The hermit curled his head into his folded feathers. It had a been a long day. Heck, who was he kidding? It had been a long century. He was getting old, too old to be doing this work. And, he was tired. The kind of tired that sets into your bones long before they are supposed to return to the soil. He blamed the humans. The hermit discovered the plague of their greed soon after they started pumping darkness into the veins of Earth five thousand years ago.
He didn’t want to feel like such a curmudgeon. In many ways he’d rather be flying blissfully unaware with the starlings. All they did was gossip and cackle about the other birds as they picked through the dirt for worms. The hermit wasn’t much for idle chatter, though. He never had been. Life would have been easier, he thought, if he had been born into a state of blissful ignorance, but life had chosen him to be a hermit. To fly alone as he surveyed the land and catalogued its history into memory cells. Now the weight was simply too much for his body. His wings were too tired to raise him off the ground, and instead folded inward, protecting the heart that was heavy with time. Soon his body would become one with the Earth from which he was born, and he found himself welcoming that day without sadness or trepidation.
Peace, he thought, finally I will be at peace. But what of the rest? Beneath his winged shoulders, blue feathers of truth betrayed him. It was not yet his time. He had agreed to be a harbinger of death, but also of life. And the golden child had not yet been born. The hermit must wait a little longer to pass on the memories in his cells. Only then could he rest in the knowing that someday the light would be returned.
For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt Harbinger. Please click here to participate in the challenge.