Welcome to the fifth week of Short Fiction Wednesday, in which I feature the first 1.5-2k of a story from my ebook collection Night Bird Soaring and Other Stories, which features 17 different reprint selections ranging from fantasy to horror to alternate history. If you enjoy what you read here, you can purchase the full collection at Amazon or B&N for $2.99.
This week's selection is "So Weeps the Thunderbird", which originally appeared in a Lilith-themed anthology called Lilith Unbound. It's a bitter-sweet story of love and betrayal, featuring the Thunderbird of Native American lore and of course Lilith, who appears here not as a demon but rather an angel. She's every bit the selfish, manipulative creature of the old stories though and ensnaring the Thunderbird's affections will not only bring great destruction on the world, but will see him lose everything he holds most dear.
So Weeps the Thunderbird
Wakinyan the Thunderbird landed in the Kingdom of Heaven’s pastel-and-marble city center and shook the rain from his enormous wings. A couple of angels sitting on nearby stools, playing Takhteh Nard, protested the shower, but Wakinyan ignored them, ruffling his golden-brown feathers then smoothing them, making sure he looked proper for his audience with Yahweh. He then hopped toward the palace entrance, his talons clicking on the marble surface.
In the hallway he encountered the angel Samael—Yahweh’s eldest son—who appraised him with amusement. “Can I help you with something?” he asked the giant bird.
The Thunderbird blinked his impatient yellow eyes. “I bring greetings to your father from the Great Spirit. You will show me to him.”
Samael narrowed his icy-blue eyes but then turned and led the way. Wakinyan had met him the summer before, when the Great Spirit invited Yahweh and his young angels to watch the stick-and-ball games on the mighty plains. Samael spent much of the time comparing his wing color with Raven's, absurdly stupid since they both had ill-kept, dingy black feathers that appeared to be crawling with lice. Wakinyan didn't like how Samael smirked at his hopping gait. Not that Wakinyan ever liked anyone; he found it easier to be suspicious rather than cheery.