Feather Woman*

Everybody seems to be having problems with their mothers. Gwyn wants to decapitate hers for dumping her with mortals and not telling her what she is.  Sophia keeps getting possessed by her mother, and now, Valene has the same problem.

She came by my hut, knocking only very tentatively. I opened the door and invited her in. She looked nervous, tired and lost.  I wrapped her up in my arms and kissed her, asking if she wanted to tell me about it. She just snuggled into my arms, trembling quietly. I held her for a while, thinking she needed my comfort. Eventually, I asked what was bothering her and asked if it had anything to do with the feather.  She reacted as if I had produced a snake or something, shying away, terrified, telling me to get rid of it, burn it or something, saying that the crow could use it to trace me, steal me and eat me.  I had not thought that the feather might have any power, but understood her at once.  I found a tin mug I had been using for the rum and broke the feather into pieces, dropping them into the mug with a little vodka that I had in the room.  I then took it outside with a box of matches, thinking how I might best dispose of it.  In the end, I mixed up the crow feather pieces with some stray chicken feathers, some horsehair and various slivers of wood from about the courtyard.  I then set it alight, keeping it burning until there were just ashes, which I then mixed with horse shit and distributed the same among various middens.

When I came back and told her what I had done, she seemed better, not shaking as much, saying, “She can’t have you, you’re mine.” I moved over the bed and sat down, drawing her onto my lap, still holding her tight.

“I take it we are talking about the crow you mentioned, the one who haunts the roads?” I asked.

“She’s the creator of the Roads. She’s the Carrion Crow, the progenitor of my kind.” She paused. “And she’s my mother…”  This last, she almost spat. This was when I commented about people having problems with their mothers, and asked what I could do to help.  She cuddled closer.

“Nothing my friend. I just… just needed to make sure you were alright. Time runs differently on the Roads, so I don’t know how long she was using me. I’ve only just came back to my right senses after Brae hit me with a good amount of Wyld magic.”  I told her it had only been a couple of days, telling her about the kidnap of Rachel and the broken promise of Padishar’s. She thought for a moment, struggling to remember anything.

“I don’t know what she did… Have you seen either Padishar or Rachel since she came, because she could have eaten them… That’s a very Nemaine thing to do.” I told her that Padishar had happened by shortly after the kidnapping, how I had told him what happened, how he had commented about ‘The Crow’ and then disappeared again.  I couldn’t give her anything further as I had not seen either of them since. I also told her that I doubted Rachel had been eaten, since I was fairly sure she didn’t have sufficient physical body, aside from the crystal, to be eaten.

“He better know what had happened,” she said with a bitter laugh. “She’s one of the few things that genuinely frighten him… or me for that matter. You all were lucky that she recognized Rachel was Padishar’s, and that she was pissed at him for what she thinks is reneging on a deal they made a while back, otherwise you’d all have been in trouble.” I felt she was right, commenting that I would have had difficulty with any attack, because I would have been very reluctant to stick my sword in her body. I asked if she had advice for dealing with said Crow. Her advice was simple; make no deals, and better, just run.

“She is my blood mother,” she told me. “She was once a God, and treats people like they are beneath her. I’m simply a pawn for her some days, but I’ve fought to keep her out of my mind. When I let go of my restraint while the fires happened, I gave her access and she just took it while I slept.” I held her close for a few moments.

“There’s a lot of it about,” I said. “My friend, Sophia, occasionally seems to get possessed by her late adoptive mother, a former Cardinal of the Sabbat.  Gwyn just wants to kill her real mother for dumping her with a human family and not telling her about it.  I guess I will have to work on keeping your mind in your hands, however that works.”  She chuckled to herself, sliding off my lap and curling up on my bed.

“Good luck with that, my Sigil,” she mumbled, sleepily. I curled up on the bed next to her, wrapping her up in my arms.

“I’ll think of something,” I said, “I’ll think of something.”  With that, she drifted into sleep and I soon followed her.

* At last, an opportunity to promote my friend, Rachel Sage.  Sorry it’s such a poor recording.  But do check out her web page.

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