In that place at the time, because you were there, that's where I went. If my life had been different, if I had other things on my mind
, I would not have followed. If you were not there, I would have wandered the streets on my own, found my own way around the festival, guided only by myself.
Yet that's not how it worked out
, is it? You happened to be passing through, I happened to notice, and on a whim I decided to follow. From lantern to lantern, dancing through the crowd. On my own, I might have stopped at the stalls, browsed aimlessly through the wares being sold. But not that night.
Instead I was following a path with no human purpose, though you might attribute it to some sort of madness
. Yet children and animals had followed you throughout your life, but other so-called serious festival-goers? Perhaps not.
We drifted to the edge of the village. The noise of the crowd dwindled into murmur. There was nothing holding me there then anyway. The night called you
into the fields beyond, and off you went.
It was dark there. I did not bring my lantern. And you soon vanished into the grass, waving in the wind. I was by the ocean, with no light to carry me beyond the waves. Beyond the shore, you beckoned
, yet I could not follow. I knew you were out there somewhere, beneath the waves or over them, but it was not a place I could go. Not that day. Not with what I had. Or rather, not with what I didn't have.I could not navigate your ocean
, yet I was brought to the shore. I didn't know then that it was the beginning. That it was the storm you were building. That you had made me a part of it. I had thought my journey had ended, and that there was nothing left but to head back inland, into the shores of light.
It was late evening. I was on the far side of the village. You were no longer there. I had nothing to follow but my own thoughts. But that was the storm you had set in motion
Screams shattered the silence as I returned to the festival. I saw it descending from the sky. I would not have been there if you had not led me to that part of the village. Perhaps it would have taken whatever it was after
. And disappeared. But that would not happen with us there. And you were. With your brethren.
I was not supposed to be there, and yet I was. I did not want to draw my sword, and yet I did. I did not expect your kind to come to my aid, and yet you did. Should I have known then what I know now?
You carried me into the midst of chaos, a part of the storm of flying lights. I was supposed to be a passerby, and yet you made me a wizard. There was nothing else for me to do, but accept the title you bestowed. I would not be able to live the same way in that village ever again.
The giant wings hesitated above when it saw your lights, and when your brethren charged forward, it pulled back, then soared high into the sky and vanished. You scattered. All of you. The village dimmed as your lights faded into the forest
, leaving me alone, the only human participant.
I tried to escape into the crowd. To become anonymous once more. But they had questions. They all came running with questions. I would have to escape, but I would not be able to do it
as a human. And so I was forced to change form. I would not be able to live there any more. The small home I had arranged for myself would have to be abandoned.
My wings took me up, out of reach of their hands, and into the waves I flew, hiding where the village lights could not reach
The place of your kind. The evening of the attack
Under different circumstances I would never have been there. I could have been enjoying an anonymous pastry
from the festival. But I had become part of your storm, and our trajectory was taking me back to a life I once escaped from.