I have to keep flying. My wings are sore from the pressure and flying for so long, but I can’t land. Below me there is only sea. Endless black, ice cold water reaching its white foamy fingers as high as it can in an attempt to drag me to its bottom. When I was younger, all I ever wished for was a pair of wings to match my father's. Wings that would carry me farther than the east wind could blow, and strong enough to change the tides I flew over. I got my wings, but they are not what I hoped they’d be. What a pathetic excuse for a daughter I am with these songbird wings of mine. Weak, nearly snapping off my body, forcing my broken ribs into my flaming lungs with every gust of wind along my path. There is no land anywhere in sight. Only sharp, slippery rocks jutting out of the ice black sea, which will cut my limbs if I land on them. Believe me, I’ve tried.
I can’t remember the last time my feet felt the soft forest floor of the place I call home. I try to lose myself in a memory as I fly in an attempt to make the pain in my chest disappear. I think of my home tree, with its thick trunk, roots protruding from the ground, branches reaching out as far as they could go, even more roots coming down off the branches and digging themselves into the soil. My tree shouldn’t be there, they tell me. They burrow their way into my soul with their slit-eyes, giggling as they tell me that I don’t belong in this forest. That I never did. She yells at them to leave. The girl with the long wavy silver hair, like the rays of light dancing off the moon in the inky black skies of my home. That is why I call her Moonlight. Her eyes are greener than any tree in our forest, holding thousands of years of secrets and memories. We would sit in our trees for hours, hers bright green with its loose vines swaying every which way, and mine sitting still as a statue with its blank white trunk and roots. I can’t go back home. Not until I’ve proven myself.
I’m snapped back into reality when crimson blood begins to stream from my mouth. I look up to see yet another storm brewing. This one will be the end of me. Maybe I should just stop all this. Let my breaking wings stop their beating. Let the foamy white fingers grab and drag me to the bottom of the ice black sea. There would be no more pain. Their voices would stop ringing in my ears. My father's disappointment in me and my wings would no longer have hold over me. I could finally rest. I edge closer to the water. Adrenaline I didn’t know I had rushes through me, making my broken ribs screech in pain, me along with them.
I hear her calling me, telling me to remember why I’m flying in the first place. That’s right. I can’t stop. Not now. Not until my father sees that I have more in me then my wings show. Not until I’ve shown that I belong in the forest I call home. “That’s right,” I tell myself. “I have to keep flying.”