Thorn flapped her wings experimentally. An involuntary shiver ran down her spine, making her tingle from head to toe. She was so excited about learning to fly. Finally, she would be able to run errands and leave the oak that was the home for her and almost three dozen other faeries. Thorn took a deep breath, and stepped toward the little arch way that was the way out. Thirteen summers she had spent cooped up in the Oak, scrubbing and sweeping and washing to earn the right to trade with the other faeries. It was rare for faeries to have children, so she was extremely special. Not that her being special stopped the other faeries from giving her hard chores to do.
Just then, Thistle appeared in the doorway.
"Come on then! Do stop dilly-dallying child!" She said, putting her hands on her hips. She marched outside, looking over her shoulder as she went. "Come on! We don't have all day you know!" Thorn gulped, and followed.
Once she had passed through the arch way and climbed the steep tunnel to the surface, she stepped, blinking, into the bright sunlight. Oh, how pretty it was outside. Thorn loved it. The feel of the dirt and grass under her bare feet.. The sun beating down on her back... Marvellous it was. Marvellous.
"Now," Thistle said, striding over to where Thorn was stood. "Just copy me, ok? And don't mess around!" Then she wriggled her shoulders, flapped her wings once, twice and then they were off, whirring so fast that they were but a blur, carrying Thistle high into the sky. Gulping again, Thorn tried to copy what Thistle had done. She flapped her wings once, twice, thrice... But she couldn't seem to move them fast enough. "Ugh." Thistle moaned, alighting next to Thorn. "Try taking a run up. Run, and then jump. Your wings should catch you."
"O-okay.." Thorn agreed nervously. She set off at a brisk pace, then leapt. With a jolt, she realised she had not fallen back down again. She was hovering, just a fly's length from the ground.
"Thats it! Now flap, flap, get those wings really working! Climb up to my height!" Thistle called from above. Thorn flapped as hard as she could, and found herself rising, the ground receding beneath her.
Then, suddenly, her wings just gave out, and stopped moving. She dropped from the sky like a stone, hitting the ground with a resounding thud.
Flying was definitely harder than it looked.