First Try

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery. The strong light of a summer’s mid-day sun greeted Sunar as he stepped from the pub. He closed his eyes and turned his face to it for a moment as he walked, reveling in the warmth against his…

Pub Time

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery Gravel crunched beneath Sunar’s feet as he walked the streets of town. He greeted many of the town’s residents with a nod or a tilt of his staff, enjoying an easy familiarity with the people, the quiet of…

Soft Promises

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Second morning after snow ski bet. Feet forward into a modified mule kick, wings back for support. Level flight. Barrel roll in place, GAH! too far. Correct, come out facing the sky. Negative-dive, pearl-on-water, NO! that was three…

Quiet Moment

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Morning after snow ski bet. Sunar perched atop the gazebo at the highest point of the temple, deep in his morning meditation. He kept his eyes open, his back to the valley, and faced the world outside. He…

Downhill Play

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, a month after Coronation Sunar flew at an even pace toward the top of the ski lift while Gorshun – who sat in a loop at the other end of the rope he carried – laughed, hooted, and…

Zero Education

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; Day after Coronation The sun had started to turn gold as it waned. Sunar stood at the edge of the highest courtyard in the monastery, the one called both dusk and dawn, for…

Zero Challenge

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; Day after Coronation Sunar made his way, without any apparent hurry, through the halls of the monastery. He took a (reasonably) direct route, the sound of his antagonist growing ever louder. Seben was…

As Without

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; Day after Coronation Sunar watched as Tabitha walked into the room, glanced at the datapad on the table, and rolled her eyes. He quirked a single eyebrow at her while striving to keep…

Zero Snow

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; patrolling the coronation of a new Emperor. Sunar stood watch behind the crowd. The field at the base of the slopes was full of people who had come to see Emporer’s coronation on…

Born Zero

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; on patrol awaiting the coronation of a new Emperor. Ice crunched underfoot as Sunar and his three friends made their way through the crowded streets. Vehicles had been banned from the town for…

Cold Lesson

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight Snow crunched under Sunar’s boots as he landed at the edge of the skii-resort town. He drew in a deep breath through his nose, taking in the smells of cooking food and burning…

Dawn Flight

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Summer, six weeks after first flight The cold of a summer pre-morning prickled Sunar’s skin as he sat, eyes closed, atop the gazebo at the height of the Four Peaks monastery and meditated on his place in his…

Naming Rites

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Spring, five seconds after first flight Quiet. Stillness. Calm. Sunar hung suspended in the water for an eternal moment, bubbles flowing around him. The exultation of his flight still sang in his bones, but his ki had settled…

Dawn’s Window

Dawn’s Window Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Spring, twenty-three months after attempting to fly The soft oranges of dawn danced through the window… the window, the one he had been afraid to approach for so long. Sunar felt a smile tug at the…

Fear’s Lesson

Winter: 15 years at the Monastery, Summer, fourteen months after attempting to fly “No.” Sunar shook his head and backed away from the two chairs. Gorshun pushed him forward. “Yes!” replied Gorshun in an exasperated tone, “You are more than ready, and you know…

Wing Training

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Summer, seven months after attempting to fly Sunar shook his head at his best friend. “I am not ready for the chair test yet, that much I’m sure of.” Gorshun rolled his eyes, and Seben huffed. Lenar took…

Fear’s Hold

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, four months after attempting to fly Water cascaded down the not-quite vertical face of the Babbling Wall. Sunar’s stomach clenched almost painfully as he stood in one of his favorite spots; on the path which led up…

Fear’s Caution

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, two months after attempting to fly Sunar leaned over the windowsill from which he’d attempted to jump two months and a lifetime before. A strong breeze wafted through the window. Warm, but with a hint of changing…

Teacher’s Price

Summer: 14 years at the Monestary, Spring, the day after attempting to fly Master Ikthan stood in the bedroom doorway, his cold disapproval smothering what warmth Sunar and his friends had felt. The other boys gave Sunar quick glances of sympathy and fear, nodded,…

Titanic Bonds

Sunar talked with his sister for some time. For the most part he let her ramble. She had been bottling a lot of emotion while he had been unconscious, so he provided her a sounding board and let her get it all out. After…

Sister’s Confidence

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, the day after attempting to fly Sunar woke slowly, despite his best efforts. He tried to bring his mind to alertness, but found himself groggy. He lay on his stomach, and everything hurt. Was I knocked out…

Mother’s Word

Mother’s Word Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery Sunar sat with his head against the wall and tried to process the pain. It felt like every muscle in his back, wings, and chest had caught fire. He barely registered the sound…

The Day

Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery Sunar started awake, but managed to feign continued sleep. It only took a moment for him to find what he’d heard: his sister’s breathing. “How did you get in here without waking me, and why…

Cold Curiosity

Monastery: 14 years since arrival. Winter. Sunar woke an hour before dawn, as had become his custom. The moon hid behind the frost on his window, but still illuminated sister’s first leather tail dangling over the window. She had grown too tall for it…

Child’s Tail

Monastery: 14 years since Sunar’s arrival Sunar and three of his friends wandered through the monastery’s hallways, headed no where in particular, enjoying a few hours of free time between summer lessons. They were keeping a small, sand-filled ball in the air by batting…

A Name

Sunar did not know how long he sat crying. He let everything wash away in the flood of tears; the pain, the childish ideals, and, finally, the pride. It seemed an eternity before the it stopped. He felt tired, as if he had performed…

Dawn Tree

Sunar allowed his gaze to wander as he sat in meditation. The valley between the four peaks in shadow behind him, the plains leading to the mountain spread out before him, and Master Ikthan sat next to him. He’d tried to concentrate on pushing…

Ending Denial

    Sunar carried the breakfast tray into his parent’s room. He had to contain his excitement in order to keep from spilling the orange juice. Today. Today, his sister would be born. Today, he would show them all. She would be just like him,…

Defiant Anticipation

Sunar moved slowly through his morning katas, keeping his motions synced with the rest of the children. They stood in the Dawn Court, moving from position to position in unison, setting their tempo by the adept’s walking staff as he tapped out a rhythm…

Discovery

          Sunar ran a hand down the edge of each wing, and pushed against them with his hands. He felt a tiny bit more resistance, and a little more resilience, than last week. It had been six months, an entire six months, since he’d…

Flying Mind

    Sunar sat, trying to concentrate on the feeling of the morning sun on his skin, rather than his sixth birthday party, while matching the breathing of Master Ikthan beside him. His friends had enjoyed the party as much as he had, for which…

Sounds of Children

        Three glass cups sat upon a bench in the sunken Children’s Court of the monastery, about twenty feet away from five-year-old Sunar’s intent stare. What little attention not focused on the glasses before him made brief note of his teacher beside him. He…

Wounded Acceptance

     A sniffling sound came from Sunar. Iktahn turned to see a horrified expression on the boy’s face, eyes locked on the blood trickling from his mother’s ear. Sunar stood there, wings still clutched in his hands, mouth agape, eyes like dinner plates. Ikthan…

Winged Demands

    Master Ikthan entered the home of Tanu and Katja. He found Sunar already in the other room, engrossed in playing with his blocks, and Dr. Soren waiting.     Katja started to speak, but hesitated, exchanged a look with her husband, and Tanu spoke,…

Until Dawn

     Master Ikthan, leader of the four-peaks temple, listened with an uneasy heart as his friends and charges, Katja and Tanu, explained their concerns for Sunar to himself and Sarah, Katja’s mother. He felt glad that they had come to him for council, for…

Winged Walking

Katja could not keep her hand from rubbing the sharp tip at the top of her ear while she watched her adopted two-year-old, half-dragon, son Sunar learn to walk. Most kids his age could walk proficiently, and watching his struggles brought her hand back…

Sunar

     Master Ikathan knelt in the small gazebo atop the Four Peaks Temple and watched the sun set over the plains. The distant whine of a turbine made its way to his ears and tried to disturb his meditation. He ignored it, continuing to…