Clashes

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Oona seemed to feel better with every ray of sunshine she sipped with her face, hair, and body. Rosemary had managed to untie the fairy wool threads from her wrists with the beasts' grass and old charms. Oona could sit for hours, her eyes closed, in the soft light of the sun as if feeding on it. Birds and butterflies gathered around her, and flowers bloomed where she stepped. Oona was singing and dancing, raising her white arms to the sky. Sometimes she made wreaths of flowers and then braided them in her fiery hair.

Ferry watched her, hoping the sun, sky, and flowers would bring her memories back, just as they had brought a smile to her face. Oona smiled at him every time she saw him, but in her clear eyes, he could see she didn't remember him. She caressed his face with her hands and braided flowers to his temples. Then she sat down beside him on the grass, put her head on his shoulder, and closed her eyes, absorbing the sunlight again. Ferry kept talking to her about everything they had been through together in Tenalach.

"Remember when you blew tickle-dust in my face? I must have sneezed for an hour. Or when we slept in napping shelters? Remember, Oona?"

But she slowly shook her head, "I'm sorry, but I don't remember ... Keep talking... You have such a warm voice ... Just like your heart."

"You called me fairy boy," Ferry continued, smiling at the memory. "You used to play in my hair as you did now. Don't you remember me, Oona?" he said in a low voice. "Don't you remember me at all?"

But she shook her head no again.

"Then what do you remember?" he asked.

"I remember my mother and I were wandering a lot long before we came here. I remember a carriage with a cover and nomads. And trains with no chairs. I remember a cold, dark place with a dying sun," she said, and Ferry watched as the clouds began to gather above them as the light in her eyes was scattering.

"Have you traveled with anyone other than your mother?" he asked.

"Yes. There was that sad boy. He came from the place with the dying sun."

Ferry suddenly turned intrigued by the strange conversation."What boy? What's his name?"

"Kian. But when he got here, he told us to call him Andrew."

Ferry felt his heart begin to pound. He looked her in the eye, "Oona, are you sure? About Andrew?"

She nodded.

"Then what happened?"

"Then he began coming to us less often. He only came when I had to ... give him my vim. Then he didn't come at all," she softly said. "My mother loved him very much. She still loves him. She cries every night because she misses him so much"

Ferry watched the clouds above her grow darker.

"Did he hurt you, Oona? Kian?"

"He didn't want to. But my mother said he had to if he wanted to find what they were looking for so they could leave this place after that. But he always cried when he had to do it ..."

Ferry clenched his fists.

"Did it hurt? When they did that to you?" he asked softly, fearing her answer.

"Not that hard," she said. "I usually fell asleep after it happened. I slept for days, and when I woke up, the wounds were already healed. But--"

And Oona began to tremble.

"But?" Ferry asked softly.

"It's just that... that man hurt me every time he came. He never got enough. He always wanted more," she said, and a tear fell down her cheek.

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