“There are hundreds of things out there that would love to claim the egg.” The Crane hobbled one step towards me. “Do you know how long I’ve been up here, just to make sure that the egg is unharmed?”
“A mother’s dedication,” I said dully.
“It’s not my egg.”
“Well,” I considered, “it is the only other remnant of your species in this world.” A tad too blunt, perhaps, but I was past the point of caring.
The Crane did wince. “And not just that.”
And then, I knew. “Oh,” I said, recoiling. “It is your sister?” By the Crane’s reaction, I was right.
“I don’t know if they will be male or female,” said the Crane, “but yes, we were laid by the same mother.”
“Why hasn’t it hatched—” I paused. “Or it will never hatch, because the mountain is dead?”
“The mountain cannot die. It always was, and it always will be.” The Crane paused. “The egg will hatch.”
“You told me it wouldn’t.”
“You didn’t tell me the truth. Not the whole truth,” she added. “Why would I tell you a thing, warmish human? But yes, the egg will hatch.”
“In a week, or a month, perhaps, but soon.” She mumbled something.
I looked up. “What?”
“I think, perhaps, we are meant to die.” The Crane hefted a sigh. I had never seen a creature more lost since. “They will be the last, and maybe they will be far more alone than I will be.”
- Head Sculpt:
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