The Day of Dragon and Man
Bimeny arrived in Haven Plat in the early morning. He flew directly to Reanna's parents' house and walked up on the porch and knocked softly. Reanna saw through the window who it was and opened the door and hugged him with her one good arm and kissed him soundly.
"I was just making breakfast, come on in," she said. Bimeny stepped in and closed the door. As he entered the kitchen he could still see the black from his last visit in a few places. Most everything that was burnt was gone but he could still see scorch marks on some of the window trim and on the table. Bimeny sat down. "I have to find the Bow of Gandoo," he said, and he proceeded to tell Reanna all that had happened.
Reanna stood up and left the room. "Watch the food on the stove, I'll be right back." Bimeny couldn't tell by the look on her face whether or not the news made her happy or sad. All he knew for sure was the look on her face meant something important was before her.
When she returned, Bimeny had his answer. She had the bow in her hands. It was relatively unharmed. She handed it to him. "I remembered what Falour did with it. When he knew they were coming he hid it between the mattress and box springs on the bed. The mattress just smoldered so it protected the bow. It is supposed to be indestructible, according to the record. So far that has proven to be the case. Father went over and dug through the ashes to find it and he brought it home."
"Tell Pop I owe him. How's your arm?" Bimeny asked.
"It hurts a lot. I wish I had your healing powers," she said.
He leaned over and kissed her ever so gently. "I'm sorry honey. I did what I could."
Bimeny sat and ate breakfast with Reanna. When Mom and Pop got up he thanked them and filled them in on what was happening.
"Let me understand this, you intend to destroy the contract and make a new one? Soon we will have dragons flying all over the place? Oh Bimeny," Pop said, "What have you done?"
"Pop, there are quite a few dragons. Why haven't you seen any?" Bimeny asked.
"Because of the contract, I suppose." Pop said.
"Right," Bimeny said, "because they are honorable. There isn't a reason I can think of why they can’t be trusted with a new contract that is better for everyone. It is a win/win situation. They get to live again and in return they will work for us. The law will protect us and them and the best part is that they will now help me convince the Elders and the guard that there is a better way. This nightmare is almost over," Bimeny said.
"Almost OVER!" Malakuck said.
"Pop, what did you expect would happen to end this? Did you think I could just go kill Malagreth and everything would be fine? Pop, there are nine more Malagreths and nine more garrisons. How many people do I have to kill to live free with your daughter? They won't stop any other way. Tell me another way, Pop, and I'll take it, but it's about time that we believe their honor and integrity is better than most men. After all, I'm not killing dragons to stay alive. They didn't want to kill me to get what they want. This is right and long overdue. They need to be trusted, and they need to be free," Bimeny went silent and waited.
"Okay, Okay, you may be right," Malakuck said. "But dragons! And you're sure they won't eat us?"
"Pop are you sure that Man won't try and kill the dragons?"
"Of course they will!" Malakuck said, "The second they start flying everybody will start panicking. Somebody will kill a dragon and then war, a war that man can't win."
"It'll be my job to make sure everybody understands. As soon as everyone gets the word the law will control it. It will be a harsh law so people will really think before breaking it. Give it a chance Pop. I trust the dragons," Bimeny said convincingly.
"Forgive me Bimeny, but of course you trust them. You're part dragon. Would you trust your Reanna with them?" Malakuck asked.
"Yes, Pop, I would," Bimeny said.
Malakuck took a deep breath and let it out. "Okay, then I'll trust 'em too. Just one more thing," Malakuck said.
"Sure Pop," Bimeny said. "Anything."
"Who told you that you could call me Pop?" Malakuck asked and he started to laugh.
Bimeny laughed too and hugged him. "It'll be alright, honest. Just trust me, Pop," he said smiling. Malakuck laughed and put his hand on Bimeny's shoulder and they walked back into the kitchen.
"Well, I better get on it. The sooner I do, the sooner I get back to you," he said to Reanna.
"You sure you aren't going to find a lady dragon while you’re there?" she asked, putting her good arm around his waist.
"Honey, I don't think that this is something you'll ever have to worry about. You'll know what I mean when I come back home," he said, smiling as they walked outside.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Reanna asked.
"You'll see," he said as he kissed her on the cheek and leaned forward and pushed off with the Bow of Gandoo and the quiver neatly tucked away over his shoulder. It had been a while since he had flown with the bow, but he had done it enough that carrying it so that it didn't interfere with his wings was now second nature to him. Reanna watched him fly up and out of sight, then she returned to the kitchen to have tea and tease 'Pop'.
Bimeny arrived back at the cave and flew directly through the cavern back to where Thaone was waiting.
"I wondered if I would see you again. I thought for a while that dreams had returned to me. Do you have the Bow?" Thaone asked.
"Yes, right here," he said, placing his hand upon it.
"Good, bring it here," and he led Bimeny into another room.
It was a large cavern that was very circular and very large. In the center of the room was a large pillar that went from the floor upwards so high that Bimeny could not see the top.
"This is the Gem of Alakite," Thaone said. "Strike the stone with your bow. If it is truly the Bow of Gandoo it will make the stone sing. If it is not the Bow of Gandoo then nothing will occur."
Bimeny walked up to the Gem and laid his hands upon it. The gem glowed deep red and hummed.
Thaone's eyes glowed, "I have never seen the stone glow for anyone."
Bimeny smiled as he removed the bow from over his shoulder and swung it gently at the stone. It struck it and sparks flew from its contact point. For a brief moment that seemed like minutes nothing happened. Then Bimeny heard a humming sound and the room illuminated bright red. The entire lair glowed red. Bimeny could see more dragons looking over the edge to see what was going on.
"There must be hundreds of you," Bimeny said.
"Many more than that," Thaone said. "The bow is genuine. Do you wish to open contract negotiations?" he asked.
"Yes, do you agree to negotiate in good faith?" Bimeny asked.
"I know of no other way!" Thaone said in an insulted tone.
"I meant no disrespect. If we are to create something good we are going to have to have an understanding. I am both man and dragon. I promise to be honest in all things and I promise that I'll not say anything intended to be insulting or unkind. But the mind of the dragon is brand new to me and I lack full understanding. I am also very young, even by Man's standards. I ask that you take this into account and if I say or do something wrong or insulting then tell me, so I may avoid the error again. But hold no offense as none is intended." Bimeny went quiet, unsure as to what would come next.
"You speak well for one so young. Are you old enough to know the needs of those much older than yourself?" Thaone asked.
"No, I'm not." Bimeny said. "Let me explain what I have in mind and tell me if you think it will work. First, we will fly to Burtran and will overwhelm the guard with the presence of dragons. I’ll tell them to drop their weapons. Anyone fires and they die. I think they will comply. After I kill the lying Elder Morgreth, I have promised to kill her to avenge my parents and I will, I’ll tell them to pick the smartest person to represent that town. I’ll tell them the one hard and fast rule, fire upon a dragon or their egg and you will be put to death. The dragons have agreed not to kill Man and to eat only in the plains and mountains where man does not graze or raise crops until we all make our agreements. To kill Man will mean the same for the dragon. To eat man's crops or animals will mean that all dragons must return to the cave until all negotiations are done. How does this sound so far?" Bimeny asked.
"Well thought out." Thaone said. "What happens next?"
"We repeat the process for every town, killing only those who will not lay down arms. We have each town send their representative to Haven Plat where we will negotiate. You can come to Haven Plat and be my guest or I can come to you here with the information," Bimeny said.
"It is simple and straight forward." Thaone said. "I like that. But what if they refuse to lay down their weapons? What then? Will the dragon that kills be doomed?"
"No, of course not, as long as they are defending themselves," Bimeny said. "But make sure they know the goal is to have Man as friend instead of enemy. Keeping them alive when they could have been killed will show restraint, a choice. It will go a long ways towards a lasting peace. They see dragons as undisciplined man eaters who react out of instinct rather than choice."
"Undisciplined indeed!" Thaone roared and flames shot out of his nose.
"Well, now, wait a minute," Bimeny said. "Man can see around 100 storms in his life. How long has it been since a dragon has been seen?"
"Point taken," Thaone said.
"I'm part dragon and I was scared near to death at the prospects of coming here. All they know are legends and what the lying Elders have told them. They know nothing of your intelligence, your honor, or of your grace or great beauty," Bimeny said. "We need to teach them the truth."
"And what will we eat while we are teaching them the truth?" Thaone asked.
Bimeny thought for a moment. "Suppose you divide your forces into two. One force flies to the plains and mountains and eats. They are the first to campaign, while the second group goes and eats. We can also eat any horse the guard currently has as they have been warned."
"Hmmm!" Thaone said. "It is sounding better all the time." Thaone turned around and looked up the chasm. "Fileek! Take your group and eat quickly. Return with a ..." Here he paused a moment and looked at Bimeny. "Return with two horses. Now, fly fast! Regalthorn! Be ready when they come back to go and feed, then look for us at Bertram or follow sunpath to the next."
"Now little dragon pup, who is to rule the world?" Thaone asked.
"I'm not going to rule anything." Bimeny said.
"OH? You are the tie breaker. You are the only Man/Dragon that I have ever seen. Are there others in your town?" he asked Bimeny.
"Uh, well no, but you'll imbue more won't you?" Bimeny asked.
"Perhaps the crystal will grant us another. If not, then you are it until your children grow up," Thaone said, looking at Bimeny.
"Children? Will my children be dragon or man? My mate is of man, not dragon," Bimeny said.
"Well then, we may have a flaw in your plan. You see, we present the list to the gem of Alakite and it does or does not do the rest. We have no way of knowing what it has or has not done. It causes the storm, it imbues your pathetic little people with the powers it deems appropriate. We have no control over it. You, Bimeny, are the first to make it do much of anything. Maybe it is your destiny to live in the cave and talk to the Gem," Thaone said, smiling.
"I don't think Reanna would go for that too much," Bimeny replied with a grin. "She is my mate," he said in response to the puzzled look on Thaone's face.
Changing the subject quickly Bimeny asked, "How long do dragons live?"
Thaone looked at Bimeny closely, "I do not know. I have never seen any die of natural causes. But I have seen ten or so killed with the bow by Gandoo or men like him. They all lived and died when they were old. You are the first to come here and the only one to try and change things in all that time. This is why I am willing to take the chance. In the worst case we can go back to how it is now. I have nothing to lose and we have everything to gain." Thaone said.
"Thank you," Bimeny said. "I'll try and be worthy of your trust."
"I have not said anything about trusting you. That is a quality earned. We will see when the hard tasks appear what kind of ruler you will be," Thaone said.
"Look, I told you I am not the ruler of anything. I am just Bimeny and I do what is right because that is how I was raised by my father. Older, wiser people rule, I just try and live and make peace for me and my mate so I can enjoy the things my father enjoyed with us. I just happen to think it should be right for you as well. It saddens me that you and your children know only this cave and night feeding," Bimeny said. "Which makes me also ask if you have children and a mate?" Bimeny asked with curiosity.
"Oh yes, I do. Regalthorn is my son and Egeldous is my son's mate, she has an egg! They decided to roost it near the entrance so the child could see the sun." Thaone turned to the chasm again, "Chulapeck! My dear, can you come to chambers? I have a guest who asks of you."
A roar echoed from some great distance and Bimeny heard a rumble from deep inside the cave, yet well above where he and Thaone are standing. "She must be coming from a long distance off. I've forgotten how far our quarters are. It seemed useless to come and go every day, especially when we weren't sure whether it was day or night until the hunting party would return and tell us. So one day I came down here and just stayed. I haven't seen Chulapeck for a very long time," Thaone said, exhaling sadly. With that a great wind came up and a huge dragon came down making a great slam when she landed.
"OH!" she said. "I haven't made that trip for a very long time," she said. "Thaone! You look like a pile of dirt with eyes!"
"Er, yes dear, you're a little dusty yourself, but you are still the most beautiful dragon I have ever seen," Thaone said, smiling and nudging her with his nose. She chuckled and nudged him back.
Bimeny was glad to see some things were the same for both dragons and Man. They shared a common enemy, an angry female. Bimeny couldn't help but smile at this.
"I thought you said there was someone here." she said, looking around. Next to her, Bimeny was no bigger than a fly. He leaned forward and took flight and flapped his wings until he could see her face. "Oh!" she roared, "a bug!" and she snapped at him. Bimeny dove quickly and flew closer to Thaone.
"Uh, no dear, that would be our guest. He is a Man Dragon." Thaone said.
"Oh, sorry, I didn't know. Are you alright?" she asked, squinting to see him better.
"Hello," Bimeny said. "I am pleased to meet you." Bimeny turned to Thaone, "You told me she was beautiful, but you never said she was this beautiful."
"Well, you know dragons only say ‘beautiful,’ we have no degrees of beauty. Maybe we should change that," he said looking at Chulapeck.
She smiled and said, "I have never met a more mannered man before. Thank you for your words of kindness, I haven't left the quarters for a very long time. I must be a mess. Will I see you later?" she asked Thaone.
"We'll see. We are going on a campaign with Bimeny. He has the Bow of Gandoo and has chosen to open the contract again. We may be free of this cave very soon."
"My, he looks so small to wield so much power. And to think I almost ate him. What must he think of me!" she said as she took off back to her quarters. A shower of dust and dirt fell upon them as she flew up toward the ceiling. She was every bit as dirty as Thaone.
Just then the hunting party returned. Two horse carcasses fell upon the landing where they stood. Bimeny looked to Thaone who saw the drool running from the corners of his mouth. "Won't you join me?" he asked Bimeny.
"Why, yes, thanks," and he dove on it like a dragon on horse flesh. Only this time when he came back to reality there was a very large group of dragons standing there watching him. They were laughing at the ferocity at which Bimeny went after the horse flesh. He was so small and yet so dragon like. He amused them.
"All done there?" Thaone asked.
"Uh yeah, thanks. It was the best I have ever eaten," he said, smiling and covered with blood. Thaone reached over and in one movement flipped the whole carcass in his mouth and munched it for a moment and swallowed it.
"Are you ready to tame the world, dragon Pup?" Thaone said.
"Uh, now? Uh, yeah! Let's go!" Bimeny said.
For some reason Bimeny just never envisioned the battle ahead. It was just an idea. And now it was a reality. And it was starting here, right now, at this very moment.
Bimeny led the way out of the cave with a huge number of dragons behind him. It was just approaching daybreak. He flew straight down the mountain towards Burtran. The dragons were much larger and much faster than Bimeny, even though he was flying at full speed. The dragons dipped and spiraled and looped in the sunny morning, something none of them had seen for a very long time.
Thaone dipped below Bimeny and came up underneath him. "Why don't you ride, little dragon Pup? You will be too tired to kill anyone if you wear yourself out on the way." With that Bimeny landed on Thaone's back and grabbed hold of a couple of scales and held on. Thaone picked up speed and it seemed like seconds later arrived at Burtran.
The dragons all landed at once around the garrison. It was so fast and silent that the wings caused a bit of a dust storm and when the gentle breeze cleared the dust away there was a huge circle of dragons staring at the sentries who were frozen in place, afraid to move, absolutely silent. Bimeny looked around in awe. It was an amazing sight. There must have been fifty dragons, each easily as large as any one Garrison building of which there were only five.
Bimeny flew up to the first guard. He didn't move. He kept staring at the dragon directly in front of him. Bimeny said quietly, "If you drop your weapons you will not be harmed. If you do not drop your weapons you will surely die a most horrible death. Which is it to be?" The guard just handed Bimeny his pike. Bimeny did the same for the next five guards. Then Bimeny went down and opened the barracks door and walked in.
"If you have a weapon when you fall out you are dead! Do you hear me inside?" He retreated outside the building again and stood behind the door and held it open. The garrison turned out immediately and froze in the door causing a pile up. Bimeny looked around the door. "Leave your weapons inside and no harm will come to you. Raise a sword and be breakfast for a dragon," Bimeny said.
"Why should we believe you?" someone shouted.
"Why would I pretend? If our intentions were to kill you we would just have come and done it," Bimeny said. "Look, your parapet guards are all still alive. It's time for new leadership is all. Come and listen. Then if you want to fight there will still be time to die a horrible death. If you continue to hide in here then we will set fire to the garrison and see how long before you will come out." With that he turned and went to finish his mission.
He went into the commander's quarters and found the commander. "Where is Morgreth?" He asked.
"In her quarters in her compound, I would suspect," was the reply.
"Go out and be with your men. If you want to live and you want them to live I would suggest you have no weapons and you give the dragons no cause to attack you," Bimeny said.
"Dragons!" the commander said as he went to the window and looked out to see his men falling out and huge dragons everywhere he could see.
"They've agreed not to kill or eat anyone who is unarmed," Bimeny said.
"And you believe them?" the commander said.
"Dragons never lie," Bimeny said, smiling. "I'll be back in a few minutes to speak to you and the town folk. Move your men to the center of town by the Plinth of Promise. Make no moves of aggression or you will be lunch, and these boys know how to eat," he said, looking down at the blood all over his armor. "I just had lunch with a couple of them." He turned and left the room.
He returned to Thaone. "I have told the commander to move his men to the center of town. When he does I would like to move the dragons to the outside of town. It will keep people from moving into the woods. They need to hear me. I'm going to run over and kill the evil Elder Morgreth and I'll be right back." Bimeny leaned forward and took off towards the compound. As he did the dragons took flight and repositioned themselves around the perimeter of Burtran.
Bimeny landed inside the compound. There was a lot of activity because everyone saw the dragons repositioning and were rushing to get weapons.
"STOP! If you have no weapon you live. Have a weapon and die most gruesomely!" Bimeny shouted.
All activity stopped, all eyes were on Bimeny now. He repeated his warning and an arrow came whizzing his way. Just then Regalthorn snatched a guard off of the parapet in his mouth. He flew above the compound and bit the guard in half, sending his upper body to the dirt below. It was so fast that the guard was still alive momentarily as he hit the ground. Everyone watched it happen. Bimeny said, "Anyone else?" and he turned and proceeded into the house to find Morgreth.
He walked slowly through the house, "Come out, come out, wherever you are. Come out now. You have wanted to meet me for a long time. Come, this is your chance, Morgreth. I'm here for you. Come out or I'll burn your house down around you," With that, Bimeny breathed fire into the room he was standing in. It burst into flames. Kitchen help ran out of the house as did the servants.
Bimeny proceeded to search the house. He opened a door only to find a Raven Court Guard with a bow. His arrow found Bimeny mid chest just missing his heart. Bimeny looked down and saw the arrow as he fell back against the wall breaking it off in the back. He grabbed the shaft and pulled it out looking at the guard. The guard dove on Bimeny and began punching him where the arrow entered figuring to take advantage of the wound. Bimeny responded by breathing fire on him which caused an immediate retreat as the guard screamed in pain.
Bimeny entered the room to find Morgreth cowering behind another Raven Court Guard. Bimeny breathed fire on him and bits of it splashed onto Morgreth. She screamed in pain as did the Guard who ran in his terror directly into a wall and fell, rolling on the floor in front of them. Bimeny grabbed Morgreth and dragged her from the burning room.
"Oh no, you don't. You're not going to die that quickly!" He scooped her up in his arms and took flight. He took her high in the air—higher and higher. He took her until he could almost see the edges of the earth.
"Now you have a long time to think about how you killed my parents. They were good people as were all the others that you killed before you tried to kill me. I promised you a slow death and I always keep my word."
She had a death grip around his neck as she looked down and screamed in terror. Bimeny flipped upside down and shook until she came loose and started falling. Bimeny caught up with her as she was flailing, trying to get hold of him to stop falling. "You look cold," he said, smiling at her.
"NO!" she screamed and Bimeny blew a ball of fire ahead of her and she plunged feet first through it. She screamed in pain as she plummeted to her death, landing in an untidy heap in her courtyard.
Morgreth was dead. Finally. Somehow Bimeny couldn't believe it. It was over. The evil woman that killed his parents and caused a countless number of innocent guards to die was finally dead herself. He would be hunted no more.
Bimeny wasn't sure why but he didn't feel like celebrating. He didn't feel anything that he thought he would. He just stood there and stared for a moment. He was trying to take it all in. There was just a huge empty space where his hate used to live.
Bimeny landed in the courtyard. "Everyone to the center of town!" he yelled, and he took flight over the wall. Everyone did as they were instructed. The center of town was packed. Bimeny landed on the Plinth of Promise. He walked over and rang the bell to get the attention of everyone.
As everyone looked to him he spoke. "Elder rule is over. They have lied and killed to keep control over you and to deprive you of the benefits granted by the Gem of Alakite that we have all known as Stormtraub. They have also deprived you of having the privilege of knowing and working with the dragons, and by doing so also cheated the dragons. The reason you have never seen them is because they keep their word and have never broken it. Now they have agreed to work with us so that all may prosper.
"You must pick a group to act as council for your town. One of them will attend negotiations in Haven Plat where I'll present the dragons with a new contract.
"But hear this! This law applies now and forever more: Anyone who draws bow, knife or stone against a dragon or its egg will die a most horrible death. A dragon may kill to protect itself or its egg. The law for the dragon is this: They will not eat man or damage man’s crops or livestock until negotiations are completed for those items. They will continue to feed in the high plains and mountains where Man does not live or raise animals.
"Stormtraub will continue but without requests from the Elders and we will get what we get. The extermination of those imbued not to our understanding will stop and they will live. Up till now they have been killed by the guard and you have been told that the storm did it. That was a lie.
"Where is the commander?" Bimeny asked. The commander walked forward. "The dragon will come and go freely. Your men are not to draw bow against them. You are now in charge of putting a committee together and maintaining order of man against man in the town. I want your representative in Haven Plat in fourteen suns. We will meet at Gandoo's compound."
Bimeny looked at Thaone. "Did I forget anything?" he whispered.
"No, I think that pretty much covers it. How did it feel to kill the one who killed so many?" Thaone asked.
"Somehow I thought it would feel much better. Instead I feel empty. No joy, no anger, no sadness. Nothing. I feel hollow," Bimeny said. "Let's move to the next town, I want this to be over so I may see my mate again. My Reanna."
Bimeny flew into the air and on to the remaining towns repeating the performance, less the death of the Elders of course. He used the Elders to organize on the stipulation that they not head the committee or be the representative in Haven Plat. He met with no resistance, and the Dragons changed out as needed.
When all the towns had been informed he flew to Raven Plat and then on to Haven Plat. When he arrived at Reanna's parent's house he found that they were not there. They were fixing up Bimeny's grandfather’s home for all of them to live in while they rebuilt Malageth and Reentu's home.
Mantu and Halgreth were there with Reanna cleaning and setting up house when Bimeny landed with his friends. At first they did not hear anything, but then shadows passed over the windows causing Mantu to take notice. At first he thought the clouds were moving extremely fast. Then he went out to investigate. He froze dead in his tracks. There was Bimeny standing, talking to an extremely large pile of dirt that wasn't there before. And then it moved. Then the rest came overhead, flying in loops and rolls and dives.
Bimeny turned around to Mantu and the others. "Everyone!" he said, "I want you to meet Thaone. He is the leader of all the dragons."
Everyone came out of the house slowly walking forward, nervously.
"This is my mate Reanna," Bimeny said, taking her hand and bringing her forward. "And this is my brother and his mate."
At this Thaone sniffed the air. "Your brother smells good," Thaone said smiling.
"Ah, yeah, uh ... he has things on the stove," and Bimeny ushered Mantu back into the cabin. "I'll explain later, but for now you better stay in here," and he returned to Thaone.
"Your mate is beautiful, as man mates go of course." Thaone said, smiling.
"Thank you," Bimeny said, returning the smile. "We have made a new beginning here today. Both of our worlds are going to be different from now on. Will you come back for the first meeting of the council?"
"If you command it I will," Thaone said.
"I won't command it because I have no power to do so. But I would like very much for you to be there. It will make things proceed more quickly," Bimeny said.
"Again you show greater wisdom than your age. I will gladly be there to help bring about this new and wonderful world. For now I would guess that your mate has questions, as I am sure mine does. Until then," and Thaone flew off to the mountain. Many dragons still swarmed the skies. Bimeny turned and went back into the house with Reanna and her parents.
"My, you have really been busy," Reanna said. "Did you find Morgreth?"
"Yes," he answered, then he explained it all to her and the rest who listened intently while sipping tea. Surprisingly, Bimeny only felt shame when he described how he had killed Morgreth. How he enjoyed it and how he felt empty when it was over.
Reanna put her arm around him and gave him a squeeze.
"How is your arm and shoulder?" Bimeny asked.
"They're pretty tender and swollen," Reanna said. "Mother has given me tea and a poultice to try and make the infection stop. But it is not looking good today."
"But I cauterized it when I removed the arrow," Bimeny said.
"I know, it just happens sometimes. I'll be alright. You'll see."
Over the next few days Reanna got worse and her infection spread. It became apparent that she was not going to get better. She was dying from her wounds. Bimeny paced and waited, and paced some more. Her mother brought more teas and remedies, but nothing seemed to be working.
Then came a knock at the door. Bimeny answered the door. It was the housekeeper of the old woman, the grandmother of Bunny Boy.
"You are Bimeny?" he asked.
"Yes," Bimeny replied.
"The old woman is failing, she calls for you. You are to come quickly."
"I cannot, my wife lies inches from death. I'll not leave her," Bimeny said.
"She said I am to remind you of your promise to her," and he turned and walked away.
Reanna was awake. "Who was there?" she asked Bimeny in a wispy voice.
"It was the servant of the old woman. She is dying and wants me to come," Bimeny told her, sitting down on the edge of the bed.
"Go then. You can't help me now. Go give comfort to her in her last moments. I'll still be here when you come back. I am not that close to death. You gave her your word. It has to mean something, or this is all for nothing," Reanna whispered and she drifted back off to sleep.
"Go," Reanna's mother said as she placed a moist towel on Reanna’s forehead. "I'll stay with her. She's right. IF your word loses meaning in the hard times then it has no meaning at all."
"Alright," Bimeny said as he kissed her on the cheek. "I'll be right back sweetheart, don't you leave before I return," he whispered in her ear. He turned and ran out the door and into the night sky. His emotions ran high. He was so sad at leaving her, afraid to leave her, and sad about where he was going.
He landed on the porch and knocked, another servant answered. "I am Bimeny," he said. She opened the door and pointed to the stairs. Bimeny went up the stairs and saw the door open to his left. This is where he brought her home that night after flying. He quietly stepped into the room. Rancor and his wife were there and a few others that Bimeny didn't recognize.
Rancor was on his feet in a second, extending his hand in the peace gesture. "She has been asking for you. Go quickly, she hasn't long," he finished shaking his hand. Rancor walked over to the bed. "Mother," he said, "Mother, Bimeny is here." She opened her eyes and reached for his hand.
Bimeny took her hand in his. "I am here Grandmother. How can I ease your pain?" he asked.
"My pain is little and there is nothing you could do anyways. You are here so I may return your favor," she said. "Kiss me on my cheek and know that this old woman thanks you and gives you a gift."
Bimeny leaned over and kissed her on her cheek, and as he did she did also. Bimeny felt a warmth overwhelming him from where she kissed him. He looked down and saw that she was gone, and that her last act was to leave him her kiss.
A great sadness came over him, "Wait grandmother, don't leave, not yet," and he laid his head against her breast and he wept. A flood of tears streamed from his eyes as Rancor helped him to his feet.
"Bimeny, her gift to you was tears. Mother had a grief blessing. She helped people let go. She gave this blessing to you with her last breath. It was that important to her. Thank you for helping her to complete her mission. It allowed her to leave fulfilled. Peace to you Bimeny. Now you must go home and be with Reanna. I know she is not well. Don't get bogged down in your grief on the way. She needs you," and he pointed open-handedly to the door.
"Thank you," Bimeny said. "Peace to your household," and he headed down the steps and out the door.
Bimeny flew home in record time. He went in to find Reanna asleep, her breathing was shallow. It would not be long now, he thought. Bimeny climbed in bed with her and cuddled next to her. He could smell her and he breathed deeply of her essence. He would remember her smell forever. He thought of how much he loved her and how he was going to miss her and he wept silently, his tears falling freely from his face making her gown wet and soaking through. He wept like he couldn't remember weeping in his life. He wept for Reentu, he wept for Malageth, he wept for all the things he had done, he wept for the old woman and he wept for himself.
Mantu heard the weeping and came to his brother.
"Bimeny! You can cry!" he said, sitting on the edge of the bed. He took his brother and pulled him up into a sitting position and hugged him. "It's alright brother. Come, I'll make us some tea. If you stay here you may drown her," he said, smiling.
Bimeny went with his brother and they sat at the table and sipped tea. Bimeny explained how the old woman had blessed him with her last breath and as he did his eye filled again with tears. "All this time I have wished for tears. Now that I have them I wish that I hadn't received the blessing."
Then a voice came from the bedroom doorway, a feminine voice that Bimeny recognized. "Well, if that isn't just like a man. Wish for something and then be upset when he gets it! Well, they have a word for that Bimeny. They call it fickle!"
Bimeny turned around and to his shock saw that it was Reanna! She was completely well and smiling! He ran to the door and hugged her and swung her around as he kissed her. "What happened? A few minutes ago you were near death. Now you are standing and there is no swelling," he said, looking at her arm and pulling her gown out so he could see her wound. It was gone. There was no sign of the wound anywhere.
She slapped his hand away. "Is that all you ever think about? My Body?!" and she kissed him deeply.
"It seems there is more to your tears than just sadness," she said. "Those are dragon tears, healing tears." And they kissed.