When the trees spoke, they roared. Whispers of their slow demise had come hinted upon the wind for an age or more. It is the nature of trees to listen; and so, they waited. But when their roots touched deep and found need to go ever deeper, and when their leaves stretched up and found their height stunted, a menacing quiet fell among them. It was hope that made them wait. And hope that made them roar. And when they roared, well… so quiet had they always been that the world took note and listened.
The light shown on Anya’s fingers. It curled around her palm and danced. This, she thought, was the sheer pleasure of having magic. But in the midst of her play, a shadow grew. It was not unexpected; it was the cost of doing magic, for it always begot shadows. But it never ceased to offer discomfort. If she could find a way to practice her craft and leave behind the adjacent darkness, she would. Anya was not fond of the dark, or shadows, or of the sense of unease that grew whenever she let the flickering brightness dance. But, too, there was a feeling of wholeness in her work. How could that be, such fulfillment when darkness lay about her? A constant wonder—the weight of it only born by extinguishing the light for a time until she could bear it again. Today was such a time. Anya took the light, and threw it at the darkness. The next breath, and it was gone. Elimination brought palpable relief, while at the same time she
Long ago when the world was new, a bird lit upon a branch and whistled. It was a noise that shattered stillness. One by one the creatures of the earth called back until the cacophony of sound rose in such a glorious timbre that the earth began to shake. The hills shuddered, the mountains trembled, the valleys swayed. And when it seemed as though the ground would crack in two, the movement subsided until it was no more than a gentle rumble. The creatures looked about them, their eyes darting and deep with panicked fear. But the bird knew better. She knew it was the world's first laugh.