What Are Legend...By Linda Terrell
Page 4 of 4
|He'd spent the better part of the last half hour irrationally waiting for Blake's eyes to flutter open and a smile to light his face.
It was like that watching the dead, at least dead who weren't mangled, but Blake looked so damn peaceful. So damn asleep. If he'd have been ripped apart by the beast, it would have been easier to accept.
Without a further word, Avon moved off into a small clearing, his silver tunic catching the moonlight and making him glow. He was very nearly beautiful. Avon had that way about him in pain.
Cally stood back wrapped in her own grief. Too close to them and she would have to feel theirs and hers was enough.
Vila sat across from Jenna, his eyes burning, his child-happy face drawn as his expert fingers twirled the horn.
"What do you plan to do with that?" Jenna asked idly, more out of breaking the tight silence than any real interest.
"Plan? I've no plans." He studied the golden spiral. "It's probably worth a lot of money..."
"Of course," Jenna said with deadly cold accusation.
Tossing her a look of pure hurt and indignation, Vila drove the horn into the ground by Blake's head. "It's a fitting marker for a legend, don't you think?" He growled and curled up against the tree.
The planted horn took root, swirling the moonbeams into gentle rainbows across Blake's face.
Avon sat with his head buried in his arms, and trembled.
The voices of Legend were stilled as they all found some sleep.
Spreading his stiff wings, Dark Of The Moon lifted off and spent hours soaring above his own children as the glade filled with flying horses, bickering and gamboling in moonlight and chasing the Centaurs.
He met the other dragons and they flew together leaving streaks of ruby, emerald, opal, sapphire, topaz and garnet.
The first break of the sun found Searcher asleep with her head across Blake while Dark Of The Moon stood over Avon, his great wings forming a tent over the sleeping man.
Vila woke sluggishly, looking around in wonder. He and Jenna rested with Blake amid the sleeping white deer, guarded by a magnificent stag with opal eyes and silver antlers.
"Avon's right. This has to be a dream." Vila muttered, rubbing his eyes. "We're awake!" he shouted. The deer rose as one and thundered off but the stag stopped them at the stream, snorting and stamping his hooves and shaking his antlers menacingly until they caught the new sun. Then they all settled to a morning drink.
"Come on, Blake. Wakey. Wakey." He nudged Blake's still form. "Gotta get up now. The dream's over."
Searcher opened one gold eye. "Stop it," she scolded without raising her head.
Vila leaned across Blake and met Searcher eye for eye. "Er, good morning," then sat back, dejection catching up with despair. "I guess we should be finding a place to dig. I don't like that, putting him in the dirt. Maybe we could just seal him up in a cave."
"And maybe we could set him adrift in a burning ship," Avon said as he came up to them.
"Oh, good morning, Avon. So lovely to wake to your cheerful voice. Can it, will you?"
"Good morning, Vila," Avon returned. "Someone left us something to eat," he tossed down a burlap bag filled with fruits and vegetables, bread and cheese. "Makes one wonder just how many legends there are in a lake. However, a spade would do right now."
Through all this, Jenna sat by Blake, trying to find the conviction to put him into a hole and cover him with dirt. "I'd rather find a Princess to kiss him."
"Are you sure there is no royal blood somewhere in your family?" Avon teased, gently. He had rare moments of awareness of the human condition.
Somehow they all ended up sitting around Blake, wondering at the still-peaceful features on a man who was hours dead without benefit of anything like a preservative.
"For what it is worth, Blake brought us together," Cally said, taking Avon's and Vila's hands. "We will say good-bye that way."
Jenna added her hand and completed the circle by taking one of Blake's hands, and kissing it.
Searcher and Dark Of The Moon stood off some distance. The death of Heroes always marked them deeply. Though Blake was certainly one of the most unlikely heroes they'd ever met. A Leader, followed reluctantly. Without a Plan, yet he'd won the awe of a galaxy.
The big stallion's wings rustled and he covered Searcher with one of them.
Idly, Avon removed the horn and set it across Blake's chest. "A good a marker as any," he murmured, releasing his hands and breaking out of the circle. "Let's not overdo this. What's wrong Cally?"
Her eyes had blanked over briefly into that odd light they took on when she thought she "felt" something. "I'm not sure. I thought I heard a voice."
"We've all been hearing voices. We've also been talking to flying horses and cavorting with Unicorns. Now let's get on with this, shall we?" The bite was back in Avon's voice, but there was another timbre to it. Resignation. Wistfulness. Sorrow? He'd never say. And no one would ever ask.
"There is a place prepared," Dark Of The Moon said. "Over there, in the meadow. Where my children play and Centaurs hunt. It is befitting a Legend."
They all carried Blake to where the horse led them. Into the waist high gold grasses, to a fresh grave cut neatly into the dirt. An arrow marked the resting place.
Avon removed it and eyed the stallion silently.
"It also seemed fitting that another Legend should choose the place."
"Fired an arrow into the air and where it rests Blake shall also rest?"
"You know that Legend then?" Dark Of The Moon never wavered but did constantly sweep the ground and air with his head for scents. He was a stallion after all.
"Yes, I know that legend." Avon examined the hand-hewn shaft, admiring its balance and fine flights.
The hardest thing Avon had ever done in his life was to pull the light blanket that they had laid Blake in around the man's sleeping features. Covering that face was so final.
But just before he did, Avon took Searcher's horn and the arrow and closed Blake's hands around them in a Pharaoh-like pose. "There. That should nicely bewilder some archeologist."
Frankly, the rest of them worried over Avon's reaction as he wavered between cold indifference and odd banter.
The body was lowered and covered. Vila broke down and wept openly. Jenna went stone-cold and Cally had to move away from them all when she could no longer withstand their emotions.
Dark Of The Moon lifted off with his stallion's ringing cries, opaline hooves shattering the sun and the great wings fanning them all. Searcher laid down upon the fresh dirt of the grave.
Avon moved furthest away, wondering where to go now. What to do? Carrying on Blake's foolish Cause was out of the question. Take the money and run, right? He had a fair share of Liberator's treasure chest coming, augmented a full fifth now since Blake wouldn't be taking his. Not that he ever would have. Blake didn't believe in money except as it could further the Cause.
"You don't really believe that?"
Avon jumped more at the selection of words than at Dark Of The Moon's voice.
"No, but I'd like to?" Avon offered.
"You are all very much a part of him. And part of you died and was buried with him. However, going on in his memory is not your way. Go your own way then, but do it well."
"You're right." Avon found his smile. "I sometimes astonish myself."
"Avon?" Blake's voice, quizzical and surprised, came over his shoulder.
Avon froze, staring at the horse.
A familiar and gentle hand rested on his shoulder. "You're talking to a horse." Blake's voice reached him again, closer, close enough to feel the breath.
Dark Of The Moon spread his wings, cowling them both.
"I'm having visions," Avon murmured, swaying on his feet.
"No, I am." The hand spun Avon around to meet Blake, who smiled warmly if a bit bewildered.
Avon picked up Blake's smile and sent it back. "Aren't you going to ask me to introduce you?"
"No. I know who you are. Avon, do you know where this came from?" Blake held out an arrow.
He took the arrow then looked back over his shoulder to the small mound of dirt in the meadow. "Is there nothing more?"
Blake threw his head back and laughed, his face crinkling, nearly hiding his bright eyes. "I wake up with an arrow in my hand and find you talking to a flying horse. What do you mean 'more'?" A note of exasperation flowed through the level baritone.
Avon looked to the horse beseechingly.
Dark Of The Moon only swiveled his fine ears and shook himself. Then with a mighty bugle, sprang up and away from them. "Do not question what has been given. He is Legend, after all."
Following the animal's ascent with his head, Blake's curls caught the sun as he shaded his eyes. He stood solid and comfortingly fit and Avon wanted to hug him but that just wasn't his form. It would give Blake entirely unnecessary ideas. Like perhaps Avon cared. But then, Blake already knew that.
"Then I am dreaming, you are having visions," Blake said, bringing his gaze back to Avon.
When Blake tossed the arrow aside, Avon retrieved it quickly, saying, "If you don't want it, I'll take it back. You won't see another like it."
"Of course, Avon." Slightly confused, Blake followed Avon back to the stream from where they had started.
"Don't ask," Avon said as they approached. "Just teleport and be grateful." To Cally he added, "You see? It was a dream."
//You don't really believe that?//
"No, but I'd like to. Come on Vila, close your mouth and prepare to go back on station."
"Er, yeah." Vila's eyes locked onto Blake intensely.
"We did all see a flying horse?" Vila pressed each one of them with a glint of hope. "And a Unicorn? And a dragon?"
Avon was succinct. "Did we?"
"Dragon, Avon?" Hands planted firmly on his hips, Blake leaned into the computer expert, demand written in his eyes and a warning in his voice. "Unicorns and dragons?"
Avon raised his bracelet to his lips. "Teleport now, Orac. Go back to sleep, Blake."
"Yes, of course. But I want some details when you wake up, Avon."
At the moment the teleport began to take them, Searcher trotted across the clearing and bent to drink at the stream. Her full horn glinting and turning the sunlight to diamonds.
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