On a wing and a prayer

This was inspired by Jaedia’s The Explorer Task.

Heavy wings beating slowly, I glided down towards the parched earth of the Bone Wastes. Skimming the ground, I could almost feel the dirt brush my feathers. Then suddenly spiralling upwards, breaking for the clouds, turning circles in the sky. Terokkar Forest drew me like a magnet. From the first day I set foot within its glades, I knew, knew there was something here for me. Not in Allerian Stronghold, where people expect you to walk upright, wear shoes, talk not growl but in the forest itself and the wastes that bordered it. Those quiet places where the sweet smell of the olemba seeds lulls your senses and quickens the blood. The natural  spaces where most tend not to look, seeing only trees and grass and sky.

Underneath the sheltering trees we could stalk our prey, shadowed by their branches we could prowl to our hearts content. There are rivers for a bear to fish in, splashing water wildly as we dive for fresh gleaming darter. I remember so clearly the first time I saw you. Balanced on a fence, you were regarding a bloodelf with the contempt cats show so well.

A cat can look at a Bloodelf

Deep purple fur, so regal, marked only by a crescent moon on your flank. Then you took flight, blocking the sun as you soared into the sky. I could only stand and stare. I watched til you fluttered from my view, then slowly slunk back to Allerian.

The next few months were hard. I learnt much, swam, climbed, tried to forget those silver eyes which mirrored my own. I explored every inch of Terokkar, as part of my schooling of course, not because I was hoping I’d find you. Climbed trees, hunted, took my loneliness out on those foolish enough to wander the forest after dark. Then finally, they told me, I was ready. Ready to change into a raven. To feel my bones become so much lighter, my green hair become soft black down and jet black feathers. Now I have a different vantage point. Terokkar looks so different from the skies, staring down at the green leaves, the forest floor hidden from view.

I knew the lakes above Allerian existed. When taking a gryphon I’d even seen one once, pale waters reflecting moonlight surrounded by flowers. It looked beautiful. I’d longed for the chance to visit it myself and now, now I have wings I’ve been avoiding it. Scared of what I might find, who I might find. I waited for the moon to once again be full and fat. Climbing out onto the window ledge, closing my eyes against the cool night breeze, I jumped for the moon. My shape twisting mid air, contorting into talons and feathers just before I would have fallen.

Circling above the lakes, I searched for signs of life below. I saw nothing but the silver moon reflected both in my eyes and in the water. Diving down I switched to my own form just before the cold mountain water plunged over my head. Letting the current carry for me a moment, I swam til my lungs screamed at me, bursting with pain. Crawling from the water, cold and saddened, I lay in the moonlight, patting a water lily with my paw.

I remembered then, the game I’d seen the children in Stormwind play countless times. The words unbidden rising to my lips, “loves me, loves me not” chanted as they ripped flower petals apart. A tear dripping down my cheek, I shifted back to bird and flew home.

Lying on my pillow was a single purple feather. Not purpley bruise black, but a bright vibrant purple. Clutching it close, I hurried downstairs. The Innkeeper looked up as I ran in, still wet from my dip in the lake. “Please, where, where does this feather come from?”

Eyeing my soaking condition for a moment, she was silent, “please, I need to know”.

Nodding, “it’s a Lost Torranche feather”

“Don’t tell me they are lost because no one knows where to find them?”

“No child, lost because they live only on Sorrow Wing Point these days and now because it’s splintered from the mainland, they’re lost.”

“Thank you, thank you”, my bare feet leaving muddy prints on the floor, I ran from the building. Sorrow Wing point, it’s name didn’t sound too auspicious but what choice did I have. Heart pounding, I soared once more into the dark sky. The flight over the Bone Wastes seemed to take but seconds and then I was descending into the broken ruins of Sorrow Wing. The moonlight could not penetrate the trees here, there was a lush darkness at their bases. Anything could be hiding there. The Torranche themselves blended purple into the shadows, silent and watching.

Dropping to the ground, I prowled towards the darkest part of the point. Beyond the soft rippling of the wind and the talons of the plainstriders scratching dust, there was nothing. I might as well have been alone. Then suddenly a blood red water lily petal floated past me landing on the grassy carpet of green. “Loves me, loves me not, loves me”, the voice was soft, a mere whisper on the wind. My eyes scanned the skyline, there .. sitting on a tree branch.

Another petal drifted down, then another. Two pairs of silver eyes watching as the flower fell apart, “loves me not, loves me”, two voices murmuring in unison. “Loves me”, the last petal started its arc down towards the ground.

As the morning sun cast its first rays over Sorrow Wing Point, two dark birds soared from the forest floor and disappeared over the Bone Wastes.

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