The phoenix said nothing. She twisted her long, elegant neck to look up at the crackling orange flames of her nest high in the Silver Ash behind her and for a long moment the entire crowd held its breath in anticipation.
Then Serafina turned back to face the two women standing beneath her, and she spread her shining wings wide. As she leaned forward and her talons came free of her perch, her thunderous voice whispered, “I dare not.”
The golden phoenix leapt from the branch of the Silver Ash and plummeted to the ground with her wings stretched wide to catch the autumn wind. At the last moment her gleaming feathers swept her up and away from the green grass and the phoenix flew forward, toward the two women, and crashed into Daphne’s arms.
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