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Never to Be Told

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He was a baby when the spell took hold, the youngest of seven, and the others had to carry him on their backs until he was old enough to fly. He doesn't remember a time without feathers. It's the transformation to human at the full moon that feels strange to him.

Seven and seven and seven years, the last three of them spent gathering nettles for his sister's weaving. He watches her now, silent and bleeding, bound by the ring on her finger, the circlet on her brow, the baby in her womb. He thinks of how she watches him fly, and wants to ask the Faery to give her wings too.

"Come with me," he wants to say to her, but he's a swan, and even human he's not the best speaker, the shape of his own tongue strange to him. Seven and seven and seven years.

"I don't want this," he wants to say. "I don't want you to bleed for me. I want you to be free. I want to fly."

Their brothers would be upset, so it's as well he can't speak. He keeps his sister mute company, watches his doom grow under her scarred fingers.