Word Count 500
Consuming the Turmoil
“Friends? I’m glad someone looked after you.” Luna’s mother shook her head.
“I assured her you were answering a special call,” added Papa.
“Rather, stepped through an invisible wall. Picking posies one breath, gone the next. The turmoil! We searched.” Mother sniffled and embraced Luna. “My girl. I didn’t want to leave….”
“I was lost yet strayed no farther than a fawn from its mother. When I looked up, you had all disappeared.” Luna pulled away. “Imagine my turmoil—heart pounding, confused. Alone.”
Howard twitched nervously, discomfited by Luna’s reaction.
“Pardon our rudeness. Thank-you for escorting Luna.” Extending his hand, Papa added, “Mathias. My wife, Hildie. Come. Join us.” Mathias ushered the group to the cook-fire where he ladled out a spicy brew.
“W…we are the thankful o…ones. L…luna—enriched beyond w…words.”
“What has my princess been getting you into?”
“Vanquishing invaders,” said Guff.
“Turning m…moth-eaters into p…plant-eaters.” Howard spread his wings. The moths descended.
“Ahhh! Fine specimens.”
While they supped, they recounted their adventures, beginning with Luna’s abandonment. “I sought my soul’s quieting, as you taught me, Papa. Peace consumed my turmoil. And I decided.”
“Decided?” Hildie scrutinized Luna.
“To follow my destiny. Now it has brought me home again.”
Mathias smoothed Luna’s silver hair. “We are all born to special purpose. Some are nurturers, others protectors. Some cook or weave to provide for the clan, others plant or hunt, heal, or build, or counsel.”
“What of me? Where do I fit?”
“Sometimes, Luna, as governed by the stars, in years of uncommon floods, a child is born with heightened skills.” Mathias hesitated. “We never told you—your gifts go beyond your clansmen. We know. We see. Now you have been into the world, you have discovered not all peoples have these abilities. Abilities you think nothing of because they are nothing unusual. Here. Abilities so common to us they are like seeing the moon or feeling breezes cross your brow.” Glancing at Hildie, he continued. “We have our limits, though. We cannot enter the next realm, as you must have done that day. You crossed over.”
“It’s not the first time,” Luna admitted. “Just the longest. You’re telling me others cannot?”
“Nobody here. Perhaps your new friends were also born of the floods. You say they have extraordinary gifts?”
“Guff has lightning in his fingertips. Howard’s belief illuminates. The moths communicate without speaking, and know the way.”
Hildie grasped Luna’s hand. “Nurtured you best we could. Please understand.”
“Sheltered you more than we should have,” admitted Mathias, patting his daughter’s head. “Losing you again, aren’t we?
“Guff’s Meme says she can teach me,” Luna said.
“Then you should go to her,” Mathias said. “You were right to seek destiny.”
“Forced to seek destiny,” countered Luna.
“Destiny, I think,” said Guff, “sought you.”
“And b…brought us t…together.” Howard’s wings blushed rose and aqua; a tremor traveled toe to tip.
“To new adventures!” Guff saluted Luna.
Pulling Luna close, Hildie said, “May winds and destiny always lead you home again.”