THE BOY SHIFTED AGAINST HIS bindings; a slow, languid lift of his head paying homage to the sky
as if his Gods mocked him for such bouts of insanity.

    “Speak!” commanded the Elder’s harsh, biting voice,
and the winged thing looked at him with eyes that were blacker than the night

– no, darker

for even the night has reflections of stars and moons,
but here they were absent in his deep wells of stark ebony.

“Your malevolence is beautiful,” he said, his voice like little pebbles plopping into a cold, shadowed stream.
“It is a pity that you shame yourselves by letting it perish into ignorance and cruelty."

"Filth,” cried they, “Shadow! Where is your wretched spawn?”

He seemed almost to smile then, a remote glint of ivory teeth
that teased behind the crescent shape of depraved lips. "Indeed, she is no more."