I ought to be writing more about Gavin, but for some reason George keeps popping up. And since this next word prompt refuses to be used for anyone else, I might as well just write him again.
Laying on his back, all he could feel was his chest moving up and down. Somehow he was still breathing. In some hazy place between consciousness and unconsciousness, the pain couldn't reach him, though he knew the blood gently and slowly drained from his body, mingling with the water of the spring he'd collapsed beside. Above him, light. Fading. Was it day falling into night, or him falling into death?
Up and down went his chest. Air still filled his lungs, then left, then rushed into his mouth and filled them again.
"This is my quest, mother. I can feel it."
The fairy queen's smile curved her gentle lips. In her eyes, a twinkle. Nay, a glimmer, like the glassy surface of Pixie Spring. "You whole life, George, I raised you for this very task."
"I knew the vicious creatures would someday rise to ravage the land, and it was you, George, I prepared to become its downfall when that time came. It is here now."
"Am I ready?" In spite of his surety that this undertaking belonged to him, he searched his mother's gleaming silver eyes.
Tilting her head, she touched her hand to his chest, a single tear slipping down her cheek.
His mother's face faded, replaced by Una's. Tears marked their paths of sorrow and fear on her cheeks, as well.
"Am I ready?"
He wanted to ask her as he stared up at her. Would he die here? Had he failed her? Would she forgive him? But nothing came except inhale, exhale, inhale....
Over his armor and his place by the stream, the princess laid a blanket, and though her lips moved as she brushed back tangled hair from his brow, he heard not a sound.
Then she was gone.
I am ready. He thought with every rhythm of his breath. I am ready. More than just water and blood dampened the ground beneath his head, now.
I am ready.