She Robs the Grave - Part 4

Content Warning: Oppression

"Then my heart stopped entirely as we dropped down, but at once the wind picked us up and blew us aloft, high above the peaks, so that we soared away into the sky.

"We flew together all that night, gazing down upon the surrounding lands as God himself must see them, and not for many a long year had I felt within myself such a burst of joy and the thrill of being alive. I never tired of feeling the rushing air on my face or seeing the countryside below flicker by in the moonlight, not though the hours flew past us like the clouds. At last my friend said we must turn back toward home. When my feet came to rest on the earth once more, I wept and bowed to the ground, more in love with this world than I could ever remember being, but all the more desperate also to return to the air again.

"Long we flew together, traveling farther and farther afield and remaining in the air for greater stretches of time, always seeking new lands and new sights, until we would be aloft for a whole night and a whole day after, one full cycle of the sun. Not daring to take much weight into our craft, we carried little to eat or drink, but we sustained ourselves with the exhilaration of discovery and adventure. Every time we landed on the mountaintop once more, my heart would grow heavier and heavier at the thought of descending back into the prison city below, and I began to beg the Aviator to take us up with greater and greater frequency, daring to escape the walls again and again despite the growing vigilance of the king and the city guards.

"One night, as we labored up the side of the mountain bearing the cargo that would soon bear us, we heard a cry from below, and we saw that we had been spotted by one of the lookouts on the wall. Knowing that we would soon be pursued, and that our very lives depended on not being caught outside the walls of the city, we hastened up to the familiar cliff and began hastily assembling the wings. The moon blazed full, giving us light to work by so that we had soon completed the task, but I knew that it also betrayed our position, drawing the guards inexorably to us. As we took our stand at the edge of the cliff, feeling out the wind for our soonest opportunity to escape, we heard the feet of the soldiers running across the bare rock behind. I glanced behind and saw determination glinting on their faces in the white light, and I knew that we had only seconds in which to act.