My barefeet hung over the cliff near my mountain home in the second kingdom. Staring into the bottomless pit wasn't as pointless as you might think. The winds are going crazy down there. I thought. It could be good for my wings.

I'm Athelstan. I can control the air as well as read it. I found out about my power to do this about seven years ago. When I told Nephele, my guardian, she happily informed me that it was a gift. When I asked her who gave it to me, she said she would tell me when it was time. To prepare me for flying on the air, she taught me tumbling and how to fall without injuring myself.

A blast of wind made the lock of black hair fly up from between my eyes. It's perfect to use my wings on! I thought about how my takeoff would be when I sensed Nephele behind me. She felt.......sad. Standing up, I turned around. A couple feet away she stood holding, in one hand, the pack she had given me to build my wings in. In the other, a pack containing food and spare clothing with a cantine filled with water attached. My shoes hung from two of her fingers.

"Is it time?" I asked. She nodded. I walked through the long grass toward her. We sat down together and she began.

"After your parents were killed by thieves, the Air Sage claimed you as his son. He gave you the power to control the air. Then he gave you to me, so I could be your guardian. Now it is time to go and find the other sages. Together you will be strong."

I felt clingy to Nephele, but I knew she was right. Taking a deep breath, I leaned forward to hug her. "Will I be allowed to come back and visit?"

"Whenever you want or need to." Her arms hung around me for a moment before she slipped away and pulled me to my feet. I turned around and she put the bag with the food and clothing over one shoulder so it hung at my side. Then she put my wings on my back and I fastened the pack onto my front. She pulled the long boards out from the bottom so they looked like tail feathers. I reached back and pulled the wings out from the side and Nephele helped me buckle them to my hands. I looked at her and she pulled me in for one more embrace.

"I'll visit when I can." I promised, then I stepped to the edge of the cliff. The sunrise was over, but the early morning sun was still in the sky. It warmed and comforted me as an updraft came and I launched into it. I flapped the wings and soared higher. Nephele became distant. I circled over her for a moment, then flew on.

The winds were going easy on me today. Flying was always a joy for me. I felt the winds leading me somewhere. Soon I was over a dirt road. There was a figure on a horse below me, but I didn't heed them at all. That's when the Winds of Fate kicked in. Curse you!

A sudden fast wind caught me on the right side and part of the right wing broke.

"Curses!!!" I yelled as I started to spiral down to earth. Ten feet from the ground, I unstrapped my pack and it went sharply upward then dived. I managed to get into tumbling position with the help of the wind, and as soon as my hands hit the ground, I started rolling rapidly. When I stopped, I was in a sitting position, and very dizzy. I shook my head and crawled to where my wings were.

"Ugh." I muttered as I stared at the broken part. More muttering, "There's no way I can repair that without it breaking again. It needs to be replaced."

That's when I sensed someone behind me. Strong curious feeling. I turned around and looked up at the 6' tall person behind me. Tallest person I'd ever seen.

The End

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