The Silver Owl

Fan Content

Written on July 2nd 2017 by Lo

I knew.

Somehow, I knew all along.

It’s strange, you know. Life. And you exalt and it makes sense, for brief moments. And most of the time it becomes even more strange.

Last time she left here, I could almost feel it, like a parent with a child going to war. You don’t say anything about it, about… losing someone to something like that. But deep down, you know. You just know. You almost accept it.

Almost.

Part of me wishes I could make the choice. Be there. Fight. Die. It would’ve made sense. I would have given everything, kept nothing for myself. But like Jorek, Rey, Valeria and All Fates Saved, of which she spoke often, I didn’t get to choose that much… but I was chosen. For something. I resent it most of the time… and at that time more than ever.

No matter how strongly the wind blows, the mountain never bows down to it.

That evening it was raining. It rarely rains here. It snows a whole damn lot… but it rarely rains. Again, it made sense, somehow. There was light, but the sun was nowhere to be seen. As if it had the decency of leaving me alone, for once, in those circumstances.

It also didn’t surprise me that my forehead felt cold, almost stingingly so.

The thought came slowly into my mind, not like the previous times I was called upon to paint the dead. It was a creeping certainty, a realization that demanded total acceptance. I sat in the doorway of my cabin on the hill for a long while, looking at the horizon. I sighed, got up and took a canvas from the pile, a smaller one than usual, and set it up next to the window. Just before mixing my inks and my paints, I took off my boots.

And I got to work, painting with the tiniest of brushes so I could truly capture what she had been, what she was to me, still. I remembered every detail of her face, every word she had ever spoken to me, all the emotions we shared, for good or ill. I was painting a daughter, a sister, a best friend. We were not bonded by destiny, fate had nothing to do with us. It was chance and choice.

And that’s why we cherished what we had together so much. Because we both felt like we had chosen to be in each others’ thoughts, in a friendship spontaneous and genuine that we felt no entity had pushed towards it in any way. There were no twists of destiny, no tricks of fate… just us.

The painting is small enough that I can carry it around with me at all times… but I seldom do so. It is the greatest work I have ever done… and yet it is also my greatest of failures, for I did not succeed in putting on the canvas who and what she was to the world, and, selfishly, to me.

I am alone, now. I never look at owls anymore. I try not to cry, gods know we’ve done that enough around each other.

For all her lies, all her quirks and all her schemes… everything made more sense with her. Everything was worth it with her. In many ways, although we never loved each other that way, she was as close as a wife as I ever had.

She was, in as many ways, my ten thousand things.


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