Sure, she had never been blooded before, or else faced adverse weather conditions, but she had definitely received her fair share of flying lessons. Even before she had been shoved unceremoniously into the orphanage, her Father had insisted that she rode every animal they owned. She could still hear his soft, dulcet tones whisper in her ear after each practice: “I want you to soar as free as a bird before you can even walk, baby bug.” Although that was never the case, she began to walk only a few days prior to the first time she flew. Her Father’s tears of joy had flown freely that day…
She returned to reality when she realised the krackurr was beginning to descend. Her entire body slid towards its neck – for she was still a petite eight year old – so it took all her energy and concentration to hold on. She clutched its shoulder blades so tightly that feathers began to fall to the ground despite her best intentions.
Finally it landed upon the glassy biome, its claws clicking as it stood upon the structure. She scrabbled down onto the solid, transparent material and patted the krackurr before quietly bending down to whisper into its ear: “Sorry for the lost feathers, my regal animal; I’ll be more cautious next time.” As though he had understood her words, the krackurr bowed his head before slowly moving away down the biome’s edge despite its circular shape. He stopped when he was at a forty five degree angle and turned to face her, head slightly cocked to the side as if pondering her next move.
She lowered her head in response as her heart became heavy with sorrow. So this is what loneliness feels like, she thought. All her life, she had been accompanied by another warm body to depend upon for safety. Even in the orphanage, I was safe in the knowledge that even my enemies were in the same predicament as myself. She sighed heavily. All the happiness which had filled her spirit from the memories of her Father had evaporated all too quickly for her taste.
But then he has gathered up all his faith and bestowed it upon me, she thought, I must do this for him! She could still see him, a little figure in the distance, and knew he would be watching her every move.
After a deep breath, she turned to face her fate.
A small opening had appeared directly in front of her. She squatted to examine it.
It was as though it had been made just for her: its circumference was only a few centimeters larger than her shoulders and hips. Thankfully the drop was not too steep; a large mountain in the middle of the biome rose two feet from the aperture.
She gingerly lowered her right foot inside. When she was sufficiently reassured, she stood to full height and bunny hopped into the opening, legs bending automatically as she fell.
She hoped the snow was as soft as the tales had made her believe.