The Defenders of the Golden Peaks


Sunset crept forward in the heat of summer as FeatherFledgling circled above. They had been traveling for miles across sandy dunes. Now, they needed somewhere to rest. Find the Oasis, the Oasis of One Plum. There, seek blood, the blood of the Summer Sun. Sunset recited the next verse of the poem in her mind. It had been a week since Sunset had set out in search of the Golden Peaks and met FeatherFledgling.

“FeatherFledgling! There’s another Oasis!” Sunset called. FeatherFledgling dipped her wings in a dive. 

“So we have to check every Oasis to find a Plum?” FeatherFledgling muttered, annoyed. 

“We need to find the blood of the Summer Sun, but we also need rest,” Sunset growled as she wove between the trees encircling the Oasis. But then she recalled FeatherFledgling’s blind grey eyes and let out a sigh, grateful for her help. Though FeatherFledgling was blind, She had exceedingly strong hearing that matched her temper.

 This Oasis was the same as every that they had encountered before. Same ring of plum trees, the same round pool of water, BORING! It was almost a waste of time, like FeatherFledgling had kept on saying. It’s not. I’m doing this to find the Golden Peaks and gain my place as a Defender. Her claws flexed in and out of the sandy ground as grief filled her for her mother, who died in an attack by Poachers. Just thinking of them sent her in a fit of rage. Flames rose from Sunset’s paws and tension crackled around her tail. She sliced at the leaves above her with the sharp part of her tail, where in the place of a mound of fur was a diamond. Wingbeats rose around Sunset as FeatherFledgling hovered next to her.

“Bad memories?” FeatherFledgling asked, a tint of concern in her voice.

“ I’m all right,” Sunset replied. Misery flooded over her again and water engulfed the flames. Shaking her head, she cleared her thoughts. “Let’s keep going.”

Night had fallen when Sunset and FeatherFledgling finished their kill. Every Oasis we visit is the same, how are we going to find the right one? Sunset thought as she glanced around. Then her mouth fell open. None of the plum trees around the oasis had any plums except one, with only one. “We found it,” she breathed, “We found the Oasis of One Plum.