Nightingale - Part I

Written by: James Inman

Dour gray granite monolith,
the tower rises, stark, against the velutinous grenadine
of the dusk filled evening sky.
As the god of night draws his opaque cloak
across the world in his eternal battle
against the god of light.
Ever vigilant, the army of the sun
flies purposefully on woolen wings into the fearful dark,
where lurks the winged, ebon evil of the dark lords legions.
With ravenous intent, they eat tiny holes
into the fabric of the night.

He remembers the tale of creation from his childhood,
this part his favorite.
His mind wandering, lonely, as he gazed
longingly at the flames set alight across
the length of the valley below the castle,
wandering lazily to each new
blaze that ignites to fight the growing scar.
A moment to relax, a moment to think, 
but also, a moment to reflect on his loneliness.
Growing older now
he never had the chance for relationships,
becoming King at an early age.
A good king it was rumored, though he did not know,
a kind king, perhaps, a fair king, he hoped,
but he tried more than anything to be a gentle king
for he had seen and knew how cruel and indifferent life could be.

He turned from the wall and meandered through halls 
and courtyards that ran the length of the keep,
when the sweet sound of a singing Nightingale
roused him from his reverie.
He knew this bird intimately, 
a female nightingale that sang was most unusual.
Over the years he watched her brood several nests of chicks.
For as long as he could remember
he took pleasure in the sweetness of her song
and how he envied her lighthearted charm.
Yet, on this night it seemed different,
melancholy and mournful.
He stepped into his favorite garden
where he found her sitting beneath her tree,
A bird that most people found to be plain,
he saw as beautiful with glistening plumage and melodious voice.
He took several steps toward her
and she fearfully and painfully hopped away.
Blood trailed behind her.
He looked closer at the feathers of her right wing
and found many bloodied and missing.
Half of her wing was gone.
She would never fly again.
He felt such sorrow for the poor bird
that he gathered berries from around him
and water from the fountain and placed them between
the two of them.
He waited, sitting long upon the edge of the pool, 
knowing the bird had but hours before death would call to her,
and their duet would leave the world a tiny bit more aphotic.
All through the darkness he kept vigil over her,
keeping her safe.
Only when the weeping of the sun's golden eye
washed the last of the obsidian from Dawn's
glittery lashes  did he finally  drift into troubled slumber,
his lyrical friend breathing but unmoving.

to be cont...