quork: A sketch of a raven, black on white. (Default)
[personal profile] quork
It was.. glorious to fly again.

Up and up he went, great black wings working the wind like clay, creating fanciful not-shapes that blended into the soft grey down of the clouds. Still the rain fell in a capricious mist, but it was certainly no trouble for a knowledgeable bird. No, the sky was far too open to ignore; the clouds parted before him like a lover's arms and he rushed headlong, heedless, into that embrace.

It had been far too long.

The land spread below him, a pastoral quilt of muted greens and browns, now that he was well away from the city. Here and there were cottages and patches of trees, noted but fairly insignificant from this height. He wanted to soar, to drift, to glide - he did not want to be bogged down by thoughts of earth and stone and noise.

So for the moment there was only the great rush of the wind, the gentle whisper of the rain and the disapproving grumble of thunder, somewhere far off to the northwest.

He flew. And began to shed the stresses and shocks of the past few weeks. In the body of the bird, his thoughts were swift and abbreviated, jittering from point to point with the tiny thunder of his pulse. He felt relief in the shape of his wings, the pattern of his sooty black feathers. This felt right, this felt pure. But the image of the woman - the woman he knew he was, just as the woman knew she was the bird - pestered him, returning just as he would lull, gliding in a lazy circle before pressing harder and faster through the low clouds. He had spent so long as the woman. For now, he wanted to forget that. He wanted to fly.

He thought about the things that had happened, the conflicts, his new mates. He was disturbed that the images of his mates came from the perspective of the woman, when it had always been the other way around. He thought about how satisfying it had been to wrest that unholy creature from the water, how it had felt to cling to it with his - her, his traitor mind whispered, but they were layered together, one and the same - human body as it burned in the strange sunlight of a late Budapest afternoon. He dropped a dozen meters, well below the cloud line. These thoughts were so strong that his form felt insubstantial. It felt weak.

It simply wouldn't do to fall from the sky as a naked, wingless, awkward-bodied creature. His great pride existed no matter what shape he wore, always a little larger, always a little brighter. He spiraled down, wings shamefully wobbling as the rain thickened. There was a likely field just over that narrow line of trees. A twitch of his wings steadied his course, which sent a short shower of feathers drifting toward the ground.

The field was soft green grass, silvered with moisture. He landed, hopped twice, little birdy feet slipping through the dew, and croaked out a phrase in a tongue long dead. The bird strained, wings arching out and up, head curling in to his feathered chest.

In the bird's place lay a naked woman flushed with the ecstasy of flight, her coarse black hair damp and heavy as it tumbled over her shoulders. Her left arm was extended, bent over her head, and in its fist was a hornbeam dagger. She twitched once, a violent spasm, and for a moment lay still, reacquainting herself with her human body.

She had to acclimate herself to it, she could not change who and what she was. As she lay there, face down in the freshened wet grass, it came to her that she could perhaps cope by accepting that being both was now her truth. But she knew that she could be even more than just both.

And for the first time since her initial transformation, she began to feel something akin to hope about the life that now stretched in front of her. She could be one, or both, or many. Her chin came up defiantly. There was nothing that could tell her otherwise.

She stretched out in the grass, fingers combing through the damp blades. In the distance, she could hear a herd of animals bleating. It was a familiar sound; she had tended sheep with her people, long and long ago. It was time to see about moving on. She was halfway to her feet when she was startled by a sharp whistle.

"An' what's this, then?" barked out a gruff woman's voice. "Yer as naked as th' day ye slid from yer mother! Can't see much these days but I can see that. Mind tellin' me what yer doin' on me patch o' earth?"


quork: A sketch of a raven, black on white. (Default)
Croárc ná Corvain

May 2012

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