Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 191,088,474 Issue: 596 | 24th day of Hunting, Y15
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Fallen from Grace


by pycrion

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She had once been beautiful. Her pelt had once been green as spring grass, soft as the clouds. She had once graced the sky with delicate paws and perfectly tufted ears. With just the slightest hints of lavender around her beak, and a perfectly groomed mane. Her wings would shine with the right light, spun from morning dew and spyder's silk. She had once been beautiful.

      Now Kylinas was grey, her faerie self stuck back in Faerieland. What had been a shimmering example of her wings, were now hunched and broken wings. Her skin sagged and shadows started to creep underneath her eyes, which were red from constant tears. Along with her beauty, Ky had lost her grace, a sunken posture and slumped shoulders. She would drag her feet when she walked, her sentences emphasized with a heavy sigh rather than giggles.

      How she yearned to go back to her old self, a gorgeous Eyrie who was wanted and cared for. Although the new members of her family were welcoming and warm, Ky still felt the sting of transfer, of being sent away. If she wasn't still grey, then she would still be with her original family.

      She had no one to blame but herself. For it was Ky who had offered to take the zap from the lab-ray, as her beautiful fur changed to its murky grey. Her happiness was gone, replaced by a deep sorrow, so deep it left a weight on her chest. To be grey was so strange, for in the back of Kylinas' mind, she could remember what it was like to feel.

      To be happy and find laughter. To feel a deep anger. To hide behind her wings in embarrassment. But now, it seemed as though she only knew sadness, and even then she was too tired, too tired to care. During the day, as clouds passed by her window and the sun shone - she could find no joy. No matter how many time her new family would welcome her with open arms. She could find no way to enjoy them.

      It was a fairly large family too. It had grown significantly. A ghost Lutari that passed through the walls, a singing Kougra who spoke only in song. A vicious red Kougra who fought at night, a Tyrannian Gelert. A shadow Lupe who spent his days in the garden. A paranoid Bori. A sniggering Hissi, a rough Cybunny. Too many names, too many people to remember. Ky didn't care, not really. The only ones she had bothered to remember was Jet, the blue jetsam and Lady- the green Pteri. But even then, she didn't socialize. She pestered them with harsh words, insulting them from afar. Jet had stopped trying and Lady was eventually pulled away and told to stop.

      Kylinas didn't care, she didn't care. No matter how her heart ached for company and the loneliness threatened to swallow her whole, she told herself she didn't care.

      Because she had hope.

      Hope, it was the only emotion she still clung onto. At night, when her eyes would dry from a waterfall of tears, she clung to the hope she could fly away. When her wings would heal from falling from grace, she would spread her wings and launch herself away. Past Faerieland, past the moon of Kreludor. Beyond it all. Away from her mistakes and her loneliness.

      She continued to cling to this dream futilely, even when it took longer than usual for her broken wings to heal. Although it started to dissipate, she still hung - this frail string that threatened to break.

      On a particular morning when Kylinas felt quite low, she managed to pull herself out of her room and enter the house. It was quiet, strange for a family so large but Ky didn't mind. Instead, she found an empty windowsill and sat. The clouds passed dazedly, and she watched quietly. She almost didn't hear Lady approach, but her loud voice shattered the silence, as Ky whipped her head around.

      "Is this yours?" she asked. At least that's what she thought she said. She couldn't really tell, because all she could focus on was the single grey feather that was pinched between her own. The floor seemed to come and meet her head, her eyes started to spin. She could see the blurry figure of the Pteri coming forward but the grey Eyrie pushed her away.

      The words rolled in her head and came out her tongue - "No. No. No. No. No." But it was there, and when her wing descended just past her shoulder, she reached out a paw. Two feather fell, broken and limp. The words were running together, a stream. "Nononononononono." Distinctly, she could hear Lady scream for Jet but she couldn't hear it over the jumbled stream of words. More feathers fell, little snow-drops of pale grey, littering the floor. She felt fins on her shoulders and a voice calling out to her. But she couldn't tell what he was saying, what Lady was trying to say. Someone was screaming, so loudly and high-pitched. It was until the dark engulfed her did she realize it was she that was screaming.

      - -

      When she woke up, that hope was gone. If she had thought she had been sad before - then this was true sorrow. She cried and cried until the tears couldn't come and then she managed dry, hacking sobs and when her chest started to her, her shoulders made the motions of heavy cries even when her throat was tired from her emotions. She did not know how long she wept, circling between sobbing and sleeping - her dreams of flying shattered like a broken mirror. She felt some hunger but she pushed that away, drowning in her sadness.

      Kylinas continued to cry, so heavily she didn't hear her door swing open and the little patter of feet. She felt a soft, reassuring weight on her shoulder and she looked up. "What?" she snapped, eyes red and shadows underneath. But rather than be taken aback by her rudeness, Lady merely smiled.

      "Here. We wanted to make it a surprise but Jet said you needed to see it sooner," she said and past her shoulder, Kylinas could see the blue jetsam hanging out just outside her door.

      She wanted to snap, to break, to rip the paper that the green Pteri now held out but she couldn't. She was too busy trying to figure out what was on the paper.

      It was made of gears and metal shrapnel, with bits of cloth woven in. It looked rudimentary and similar to something, but Kylinas couldn't put her finger on it. "it's your new wings," the Pteri said softly and Kylinas swore her heart stopped.

      Lady smiled and handed the paper - the blueprint really - out to Kylinas who took it with shaky paws. Her eyes couldn't stray from the page. The more she looked at it, she could see the notes written in the margin. It looked as though it could make her fly. Not past the stars, barely could make it the flying Darigan Citadel. But she would be able to fly.

      "How?" Her voice was raw and shaking.

      Happy from the response, Lady replied, "Well, Caverick - the green Bori - made the design, making sure it flies without a problem. Punk tests them out - the Gelert - she makes sure if you fly with them, they won't hurt you. Everyone has been doing their part. Patch and Jet and Me and Lyre have been working and playing games and fighting in the Battledome to pay for the supplies. Senyora is looking for ideas and any other wings we could make. Because, they are kind of ugly," the Pteri said cheekily.

      Kylinas couldn't speak, there were no words for the emotions she could feel flooding up, swallowing her whole. Then the Pteri engulfed her, her wings folding around her own and her head next to her own. A hug - the first she had in so long. Filled with warmth and love she found herself crying so quiet and unsuspecting it surprised Ky. Lady smiled and bounced off, disappearing behind the towering jetsam who looked on.

      The paper still clenched in her paw, she could see his frame. Could see now, the bandages on his fins, how tired he looked. No doubt he had been working all day and night, along with all the other members of her family. He managed a smile and disappeared, leaving Kylinas alone in her room.

      Slowly, she left her room, making way to her windowsill, to the clouds that moved across the sky. Opening the paper slowly, she drank in the invention made just for her and something stirred. Something she had only remembered, never experienced. Happiness.

      In her loneliness, Kylinas cried. With a smile on her face.

The End

Thanks to colby (colby_luvs_u) for giving me Kylinas the grey Eyrie - who inspired this story.

 
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