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The passage beneath was blocked and sealed with iron. The sisters did not discuss all they had lost. No one ever asked them if they had even wanted to be rescued.
This is the story after the faerie tale.
Bide here. Lirón comes.
“Did you hear that?” they whispered among themselves and agreed that, yes, each of them heard that, but not with their ears.
They all looked at the hippogriff, but only Aurora met its gaze. It despises us, she thought with surprise. A beast that despises us.
I find most humans contemptible as well as bad-tasting.
Her lips turned upward slightly at the corners. Touché, she thought, and caught the faintest glimmer of humor from the hippogriff.
“When will Lirón arrive?” she asked aloud, more as a courtesy to the others than for the hippogriff’s sake.
The animal cocked its head, opened and shut its beak with a click, and then sneezed. It shook its head, sending a feather into the breeze, which twirled it in unseen fingers for the princess to catch. She held it to her lips and surreptitiously sniffed. The scent wasn’t sour like poultry, but fresh, clean, and somehow wild.
Toss it into the wind should you have need of me, beloved of Lirón.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
The hippogriff bowed its head, turned tail, galloped a few steps, and leaped into the wind.