Daughter of Fire and Ash
Sara’s mistress was dying.
She was still agile, graceful, painfully beautiful. Her once fire red hair, now streaked heavily with silver, curled softly over slightly ashen skin that had once glowed an ethereal gold. Bright amber eyes still danced with intelligence, even lined as they now were.
Only those closest to her could determine that she was, at last, fading. Who closer than the family who’d served her lineage for a millennia.
She’d been more absent of late, her presence somewhat diminished, distracted. Arising early each morning to meet the sun as it bloomed over the mountain, waiting, her body almost humming in anticipation. Sara would stand back on the balcony to oversee her needs, whatever they may be. Then, once the sun had ascended, her mistress would nod in greeting before gliding off with a wistful smile.
Sara sensed her disappointment growing stronger each day, fluttering gently somewhere inside her own ribcage. She was anxious, she supposed, for what was to come.
She hovered at her balcony now, white silk robe blowing gently, staring off to the distance as the deep purple sky began shimmering into pink, then orange, the first hint of sunlight peeking over the mountain.
The hairs on Sara’s arms rose, prickling her skin as her mistress quirked her head slightly. Sara’s pulse quickened as she began to radiate light.
As the sun slowly soared higher, embers licked at her mistress’ skin, in turn becoming flame. Sara watched in awe, fighting her natural instinct to act, as the fire grew.
Flames engulfed her entirely now, and Sara coughed around the taste in her throat, the heat searing her skin even distanced as she was. Wings of fire unfurled, the image of a colossal bird manifesting itself where her mistress once stood. It burned for what felt like eternity, before reducing itself to a shimmering black ash.
Sara stepped forward tentatively, bracing herself against the still simmering heat, wiping her eyes free of dust.
A small cry… then another.
Sara bent down, smiling, beholding the black smudged infant peering up at her from the ashes.