Word Count 500
“H…how does a h…home abandon?” Howard asked.
As they walked, Luna shifted the net of words and crystals slung across her back. “What better thing did you find?”
Guff waved his hand. “You will hear all. But it is my tale, told my way.” The moths had winged ahead, but doubled back and hovered near Guff. “They understand me?”
“Most assuredly. Our new companions are eager to know you.”
Silhouetted by moonlight, they were an insignificant intrusion to the wilderness, barely noticed by grazing deer and rabbits, a small band of adventurers, full of their successes, returning triumphantly home.
Guff spoke softly. “My entry into the world was normal enough, considering my father’s origins were questionable—a stranger with considerable powers, so gossip went. I never met him.”
“M…my sire is unkn…nown,” Howard admitted.
Nodding his understanding, Guff continued. “My mother did not love me. Abhorred is too strong a word. I think I frightened her.” Guff fell silent for a time. Howard finally asked how a child could frighten a mother.
“That buzz of lightning you felt, Luna, taking my hand when we first met? My mother often accused me of spelling her with it.”
“I wasn’t sure if that was you or some other magic.”
“My bane and my blessing. Folks in the village cursed me: threw stones at me, called me Magician’s son. Mother left me to the elements when I was five.”
“How awful! In a way, I feel I have abandoned my family, not the other way around. Never have I felt unwanted. My home is safe. Warm. Loving.”
“I have come to know that feeling. But no one there wanted me. They drove me out. To them, I was a hydrophobic wolf, not a little boy.”
“P…people t…treat me that way, too.” Howard’s wings fluttered. “That’s why I have always stayed in my c…cave. Until n…now. L…luna….”
“We each need someone special, Howard. A gentlewoman found me far from the village, brought me to the river settlement. Told me a notion filled her head. She could not rest until she set out that night, into the meadow. There I was, curled up alongside feverfew flowers, near to dying. Drained of spirit. Meme took me in, called me Son.”
“And now, Guff, you left her without warning?”
“Oh no! Meme always knew my purpose. For ten years, she has raised me, prepared me, praised me. Accepted me. Meme’s heart is within me, guiding my every step. My mother never did any of those things.”
“H…how c…could you l…leave?”
“Meme bade me go. She knew Luna as soon as she saw her.”
“Saw me!” Luna halted. “Knew me?”
“When you tried to hide near camp,” Guff said, chuckling. “Meme pointed me toward my destiny.”
Guff playfully tugged Howard’s wing. “Everyone has a destiny, Howard. A purpose. Only the fortunate ones ever discover what it is.”
“And the better thing?” pressed Luna.
Guff grinned. “All connected to destiny. And another tale.”