Anther was no stranger to flying in low light, having long taken to the skies when the sun had set beyond the horizon; to bathe his wings beneath the moon and the stars; to drift far above the sleeping world where he vanished into the night sky just as sure as sun before him.
It was only during the night, while the village lanterns still burned and those warmed with wine and mead finally tripped their way out of the inn and towards their homesteads that Anther dared to brush so close to his old home.
He knew that he would never be able to catch sight of his family, but it was enough to see the old streets, to hear the merry song of those with too much drink in their bellies; to catch a scent of warm hay and the hints of lavender from Ma’s garden before he would rise high on the blustering winds and listen instead to the stories swept in from the western shore, and from over the mountain peaks where a thousand more villages lay beneath the nightscape, everyone tucked up in their beds and waiting for the dawn to bring them a new day.
But as Anther flies now, wings bathed in the last light of the sun and the glow of the early stars, there is no peace to be found in the quiet.
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