Yala looked up as she heard the mighty drums of the High Ones announcing the arrival of a messenger, the silver streak drawing a path in the sky. She would follow it as far as she dared, going through the city to look for a delicate crystal feather. Her mother had found one many years ago and was blessed with good fortune. She always told Yala that is why she was born to her. Yala had been able to hold the feather once a year on the day of her birth celebration.
The softness by far rivaled the eyelashes of a new born baby and the crystal like fibers sparkled more than the mountain spring water. There was a sweet aromatic smell that lingered still. It was an honor to hold the feather and many people from the city came to look at it. Some offered great amounts of money for it, but her mother would not sell. She did not want her good fortune to depart.
She returned to her family’s apartment in one of the tall buildings and strode to the balcony to look towards Crimson Mountain; she dreaded that her view was obstructed. She went to the parlor and looked at the feather in its glass case, wishing it was her celebration day. She tried to make herself think about the High Ones as much as possible so she could carry them with her in her dreams.
They did follow her to her dreamland, but the images were not pleasant—they were freighting and unfriendly. She hid for her protection all the while wishing she could catch one, just for a moment, to pluck a feather.
She sprung awake shaking and cold, staring at her hands without being able to see them through the darkness. She calmed herself, telling herself that she had not grabbed a feather. Somehow that knowledge reassured her that swarms of High Ones would not attack to have the feather returned. She walked to the balcony to look at the moon, to see if any High One approached. She stared in the direction of Crimson Mountain willing the buildings to disappear before her so she could have a clear view of the distant mountain.