I met the sorceress outside of Hammarsteldt, near the ruined castle. She told me she used to live in that castle with her lover. He had slept in chains high in a tower that now lay crumbled on the dry August hillside. And every night she had taken the shape of a pigeon and flown through the bars in his window to purr against his neck.
She told me this while walking barefoot down the road that ran past the ruins of the castle, searching the grass between the cobblestones. “What are you looking for,” I asked. “An engagement ring,” she said. We walked along the road and she told me of the man who had once been her lover. I said he must have been a very lucky man and I smiled and I think she blushed.
“Ah,” she said, “here is the ring.” She nudged a loose stone aside and retrieved a thin, white gold ring, with three sapphires set in it, shining blue as the sea. “It’s lovely,” I said. She smiled. “You should have it. But I should like to know the name of the one I am engaged to.”
“It’s Amy,” I said, and she placed the ring on my finger. And to this day I wander the road by the ruined castle, scanning the sky for the single golden pigeon who stole my heart, listening to the silence in my chest.