Seacra, a young woman born in the desert of Kartel, must find work soon. Her family won't survive long if she doesn't, but how is she supposed to work if she belongs to the race of black winged half humans that are seen as messengers of evil. The only way may be to hide her identity.


1. prologue

       Over the last few days I had noticed a change in the temperature.  Although the sun still beat down on me from above, it had defiantly gotten cooler. Nature also responded to this change with small scrubs popping up next to the path that I walked. I had given up flying long ago: at the time the desert still stretched out in front of me and the heat fell over me like a blanket. A heat that had ruled over my whole life. It pushes you down and strangles you as if trying to smother you in the sand and then drains your energy slowly till you can hardly lift a muscle, let alone lift yourself off the ground.

       But I felt lighter now and the farther I walked, the greener it got until a slash of blue wavered in the distance. My heart leapt at the sight. It was surrounded by trees and bright, thriving bushes that filled the whole scene with life. The water glistened in the sun and a faint breeze blew through the leaves. At first I could only stare at this rare scene but as I moved forward, and it didn’t disappear, excitement rose in my chest.

       The water was cool when I dipped my hand into it. It flowed through my fingers with ease, carrying half dead leaves with it as it disappeared downriver. I fished one out and slowly let I drop back into the water. It touched the surface and was ripped away by the current. My eyes followed it as it twirled its way down the river and a smile crept onto my face. As soon as the leaf was gone I shoved my hands back in the water and drank; spilling water all over my ragged cloths in my haste to drink as much as I could.

       It was so refreshing. Now I just wanted to submerge myself and finally get rid of the layer of dirt that had built up during my journey through the desert. So I undressed and hung my half fraying shirt over a bush together with the trousers I had ‘borrowed’ from my brother. I laughed to myself when thinking about how stupid it must look when I wore them. My brother is about a head shorter than me and a scrawny kid. These were the only ones that fit so I had to make do even though they only just covered my knees.

       Slowly I stepped into the river, savouring the feeling. Immediately I felt the current tug at my legs. The riverbed was soft and sandy and whenever I moved my foot the grains whirled up, stinging my feet. At the same time I felt the dirt, that had so desperately clung to my skin, loosen and wash off. Deeper and deeper I waded into the river and with every step I felt more alive. Now I carefully I took one of my wings, that had been folded up so close to my body that you could hardly see it, into my hands. The ache that came with it was so annoying. It tugged at every muscle until I could hardly move them and caused this whole journey to be hell. Taking water into my cupped hands, I tried to wash off the grime that clung to the feathers wincing every time they moved. I scrubbed and scrubbed until finally the deep black colour of my feathers could once again be seen. I smiled to myself.

       “Be careful” my father had told me whilst stroking the feathers gently ‘You have this precious gift but not everyone will see it that way’

       “Why? You have them too don’t you” I remember replying but to that he just smiled and said

       “Well of course. We are family after all”

       I couldn’t have understood what he meant at the time. My whole life I had lived in the desert oasis with no one but my family and a few cattle. I never knew of the people outside of my tiny world until they came. I still didn’t want to know them but I had no choice. The food was running out.

       I splashed my face with water wishing I could just wash away the events of the past few months but I knew nothing could change my situation. Either I find work or my whole family will die. It sounds so surreal but that’s the situation as it is.

       I focused back on the present, savouring the soothing feeling of the cool water and gazing at the amazing scenery around the river. The world was still here. I was still here. Somehow we would come out of this mess. ‘We have to’ I thought to myself as I washed the pesky tears away. I forced myself to feel the soothing water pretending it would wash my worries away and, slowly, the calm feeling came back to me. I stretched every limb of my body out as if trying to grab this feeling so I could keep it forever.

       Suddenly, the current caught my wings. The surface of which were only meant for the light air of the atmosphere. I was flung backwards; pushed under. The freezing water filled my mouth just before I managed to close it. My back, my Legs then my face scraped against the riverbed. With my eyes closed the light seemed to be coming from everywhere. I couldn’t tell which way I was facing. My wings felt like they were being ripped away from me by an invisible force that I had not expected in this serene looking river. I curled up into a ball using the last strength I had, wishing it would end.

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