On a cool spring morning, by a clear mountain stream, an enchantress sat skywriting.
Her arms danced at awkward, inhuman angles and as they did, her bracelets jangled a melody which the birds took up in chorus.
The soundtrack was magic. Insects buzzed in beat, animals froze mid-forage, and the wind died, lest moving clouds corrupt her work.
The mask-wearing knight, a killer for the king, was dressed in black. Even the buck knife, loosely gripped in his right hand, was painted black. His boots were cloth wrapped and his movements were as smooth as smoke. He was noiseless death itself.
As he drew closer, the birds suddenly stopped chirping. "Go home boy, " the enchantress whispered. The knight blinked in disbelief and froze but the enchantress did not look around.
She pulled a half-penny from a pouch, kissed it, and lobbed it into the stream.
The knight’s mind went from deadly certain to vague. Why was he here? He sheathed his knife, lowered his mask and wiped his lips. What had he been doing?
Still not looking his way, the minx motioned to the clear, babbling stream, "Come, drink," she said. He drew beside her and with a quick glance, as he sipped water from cupped hands, he saw that she was young and beautiful.
She’d never looked at him, but she knew him in a rarefied, magical way - as if he were her brother, and she felt the sting of his long sorrow, that his wife was barren.
"Your love will bear you two sons if you're home and can bed her before dark," she said softly.
The knight stood, wiped his hands on his trousers, nodded at her, and ran for his horse.
The enchantress smiled to herself and resumed her unearthly work. The sound of horse and rider quickly faded as the birds resumed their spell-song.
Two strapping young men they would be.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Rarefied: understood or appreciated by a small group of people.