Word Count 498
Whisper of Wings
By B.A. Sarvey
The whisper of hundreds of moth wings washed across the meadow, like words spoken into the darkness.
Sensing their desperation, their fear, Luna silenced Guff’s outcry. Arms outstretched, she began to hum, a quiet reverberation. The moths responded. Illuminated by the moon and Howard’s wings, they looked like fairy lights dancing above the flowers.
Guff cringed as the mass headed toward him, but Howard slowly fanned his wings, beating out an invitation. “So p…pleased. Welcome.” A pinkish tinge flushed his luminescence.
“You know them?” Guff croaked.
“Only by l…legend. That they inhabit a crystal cave. N…not mine. No. I have so wanted to meet.” Howard shuffled his feet, continued fanning. Slowly, he withdrew his pouch of remaining crystals from his cloak, opened it to allow the greenish light to escape. It drew the moths like a beacon. Still, they hovered at a distance from the hillock where the trio stood. Finally, the lead moth approached; landed on Luna’s left hand. A second lit on her head, a third on her right shoulder. Each was larger than her hand-span. Luna stopped humming.
She silently scrutinized the great, pale green moth on her hand. The moth, with its compound eyes, peered back. Wordlessly they exchanged information. “We must aid them,” Luna announced. “A group of galumpshes is mercilessly hounding them. Eating all they can catch.”
“What are galumpshes?” asked Guff.
“Bird-like creatures,” Luna replied. “Enormous.”
“I have heard, y…yes. As large as m…myself,” Howard stammered. His wings slowed and the pink tinge paled.
“Oh, no,” Guff blurted, shaking his head. “Helping people is one thing. But moths? I don’t know that I am willing to die for an insect.”
Luna smiled gently. “You may go home, if you wish. It is I who must follow destiny. Remember, you invited yourself along.”
“My d…destiny, I think,” Howard said, “is to join yours.”
Guff shifted his weight and sighed. “You did rescue my settlement. Both of you. And we have been walking for days. A long way from home….” He held out his hand to clasp Howard’s. “So what is this destiny thing?”
“It appears,” said Luna, “I am to assist the endangered. Who- or what-ever they may be. Are you certain you wish to stay with us? I know little about galumpshes. Except they are dangerous.”
“If you are willing to risk it, so am I—if not for the moths, then at least for you and Howard. The moths are magnificent, though. Odd. The same color as your eyes, and Howard’s crystals.”
“Perhaps that is why we are drawn to each other. It may serve us well at another time. Right now, we must conjure a means to save these moths.”
“If ga…galumpshes favor these m…moths, then we m…must somehow make the m…moths taste bad.”
“Howard, you are brilliant!” Luna said.
“Too simple an explanation. And too difficult to achieve,” argued Guff.
Howard’s wings flushed. “Luna has ch…charms. She pulled the stingers from those other creatures. She can do anything.”