I was poking about my Scrivener files last night and found a little thing, just two sentences, that I wrote back in 2015. I think I got the idea from a dream, and it’s just been sitting there since. I guess it just spoke to me somehow, so here it is in a little more detail:
The wind tugged at her dress as she edged further out onto the cliff, only just lifting her bare feet enough to slide them over the mud and rock until her toes tasted the empty air. Her hair whipped about her face, cotton candy strands fluttering in and out of her vision as she looked down, taking in the enormity of what she was about to do. The drop was dizzying, far enough that her sense of distance failed her, far enough that she couldn’t name the distance just by looking. Just emptiness, emptiness, emptiness and then the water below.
It wasn’t the only way. Ruler-straight paved boulevards and narrow alleys, winding mountain passes and paths trailing across picturesque hills – so many roads were open to her, but she wanted the horizon. The only way there was down. She took a deep breath, crossed her arms over her chest… and fell.
Gravity was terrifying. Unrelenting, it pulled her down, down, down. The world was a blur of motion, ocean and sky and cliffs blending into one, a breathless moment of near-death. Then lightning ripped through her body, bleaching everything white with the agony of skin ripping, feathers tearing out of flesh and muscles previously unused forced into sudden exertion. Her cry of pain was shrill and hoarse, the call of an ocean bird carried far and wide on the wind. An updraft caught her wings, jerking her sharply upward.
She rose, plummeted, rose, plummeted again, fledgling wings stiff and uncoordinated. She was falling; she was flying.