One and then Two

An eight year old girl got wings. Now she's fifteen, flying at night for the thrill of it and convinced there's another like her doing the same. On her quest to find them, she must be careful not to reveal what she is.

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2. Taking Flight

Even though nine years have passed since that day, my wings have remained roughly the same. They've grown in size along with me and become stronger with every flight I've taken but the shape and colour have remained the same. The feathers up at the top are a deep brown, like chocolate's melting all over my wings. The feathers fade into a more subtle, milky brown until they're almost white at the bottom.

"Alex, honey, come up here and clean your room. I've asked you to since last thursday but this is too much. Make your bed and pick these clothes off the floor. Guess what? They don't need to live in a pile in the centre of your room," my mom lectured from upstairs. I had hidden my flying clothes in that pile but hadn't been able to wash them at home since last week. 

"Don't touch 'em, I'll do it right now!" I yelled, praying she wouldn't dig into the pile that had been steadily growing. 

I was naturally a neat person but desperation had forced me to hide things, and sometimes it's easiest to blend things. My mom's footsteps sounded as though they were walking away from my room and so I decided it was safe to go up. She was in my sister Lexi's room, dropping off laundry so I dashed across the hall and into my safe haven. 

After shutting my door I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding and began to put away the clean clothes I had put on my floor in an attempt to mask the flying ones. I folded all of the shirts, shorts and socks until the only thing remaining on my bedroom floor was my flight kit. 

You can try to fly with a normal t-shirt on, or even unfurl your wings, but you won't get very far. The t-shirt kinda gets in the way of the wings and actually stops them coming out at all. I realised when I took my first flight that I would have to slice slits for the wings to come out through. 

Since that first flight, I have perfected my flight clothes. When I go out I wear one of five long sleeved cotton t-shirts that I have made slits in and then sewed and hemmed around the edges to stop them fraying. Over that I wear a jacket or a hoodie, both of which I have done the same to. Although I could really wear any trousers I wanted, I always wear a pair of flexible jeans, almost jeggings, that allow me to run, fly and jump as much as I like. I wear gloves to stop the cold, a scarf around my neck and a mask over my eyes to both stop them freezing and to stop anyone identifying me if anyone ever took a picture, heaven forbid that happens. I was going out tonight and couldn't wait to feel the rush and then the calm that came with being in the sky. 

After dinner I retreated to my room and, after I was sure that everyone was asleep, I put on my flight kit. Just before climbing out the helpfully large window to jump, I grabbed my bow from under my bed and slung it over my shoulder. I would get the arrows from my hidey hole up in the woods. I jumped out the window, catching myself with my wings quickly and piled on the speed as I zoomed from my house. 

The rush had begun and it took a whole lot of self control not to yell, woop and scream. I did a couple loop the loops and eventually landed at the top of Kilmore hill. It was almost a mountain, covered in tall trees, uninhabited and protected as a wildlife reserve. I jogged over to my keeping tree and pulled my quiver of arrows. I had been practising with a bow ever since I realised that if anyone found out about my wings, I would need to both live in hiding and defend myself. A gun's not really... me, and so I picked up the bow. I've been practising ever since. I nock an arrow onto my bow and take off, occasionally shooting arrows at targets I have created from the air. 

I climbed back into my room after shimmying the window up and can't shake off the feeling that someone was watching me. I shrugged it off and re-hid my flight gear, this time in a little box under my bed, before climbing beneath my covers and passing out. 

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