This heartbreaking short story gives some detail to an important event in the life of Bowman Leafwing. Bowman’s later years would be impacted heavily by this, and the emotional backlash would stick with him for a long time. In this story, he is recently nine years old.
Possible trigger: Abandonment
Read Bowman’s story here.
I matched him, reaching towards his hands. They were so big compared to mine. And, I knew, callused from his work as a knight, constantly training to keep the village safe from things like foxes snooping too close.
But right now, his hands were shaking. I barely brushed one before he flinched away from me. “Bowman, don’t make this harder on everyone,” he told me, and I looked up at him again. I pleaded with teary, bright green eyes for him to stop. To give me another chance.
My father glanced apologetically at my aunt and uncle. “He doesn’t have much back at home. I can get it to you some other time, but … I should go.” With that announcement, Larxe nodded once, his brow knitted with melancholy.
“No!” I finally wailed, trying to follow him. My aunt was there suddenly, her arms wrapped around me and her wings slowly following suit. My father had a defeated slump in his gait as he hurried out. I watched him desperately until he was obscured by one of my aunt’s protective green wings.
I only struggled for a few minutes after he was gone. But there was little I could do, especially after Larxe knelt to hold onto me, too. Candara was crying softly as I tried to escape her. My tears came with more desperation than hers. My wings strained against hers but it didn’t work.
You’ve got strong wings. You’re a Leafwing.
“I’m a Leafwing,” I whimpered. I stopped, letting more tears come while my aunt and uncle, now my parents, held me. They waited a long time as I cried my eyes dry. Dad wasn’t coming back.
Dad wasn’t coming back.
I don’t know how long I stayed in that state. Eventually, I buried my face in Candara’s embrace, desperately seeking her motherly patience and comfort. Her hands brushed my wings softly and she hummed a broken tune through a tight throat until I fell asleep, exhausted in her arms.