- Story Three -

Moth Kingdom

The cold disappeared soon as I stepped into the tavern. The bustlin’ voices of the regulars hit like a wave and I tapped the mud of my boots. I tossed my cap on the rack, scanning the room. Wading through the crowd I sought my regular nook in the back, away from the noise. I nipped a mug off of a passing barmaid’s tray and fell into the booth. I took a huge swig and propped my feet on the table. A lull in the noise caught my attention. A voice piped up: “Tis’ true! Me paw told me ‘imself!”

I popped my head out from my corner and saw a single sailor standing above the crowd. “The moon was full that night, and the waters were still. Their ships brought with them a white glow far on the horizon, mast and sail piercing the night. From the shore the vessels looked to be crafted from silver, and their mainsails from the finest silk. “The ships sailed silently closer, just to halt a stone's throw from the beach. The creaking of the crafts and lapping of waves were the only sounds to be heard. The crowd stood all holding their breath fully anticipating something that something big was ‘bout to happen.” The sailor took a gulp from his ale drawing a few yells for him to continue.

“Alright alright shut yer yaps! As the peoples watched, two figures appeared at the bow of the foremost vessel. Thousands of faces beheld the monarchs from across the ocean. The man, regal n’ imposing, had on his head a crown of polished ebony, and armor of what looked like black stained bone. And on his back, wings! Enormous an’ black, masked in the shadow of the sails. The queen then stepped into the moonlight, and unfurled the wings on her back. Her’s were of opal and dew drops, with a circlet befitting a queen resting on her head. As one they dove off the bow and flew straight up into the sky!” I grinned as the crowd around me gasped, and gulped down the rest of my ale.

“Legend says, from up there in the heavens, they showered everyone on the shores with gifts of glitterin’ gems n’ gold. Then just as quickly as they came, disappeared across the horizon, ne’er to be seen again!” Cries erupted from the listeners and an apple or two were thrown, followed by accusations calling the old sailor a lier. I smiled and got up, tossing a coin to the barkeep. I laughed as I closed the tavern door behind me leaving the ruckus behind. I straightened my cap and pulled up my collar against the cold as I made my way back to my ship. The planks of the dock creaked beneath my boots.

Something caught my attention, as from the corner of my eye I saw a slight white glow on the horizon. And I swear on the gods, I saw twin shadows fly across the moon...