Her wings were weak from not using them for so long. As she stretched them open, she could feel the tendons and ligaments moving in unfamiliar ways.
I need to fly again. I need to go somewhere new. She pondered to herself in the moonlight.
She flapped her wings and caught some air under them, lifting into the night sky. Flying was harder than she remembered as she moved her wings to catch more air. Finally she found a current and floated along the lake shore. She closed her eyes just a moment, feeling joy for once in ages. A smile spread across her face.
Suddenly, the wind stilled, and she began to lose altitude. Her instincts on how to land however did not kick in quite in time. She found herself sliding into grass and dirt, twisting. Her body slid between two rocks and her foot became entwined in some tangle roots between them, stopping her forward slide. She felt the pull of the roots up her leg as she rolled over to a seated position, folding in her wings.
Slowly she freed her foot from the tangle, then tried to stand up. Her ankle gave way and she leaned against the boulder she just missed hitting her head on to prevent herself from falling. Her ankle crackled and popped as she rotated it. It didn’t feel broken, just twisted.
Gently, she set her foot back down and tested it. It would hold until she could get back to the sanctum. Slowly she limped away from the lake, knowing she needed to tend to it. In the near distance, she could see the willow huts her people called home. Getting home was slow, but she made it.
She arrived at her hut, a small dome-shaped nestle among the larger family homes. The willow branches were woven into a basket pattern and packed to keep out the rains and mist. A small heart shaped window adorned the front of the home aside the entrance; her people found it good fortune to introduce shapes representing your desires. The other side displayed an archers bow and arrow. It was a reminder for her that when life pulls you back, it can launch you further forward than you ever dreamed.
Tonight she smirked at herself, unsure if a twisted ankle was just a foolish thing or one of those moments. She wished for the latter as she stumbled inside. She lit a candle to bring light into her home. The decor was sparse, but meaningful. Her grandmother’s handmade piece quilt lay across her thatch bed. A small wooden table for two made by her Da’ sat near her makeshift kitchen. There wasn’t a need for much when just one lives in a place like this.
She made her way to the small bath. Her people understood how to plumb their homes with running water. She found a swath of material and wrapped her twisted ankle to provide it support, then made her way to the bed to elevate it. She blew out the candle and laid there, wondering about the ridge, wondering what lay beyond. As her eyes grew heavy, she gave in to slumber and dreams.