Ravenflight© Nicholas Frampton 2003-09-09
All he could feel was the shiver running along his arms down to his wrists. He could not move them: two immobile limbs sprawled out either side of him. They were not heavy. In fact, they were incredibly light. Light as a ...
The wind caught them and he shivered again. He was lying down. On his back. Two limbs stretched out at his sides. Immobile limbs. He tried to life his head. It would not move for him either. He tried to open his eyes.
Blackness. Utter blackness.
On his back. He could not see, could not move. Panic started to embrace him. His arms again. They were, they were ...
Once more, the wind rustled, and once more he shivered. The wind was catching something. Something light about his arms. Feathers. The breeze was ruffling his feathers when he shivered.
Arms. Feathered arms. Arms should not have feathers, should they? He managed to tilt his head to look toward his left arm. He should have be able to see it. All he could see was black.
His arm moved. It felt strange. Light. Feathers shifted over one another as his limb moved. He tried to move his hand. More feathers. He could hear them faintly. He shifted his head, cocking an ear to the sound. Swish. Just the faintest whisper of plume on plume. He tried to move fingers. Primaries shifted. Delicate and precise. No fingers, only feathers.
The wind caught his wing. A buzz of sensation ran through him. Wonderful! He could feel every feather against the breeze! His wing hugged the air like a long-lost friend.
He gulped at the air. His mouth yawned open on its own. His jaws locked themselves apart and refused his urge to close them. Something tugged on his mandibles, or perhaps they were tugging at themselves. He let out a surprised sound as his whole jaw stretched, and stretched, and stretched further. He shook his head side to side, full of disbelief and hope that he could shake his perceptions.
His face bristled with growth. A month of beard in seconds. He bobbed and cocked his head, weaved it to one side and the other, dizzying himself with a figure eight. He felt the air quiver his new head feathers. His beak cut the air.
Suddenly he sat up and tried to rock forward onto his feet. He had to get out of here! A wave of dizziness overtook him and sent him back down to the floor. A tiled floor. He could feel the cool tiles against the bare skin of his back. He shut his eyes tightly. Eyes were no good if nothing could be seen. Tighter eyes. He clenched his beak.
The wind whispered over his body. He shivered all over. Goosebumps. His chest feathers roused at that. He wrapped his wings around himself. They tickled the bare skin of his belly. It was a curious sensation. He let a few primaries trail down from his ribcage, tracing his keelbone, ruffling his belly feathers ...
He quickly removed his wings. Held them pinned to the floor. That was wrong! His body ... and feathers? His wings had feathers. So too his head.
He scrunched up his toes. Flex. Unflex. Flex. Sharp pointy toes. Clawed feet. Scaled feet. Scaled legs. Feathered thighs. Feathery ... rump! Caw!
He jumped back to his feet! Opened his eyes! Light! Bright! He scrunched up his eyes, adjusting to the light. His eyes ached. His body was warm. It was day. The Sun was being nice to him. Comforting and warm. His feet touched baking tiles. He could feel the heat rising from them. He tentatively looked around him.
Familiar. This was home. An opening to the outside. Light streaming in. Clouds and sky beyond. Cool breeze drifting in.
Slowly, he turned and looked at himself.
He shifted his wing uncertainly at his side. He tucked the wing back.
The wind whispered to him again. He looked back up at the sky. Two ravens danced across the cloudscape. His heart jumped!
His wings unfurled with no hesitation.