. But he knows. He knows. What do I do?
His anxiety lifted.
He smiled a sharp toothed smile.
So? He’s so weak. He can’t fight me. He can’t hurt me.
The nae bi sha chuckled. “So, I’ll show him just what he’s dealing with.”
He settled back into a crouch.
He watched Isellta.
He licked his lips and he waited.
Isellta’s body slumped as he came out of the seizure. He stared listlessly at the star. It reminded him of something.
Something that needed to be done.
Something that needed to be taken care of.
It reminded him of Robin.
He just needed to remember how or why.
He needed to think.
He needed to breathe.