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They Called Her Hush
Once upon a time there was a land known as Miske, filled with massive trees and fragrant flowers that gave off an aroma full of a sharp sweetness. But the trees and flowers are just a few of the unusual beauties that inhabited this forest; the most unusual were the creatures that lived among them, the Esou and Zamon.
Though they had their differences, the Esou and Zamon were in fact very similar creatures. Both stood two inches tall, and looked very similar to man. But that was where their similarities end. They didn’t even live in the same parts of the trees, but rather had a strict territorial line. The Esou, who were long limbed with white skin and hair, lived in the upper branches. This left the lower branches to the Zamon, creatures with dark skin, long black hair and black around the irises of their rainbow eyes.
In such a world Hush lived, a lesser of the Esou. The gift of song was a specialty of nearly all of the Esou, and those especially talented in this area were ranked higher than the rest; but no one has heard Hush speak above a soft whisper, much less sing. They viewed her as odd, but attempted to focus on her good qualities and praised Hush for her many acts of kindness, and remembered her for her soft beauty and warm eyes that were blue with a vivid yellow fire in the center. But even when they tried to focus on her good qualities, they couldn’t get over the fact that she didn’t sing, and because of that she had few friends. That fact didn’t bother her much though. She took to wandering the trees’ branches alone, leaping from branch to branch, exploring the paths untaken by others listening to the music created by the Zamon. It was the music that gave her joy, voiceless songs that don’t compete with the sounds of the forest, but harmonize with them. She found the sound beautiful and captivating, for those of the lower forest had the ability no one she knew of possessed, and each night she drew closer and closer to the Zamon boundaries.
One night, when the full moon light up the darkness, casting a soft white shadow upon the forest, little Hush noticed that the music of the Zamon had stopped. Silence ruled a night of beauty and splendor. It was completely unusual for the Zamon. Without the music to let her know where the territory line is, Hush wandered into the lower half of the trees. Before she knew it, she was overlooking a Zamon gathering with many Zamon people scattered about above and below her. Everyone was still, not a single note was played and the only thing that could be heard was the soft sound of weeping. What surprised Hush the most was how everything felt heavier, as if the silence weighed everyone down with an invisible burden. This was the kind of silence that is filled with pain, a silence that eats away at ones very heart.
Hush’s eyes grew round as she leaned in closer, curious as to what event was occurring.
“Whether it is of the Esou or the Zamon, death is a sad event is it not?” a voice behind her spoke.
She spun around, finding a young Zamon man behind her. He had broad shoulders, and dark curly hair that came down to them. His wings were large and black, and his eyes were moss green, rimmed with a grey blue with orange and red flecks surrounding the pupil. Hush’s reaction to finding him behind her made him smile, even at this ominous event.
“You see that woman there?” he said, as he looked away from Hush down into the crowd. She just lost her child, Fren, even before it had seen a full season. The poor infant lost its life to a sickness, too fragile to fight it off. It is custom for there to be silence until they push its body over the edge wrapped in the down feathers of a sparrow and a spider’s thread…” he was silenced as the ceremony started, letting the uninvited guest learn the rest for herself.
Hush watched as the mother clutched the white bundle in her arms. She had her long black hair covering her face so as to hide her tears from the surrounding crowd. She wore formal clothing a gown of red petals that contrasted with the look on her face that revealed that she was falling apart. Her raven black hair was long and beautiful, and even at this hour it appeared to be darker than the surrounding shadows. Yes, this young mother was quite beautiful to the eye, even with the harsh beauty that is given to the Zamon.
“But where is the father?” Hush silently wondered.
The surrounding crowd lit small candles and placed them in hundreds of leaves that caused this part of the tree to glow in oranges, yellows, browns and greens. The crowd gave light to a dark situation.
Once the darkness of night was softened by the light two men approached her holding a net beautifully decorated with flowers and feathers open for her to place her child in. The cradle of death. The mother visibly sobbed harder as she hesitantly placed her bundle within it; unwilling to forever part with her child. The net cradled it as the two men approached the edge of the limb. One held the lost child while the other held a long rope weaved out of spider thread. Wordlessly, the man holding the child let go gently, so as not to let the child sway or fall and the second man started to slowly lower the babe down to the leaf covered floor. One by one the candle lit leaves were pushed over the edge lighting the way for the child that will never see again, making the heartbreaking scene almost beautiful and mesmerizing.
The music returned. The Zamon behind Hush was among the first to once again pick up their instruments’ for he was a string player. The strings started first playing a sad and sweet melody that brought even its players to tears. The wind instruments came next. Their notes sharp like a sparrows song yet as soothing as a lullaby. Finally the rest of the instruments came next, many of them Hush was unable to name.
“It is rude not to play music at a ceremony such as this,” the Zamon man pointed out above the melody.
“I have no instrument with me,” Hush whispered, a sound nearly drowned out by the surrounding music.
“You are Esou are you not? Use your voice!” he encouraged Hush, unaware that no one ever had heard her sing before.
Not wanting to disappoint or offend, Hush opened her mouth testing her voice for the first time, seemingly drawing lyrics from the night air. Closing her eyes, she drew the lyrics from what she felt when death took away her sister.
“Unforgivable foe” she started slowly, with a fragile voice that faded into the music. Her tone was a little off, and she was scared for she had never spoken so loud in front of others.
“…look at what you have done. Do you take pleasure in taking away the beautiful, snatching the most precious from our grasp? Oh, why did she have to go…” she continued, her voice and confidence getting stronger as the melody surrounding her grew more powerful.
“Forgive me my dear one, for I do not feel myself. Death has taken you, and I know nothing will ever be the same. It was you who had brought light to the day, your laughter making the sun shine brighter... Oh, are those forever lost in time? Can something so precious be forever spent? You are so far away that I cannot reach you, I cannot embrace you, I cannot even see your face. I feel like I am reaching for the stars, trying to find you when your not there. Can you see how much you mean to me? I never wanted to watch the light in your eyes die away. When you left, you took a part of me, never to return. I will never be the same…without you.”
Her voice grew strong and beautiful, and the Zamon murmured amongst themselves trying to figure out why a Esou is at this funeral. But no one dared to silence her, for doing so would have ruined the ceremony and be a disgrace to the mother of the child.
“I would trade all of the stars in the heavens to see you again, give up the flowers of spring just to hold you…oh if only for a moment. Is this so impossible, you were just here, just here, not so long ago. Why did you have to go to the unseen, to the unreachable. Unforgivable foe… look at what you have done. Do you take pleasure in taking away the beautiful, snatching our most precious from our grasp? If you had to take her, could you not have been more merciful and taken me too?” Hush sang with power and beauty, the last notes hanging in the air.
The melody brought tears to all who heard it, but it affected hush the greatest, and she fell to her knees sobbing.
“Hush, hush, don’t cry…” the Zamon man attempted to sooth. But all she could think of was her sister’s death. “Hush, hush, don’t cry. She is gone,” they had once told her. But still she wept.