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Paul Day Paul Day
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Kiss The Sky: Prologue

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

Ok, I have reworked the story, have added this prologue, have shifted the previous first three chapters further along in the story and am writing a new chapter 1, which takes us back to the birthing of the Eaglets.

For the longest time the birds of the great plateau, on the borders of the Northern Tundra, had lived, had paired, had given birth to offspring and had died, leaving generation after generation to repeat this cycle for countless thousands upon thousands of seasons. It had always been this way and, as far as any of them knew, it always would. Then, a great sign had been witnessed on the horizon of the great Southern Sea and the Elders had gathered to consider what it all meant.

For so many generations, in old stories and in new, the Elders had told of ancient times, when creatures only vaguely recalled, walked on tender legs, with wings that had no feathers. They had tiny eyes and their bodies were naked, except for the crowns of their heads, so the legends told. They used to frequent the Tundra, making strange dwellings of ice, which had the appearance of large eggs. They made the sun magically appear in sticks at night and their voices carried strange sounds, unlike any other creature in the land. The Eagles have a name for them. They called them Sea Gods. For they made wooden craft which floated like magic upon the sea and hung strange skins upon a tree stripped bare of wood and used the winds to drive them wherever they wanted to go.

Yes, the Sea Gods had once occupied the great valleys and low lands of the Northern Tundra for as long as the Eagles had known. And then one day they vanished, soon to be forgotten, except in the great legends, still told by the Elder Eagles. So the Elders gathered, having seen the plumes of dark cloud coming from far out at sea on the most distant horizon. They squatted, each in order of status, upon the rim of the escarpment on the very edge of the great plateau.

“The Sea Gods are returning,” said Bald Crest.

“Impossible. No one has seen the Sea Gods since the old stories were first told,” Proud Beak exclaimed.

“Has anyone ever seen clouds like that before?” asked Crooked Claw.

“The Sea Gods never made clouds at sea, only on land,” said Proud Beak, hopping onto a rock that protruded up from the edge of the cliff.

“No, they did not,” said Silver Back. He stepped proudly from their midst. He had been silent up till now, preferring the others to chatter while he quietly pondered the meaning of it all. He was the oldest of all the Elders and had seen several generations of Eaglets born and raised during his leadership. The others all waited patiently for him to continue. He gazed out across the shimmering sea, scanning the horizon for a few moments. With his failing vision he could only just make out the plumes of cloud on the edge of their existence. He counted them and then turned to face the others.

“I see at least six of them. If the Sea God’s have returned, then they have brought magic with them. They must have found a way to bring the sun with them on their craft, burning in branches, as they once did on land.” He turned around again and looked thoughtful for a while. “The old Sea Gods lived just north of us and aside from a few incidences, they never harmed us. They took sea lions and whales and fish from the sea, but they left us alone. If they have indeed returned, then we have nothing to fear from them. Now, gentle-eagles, return to the colony and speak no more of this. The season is upon us and soon we will witness a great event, just as we have done each and every season.”

And so the Elders dutifully did as the great Silver Back had said. They returned to the colony, where all the Eagles and lesser birds were preparing their nests in anticipation of the annual event, the Gulls in the clefts of the cliffs, the Swans and other water birds on the edges of the still-icy waters of the lakes, the falcons high up in the ancient pines and the Eagles on the crests of the jagged rocky outcrops, where their nests are larger and more magnificent than any other bird.

For many generations, the Eagles had ruled the skies. None of the other birds matched them in flight, in vision or in beauty. The colony relied on the Eagles, as they had always done, for protection, for wisdom, for safety and for peace. They trusted the Elders’ judgment, though the Elders kept the colony in the dark about many things. But the plumes of cloud continued to rise high above the sea, looking even more dramatic and daunting as the sun set, menacingly filling the glowing red sky with thick columns which rose high into the darkening sky, kissing the clouds before melding into them. Slowly, day after day, they drew closer until the whole colony knew the Sea Gods had returned.

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