After a few weeks rest, Morgana ventured out through the town. She walked the winding path between the homes to the town center. She stopped off for a pastry and tea for lunch at Dark Owl Café. They serve the best tea in Morgana’s experience.
After her lunch, she found her way to the Sunny Sundries shop and met with ol’ Misses Taylor. The shop was filled with all she would need for her journey. Misses Taylor helped her pull together a small pack filled with provisions. Misses Taylor handed the pack to her and touched her hand sweetly. “The road may be long and twisted, but know you always have home in your heart.”
Morgana lowered her chin in thanks and headed out the door. She found her way home to close up the house and make her final preparations for her journey. She found her leg strap and placed her dagger in the sheaf, then laced up her boots. She looked back at her humble home one final time as the sun sat low, near the horizon, then closed and locked the door.
She made a final stop at the apothecary as she left her village. Doc Jones had a solution for her to help disguise her wings should she come across those who wouldn’t understand them.
“Here my dear. Take one a day. You have enough for a 40-day journey. I hope to see you home long before then,” Doc Jones tipped his head in farewell.
Morgana went in for a hug from the Doc and then stepped back, waving goodbye. “Thank you my friend. May happiness find you at every turn.”
As the night settled in, her comfort in traveling alone eased as she walked along the moonlit trail. Travel at night would be safer in these parts than by day, especially under the full moon; but that would soon change once she summited the ridge. She stretched out her dark wings, but then folded them in. She needed to work on her flying as she traveled, but for now, she decided to go by foot.
She rounded a curve and came to the edge of the lake. A waterfall fed the lake from the mountain before her with a steep but manageable climbing path running along side. Slowly, she worked her way up the craggy slope. Spray picked up by the wind occasionally sprinkled her face and arm, but she didn’t mind. She worked her way up to a flat spot which allowed her to take a moment and catch her breath.
She turned around and looked out over the lake and back to her village. Lights flickered from the small cottages in the distance. A small tear rolled down her cheek, crisp and cold. She hoped she’d be back one day, but for now, she needed to continue along this path. After a few moments, she turned back to the trail and continued on her journey.
The path became thinner and steeper as she climbed. She lost sight of the summit in the steepness and slipped on some loose gravel. Swiftly, she grabbed ahold of the stone wall beside her. Her fingers pressed into the tiniest crevices holding on to stop from falling. Gingerly she continued forward on the path. A steep drop off was directly behind her as she made her way face to face with the side of the mountain.
She took a few more steps and the path appeared to widen. She inhaled and then exhaled in relief. Just as she did, the path gave way, dropping her down the slope. She overcorrected and ended up falling away from the wall. Instinctively, she spread her wings, but she was falling too fast and couldn’t get the necessary lift.
She screamed a guttural scream, fearing that she couldn’t recover. Just then, a wind bellowed up under her wings and they caught on the breeze. She began to glide in the night sky. As she reoriented to her flight she flapped her wings and found she was soaring. She circled in the sky and looked back toward the mountain. She was so close to the summit and had almost made it on foot. Now that she was mid-air, she soared in the night air, making her way to the top, hoping that this time she’d stick the landing.
As she approached the summit, she saw an archway with a view to the other side. She neared the archway and began flapping to allow her to hover. Slowly she lowered herself to her feet and tucked her wings away. She finally reached her first stop of her journey. But this archway she did not expect. She looked at it. Each stone was engraved with different symbols, those of a foreign tongue. She set up a spot to rest though; the hike and the flight had zapped her energies. She’d get a better look at the arch in the morning.