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7
Epilogue

He looked at the beautiful young woman lying in his arms.
Her gleaming white hair mingled with the flowing silver of his beard on his chest.

“Do you remember?” He asked her softly, looking at the silver moon shining through the window. The moon hung low over the south-western horizon, just as it had eons ago.

The same moon!

But the harbor was peaceful now, and no ship had gone out during the night.
Yet in his arms the woman shivered and pressed her slim body against his, seeking shelter from the memories stirred by the moonlight..

“Yes,” she whispered. “Of course I remember…”

Another time, another land, another life…
…a dark night and a silver moon and prayers rising to the stars.

Her eyes were large and dark in her white face. He cupped her cheek in a large, warm hand. His skin was rough from the salty water of the ocean, and of many ages spent in sun and rain and wind. “How long did you call for me?” He asked softly. She only smiled at him, the gold of her eyes deepening. She reached up and laid a slender white hand across his brown one.

“And I did not come!” He whispered. “I never came until it was too late. I was such a fool!”

“A fool,” she agreed. “A fool, but a hero.”

Her gaze was lost in the silver light of the moon. But her body slowly relaxed, molded against his hardened old man’s muscles.

“A fool, a bird and a devoted friend set sail to find the Straight Road, to sail across the Tides of Time and all the Sundering Seas.” She chanted, clinging to him like a child.

He held her close, afraid of ever letting go of her again.
He would never let go of her again, before the end of time.

“But we made it,” he said, and there was still a hint of pride in his voice.

“Yes,” she whispered, and pressed her lips against his hand. “We made it.”

And there was the faint memory of pride in her voice, too.

A cloud passed in front of the moon. Shadows grew in the corners of the small chamber.
A bleak breeze blew into the Gulf of Lune, carrying memories of darkness across the Sundering Seas.

White feathers danced in the wind.
Again a shiver ran across her body.

He shuddered against her.

“A sea, but no waves.
A horizon, but no land.
A ship, but no sail.” he said finally.

“And a white tower without a door,” she told him.

“White bird wheeling all alone…”

He looked at her.

He was an old fisherman, with white hair and a long silver beard, his bright blue eyes almost lost under bushy brows. His face was tanned and lined and creased from wind, weather and sea. He was still strong, like a gnarled ancient tree, way up on the cliff, that bends to the storm and persists. He was still there, smoothed and weathered by the tides of time, but still there.

His spirit unbroken.

His love undiminished.

She looked at him.

She had eyes like a hawk, great and golden. She had hair white as the snow, flowing around her body like silken rain. She had a face untouched by second, minute, hour, day or week, a face unmoved by year, decade, century or millennium. She was slim and young and beautiful, just as she had always been. She was still there, unchanged, unchanging, unchangeable, as the seas and the moon and the stars.

She was still there; alive.
She was still there; alove.

“I am glad you are home,” he murmured into her ear.

“I am glad that I am home,” she whispered into his beard.

The silver moon waned.
They fell asleep.




~~~


"Sailor" from the album "Eastern Wind
by Chris de Burgh

Year Released: 1980



Underneath a silver moon, the ship is like a ghost,
She's been out there for a week, just waiting for the wind to blow,
But now she's off and running, and there's nothing I can do,
'Cos I am just a prisoner here until this war is through,
And I'm singing,

Sailor, can you hear me,
Sailor, hear my call,
Sailor, take me with you,
Sailor, take me home...


Yesterday I saw a sea bird wheeling light and low,
Then she sailed off to the west
Like she was telling me the way to go,
If I had her wings my love I'd be with you tonight,
But my last hope has gone, it's drifting out of sight,
Wait for me,

Oh Sailor, take me to her,
Sailor, take me home...


To feel the wind, to see the sky,
To hear the waves breaking on the shore again,
To be with you, to lie with you,
To hear your voice echo through the hills again,
Oh my darling wait for me, 'cos I will be there,
When it is over, when it is over,
Yes I will return one day,

Sailor, take me to her,
Oh Sailor, take me home,
Sailor, can you hear me,
Sailor, hear my call,
Sailor, Sailor...


~~~


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