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Power Corrupts All – Once Upon a Time – (5×7) (Spoilers)

IMG_20151102_204335We have now met the first Dark One and I was not prepared for who it ended up being. We also learned that power can corrupt anyone, even someone who seems completely good. Emma is deep into the battle of her soul and the battle is starting to look futile.

We started the episode by learning how Merlin got his power. He was an escaped prisoner running through the desert. He came upon the Holy Grail, not knowing what it was at the time, and after asking for permission, took a sip. That one sip gave him magic abilities and immortality. We learn throughout this episode that power is a gift as well as a curse.

Merlin from the very start uses his power for good. He helps those around him and one of those people is Nimue. She is a refuge from her village that was burned to the ground. Merlin is attracted to her right away.

One of the big reasons he is attracted to her is her gentle seeming nature. She tells Merlin that the way she wants to get revenge for her village is by planting the seeds of a certain flower that only grew near her home. She tells him that at least something else will survive, proving to the man who hurt them that he did not win in the end.

That seems like a great way to look at the situation. We believe that she is a great match for Merlin because of her worldview. She is not like Regina or Zelena, centering her life on revenge and only revenge. But that all turns out to be an illusion, because in the end Nimue is human, just like anyone else.

Nimue lost her entire village and all those she loved that lived in that village. Anyone would have trouble getting through that. It is not easy to just forget and forgive as we are told to do all the time. At the time when Nimue met Merlin, she did not have the means to get her revenge. She was lost and sad. She had no idea how to do what she really wanted to do. So she told Merlin that her revenge was to plant those flower. At that time, I think she really meant what she said.

But as soon as a new opportunity presented itself to her, she took it without much thought. Merlin explained to her what the grail did for him and she could not pass up the opportunity for immortality and unlimited power. Again we see what power can do to someone.

Nimue meets the man who destroyed her life and she kills him despite Merlin begging her not to do it. He knows what will happen. As soon as she lets that darkness in, it destroys who she once had been. Killing is one of the greatest evils there is and Nimue does it without too much thought. She lets the darkness in and she becomes the first Dark One.
Power is dangerous, something we have heard many times throughout this series. Nimue uses it for revenge and it becomes all that she is focused on. Same thing happened with Rumple. He got a taste for what the power could do for him and he could not walk away from it, not for his son or for Belle. Power becomes all these Dark Ones can think about.

Emma fights with Nimue in this episode and wins. She does not kill Merlin, but we see how difficult it was for her to win that fight. She screams that she is not, nothing. Nimue tries to convince her that power will give her everything she has ever wanted. But Emma is able to see through her words this time. The problem is that the draw of power does not go away just because you say no once.

Power is enticing to people for many different reasons. Whether it is to change what you want about yourself or the world. Or to help those around you. But if you do it all because you enjoy the feel the power gives you, you are going to be doomed. Merlin used his power to help those around him, he did not use it because he enjoyed the feel of it. He was willing to give it up to be with Nimue. That is the key I think to all of this. You have to be willing to let it go and everything it could do for you.

140758_5136Emma is not at this point. She has used her power a few times already. She keeps using it thinking that she is using it to save herself because it is necessary. The problem is that she is using it for selfish reasons. You can’t use the power for yourself.

I do not know if Emma can ever be completely selfless using her power. I think Emma’s downfall is going to be that she is going to use her power to hurt someone who hurts her family. Emma is able to think straight most of the time, but we saw last season that she is willing to go to great lengths to save the people she loves. She killed Cruella to protect Henry. I think her downfall will come because of something similar.

Someone is going to be threatened, either Hook or Henry most likely, and she is going to do whatever she can to save them. In the end, she is going to give into the temptation of power to save someone she loves. She won’t be able to walk away from it. Power corrupts her, just like it does for everyone else that comes into contact with it.

We do see though that Emma has some doubt left in her. We have seen a few times this season that our old Emma is still inside the Dark Swan. They have to bring out that person and break her connection to the power. They have to give her something more important than power.

Quotes:

“Life is made of little moments,”- Merlin – He says this twice throughout this episode. Once when he is explaining to Nimue why he is willing to give up immortality of her. And the second time when his apprentice asks if he would have prevented all of what happened if he could have. Merlin understands that all the moments of our lives, good and bad, is what life is all about. You have to have both to have a full life. This may end up being one of the keys to saving Emma.

“Easier to live with darkness when you dress it up as vengeance,” – Merlin – You can call your use of darkness a lot of different things. You can pretend that you are only getting revenge or that you are only using it to protect those around you. But when it all comes down to it, darkness is darkness. It is easier to just live with your actions when you can put a reason to it, even if that reason is threadbare and flimsy.

Questions:
Why did Merlin tell them to find Nimue in his message?
What can Nimue do for Emma now?
Can she help in anyway or do they have to defeat her in some manner?
How are they supposed to even find her? Is she alive in some way, somewhere?
Is Merlin dead?
Is that how Emma turned dark? Did she kill Merlin for some reason?
Why is Arthur controlling Merlin?
What does Arthur want? Does he just want to protect the illusion he has created?
What will they have to do with Arthur?
How can they stop Emma now that the sword is reformed?
Who is that one person that can have the darkness in them and use it for good? Do we know them? Will we ever meet them?
Can they take the darkness from Emma and give it to that one person?
How can the group bring out the good that still lives in Emma?
Where is Zelena? What does she ultimately want? Just to run away with the baby?
Does Emma still have Hook’s ring? Is that her tether to her old life?

Once Upon a Time- Sympathy for the De Vil- Review- (Spoilers)

images-14The last few episodes were packed with information and revelations; this episode had less in the way of twists and turns. This episode was used more as a set up for the rest of the season. We see Regina get the upper-hand on Rumple. Rumple is now being manipulated by just about everyone. We got Cruella’s backstory and learned that some people are actually true villains to the core. And Emma has taken her first step down the path of darkness when she killed Cruella.

We got Cruella’s backstory this episode and, unlike just about everyone else’s stories, hers did not spark pity or understanding. All the other “villains,” we have encountered have had tough beginnings. As viewers we have been able to pity them and understand why they choose the path they did. Some were betrayed by people they trusted, others watched as loved ones died and some were cast out on their own and had to find worth and value without anyone else to help them. Each of their histories gave us a reason for their actions. Many were fueled by vengeance and anger. Every one of them had a reason for their decisions. Until this point we have not had someone who enjoyed causing pain just because it was fun.

We are led to believe in the beginning that Cruella is someone we are going to feel sorry for. She is imprisoned by her mother in an attic and left alone. We are excited to see her get free with help from Isaac, the author. For a good part of the episode we are happy because it appears that she is now going to be able to live a full and happy life. Then we watch as she kills her mother without much emotion. She appears cool and collected and that is a bit terrifying to watch.

Cruella is not a victim. She is a sick individual. She has been sick since she was a small child. Her parents hoped she would outgrow whatever was causing her issues but they were wrong. By today’s standards she would be considered a psychopath and locked away to protect the general public. Cruella only cares about herself and no one else. She has no emotions about killing her mother or hurting Isaac. She cares about nothing more than hurting others.

There is a moment in the attic when Isaac confronts Cruella that we realize that there is no hope for helping this woman. We see that whatever is wrong is mental and not external. She is making a coat out of her mother’s dogs when Isaac finds her. She tells him that he was nothing more than a means to an end for her. He asks her ,why? And Cruella has no real answer for him. She tells him that people have asked her all that all her life and she has never had a true answer to give.

She has no reason and no logic to her actions. She just likes to hurt and likes to cause pain, plain and simple. No one hurt her. No one took anything from her. No one caused her pain and left her to wallow in it. She just enjoys the darker side of life. Her character is probably the least complicated character we have gotten thus far. She is cold hearted and mentally sick and that is all there is to her.

Cruella meets her fate in this episode. Cruella takes Henry hostage, hoping to get Emma and Regina to kill Isaac for her. Because it turns out that Isaac wrote into her story that she cannot kill anymore. In order to get her revenge she needs Emma or Regina to do her dirty work. In the end Emma is the one who reaches Cruella first and in order to save her son she throws Cruella off a cliff with her magic. Emma has now taken her first step down a path towards darkness.

We know from Snow, Regina and Rumple that killing someone is a surefire way to darken your heart. You cannot kill without it taking something from you. It does not matter the reason, saving someone or revenge for a loved one. You have still taken a life and that will never be something that leaves you un-scarred. Emma has now placed a dark mark on her heart. A mark Rumple is going to do everything he can to make grow.

Emma is the savior so one incident like this isn’t going to throw her right into the deep end of darkness. But Emma has now had her first real taste of what that path entails. She killed Cruella without much hesitation. She didn’t try to puzzle out a way to save her son without taking a life. Her child was in trouble and she took action. Her actions are understandable. But she has now seen a new side to herself. Temptation has been given a way into her heart and it will now start to take root, hoping to pull her farther and farther down that path.

images-13Emma believes she is strong. She thinks that she cannot be tempted to go down a negative path. But what Emma doesn’t see and understand is how vulnerable she is at the moment. She is at odds with her parents. Two people she had finally put all her trust in only for them to throw it back in her face. No matter their reasoning, they still hurt their daughter. Emma has been hurt so many times in her past that she cannot just brush off this incident.

Hook and Regina try to get her to understand that Emma needs to forgive her parents. They point out that Emma forgave both of them for their pasts but Emma make good point to them. Neither Hook nor Regina pretended to be perfect people. From day one they both said they made bad choices and that they did bad things. Snow and Charming have been playing a fake role this whole time. I understand Emma’s point. Nothing is worse then someone who pretends to be someone they are not. Be upfront about your mistakes and your past. Do not sugar coat it and then when you get caught in a lie confess. That looks horrible and makes Emma wonder what other things they may have done that no one knows about. Emma will forgive them sooner or later but right now she has every right to be upset and stubborn.

Unfortunately this leaves Emma vulnerable to darkness though. She can’t trust the two people who are supposed to be there when she needs them the most. She should be able to go to her parents and have them help her keep her head above water. But she wants nothing to do with them. Now she has killed and she is going to need strong hands to keep her from continuing down this path. She is not going to be able to do this alone.

There wasn’t much else in this episode but I did want to make a comment on Isaac, the author. I am not sure how to read him right now. When he first came out of the book I saw him as an arrogant and selfish man who cared about no one but himself and writing an entertaining story.

After this episode I am not a hundred percent sure that he is someone to distrust and be upset with. When he was speaking to Cruella’s mother about love, he gets defensive when she accuses him of not knowing what love is. We see a man who has a past, a past that I think may have fueled why he is so intent on manipulating everyone else’s stories.

My idea is that at one point in his life he was hurt by someone. Either someone died or someone left him. Now he has thrown himself into changing other’s stories. He wants to watch things fall apart and people get hurt, not only to amuse himself but to make other’s peoples lives worse then he is. He never dealt with whatever caused him pain. Instead of dealing he decided to take his pain out on others. He had no control over his own life and fate and now he is going to remedy that by controlling as many people as he can. He no longer will leave anything to chance.
Quotes:
“Idle threats don’t make for good drama,”- Isaac -Right now his life is consumed by creating intriguing and complex stories. At one point he learned this lesson first hand I believe

“A great story always needs a sprinkle of magic,” – Isaac- Isaac mentions that he travels through realms of times and stories. Where did he originally come from? Was he from an enchanted world with real magic at one time? Or was he from a more mortal type world where magic lived in stories only? How did he become the author?

“Some people struggle not to be drawn into the darkness […] Why not splash in and have a bit of fun?” – Cruella- This is the point where we know this woman is deranged and cannot be saved. She always wanted the more dark side of life, it has appealed to her since she was young. This is the one person we have seen that can be considered a true villain.

Questions:
Is anyone else manipulating Rumple?
Is Rumple running out of time and options?
Does Rumple has any power over his own decisions anymore?
What will change in Emma now that she killed someone?
When and how will Emma forgive her parents?
Will that process of forgiveness play a part in keeping her from losing herself to the darkness?
Has Regina left for New York to save Robin now?
Is Maleficent at all interested in helping Rumple anymore?
Is Maleficent only concerned about finding her daughter?
What is Isaac’s backstory?
How does someone become the author?
Can an author be anyone? Emma? Henry?
If Regina goes and saves Robin and they are reunited does she need Isaac anymore? Will she need her happy ending written?
Other then Rumple then who would need the author to write them anything?
Will Isaac have to write a new ending for Emma in order to save her from the dark path?
Is there any other author out in the world right now?
Are these other time realms like parallel universes where all of our characters have lived our multiple different lives?

Scarlett- Ultimate Winged One

 

A/N: This is the Winged One who tricked Julius in Unfeathered.  I felt like she needed her own voice as well.

largeShe kissed him gently on the cheek and then turned away from him. He would remain staring at the window for sometime. His mind was racing. A small part of him was trying to hold onto his past self. While another much larger part of him was asking why he cared about that man anymore. There was no real reason to hold onto that old life. A life full of sadness and fear. A life without ever a minute of rest or calm. A life where he was constantly looking over his shoulder wondering when his time would be up.

His brain was having an all out fist fight with itself. While his heart was the small spectator trying to break up the fight with only words of wisdom; not actually strong enough to physically help in anyway. His world was resetting itself back to the default settings of birth. No cares or worries, just bliss and happiness. The only desires were linked to satisfying primal needs for continuous life. Soon he would be fine, wings full while his heart and head were light and free.

She would leave him to reset on his own. She knew it was a tough and long process, hampered by any attempts to help. At one time she could have helped. Actually she still could help but she knew it would only hurt him. He was fighting against himself at the moment and the last thing he needed was another voice to confuse the process. Soon it would be over and they could rule the skies together.

She went into the backyard opened her great wings and took off into the sky. She was just about to head straight to the highest point of the atmosphere when a faint flutter caught her gaze. She turned her head to see a Winged One taking off from a house away. The Winged One kept glancing back every few seconds.

Scarlett turned back to the sky not concerned. Whoever it was, was just intrigued by the show. Hopefully it was convincing enough. Scratch that ,she didn’t actually care. Anyone who questioned her would regret it fully.

She reached the highest point of the clouds and let herself hover as her mind wandered. She had been ten when the affliction had started. She was the first, patient zero as she became known in hospitals and to every specialist in more countries then she knew existed on the planet. She was scanned, poked and prodded so much she begun to wonder if there was any part of her that was known only to her anymore. They had tested everywhere even into the depths of her brain and heart.

She had met Julius during the highest peak of the testing period. He was her age, which made talking to him simple and easy. She had learned quickly how to hide her wings, her parents feared what others would say or do if they saw her wings, so Julius never saw them. He was friendly and she loved chatting with him. At night when her and his parents were asleep she would fly over to his house and perch on his window. They would talk about the stars, and about school. She made up stories most of the time because she was no longer apart of society anymore. His parents kept him hidden away, not letting him near a TV or newspaper so he didn’t recognize her from the countless shows she had appeared on. He never asked her how she got over at the hour or how she got up on to his window. He just liked talking with her, she was his secret friend and he was hers.

As they grew their talks got longer and more serious. She was no longer the only one afflicted by the new disease. There were reports of new Winged Ones everyday. It started with just a handful of new cases a day, but soon the numbers soared into the thousands and eventually they just stopped counting.

Julius always told her to be careful every night when she would leave him. He was worried she would become one of them. His parents were extremely protective of him, making sure he understood how to save himself. Since he was so sequestered away from the world she was the only friend he had. He became very protective of her. She would smile and tell him she was always careful before jumping to the ground, finding a deep patch of shadows and taking off into the sky. Until a few moments ago he had never known what she really was.

By the time she was sixteen the doctors and her parents stopped trying to make anything make sense about her. The “curse,”, as it was now called, had no antidote and couldn’t be contained. Was it airborne? Water borne? Because of the food? Genetics? Was this humanities next step in evolution? No one had any answers and slowly those who tried to care were locked away and the world became silent and afraid.

Winged Ones outnumbered the Unfeathered three to one now. Maybe some of the hardest fighters were locked away in some government building somewhere still desperately searching for a way to put things back to normal. Maybe they were still examining her DNA, still hoping as the first afflicted, that she held the answer.

She didn’t care. They would find nothing and even if they would have to get her to cooperate. An impossible task. Twenty years she had been a Winged One. Twenty years she had been living with this new side of herself. At first the feelings of lack of care and concern were overwhelming. The world became nothing more than a place to live inside of. You detached and you enjoyed being detached. Or so she had heard.

She hadn’t had the luxury to live the Winged One’s life fully. Her parents had forced her to hold onto to her humanity. It had been like grasping onto a life preserver in a tumultuous ocean. They made her yell and made her cry, constantly reminding her of emotions and what having them meant. She hadn’t ever been able to fully let go and live completely free like every other Winged One.

Twenty years later and she and mastered control of this switch though. She didn’t have to feel when she didn’t want to. If she wanted to be upset she could just flip the switch and she started the water works and felt the pain twist her heart. But it only took one thought to turn that all off and rise above the Unfeathered once again.

This control was why she ruled. Only a handful of Winged Ones, her soldiers, knew what she could do. They kept an eye out on the newly Winged Ones and made sure they stayed in line. All Winged Ones lived without a care but they lived by her rules or they disappeared. It was pretty simple to maintain control. No one missed a Winged One.

She was about to dip back down to check on Julius when she saw a form enter her cloud cover. It was Jack.

“Good acting tonight,” he grinned.

“Thanks. I know Julius and I knew what would break him finally. Why are you here?” she wasn’t one to just chat.

“Well, as I was leaving Julius’s place I noticed something,” he said.

“A female? Looks to be pretty new? Just hovering and watching?” Scarlett asked.

Jack nodded. “She was staring so intently,” He paused and said the next part very hesitantly. “Almost like she cared.”

“I see,” Scarlett waved her hand. “Thank you.” Jack sank back towards the Earth, he knew she was dismissing him.

Scarlett remained in her clouds mulling over what Jack had just told her. She had seen the glances but she hadn’t been close enough to see the actual face and features. Jack was reliable though and he would lie to her. A newly Winged One who appeared to care? This was new and new wasn’t good. New was a threat. Her kingdom was too close to being fully formed. New was not welcome here and new would have to be eliminated. Immediately.

Winged One-Talia

A/N:  This came about while I was rereading my Unfeathered story and I want to try to keep adding to this tale. I am not entirely sure where it is going, if anywhere, but I do want to see what I can do with it.

 

th_FallenAngelEN“If you walk out that door you will never see me again,” she stood arms crossed, eyes trained on his right hand. His fingers held the door knob gently; all he had to do was twist and take two steps forward. He would be out the door and forever out of her life. If he moved an inch, she would not shed a single tear. She would not beg him to turn around and look her in the eye and say goodbye. If he left, she was done.

“Good,” he said as he twisted the knob and left her apartment. She felt the prickle at the corner of her eyes. She felt the tightening in her chest and the shaking in the tips of her fingers down to her knees. All the signs were there for a major breakdown. If she relaxed even a little bit she would crumple onto the ground and he would have won.

She took two deep breaths and released them slowly. She closed her eyes and released all the tension and agony creeping around inside of her. She had known he was going to leave. He wasn’t worth her tears or time. He was weak and she was strong. She just had to keep repeating that to herself over and over.

Once the tension in her chest eased and she felt her eyes dry up she went to her bathroom and finished getting ready for the day. As she finished curling her hair she looked over her outfit. She wore a bright white T-shirt and blue jeans, the safe outfit. An outfit he had insisted she wear day in and day out. He had never listened to her protest or theories. But now he was gone.

She finished her hair and went to her closet. She moved to the back of the space. Here was the spot where she kept everything he thought wasn’t appropriate. Back here was her normal clothes; T-shirts and dresses. So many colors and styles just like it used to be before this all started. Back before the Winged One curse made everyone paranoid automatons. She pulled out a little black number that hit her mid thigh. The neck was low giving a hint of what was beneath but only a hint. Two sheer slits ran along the sides, again hinting at something but not truly giving anything away.

She quickly undressed but just as she was about to pull the dress down over her head she caught a glimpse of her back in her floor length mirror. Right at her shoulder blades was two slits, and coming through them was a few stray feathers. She stared at them for a long time, watching the tiny strands flutter in the wind.

She should find her discarded white shirt, put it on and stop this whole process before it was too late. So many wore the shirts everyday, barely taking them off even to shower. She on the other hand had learned early on the shirts were only for the danger moments. Sure, constantly wearing them kept the danger moments basically nonexistent, but it wasn’t alway a necessity.

She should walk away from this new outfit and go back to blending in with the rest of the Unfeathered. Becoming a Winged One wasn’t reversible. Once you let go, you were taken for life. You were the elite, soaring around the sky and staring down at the little people below you. You lost all strong emotions and ties to anyone you once knew. Once you soared into the sky the rest of the world began to mean less and less.

The winged ones were revered and feared. They didn’t care about anyone else. Didn’t think about the well-being of the world at all. No one and nothing mattered to them anymore. To many that seemed like a curse but to her it sounded like a blessing. What did she have in this world? Nothing, that was the answer. Her parents had flown away years ago, in the first movement. They had been curious and she had never seen them again.

She had never been a social butterfly. In school she had had a handful of friends but life had pulled them apart. She might talk to one or two of them once or twice a year if she found the time. They never had meaningful conversations, mostly the basics, “What are you doing?”, and “How is life?” Nothing more.

Her only boyfriend had walked out the door moments ago leaving her completely alone. So what did she have left? She didn’t care about anyone or anything right now anyway, so what would change other than the way she traveled?

She pulled the black fabric down over hear heard. She straightened it and admired herself in the mirror. She looked hot. She spun and felt her face grow into a smile Today was going to be a great day.

 

The day turned out to be quiet dull. She got a few side glances at her outfit but nothing exciting. No one hit on her and she had no reason to assert her new sense of self worth onto the world. She returned home less excited and enthusiastic then she had been when she had left earlier.

She undressed for a shower and once again admired her growing feathers. They were more than wisps now. She could actually see full sized feathers poking out. With a little difficulty she reached back and stroked the new additions. They were soft and light below her fingers. The dark grey stood out well under there bright lights of her bathroom. She imagined her full set, open wide and filling the room. Giant slate grey wings with dark black veins criss-crossing over the surface. She imagined them opening wide and the wind lifting her high into the air. The world below her was nothing more than pinpricks of color, below was nothing to her. Above was what mattered. Above where there was no boundaries, no obstacles or roadblocks. Above was where she was completely free.

 

It took one week for her wings to fully form. Slowly they expanded out over the days getting wider and stronger. As they grew larger it became nearly impossible for her to leave the house. She didn’t care.

On Sunday she knew they were completely formed. She no longer felt any pricks of pain as new feathers pushed themselves out into the world. She was finally a Winged One.

She didn’t know quite what to do now though. Did she just open the window and jump out? Did she wait for some type of welcoming committee? Were there any rules to this new life?

No one knocked at her door and she didn’t actually feel much different. She felt exactly the same, except that now she was anxious. She wanted to go into the air, see a new view of the world. But how did these things work? Did she have to consciously think to move them? Did they just instinctively work on their own? What was the secret?

“Can’t know until you try,” a little voice whispered in the back of her mind. And it was right. No one was going to come to help her. This was all about her, as everything from now on would be about her.

She opened the double doors to her balcony and stepped out. The sun was on the verge of setting. The world was awash in a warm golden glow. Now was the best moment to try out her new wings.

She opened her wings wide, climbed up onto the railing and without a second thought or moment of preparation she jumped. She fell fast, the ground racing up to slam into her face. She screwed up her eyes, ready to meet the concrete but she never did.

She flapped her wings once, twice and slowly rose back into the sky. Within minutes she was high in the air and the world was quickly getting smaller and smaller. The buildings were no longer large and imposing. The cars looked so much like little toys she itched to reach down and move them around the city. Up here she felt like a god, able to change and manipulate anything and everyone. Up here she ruled the world.

She soared above the city past the city’s imposing wall. A wall designed to keep them inside and separate from the rest of the world. There would be Less chaos that way they said. She flew over the city besides theirs and it was as much asleep as her own behind the wall. She flew over countrysides full of nothing but blackness. The sun was down now, nothing but the moon and stars to guide her through the world. A world that was featureless but not intimidating. She soared left and right, dived to the ground and rose to the clouds.

She went higher and higher until she felt the atmosphere get cold and restrictive. At the highest point, at this time of night, the world became nothing but shadows. Shadows she began to feel apart of. This indistinct, dark world was her home.

It was almost two in the morning before she arrived back at her apartment. It took her a bit to find her way but she enjoyed every minute of the hunt. As she flew she glanced into windows curious to see what the sleeping world looked like at this hour. There were no restrictions and no rules. Those awake from nightmares or insomnia shied away from her when she passed by their windows but she didn’t care.

She slept more peacefully then she had in ages the rest of the night. No negative thoughts plagued her. She worried about nothing and no one. All she could think of or wanted was to be back in the sky, exploring.

 

Three weeks later and she was getting antsy. She still enjoyed soaring but it was the same view most of the time. She flew at all hours of the day but night was still her favorite. It was mysterious, anything could be hiding in the blackness. Though even that mystery was starting to get monotonous.

The Unfeathered avoided her while other Winged Ones were kind but aloof. She had no new friends and no old acquaintances came looking for her. She was still alone and that was becoming less and less exciting.

She had thought becoming a Winged One would have meant no more questioning, no more boredom. She had thought she would feel light and free every hour of everyday, not a worry or concern making itself known to her. It only took her a few days to learn that was all complete B.S. She was bored and didn’t have any idea what to do with herself.

Night would be upon her in a matter of minutes. Maybe tonight instead of just flying through the clouds and over hills and valleys she would stay closer to the ground. Look for something new and exciting to do. Maybe there would be a mystery to solve or a life to watch. There had to be something interesting going on the streets at this hour.

Once she saw the first specs of light sparkling down from the black sky she opened her wings and took off. Instead of soaring straight up into the clouds and getting lost in the darkness, she went straight down. She flew mere feet above the streets, which were almost completely empty.

A few brave souls scurried over the sidewalks on their way home. Everyone knew being out after dark, unless you were a Winged One, was dangerous. Officers prowled the streets eager to add more souls to their quotas. If you were Unfeathered you risked abduction or attack once the sun went down.

She flew through the dim streets not a sight or sound popping out at her. Nothing broken for her to fix. No one looking to be in need of help. Nothing lost for her to find. There was almost nothing going on. The streets were as blank and dull as the sky above her.

She was just about to return to her clouds when she heard a scream. She quickly backtracked and headed down a side street into a small suburban neighborhood. She hovered a house down from where the scream had originated.

Crouched between two burly Winged Ones was a small pathetic looking woman. She was just a limp body between them, crying but doing nothing more. Standing before the group was a simply handsome man in a bright white T-shirt. He was gesturing at the woman. Finally they let her go and passed her on to the man.

The man let the woman fall to the ground. He didn’t kneel down to comfort the woman or to make sure she was alright. He just turned away and head beck into his house. The woman quickly followed behind him. She walked tall no slumped shoulders or look of distress about her person. She walked as if proud, almost triumphant. The door closed and the house went dark.

She hovered, waiting. No lights came on and she heard nothing more from the pair but she couldn’t shake the incident. Something was off about these two. He tried to rescue her but didn’t act like he was glad that he had won. She seemed to be barely scratched by her encounter. Yes,people rescued those caught, but they were almost alway family members, never were they complete strangers who had no attachment to each other. Usually there was a show full of crying and pleading followed by joyous hugs and kisses when they “won.” Not this pair though. The man seemed angry and the woman was excited.

She turned to head home, making a mental note of the location. She would return the following night and watch the house. She was going to find out what was different about this place. Mystery found.

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