A bird bounced in between the wooden bars of Bay’s cage. He lazily lifted his hand to shoo it away. Damn seagulls after his dinner again. But he stopped. This bird was blue.
We must be close to land he thought. How else would a bird like this be here?
Hoping he could entice it to stay, he pinched a small bit of his fish dinner and tossed it out on the edge of the table.
The bird cautiously hopped closer and ate the fish. Bay marveled at the brilliant blue feathers and jet black eyes. He had never seen a bird like it. But, that’s not surprising, Bay hadn’t seen much in his short life. The Portus captured him at 7, and he had been the Windbearer of the Sentinel Mark ever since.
“Who’s a pretty bird? Where’d you come from? What’s your name?” he said.
Sailors strolled by large wood cage, but mostly ignored him. The Windbearer may sit on the deck, but they are not part of the crew. They are a device, a tool. Truth be told, the sailors only really cared if he was still alive. No one wants to be caught on the sea without a bearer.
Bay didn’t care. He had long gotten over the misery of his situation. He found peace in the little things. The songs of the sailors, the whales, the birds, well except seagulls.
Bit by bit, as the night wore on, Bay fed the bird the rest of his dinner. Luckily for the bird, a well fed Windbearer is the key to success at sea.
Bay pushed away from the table. The bird hopped onto his plate and picked at the remaining crumbs. It finished and glanced back at Bay as if it was looking for more.
Bay twirled his finger and swirled up some dust from the floor of his cage. He made it dance in shapes on the table. It was a simple trick, but he hoped it would keep the bird from flying off. At first it was startled, but soon it was bouncing along with the little shapes Bay made.
Bay entertained the bird for hours. He told stories with the swirling dust. Stories of his family and of his voyages on the sea. The bird watched. Bay wasn’t sure if he understood, but he seemed to be riveted by the motion. Bay tried to stay awake. He knew if he fell asleep, the bird would leave, and he didn’t want it to go. Eventually he lost the battle, his head drooped, and the dust dropped to the ground.
To be continued…