September 10, 2008


Three weeks had passed since the boy broke out of the magician's facility. After he'd mastered shifting, he quickly grew bored with the intense prodding, testing, and repeated exhaustion. When he'd first learned that he could retract his wings, they spent months of ruthless experimentation. Time blurred as he learned to focus a feeling. A sensation. Trying to tell a limb that it should be something else. The first time was unintentional. It was not his intention and the magic and adrenaline that he felt hooded his reaction in a way. The second time it felt like nothing he'd ever imagined. He remembered the experience vividly.


Why do we need to keep doing this? None of your enhancement scrolls has ever helped me before. The boy projected, frustrated and exhausted.

"You know why. If we can tap into that immense power of yours at will, there'll be nothing that you can't accomplish. However, previous experience with Innates has repeatedly shown that doing something new is often sporadic, like the first time." The old, blue-eyed magician gestured to the eight foot wings folded to his side. "For any kind of control, you need consistency and repetition. If you work out for ten hours and stop for a week, you don't get as good of results as if you work out for one hour daily. Now stop procrastinating and focus."

With a sigh, the boy took the scroll from the unusually patient and explanatory magician and started trying to remember what he felt when he accidentally shifted the first time. He remembered the desperation and anger, the need to succeed, the fury, malice, and frustration. With a wordless scream, the boys wings snapped out to their full length and glowed with a black non-light.

The glow illuminating the small room was suddenly extinguished as the air in the room began to swirl. The only source of light now emanated from the boy. Glowing blue and purple lines traced across the boy's arms and shoulders like veins. The magician looked calmly at the boy, observing the hyper-extension of the muscles bulging from his neck and collar-bone. The boy's face was a mask of agony and hatred, eyes closed, forehead furrowed.

Suddenly, the wings disappeared into the boys shoulders and the light trailed back from his hands up to his face where it disappeared around his eyes. The boy dropped like a rock. Walking over to him, the magician examined the vital signs of life of the boy. After determining that they were satisfactory, however, he noticed that the boy's veins were a lighter blue than before. He took the boy's arm and examined the veins on his hand. With a few words, a miniscule cut appeared just above a vein, but, though blood appeared, the blood glowed purple for a second before gradually shifting to red. With a start, the magician noted that the magic quite literally pulsed through his veins. This was clearly evident when he opened his eyes and light actually shone from his irises.

The boy looked at the hand the magician was looking at and the cut sealed itself without any kind of verbal prompting from the magician or the boy. The boy stood in a flash and was immediately running his hands up and down his shoulders, feeling for any trace of the eight foot wings that had previously hung from them.

No trace, the boy projected.

"Very good." The magician said with a smile. "Now, let's bring those wings back." Upon seeing the boys incredulous face, he added, "Oh, and I don't think you'll be needing the scroll." With a snap, the scroll vanished in a gout of flame.

"Stand, if you will. Begin"


Looking back, the boy realized just how terrible the past year had really been. He looked up from his fire and glanced around him. The forest was atwitter with various sounds. The smell of the burning wood filled his nose and he could faintly taste the windberries on his lips from his evening meal.

He amused himself by growing scales and feathers on his left hand while shifting his left hand into a taloned claw. Hungry, he leaped to his feet and slipped back into his human form. He marveled at the ease at which he came back to his self when other, less complex creatures gave him so much more trouble. Certain forms were as easy as breathing. Wings, in particular, were the easiest attribute to grant himself now, convenient considering the lengths he needed to travel to elude the magicians, though he was having an easier time of it when he realized that his amulet broadcasted his location like a beacon.

I'll finish this chapter later. Right now, I have to get going to a church activity...