Flight of Fancy

by Betty P

The fallon flew over the city, the neon and green in the air ignited her thoughts and illustrated the mindpages of yesterday, five years ago and tomorrow. The tips of her wings irritated her peripheral vision as she banked left and right darting between the climates of the low skyverts. 

Glancing her reflection in the circular leaves of the Lustrotree and searching back through her mindpages, she couldn’t recall a time when she had not looked on those short crooked wings with disdain. Their ugliness repulsed her, so many joints and twists – conducive to low-level flying, to quick turns and force- key skills for the warrior fallons-  but just so desperately hideous.

Suddenly, her nightlight was blocked from above and she threw one eye upwards to see what she was sure she would find. Sleek and black. Endlessendless wings. Stretching in this direction beyond tomorrow, hurtling with measured recklessness into the future and in that direction back one thousand years with wise circumspection. 

The carpegreat is indeed a magificent beast. Oracles, philosophers, lawmakers, surgeons, artists, musicians and the greatest criminals of society are always carpegreats. How the fallon longed, miserably and hopelessly for their mindspan and wingspan.

The fallon soon noticed that the carpegreat was not proceeding with its usual speed but was mirroring her path from several metres above. Before she had even thought of thinking why, the carpegreat’s eight claws punctured her back and she felt the air whoosh over her ears as it carried her upwards. Higher and higher the carpegreat flew, until eventually it set her down on a high tropical skyvert way above where she normally flew.

The carpegreat arranged the ebony of its wings and took in the fallon. The smaller bird had already settled and despite herself, green enverons sprouted from her eyes and slithered over to the carpegreat’s wings and writhed around them resentfully.

“If you so wish, I will exchange with you my carpegreat wings for one halftime. But you must think carefully, little fallon. No matter what, I will take my wings back and will not be responsible for any consequences.” The enverons snapped back with a sting and the fallon’s eyes grew wide with desire and greed for seeing and feeling the carpegreat’s world.

The exchange was made and the carpegreat bade the fallon farewell, flying off on its new wings with unsettling ease, as if accustomed to the fighter bird’s shorter wingspan.

The fallon examined her new wings, drawing them out this way and that, flapping them up and down – searching around and wishing that Lustrotrees grew tropically. She didn’t feel any different. There was no surge of brilliance, no all encompassing knowledge, no rush of enlightenment. Perhaps it would come in flight, she thought.

She prepared herself and took off, leaving the skyvert behind. Shrieking with joy she soared downwards, swooping on those straight wings, admiring their deep black and their lustre. So busy was the fallon taking in her borrowed beauty that she failed to notice she was losing height with alarming speed. So quickly was she passing skyverts that she no longer sensed their different climates – the air meshed around her into consistent mildness.

The fallon realised with horror as she tried to lift the carpegreat’s wings with her small shoulders that the downward air pressure was too great. Hurtling downwards, accelerating with the deadweight of two wings she could not use, she understood and resigned herself to impact. Crashing blindly to the ground she was thrown into deepsleep.

The fallon regained consciousness two fulltimes later. Looking at the sky, she could see the earthy bases of a myriad skyverts, she could see the low-flying fallons and well above them, carpegreats, masters of the skies. 

Her eyes told her that at least she had her own wings back and she went to ruffle them before taking flight. A searing pain gripped her body and her neck defied command, cemented into a brace hold. She could but stare at the sky.

With nothing to break her fall, the ridge of her back had shattered on impact, snapping her head backwards and locking it there. 

Paralysed, eyes to the skies, the fallon raged on the ground for her eternity, while the wind whispered to her incessantly about where true beauty was to be found.