For the month of October we have a new character showcase.  Please warmly welcome the infamous trio as they finally make their debut on the forum! :thudstonk  :RedclawTerrified  The character showcase topic for this month can be found here.

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Also keep in mind that the forum fanfiction awards will be opening up after the appreciated member voting has been completed.  If you are interested in participating then please submit the stories of yours you would like to nominate to me by PM.  Details can be found here.

"The Light of My Life"

F-14 Ace

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It was a warm evening in late summer and the moon cast a milky white light on the land below.  Talons clicked on the ground as the gryphon paced back and forth nervously.

   Do my feathers look alright? He thought to himself.  

 He made his way over to a nearby stream and gazed at his reflection in the calm waters.  A pair of golden-orange eyes stared back at him.  His dark reddish-brown feathers and dark brown fur were neatly groomed except for a few feathers that looked out of place.  The gryphon dipped his talons into the water and began to run them through the feathers in his head, trying to reorganize them.   Then he stretched out his wings and proceeded to preen his wing feathers again.  He had to look proper after all.  After he finished, he looked at his reflection again, only it wasn’t just his reflection that looked back at him this time.  He was startled to see the reflection of a female gryphon with tan feathers and amber eyes sitting next to him.  Turning his head, he saw her sitting beside him, gazing into his eyes.

   “You missed a spot.” She said, dipping her talons in the water and rubbing them along one of the male gryphon’s ears.  “Don’t worry, Windstrider.  You look fine.” said the gryphoness warmly, the corners of her beak drawing up into a smile.

    “Elees…” whispered the gryphon softly.  “You look beautiful tonight.”

   “Am I not always beautiful?” she teased.  “So, what is it that you wanted to tell me, Windstrider?” asked the female gryphon in a tone that suggested she knew exactly why he had asked to meet her.

   “I was…  I was thinking we could go flying together.” The gryphon said clearly trying to contain his nervousness.



   Elees giggled slightly.  She clearly saw right through him.  “Sure.  Let’s go flying then.” She said, nuzzling Windstrider’s neck with her beak.

   Windstrider spread his wings out and took off into the sky with Elees following.  The two young gryphons flew low over the trees as the moonlight bathed them in a pale white light.  The gryphons flew northward toward the sea.  They passed over an apple orchard and Windstrider descended, flying between the rows of apple trees.  Elees followed suit, laughing as she weaved between the trees.  Windstrider’s eyes caught a shiny red apple and his talons plucked it from the tree as he passed by.  With his prize in hand, he climbed back into the sky again.  He glanced at Elees and she gazed back at him.  He knew she was waiting for him to ask the burning question.

   Not just yet. Windstrider told himself.

   “Have you ever been to Gringsford?” Windstrider asked Elees as she flew alongside him.

   “No.  I haven’t.” replied Elees.

   “Look!” Windstrider said with a smile, pointing a talon out ahead of them.  The glowing lights of a great city could be seen ahead.

   The gryphons flew over a ridge and there it was spread out before them.  A great palace stood atop a cliff overlooking the city of Gringsford, the capital city of Danthuania.  A pair of bronze gryphon statues stood on either side of the palace gate looking out over the city.  Elees looked on with amazement.

    “I’ve never seen a human city before!” she exclaimed, astonished.

   Music filled the air and people could be seen singing and dancing in the streets below.  The two gryphons passed over a large square where a bonfire seemed to light up the night.  it was a scene of jubilation and merriment

   “What’s going on down there?” Elees asked, her voice filled with curiosity.

   “It’s the Festival of the Harvest.” Windstrider explained.  “Every year the humans celebrate the coming of autumn and the harvest.”

   “I’m unfamiliar with human customs.” Elees stated, looking around and taking in all the amazing sights and sounds around her.

   Windstrider chuckled.  “My father was a scholar.  He spent a great deal of time around the humans and taught me many of their customs.”

   “You’ll have to teach me.” Elees said.

   “I certainly will.”

   Windstrider lowered his altitude until he was flying right above the rooftops.  The harbor lay just ahead.

   “And that’s the ocean?  I’ve never seen it before!”  Elees exclaimed excitedly.

   “Now you have!” Windstrider smiled.  

The moonlight and the lights of the city seemed to dance on the smooth surface of the water.  Windstrider flew right above the surface, flapping his wings to keep his speed up.  He still held the apple close to his chest.  Beside him, Elees laughed as she let her talons skim the surface of the water.

   Elees looked around at all the ships anchored in the harbor.  “So these are what they call ships?"  

   Windstrider nodded. “Look up ahead!  We’re gonna get a real close look at one of the ships!”

   Just ahead of the gryphons lay a massive leviathan of a ship, a three-masted, forty-four gun frigate.  Her hull was painted a gleaming white with a light blue stripe running lengthwise down the middle of her hull, the peacetime colors of the Danthuanian Navy.  The name “Sunflower” was painted across the ship’s stern just below a row of windows.  The ship’s anchors were dropped and her sails were furled.  A row of lanterns along the railings lit up the main deck.  
   On the bow of the ship was a figurehead of a young woman holding a bouquet of sunflowers.

   “That’s the HMS Sunflower, flagship of the Royal Danthuanian Navy.” Windstrider explained.


 “I’ve never seen anything like it!” Elees exclaimed with a sense of wonder.

   Windstrider chuckled.  He could tell she was having the time of her life.

   Just then a whistling sound filled the air followed by a loud bang.  An explosion of red light filled the air as colorful jets of light shot across the sky.  Elees gasped in surprise.  A rocket shot up into the air from the shore and an explosion of blue sparks streamed across the sky.

   “What’s going on?” Elees asked with a worried tone.

   “Relax.  They’re just fireworks.  Beautiful aren’t they?” Windstrider explained.

   More fireworks exploded overhead, sending a rainbow of colors dancing across the water.

Elees gazed at the fireworks.

   “Let’s get a better look!” Windstrider said to Elees.

   He climbed high into the air and leveled off.  Then he flew toward the upper part of the Sunflower’s center past.  The gryphon flared his wings, slowing himself down and he landed atop the ship’s crow’s nest.  Elees followed suit.  The two gryphons sat perched atop the ship’s mast watching the fireworks crack and explode over the water.  On the deck below, the sailors were far too mesmerized by the firework display to notice the two gryphons.

 “It’s so beautiful.” Elees said softly.  "Thank you for showing me this!"

   Windstrider smiled.

   Now is the time.

   “Elees, there is something I wanted to ask you.”

   The gryphoness looked at him, her eyes glowing with excitement.

   “We’ve known each other for most of our lives.  We’ve been through so much together.” Windstrider said.  “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

   Windstrider opened his talons, presenting her with the apple.  “Elees, will you be my mate?”

   Elees glanced briefly at the apple and then back at Windstrider.  Her beak hung open and she looked like she was fighting back tears of joy.

   “I love you.” Windstrider said softly.

   “Windstrider…” Elees gasped softly, burying her face in the feathers on his chest.  “Yes!  Yes I will!”

   Windstrider fought back tears of his own as he wrapped his wings around Elees, holding her warm body close to his.

   “I love you with all my heart, Elees, and I will always be there for you.  I promise.”

   “Then my heart belongs to you now and forever!” Elees whispered, nuzzling Windstrider’s neck.  "And no matter what may lie ahead, we’ll face it together.”

   Elees eyed the apple Windstrider had presented to her.

   “I know how much you like apples.” Windstrider said, holding it out for her.

   Elees smiled and bit the apple in half, leaving the other half resting in Windstrider’s talons.

   “You can have the other half.” She said.

   “But I got it for y…”

   Windstriders words were cut off when Elees grabbed the remaining half of the apple in her talons and stuffed it into his beak.  She laughed as he ate the rest of the apple and Windstrider joined in, laughing with her.

   “You’re the light of my life.” Windstrider whispered, holding Elees close to him and wrapping her in his wings.

   

   Elees hummed and rested her head on his shoulder.  For what seemed like an eternity, the two gryphons just sat there, perched atop the mast of a sailing ship watching fireworks over the water.  This was the happiest moment of their lives.

The end.


Here's some background on what's going on since these characters are actually part of a bigger story.  This is a short story featuring Windstrider and Elees, two of my gryphon characters.  They've been featured in a couple other stories I've written as well.  I wanted to write something warm and lighthearted and I thought having Windstrider propose to the love of his life would be the perfect thing.  The gryphons live in a land called Danthuania, an 18th Century/1700s era society where humans and gryphons pretty much coexist and gryphons are highly respected and revered.
 
Windstrider is a well educated and and well cultured gryphon.  He has spent time around humans and is familiar with their customs.  Elees is more of a "wild" gryphon who has spent little time around them so Windstrider decided to show her the wonders of a human city before "popping the question".



ADFan185

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It's a good story you written the bound between the characters where good and written well. I enjoyed the story a lot.


F-14 Ace

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These characters are actually the parents of the main character in the other story I'm working on.  I might post it here.