I’ve been feeling stupidly uncreative lately. It’s been ridiculously hard to make anything that makes sense for my next full novel, and I can’t seem to do anything without running into a mental roadblock. So, after weeks of bashing my head against a wall and being intensely unhappy, I decided to take a break and just write nonsense for a while.

So instead of my normal thing, I winged it. I was listening to Flight Over Venice 1 from the Assassin’s Creed 2 soundtrack. Great. My writing prompt was flight.

I’ve actually never posted any of my writing here. Goodness! So here you go: A one page short called The Girl Who Could Fly.


She stared down into the abyss of dust and stone and knew, with every inch of her heart, that the fall would kill her.

She didn’t even know how to measure the height. The largest things she had ever seen were the ancient beech trees that grew in dense, dark patches along the foothills, but she couldn’t imagine them at the bottom of the ravine. Nothing grew in the steep limestone cliffs or the rocky soil at their bottom, and all her imagination could comprehend was that it was a long, long way down.

She hugged the wooden frame of her glider to her chest. The wooden pole flexed against her. She hoped that was what it was supposed to do. She did not know.

She was standing at the edge of the cliff with her glider around her shoulders. The great, V-shaped wing fluttered gently in the wind. She held it so loosely that the back of the frame rested on her back. She looked like she was holding it for a friend, rather than someone who had come here determined to use it.

But she had no choice. She had to fly.

Fly. The thought of the word, the feeling of the word sent a chill up her spine. The wind tugged at her hair, at her skirts, at her blouse, tugging at her, pawing at her, begging for her embrace.

She had to fly. There was nothing in this world she wanted more. She had toyed with a dozen reasons, a dozen theories: She was a bird in a human’s body. She was the wind, cursed by an enchantress and trapped in an animal’s flesh. She had been one of the wind sprites in another life, whose spirit had fled into the unseen world and been accidentally swallowed by the birthing soul of a human child. Whatever it was, she could not stay here. Her feet felt leaden and clumsy on the earth.

But the cliff was so very high.

She swallowed hard and pulled her gaze away from the steep, white cliffs and the dizzying heights. It wasn’t her fault she was here, she reminded herself. She wouldn’t have chosen this cliff if she could have.

It was her parents’ fault for catching her on the roof with her first glider—the first time, the second time, the tenth time—until they finally nailed up all the upstairs windows and boarded over the attic door. It was her brother’s fault for finding her at the top of the hill, the one three stories tall and covered with rocks, which she certainly would have cleared if her second glider had held up. It was her family’s fault for yelling at her, for berating her, for stealing away her gliders and burning them, for telling her that she was a girl and a human and that she would die if she continued trying to throw herself off high-up things.

And it was their fault she had had to steal wood scraps out of the lumber yards and linens out of the rubbish. It was their fault that she had had to sneak away by dead of night to make her third—and best—glider, with its seams sewn together as tight as she could pull them and smoothed over with wax. And if they had let her leap off the roof or the hills, she wouldn’t have had to flee to the mountains to escape them.

She closed her eyes and breathed in the smell of pine needles and dust and cool mountain air. She breathed in as deeply as she could, letting it fill her whole chest with its touch and smells. It was the wind, the air, the sky. It was what she wanted to step into, step onto, and be one with it.

She opened her eyes and stared down the ravine.

There she stood, her blue eyes silent and intense, her hands shaking as she gripped the wood. Her rustic linen skirts tossed about her knees, and her unbrushed gold hair caught half on her face and half in the sky.

She stared down into the abyss of dust and stone and knew, with every inch of her heart, that the fall would kill her. So she turned her eyes up to the skies, to the winds, to the heavens instead.

And she stepped off the edge.

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