It was a golden afternoon when the mysterious gemstone appeared.
I was waiting for our messenger raven, Barnabas. I always waited for him before sundown. He spent the day travelling all over the continent, delivering and receiving messages for my parents. I had to know that he’d returned safely.
My sister would laugh if she knew, of course. “It’s just a bird,” she’d once retorted. “It can’t love you back.”
We were just children when she said it, but I remember her words well. It had broken my heart back then, to know that he couldn’t love me. And yet, he was still my Barnabas. Every sundown there I would be, waiting for him.
When his inky silhouette appeared against the sky my heart leapt. He was safe. And he was early. He swooped down toward me, but instead of alighting on my shoulder as he usually does, he placed…
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