Honor woke to an unfamiliar feeling — stillness. For years she had floated along on the tides of her sorrow and now she no longer felt the slight, steady bobbing of the deadwood on which she resided. She opened her eyes to an unaccustomed sight — land. The harsh river of sorrow had evaporated in the heat from her rage and left dry, barren ground in every direction she looked. She stood, unsure of what to do or where to go, not really caring about her destination, but longing for something different than where she currently found herself. She heard the sound of flapping wings and looked up to see Ghrim’s dark form circling above her. He alighted for the last time on the driftwood branch and cocked his head to the side. One eye — dark and dead as glass — gazed at her, but the bird said nothing.
“It looks as though I’m meant to start down a new road, Ghrim. I don’t know that I’ll see you again.”
“Would it matter?” the bird asked in the clipped, berating tone with which Honor was too familiar.
The young woman sputtered and stammered. “I…well, I just thought…um…we’re friends…” her voice tapered off.
“Are we? Friends? I never saw it that way.”
Honor kept her head down so that the bird would not see her cheeks burning red from embarrassment. “I must have been mistaken. Well, then, Ghrim, I won’t waste your time. Thank you for telling me about Zee.” She turned and began to walk away.
“You will never be thankful for what I told you about Zee. It will continue to eat you alive until the day you die.”
Honor spun around to face the raven, her cloak whipping about her body. “Why?” she spat. “Why did you tell me if you knew it would consume me?”
“Because I was sickened to watch you wasting away in your own weakness and self-pity. I’ve given you what you need to continue on.”
“Bitterness and anger? I would rather have continued on the way that I was! Now I have nothing but loathing…for everything.” Honor’s twisted body shook with rage.
“It will get you where you are destined to be, girl.”
“How could you know anything of my destiny?”
“There is much I know. Remember, Honor, I saw your life even though I was not a part of it. There are certain things you are still meant to do. I told you about Zee because something had to bring you to life again.”
“And this is life?”
“It will be. You will find your way…start walking and your path will rise to meet you.”
“How do I know which direction to take?”
“The direction does not matter…your destiny will find you.”
“Soddy always told me I should seek my destiny…not the other way around.”
“Semantics,” the great bird said as he rose into the air. “Get going, Honor. Life doesn’t wait forever.”
So that is how the life of Honor began again — borne from pain and rage, this new woman set out to find anything to assuage the anger and hatred simmering just beneath the surface of her being…and hoping that it wasn’t too late.