He turned and fled the clearing, leaving Maeg to the cruel fate that had claimed her long ago. Though he was healthy, he died young, for every full moon he could hear her moans and cries drifting from the wood, so pitiful and awful that he could not sleep for days afterwards; and even when the moon was new and the cries were silent, he saw in his mind her expression of hope, which he knew he had betrayed. Peace was forever beyond his grasp, and his parents outlived both of their children.

The End


A Gilded Serpent