Finding the Music
There exists an island to the south of Meridell, hidden to all but those who truly believe in the magic of the song.
On this island, the vegetation is lush and beautiful. Large rainforests cover the island. Sandy beaches collide with the turquoise waves. Rolling hills of emerald grass and wildflowers dance with the wind and sunlight.
It is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
And the most beautiful thing on the island, they say, is the music.
There is a single tribe that exists on the island. A group of faerie Lenny called the Maedryth. We prosper on the sandy coast, in the vast forests and in the fields of lilacs and daisies. We soar in the sapphire sky, dancing with the clouds.
And, we sing.
Our song is our power, our life, our soul. We live to sing. We sing to live. So, when one is born without a song, the effects are disastrous.
Such was the case with my sister.
It was night when it happened. The inky sky was coated with silver stars and a full moon hung low upon the sparkling, dark ocean.
All hatching out made on the full moon. It has been so since the dawn of the island, and it will be so for eternity.
You can’t change things like this. But then again, there could be a first for everything.
Three eggs lay in a nest of petals. That meant three new souls would join our lives. Three new songs would be sung beneath the moonlight.
The Maedryth surrounded the nest, forming a pristine circle. Each one of us was singing, using our voices to welcome the hatchlings to our beautiful world.
The moon had risen high above the trees now, and a single shot of silver shot through the leaves and landed on the nest.
And the first egg began to hatch.
It quivered slightly, and the song became more intense. Our voices cried louder, our souls poured into the song.
The egg shuddered again, and a single crack appeared on the pristine blue surface.
The singing grew more intense, more dramatic. We drew upon the power of the song, sending our love and music to the hatchling.
More cracks appeared on the egg, and with a final shudder, the egg broke open and the form of a small, faerie Lenny stumbled forward, free at last.
The song had stopped, not just faded away, but stopped completely. It was silent now, completely silent. Even the waves gently crashing the shore in the distance seemed to whisper and die away.
We all watched the hatchling, and waited. Waited to hear her song...
The hatchling’s beak quivered, opened slowly, and the night was filled with song.
Her passion, her soul, was poured into the melody. She sang, welcoming the new world she would soon call home. She sang, welcoming the family who would love and care for her always. She sang. She sang for life, for love, for everything.
And then she stopped.
Her tiny, bright eyes gleamed in the moonlight and her body heaved up and down as she panted. Her first song was over, but many more would come. She was a Maedryth now. She was one of us.
The song started up again, this time the hatchling joined in with the ancient words. Even though she had never learned the words or the harmony, she hit each note perfectly, joining in with perfect grace. It was the mystery and magic of the song that made her do this.
And then the second egg hatched. This time, it was a boy. He sang as well, voice drifting along the forest and fading out to sea. He sang, sang for life, love and magic.
Silence, again. And then the welcoming song began.
There was only one egg left. My heart beat a little faster, for I knew this was the egg of my sister.
I poured my heart into the song, ready to welcome my sister into our beautiful world. The others sang with me and the night was alight with the magic of the song.
And then, the egg burst open, and my sister crawled out from her shell.
The air was filled with anticipation as we waited.
Waited to hear her sing.
Waited to hear her magic, her song, her soul.
Waited for the night to be filled with her melody as she let her heart sing out.
We waited... but nothing came.
My sister would not sing...
* * *
They called her Lynn.
To some, perhaps in a place far, far away, Lynn is a beautiful name.
But here... here it is a disgrace.
We are named after our first song. The more beautiful our song, the more beautiful our name is.
For example, my elder sister is one of the most talented singers in the colony. Her voice is like diamonds, rare and exquisitely beautiful. Thus, she earns the name Aelenstra.
And as for me, although my voice is beautiful, as are all the voices of the Maedryth, my name is rather common. I have not yet reached the utter pristine point of the song, so my name is Elinah.
For someone to possess no song, it was like not having a soul. And for that, Lynn was immediately an outcast.
At first, both Aelenstra and I were furious at the colony’s prejudice. Lynn was our kin, our family. She was just like the rest of the Maedryth, despite the fact she could not sing...
Aelenstra tried many times to help Lynn. To help her find her voice, her song. To make her belong... but nothing worked. As hard as we tried, Lynn would not sing.
As the years passed, Aelenstra grew tired of Lynn. She had become ashamed of her younger sister, scarcely able to believe someone without a voice could be related to someone as talented as herself.
Soon, she shunned Lynn as did the rest of the Maedryth. The colony ignored her existence, refusing to believe the fact that she was—that she’d ever be—one of them.
But I never dared give up.
Every night, as the Maedryth retreated to the beach and sang to the stars, Lynn and I snuck to the depths of the forest. And there, I taught her how to sing.
Lynn tried, I could see that. She wanted to belong she wanted to be a part of us more than anything. But, for some reason, she could not find the song.
“A song is not something you can just learn,” I told her many times. “It is a part of you. It is hidden deep in your heart. It is your soul, your life, it is you.”
“I know,” she’d say sadly. “But maybe I don’t have a song...”
“Everyone has a song,” I’d reply. “You just haven’t found yours yet.” Then I’d lift her head up and stare into her crystalline blue eyes and say, “And when you do find your song, it’ll be more beautiful than any of ours.”
Lynn just smiled. But every time, I noticed the smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.
It was like this for three years.
For three years, I tried to teach Lynn to find the music inside her.
For three years, the Maedryth shunned her, leaving her feeling more unwanted than ever.
For three years, I tried to help her. I showed her the magic of the forest, the ocean, the field of wildflowers... hoping that one would awaken the melody inside her.
For three years, this system never changed.
Until one night, when Lynn left me.
I knew she was gone the moment I walked into her room. Her bed was empty and a note was placed on her pillow.
Dear Elinah, it read.
This isn’t the place for me. We both know that. I’m leaving. I need to find my world.
My heart ached with sorrow, but despite that, I did not cry. I knew that Lynn would return. And when she would, she’d return with her song...
Lynn was flying through the star spangled sky. Tears streamed down her face, the crystal-like droplets falling to the earth. She flew, the dark forest a blur beneath her. But she didn’t have the strength to keep flying.
After all, the Maedryth are made to sing. Not fly.
Finally, her wings couldn’t take it anymore. With an anguished cry, Lynn tumbled down into the forest below...
* * *
Sunlight was gleaming brightly into her eyes, gently awakening her from sleep. Lynn groaned slightly and slowly rose from her slumber.
She blinked in the sunlight, trying to regain her sight. And when she did, she gasped.
This place... was beyond beautiful. It was more beautiful than the sparkling sea as the sun rose above the glittering waters. It was more beautiful than a full moon hanging in a sky of gleaming stars. It was more beautiful than the rain forest she called home. It was more beautiful than the beach of endless golden sand. It was more beautiful than the colorful fields of wildflowers that stretched along the valley... and it was more beautiful than the songs of the Maedryth, the songs she had grown up wishing to sing...
This place... seemed to be a mixture of everything. Sunlight gleamed softly through dancing emerald leaves. She was lying in a patch of pastel colored wildflowers, each one sending a heavenly scent into the air. In the distance, she could see the ocean sparkling in the sunlight...
Lynn had never felt so... alive.
And then, something stirred deep inside her. It started in her heart, slowly rising and filling her body with warmth. Not just heat... but a special, unique warmth that only she could feel.
The glorious warm feeling rose, filling her entire body and rising to her mouth. It lay in her throat, waiting for the taste of freedom...
Lynn’s heart raced. I-is this the feeling of the song? she thought. Have I found the music?
The feeling was overwhelming, screaming to be let free. Lynn opened her beak... and let it out.
* * *
The sun was setting out over the ocean, dyeing the sea a mix of oranges and magentas. The Maedryth were singing, welcoming the night.
My heart ached, crying out in anguish for Lynn. But I sang stronger than ever before, wishing for Lynn to come home...
The song faltered and the air echoed with gasps. There was a pinpoint of black in the orange sun, and it was coming closer...
And that’s when we heard the song.
It was the most beautiful song we had ever heard. And, most likely the most beautiful song we would ever hear.
It was the sun, gleaming on the ocean and dancing in the trees.
It was the stars, shining with silver perfection.
It was the ocean, full of life and wonder.
It was the forest, full of mystery and serenity.
It was the wildflowers, the trees, the moon, the sky.
It was life.
The figure in the sun was bigger now, and we could all see who it was now.
Her feathers were sparkling in perfect rhythm with the sun and ocean. Her eyes were alight with a gorgeous cerulean fire. And a lovely smile was creeping across her usually meek face.
It was Lynn.
And she was singing.