Excerpts

Learning To Fly

She stood completely still in the mist, her teacher equally still beside her. She knew there was a cliff in front of her but she could not make out much detail beyond the edge. The feathers on the ends of her wings fluttered gently in the wind as she stood watching, hoping to get a glimpse of the land beyond. Slowly she took a step closer to the edge and stretched her wings outwards, nervous about the task in front of her.

Standing still again, waiting, she watched the mist swirl. This time she was rewarded for her patience by a brief glimpse of what was beyond the cliff. It was not enough to be sure what was there but enough to make her take another small step forwards.

Her teacher, eager to continue, walked right to the edge and as he did the mist parted again, allowing her to see the drop from the cliff and the valley below.

The view took her breath away as the luscious green of valleys and trees filled her vision. Encouraged by what she saw, she hastily took the final step towards the edge of the cliff and hesitating once again.

The mist closed in around her even thicker than before, as if it thought she had seen enough and did not want to tempt her further.

For a long time she did nothing but shake gently with fear. She had never flown before and she was not sure she was ready to. After a lengthy pause her nerves got the better of her and she took a step backwards. Her teacher immediately turned to her.

“You can do this. Trust me,” he said, frowning at her doubt.

“I’m not sure I can.” She couldn’t look at him.

“I would not ask you to do this if you could not.”

She nodded in response and stepped back to the edge. She held her breath, spread her wings and finally jumped off the cliff. The teacher followed and for a moment the two of them plummeted towards the ground below, still wrapped in the white entrails of the fog.

After what seemed an age to her she snapped out of her panic, used her wings to soar in the wind and then started moving them up and down, matching the rhythmic beat of her heart. Within seconds she was beginning to climb again, her teacher still beside her.

She let out a laugh of joy as she rose back to her previous height and then higher still. The two of them flew and danced around each other enjoying simply being there together, until she suddenly noticed that the wind had picked up and finally cleared the mist away.

Without hesitating she flew down and landed amongst the trees and flowers below. Her teacher was not far behind and faced her as he landed. It was obvious that he was as exhilarated as she was by her first flight. They smiled at each other sharing the moment before her grin broadened and she enquired.

“What’s next?”

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