Katie was never the adventurous type. She preferred to stay at home and finish her English essay or clean her room. Her whole world shattered when her mom told her that she was to visit her grandma in Australia, where on almost every corner there was a creepy crawly waiting for her. She faces many dangers and has to make some decisions that will change her life.


12. Goodbye

   Katie glanced over her shoulder and grinned.  She still had her lead on Tiffana and Matteo.  They were all flying over the island's treetops and were racing to the waterfall.  Suddenly, Katie couldn't see Tiff and Matt.  She hesitated, slowing until she was hovering between the topmost branches of the great palm trees.  All of the sudden, she spotted two figures flying about fifty meters in front of her.  Tiff and Matt were beating her!  Katie put on a burst of speed as the majestic waterfall came into view, but it was too late.  Her friends had already landed on a little cleft beneath the shade of some bushes above the cascade.

   "Haha!" Tiff teased, "We beat you!"

   "Only because you took a short cut," Katie retorted.

   Matteo grinned at both of them and said, "You guys can argue all you want, but I'm going to go break open the picnic basket!"

   He took placed the woven basket on the ground and opened the hatch.  Grabbing the checkered blanket, Matt unfolded the fabric and laid it on the moss-covered boulder.

   Katie knelt by the basket and set out their picnic.  The three friends spent the next hour eating and chatting and having a great time.  Katie enjoyed spending time with her friends, but even as she was laughing at Tiff's comment at Matteo's expense, she found her mind drifting to later that day.  In the afternoon, she knew that she would have to say goodbye to all of her friends and the kind people who took her in when she was in need.  

   Katie still remembered the day when her plane had been struck by lightning and she had fallen out of the sky.  The day of the battle, she had found out that Matteo had been the one that had seen her falling out of the sky when she had traveled back to the birds with Matteo and Tiffana.    

   He had leaped off of the watch tower and sped to her rescue.  Matteo had slowed her fall until she had come to the treetops.  Then he had released his firm grip on her and she had continued her fall through the oak's huge branches.  He had met up with her at the forest floor, where he had dragged her unconscious form and placed her injured leg that had been broken from her fall though the branches in the cold stream.  Matteo had made a crude pillow out of oak leaves and made her as comfortable as possible.  Then he had flown to the castle and alerted King Burten.  Matteo had saved her life many times and she felt indebted to him.

   Katie leaned against him now, and felt herself falling for this guy who cared so much about her and who had saved her so many times.  She looked at him and smiled.  His hazel eyes reminded her of the beautiful forest in the calm morning.  She let his steady breathing and occasional hearty laugh lull her to sleep.  Katie closed her eyes to enjoy a blissful sleep.


   Having finished all of her packing, Katie shut her small pack and put on her sandals.  It was time for her flight home.  She silently exited the room, leaving Tiffana to keep on babbling mindlessly.  As she walked through the long hall, she heard Tiff's monotonous words abruptly stop.  Footsteps echoed though the hallway as Katie's friend hurried to catch up.

   "Ready for your big flight?" Tiff ran and caught up to Katie.

   "Ya, but I'm a little nervous.  And, I really want to stay with you but I want to be with my family, too."

   "Well, I think that I have the perfect solution.  How about I come home with you and then we can come to the annual Spring Celebration every year to see everybody!  It's perfect!" Tiff used her hands to accentuate the point that she was trying to get across.

   "Ya, but how do I explain you to my parents?" Katie retorted.  The two girls stood in contemplation, thinking for a way around this obstacle.  But like so many others, this barrier did not stop the two friends.  "Ooh!" Katie exclaimed, "I can tell them that I went to Australia and couldn't find my grandma, so I just came home!  Wait - but how do you come into the picture?"

   "Uh, Ooh!  I know!" Tiff almost jumped up and down in her excitement.  "We can say that when you got lost I helped you and we became so close together I decided to help you get home, blah, blah, blah…"

   "Oh my gosh, Tiff!  You rock!!!" Tiffana's excited energy started to rub off on Katie.

   Tiff heaved open the door to an outdoor balcony and motioned for Katie to follow her.  The two friends gazed out upon the beautiful forest.  The serene beach in the background mirrored Katie's calm mood.  Instead of feeling nervous and anxious, Katie now felt excited and joyous.

   "Let's go," Katie said, breaking the silence of awe that held the two friends there.

   "Good idea," Tiff replied, already reopening the doors to the castle, "It's probably time for us to set flight soon."

   Katie and Tiffana stood on the raised platform above the entire population of the Island of Wings.  They waved and personally thanked King Burten and the people once again before turning around and facing the early morning sun.  Pale violet, sharp pink, and powder blue graced the beautiful sky.

   The two friends waved goodbye to the Island of Wings and flew into the gorgeous sunrise.

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