The mood in the hospital was somber.
“Are we losing him?” Sean asked quietly.
“He wants to die.” Elijah’s throat worked. “I can’t- I can’t hold him here…”
The small bundle of tawny-gray on the table grew still.
“Fly free, little one,” Elijah whispered, lightly touching a feather. Then his bowed head lifted, eyes tracking upward.
For a moment, Sean fancied he saw a ripple in the air as the owl’s spirit soared skyward, leaving his broken body behind. Then it smoothed. He was gone, one with the pine-scented wind.
But Elijah was earth-bound and grieving; Sean gathered him close.