Flapping wings wake me. With a faint, musty scent, a warm Persian breeze caresses my face. Am I still alive? Only a faint groan comes from my parched throat. Another pain shoots through me, and I shut my eyes in agony. Drifting between wakefulness and dreamland, I stir on this rocky ground. A presence hovers over me. I open my eyes slowly. A cluster of feathers covers my entire field of vision. A familiar beak peeks out. Is that you, Simurgh? I’ve missed you, my friend! I pass out again as the giant bird hoists me up and soars skyward.
Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations have appeared in such venues as Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Strange Horizons.