You can only guess and judge based on their actions and words, and how they pay tribute to that gift.
Learned I have informal probation, so im going to firefly, and volunteering.
I really hope i dont regret it.
I had set out from my home town some years ago, in a quest to discover what lay at the heart of the dark jungle in the southern continent. Stories from this savage garden had intrigued me, I had commissioned myself with the task of journeying their and learning as much as I could of the people who were drawn there. So I packed my provisions, set a course along the main roads, and summoned what courage I could muster. I was young then, naïve to the influence of the world I was to enter.
The spectacles I encountered on my journey amazed me. I had come to relate to all I met, I had found love and brotherhood. I had heard stories of wild and opulent imagination, of the trials and troubles of a people I had come to call kin. Of those that reached for the stars and had never come back, of wanderers, of prophets, of those that had fallen into the dark parts of the world. Living in this world came with reverent fear. The struggles I had encountered had brought me to the highest mountains and the lowest canyons, and had carved hard lines in my face. It had made me strong. But there was one story I had yet to see with my own eyes, one that no one of that continent hoped to see one day; The great bird that descended on those who relinquished too much of themselves to this life. It had been said that those who reached to the stars were dragged in space by this bird, and those that fell into the darkness of the crevices were weighed down into the pits by this very same bird.
It had been 2 years or so, living and breathing the culture which I had come to only observe. I had seen all I had come to see a long time ago. At some point I had thought I could live that way for forever. And yet my time had come, I had made mistakes in my steps too many times, and had come to miss the lights of my home country. So I packed what remained of my supplies, and what trinkets I had come to cherish in my travels and began to head for home.
It was the 5th day of my journey to the border; I had set out from my camp and first light on that day. I had come to within a few miles of the border. The weather was nothing short of beautiful, the sun shone through a few clouds that hung like wisps in the sky. My pack weighed heavily on my roughed, tanned shoulders. I had trusted these shoulders to carry me through storm and still, and they had served me well, growing stronger and bolder with each step. I took pride in my ability to keep to my pace because of what I had shouldered; just as a skilled blacksmith takes pride in his rough hands, or a veteran soldier sighs over his scars.
Twilight had begun to climb into the sky, and it seemed a storm had begun to brew on the horizon. This is when I first, unwittingly, encountered it. A great shadow passed in front of my view, skimming over the ground ominously close to me. I did not pay it mind at first, only a quick glace to the sky to identify what cast such a shadow. I shielded my eyes from the dying sun’s light and saw a tiny bird, high, high up in the sky, circling in the sky over head. From such a height it resembled a hawk or falcon, native to my own country, hunting for mice. I grinned, ignorantly, at the notion that I was in fact so close to my home. I scanned the hills around me to see if I could catch a glimpse of my motherland from where I stood. And that is when the clouds began to roll in. The bird disappeared above the dark clouds. Should I have stopped to make camp, I would have only been drenched by the storm, my pack still felt light on my shoulders and so I soldiered on, in hopes that I would make it to the border before the storm came down.
It had been miles since I had seen anyone, there were no farms or settlements nearby, no traveling merchants or caravan’s. Doubt began to slip into my mind. “What strangeness is this, the land is quiet, strange with such a storm brewing”. It began to drizzle, to this I picked up my pace slightly.
The shadow I had seen earlier slipped in front of me silently, larger and more pronounced.” How could this be, there is no sun to create a shadow” I thought. I looked up into the dark sky, It was hard to see amongst the drops. I bolt of lightning cracked through the darkness, and this is when I saw it again. The bird had descended below the clouds, still circling overhead, significantly larger than before, casting a monstrous and unearthly shadow below. Thunder rumbled across the plain, and the land greyed as the clouds thickened. I stopped to try to discern the bird again, its shadow looming ever closer to me, circling around me menacingly. “I must continue, lest I want to catch my death in this storm” I resolved to myself. I trotted a bit faster now, humming to myself to drown out the fear and doubt that crept ever further into my heart and will, like the circling shadow. Lightning ripped through the sky and the rain now pelted the ground. I thought to turn back or perhaps to make camp for the night as it had gotten very dark. I turned toward the border and squinted through the rain. There, 2 miles ahead of me, were the white gates of my country’s border. “I must make it there” I had become frantic in my thoughts; my eyes had become wide and wild. I went to step, and the rain broke, and in my path the shadow of the bird had become massive. I looked to the sky.
Lightning thrashed across the sky and thunder rolled, revealing the outline of a monstrous creature with burning red eyes, not 100 yards above me, glaring vacantly, menacingly at me. I felt its eyes burn into my very being, twisting my thoughts to the worst sort of terrors. I went to run, but my clothes were drenched by the rain, my pack was saturated and weighed heavier and fatigue had begun to sink in, and yet still my mind raced with fear. I trudged as fast I could possibly could.
As if the bird could sense my fear it descended upon me, its shadow swallowing me. It extended its black, jagged talons. I dropped my pack and tore my drenched clothes in attempt to make a break for it, but it was much too late. The bird slowed and came to rest on my shoulders, burying its talons into my exposed flesh. The weight was incredible, thick red blood pour from its clutches. I screamed out in pain, each movement of my armed burned like hellfire. The crow then cocked its head to look at me. I pressed on in my attempt to make it to the border, each step shaking the ground beneath me. I gritted my teeth, tears burned in my eyes, and I made one final push to move forward. This is when the bird finally tightened its grip, crushing my shoulders like twigs with its immense strength.
I looked up to him, his eyes sharp and mesmerizing. I couldn’t look away; I had frozen in fear and doubt, as if he sucked the light from me. I went to cry out but no sound came. I had become very light headed, my knees shook and buckled. As I fell I knew this is where I would die, there was too much blood lost. My head hit the ground and I surrendered my consciousness to the dark hopelessness.