Robin sat on a stone armchair in the middle of a dark gray room.
Gray stone floor.
Grayness billowed in the air as dull as smoke and as heavy as fog.
He leaned his head back and waited for the light to banish all of the gray. He closed his eyes and listened to the silence of the room.
Much to Robin’s annoyance, the silence was gray too…as gray as a rock standing alone. “Darnation! Where’s my light?”
Isellta walked through dark gray skies. An uneasy blend of cool and warm air breezed past him. Clouds brushed against his arms. Some were wet with rain. Some were heavy with snow. Some simply fell apart.
He rubbed his arms and looked up. But there was nothing to see. Just the black-gray bellies of thunderclouds. There were no stars. No moon.
Thunder rumbled underneath his feet, vibrating his bones.
“Robin? Where are you?”
Robin opened his eyes, but the world was still a woeful shade of gray.
“‘sellta? Where are you?”
Isellta curled his hand above his breastbone as lightning flashed around him.
Maybe if I sing he’ll hear me.
It was strange dream logic and he knew it. But he took a breath and sang a couple of uncertain notes.
A hesitant voice sang a couple of notes.
Robin pretty much flung himself out of his seat. The chair hit the ground and dissolved into ash. He glanced around. “‘sellta?”
Isellta felt that familiar tug inside his chest. His wings flapped ecstatically.
He sang a song without words and he sang it with all of his love and hope.
The melody was warm and simple. There were no vocal pyrotechnics. No runs. No trills. No fancy vocal techniques.
Just a melody of love and longing.
Just the unmistakable sweet lilt of Isellta’s voice.
Robin ran towards it, but it evaded him, seemingly jumping from one side of the room to the other. “‘sellta! Wait! WAIT! I’M HERE! DON’T LEAVE ME!”
The tug inside of Isellta tightened. He sang louder, more passionately. He tapped into his base magic and changed the world around him.
The thunderstorm disappeared as well as the gray clouds.
The moon and the stars shined bright.
Robin stopped running.
The world had changed.
He was no longer in a gray room.
He stood on a moonlit beach. Yet, Isellta’s voice still beckoned to him. He ran towards it without question or doubt.
Robin knew it was Isellta.
Isellta hugged himself as he sang. He swayed to the melody.
He had no questions or doubts.
He knew that Robin would come.
A lonely figure stood near the shoreline. The moonlight colored his hair white, but his wings remained black.
Robin pushed himself to run faster. The sand shifted and stirred beneath his feet.
The sand rippled and splashed.
Isellta stopped singing as the scent of tangerines drifted through the air. He looked back towards the beach.
A lone figure ran towards him. The sand splashed and rippled with every step.
“Robin?” It wasn’t really a question. The tugging feeling inside of his chest was too intense for it to be anyone else.
He let out a joyful cry and ran to Robin.
Robin struggled against the rising sand. It splashed against his legs, crept up to his waist, covered his clothes and skin with cold, wet sand. But he kept trying. With all of his might, he tried to get to Isellta in time.
The sand was half-way up his chest when Robin finally realized that the sand wasn’t rising.
He was sinking.
He reached for Isellta, who was quickly closing in. The sand splashed his face, leaving grainy trails. “‘sellta! Help me!”
Panic seized Isellta’s heart as Robin sank deeper and deeper into the sand. “I’m coming! Don’t leave me! Please don’t leave me!”
He tried to run faster, but the sand turned into sludge. He slipped and fell.
Isellta raised his head.
Robin was gone.
Robin fell through the sand and landed on his hands and knees. The world around him was dark gray.
Isellta wasn’t there.