True Sisters: Part Four
I opened my eyes and stretched, looking around me. I was
at the base of a large hill, over which the sun was rising. Surrounding me were
my two sisters and Aaron all curled into a ball. My legs were extremely sore from
walking so long. I nearly cried out as I tried to stand, but Lyra rushed up and
curled around them, the way she usually traveled when we were flying. I understood
what she meant and flapped once, twice, until I lifted off the ground. I flew
higher and higher until I could see all around me. Despair filled my heart as
I looked around and saw no trace of a town or a settlement, there wasn't even
a road. Lyra sighed a little and let go of my legs, spreading out her tail and
spinning like a helicopter towards the ground. I grinned and swooped down to catch
her on my back, and we reenacted our childhood game. We continued like this until
we hit the ground, when we soared high again, and landed once again at the bottom
of the hill. We were both breathing a little harder, but our faces were shining
with joy. Aaron was lying by the newly started fire, slowly stirring the contents
of a large pot. He looked up at us when we landed, and smiled.
"Welcome back. How was your flight?"
"Wonderful, thank you. Isn't there any way we
could arrange for Tid to ride on Morbid's back or something?"
"Nope, sorry. We could if we tried, but your
legs are weaker than I thought. They need the exercise. If you're going to...
" He stopped speaking abruptly. "Never mind. You need the exercise." He went
back to stirring the pot.
"Hey, what's in there, anyway?" I asked, curious.
He filled a cup full and handed it to me.
I drank my cup and by the time I was finished,
Morbid and Tid had woken up and started eating. While we were waiting for them
to finish, I started asking Aaron a few things.
"So, why do we need the equipment?" I questioned,
gesturing towards the unopened bags.
Aaron was silent. He looked over at me and sat
down of his haunches. "Well," he said, finally. "We don't want to look or be
under prepared. These roads aren't exactly easy to travel. Bandits and robbers
visit them frequently. Plus, I don't think that Cinpate's answers will be what
we want to hear. He might suggest war, he likes to do that."
He shrugged and continued. "You can put them
on; we're not anywhere near Meridell anymore. It's safe." He opened his bag
and started suiting up. I turned towards mine and put on all my armor. I buckled
my weapons at my belt and looked towards the others. Everyone was armored up
and had gathered their bags. With my cloak on, the early morning heat was enhanced,
and I threw it into my bag. The armor I had on had small holes in it that allowed
air to pass through and cool my body.
A rush of morning energy filled me, and without
thinking I shot off into the sky. The armor on my body felt as if it weighed
nothing and I sped through the air. I thought I heard Aaron call out from behind
me, but my senses pushed him away. This was where I was meant to be. This is
where I belonged. This was the best feeling I had ever felt; this was my calling,
my being, and my soul. I pushed my wings down towards my body and went into
a steep dive.
"YAAAAA!" I screamed in delight.
In the middle of a midair spin I looked behind
me and saw Aaron flying to catch up with me. Suddenly, reality hit, and I slowed
to a soar, allowing Aaron to catch up. He came right up behind me, and without
a word grabbed my tail. I cried out with pain but turned and followed him obediently
down. Every fiber in my body, every cell, told me to turn around and fly higher,
and as hard as it was, I pushed the feelings down and continued my slow descent.
When we reached the ground, I saw Tid sobbing
into Morbid's shoulder. I was shocked, Tid never cried. She turned to look at
me, and began to cry even harder. Morbid passed her over to Aaron and pulled
me to the side.
"What exactly is your problem? Are you just trying
to make Tid feel bad? All she wants is to be helpful, but when she slowed us
down by only being able to walk, she felt like a burden. How could you do this
"Morbid, please. You have to understand," I started,
but Morbid interrupted.
"Don't you Morbid please me. I know you just
want to show off your flying skills. I know you... "
I cut her off. "I don't want to hurt anybody.
It's just that Pteri wings are not made for walking, just like Chia arms aren't
made for weight lifting. Sure, we can do it, but we can't walk 15 miles a day!
We just can't! We need the sky, the air, and the open space. All of you, sure,
you can fly, but you can also walk. I can't. I'm sorry, I wish there was something
I could do about it, but there's just not."
Morbid seemed shocked at my outburst. "Fan, you
can walk, you just won't..."
"But I do! I try so, so, hard. One time, when
I was younger, I decided to just focus on walking. For a whole week, I didn't
fly once. That was when my leg bone snapped. We Pteris just are not made for
walking. I'm sorry." And I was. How I wished I could walk beside them and keep
Tid away from the pain she was now feeling. "I'm sorry," I whispered, and I
glided back to where Aaron was.
I perched in a tree and waited until after Morbid
told him what I had said. Aaron looked up at me, but I drew back, trying to
hide behind my wings.
"Fan," he started, but was interrupted as a huge
black shadow crossed over us. Morbid screamed and whatever was making the shadow
let out a huge, loud, deep roar. I pulled my Pteri Sword from my belt, thinking,
"This is the time to redeem myself." I jumped into the sky and flew towards
the shadow, which turned out to be an overly large Darigan Lenny. Its huge,
nasty colored beak glistened and its large muscle toned wings beat the air noiselessly.
It looked at me and screeched loud and long. My tiny bird ears cried out with
pain, but I held to sword out in front of me and charged it down...
"Oof!" I felt the wind get knocked out of me
and I tumbled towards the ground, pushed out of the air by Aaron with Tid on
his back, only to be caught on the back of Morbid, who was screaming instructions.
"THE FLUTE! GET OUT THE FLUTE!" she cried
over the sound of the bird's screeches. I pulled the flute out of my pocket
and yelled back.
"PLAY IT! PLAY IT!"
I stopped, not knowing what to play, but when
Morbid dodged the bird's massive foot, I put it to my beak and started blowing.
The same song came out as last time, but this
time it was sharp and quick, and it slowed down into a dull melody, I looked
around me and saw that the bird was moving as if in slow motion, while Aaron
and Tid zoomed around it. Everything was moving so fast, yet so slow. I saw
Tid leap off of Aaron's back, her fur rippling in the sun and wind, hooves stretched
out fully, a smile of pure joy on her face. Still smiling, she slammed right
into the bird. It screeched, but Tid held on. She grabbed her sword and continued
to fight the foul creature, slashing at it again and again. I could tell the
song was coming to an end and tried to signal to them, but they couldn't see
me, and because I was using my wings to pick out the notes, I couldn't fly in
their direction. Tid reared up onto her hind legs and, in seemingly slow motion,
smashed her boots into the bird's skull. It wove through the air until crashing
into the growth below with Tid still on its back.
"TID!" I screamed, wrenching the flute from my
beak. I pushed it onto Morbid and dove down after Tid, the sharp cold air streamlining
past me as I flew through the air. The tree branches scraped my face but I paid
no mind, all I cared about was one thing.
"TID!" I called again, trying to pick her out
among the bushes. I heard a cry and I ran in its direction. Tid was caught at
the top of a tree. Her side held a huge gash wound, which was oozing blood.
I flew up to her and starting pulling her into the sky, getting away from the
huge birds listless body, completely knocked out by that excellent move from
Tid. I struggled to gain altitude under her weight, but Aaron, who yelled at
me to run back to camp and get bandages, saved me by grabbing her from beneath
me. Anxious to help, I swept past the trees and grabbed the bandages, making
it back to Aaron in record time.
Tid whimpered as I helped Aaron secure the bandages,
but I brought Slowpoke up there, and he immediately snuggled up close and comforted
her. As we put her in a sling secured between Morbid and Aaron, I leaned in
close and whispered, "Hey Tid, you all right?"
As she looked up at me, her eyes shone with happiness.
"Fan," she whispered, her voice hoarse yet full of joy, "Fan... I was... flying."
To be continued...