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On a Wing

This one felt like I was spending too much time world building in my head but that may just be how I am built. I liked equating sky (the suggested theme for the day) and emotional distance.

On a Wing by Jeremiah McCoy

My wings stretched as far as I could reach. I was trying to extend my glide, so I could make it to the city without too much work. I could have flapped my wings and gained altitude but that is exhausting and I was already tired. The ground was a dark blur below me like uneven ink spilled on a page. The noise blotted anything else out but my thoughts.

They don’t really tell you about that before you fly. They don’t tell you how loud it is. Wind at altitude is blowing fast, to begin with, and I am often flying as fast as a horse can run. All you have is the wind and your thoughts. There are worse things. 

I was on the long approach over the valley. I could see the towers in the distance. They used to gleam white, but that was long ago. They were more of a light grey after years of weather and war. The ridgeline was punctuated by these few grey towers over the wall. The beacons helped us find our way at night. It was the only thing you can clearly see some nights.

My satchel was bound to my thigh. The leather squeezed when I angled into a turn in a not unpleasant way.  Below me, I could see there was movement in the trees. If there was fighting, no one had lit any fires. It was kind of a shame. The thermals would’ve helped.

I flew over a clearing and saw a fight there. It was hard to make out how it was going and part of me was glad of it.  In the sky all things are distant. I don’t have to see someone die, usually.  They were removed and seemingly less real. I wondered if that made me a bad person, but I didn’t have time to worry about it.

We flyers didn’t connect often with bounders, those stuck on the ground. It sort of made it easier to leave when we had a flight to make, but it also made it easier to keep thinking of those dark forms on the ground as abstract. I dipped as I approached the ridge and the towers on it. I used the dive to pick up speed to loop up the tower. 

I could smell the smoke below as I picked up the thermal. They would boil oil just below the towers along the wall. This always generated a thermal we could ride. I looped the tower as I bled speed and landed lightly on the platform. 

The bounder manning the beacons extended his hand and helped me on to the parapet.

“Fresh report from the mountains,” I said as I reached for my satchel, but the bounder waved me down and handed me some water. I sat panting and looked back the way I flew to see the sunrise just beginning.

As I sat watching the light fill the valley below, from a distance as always, I could still sort of hear the roaring wind in my ears. 

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