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Becoming

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Elsie chirped. Volroso screeched. I reached my hand to the cold hard piece across the smooth flesh of my face.

“You know you won’t be able to pull it off.” Volroso said his large beady eyes gleaming in the gradually more forgiving darkness though I knew that morning did not draw near. “Trust me; I tried when It started to me.”

“Shut up Volroso, I’m not trying to pull it off.”

Elsie twirled around her feathers fluttering in the created wind. Volroso glared harder at me and stomped forward.

“Sure you weren’t trying, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t thinking of it…”

“Volroso,” Elsie stopped abruptly a few stray puffs floating to the ground around her, “we are right here so that she won’t pull it off. Besides, how much longer will It take? We’ve been here for an hour already.”

They both looked at me and the firming section over my nose. I could feel it involuntarily pulling downward and flattening against my face. I had never imagined such a thing happening to me, it just hadn’t seemed plausible. I had seen them before, perched on the cliffs and on top of buildings, but where had they come from? Why hadn’t there been any of them before? But I suppose it was something I should have expected when I happened to make the mistake of provoking one of them into talking with me.

“Let’s get back to the dance Elsie; she’ll be ready within the next quarter of an hour.” Volroso turned and they resumed the barbaric calls to the darkened skies with shuffling footsteps and flapping wings.

My arms began to tingle and I felt the air around them go soft. In stagnant whispers I felt the hair follicles gather within me and the beak centering on my nose slid into its new proper place.

A scream erupted from me as I felt the first feather break though my skin with a vengeance. When I heard it a second later it no longer sounded like me, it sounded like them.

I had never seen this coming, who knew that just being able to see them meant that you would one day become one? Who knew that just speaking to them set the whole process in motion?

Elsie hopped toward me her excitement inevitable. She reached down and plucked the first feather from my arm. I cried out and watched in horror as blood welled to the spot.

“Great Mother,” The two intoned as Elsie pointed the small fluff towards the sky. “Another has been brought to you to follow the instruction of the sky. Receive her!”

In a twist of unconquerable pain and agony I curled up into a ball, my hair retracting and my skin pushing up. Something in me seemed to rip. Just a small tear but it was enough, words rocketed through me with emotion.



“I grow strong in the darkness of the sun

flourish in the shadows of its light

for what is light when it burns

if not an enemy of ours



A broken breath

assiduous, twisting

explains this feeling

incredible consoling darkness

only a friend of ours.”


Life reared inside my body, with a breath I raised from my crumpled position on the ground. I flexed my burning skin and rippled the feathers that had sprung to its surface. My beak opened and called to the amazing soul of the sky, the Great Mother, my voice adding to the growing thousands all over the world. Without so much of a glance toward the catalysts I leaped into the shivering bath of winds and was gone.




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