Trap Above Northern Skies

Trees!...Down! Down! — Air howled over the owl as he dove for the forest, dove from the too bright morning, dove from her.

Donovan felt the pressure again closing behind his eyes.

Over! — He tipped over — almost flipped on his back — fell instantly, from where her splayed talons then punched the sky. She, the falcon, wheeled wildly above, folded her wings, an arrow after him.

All to plan, Fool! — Fearful flight from her had near shaken all his wits from him.

Bait the huntress! — Below, silver flashed. The river. The glade. Eyes and arrows waiting.

She was a fist again behind his dazzled eyes. He tipped again, as no owl should. He wailed. His wings roared, straining, paining like they might not this once hold him but break as the trees swung up before him, and the river and the place but beyond. His wailing, like the lucky spell, it lifted him, enough. Plunging through the thinner tops, it hurt Donovan hardly at all, and he flopped into grassy ground beneath.

The falcon shot by high, wheeled, gained the sky above the river, Donovan saw. The traitor brightly flapping, turning to dart anew for him on the riverbank. The absolute best target. Arrows then whistled up from the trees. She spun. She cried out. One wing pinned through, she might have imagined she could flee. South headed, she wafted swiftly down, splashed in the burbling river, like duck dinner.

Donovan composed himself, his heart still thundering in his throat. Gingerly opened his wings. Preened ruined feathers.

He called out, "Someone should ensure she is dead."

Archers lazily hung their bows, more like sportsmen done. Soldiers caped in scarlet had ventured out from the trees. He, also, and robed in such finery as befit most a stroll about the palace gardens.

"Happy accident, you saw me on the road, Dono." said Berengar, out of place in this wild place.

"Owl me wishes my Prince had kept to his gardens and sent one less...irreplaceable."

The End

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