Well, it’s that time of year again! NaNoWriMo has descended upon us and we must type like demons, so we may exorcise the ghost of failure and procrastination! Gosh! What a lot of exclamation marks!
Actually, this month has been quite cathartic. As many of you know, I have been writing about the adventures of Suva and Kyto for some time, they’ve reached an end.
I’ve managed to carve out some sort of structure for my story and I have to say, I am pretty pleased with it. To be clear, I’m not happy with the punctuation and sometimes, I’m not happy with all my word choices, but themes are coming clear. Looking back on events and happenings these last few days have really confirmed that I have been doing the right thing all along. This world which I have created, peopled with creatures strange, old, wise and naïve are now coming alive to an extent that they are making their own choices. Sometimes I wonder if I have a responsibility as a writer, their creator, to ask them to make choices which would sit better with children. Am I setting a good moral precedence? And I then I think about the authenticity of the characters and I feel I must just let them be…
The magpie and the fairies took charge from that point on and went on ahead. Some of the fairies pulled at Suva’s clothes and one, very presumptuous fairy, tried to pull at Suva’s braids. The creature was soon swatted away apologetically by the little girl but only to resume pushing her instead.
Finally, they all stood on what seemed like the hill for miles around. They were met with crumbling ruins which may have told of a lost civilisation; the remains of a cylindrical building with stairs travelling in a spiral around the outside. The fairy king and the magpie had already flown to the top, calling for Suva to follow them.
Her feet seemed heavy as she climbed the stone steps, uneven and slippery. They made her knees tremble slightly. She was afraid that she would slip and fall. She was not scared of heights, only the travelling up. Once she was on firm footing at the top, Suva breathed a sigh of relief.
But she looked down and saw the world beneath her. Shades of green, and brown. Lines and squares. Dots and markings. All around her the mist swirled. Was she high enough to be in the clouds? She did not know but when she breathed in, the air rushed into her lungs, cold and painful.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” the two, winged ones whispered to her.
“What do I do?”
“You fall and then open your wings, catch the wind so you can soar,” said the fairy king.
“No, you open your wings first, catch the wind, then fall and then you soar,” argued the magpie.
Suva looked for Tara for help, but Tara was smiling. She looked amused and shook her head as if to say that she did not have the answers.
The magpie and the fairy had started bickering and Suva felt helpless and stuck. Their shrill voices getting louder and louder seemed to push Suva away. She edged forwards, frustrated and impatient. Her feet shuffled ever closer to the end of the ledge and then she leapt forwards.
There was silence.
She was diving, her heart racing, threatening to fall out of her mouth as she fell out of the sky. She remembered her wings and willed them open, and her arms flew out to the side.
Up and out, flew her wings too. She caught the wind or the wind caught her, she wasn’t sure. For half a second, she hung in the air and then she was pushed upwards.
From the tower, they watched. Their bickering had stopped and they held their breath.
“Will she be able to come back, do you think or will she need help?” asked the Fairy King.
“I think she will crash and then get up to try again. Any injuries will heal in good time, Tara will see to it,” the emperor added sagely.
“You’re far too pessimistic, Your Imperial Highness,” squawked Dara the magpie, hopping and flying out, a little at a time.
“I am a realist. I understand to fly, one must first fall and fail. You all know that better than I,” added the emperor.
“For us fairies, falling was never an option. We were reborn with wings and from the instant of our rebirth we could fly,” said the Fairy king, proudly.
“Yes, but before then, your kind crawled along the floor and could only dream of flying. Am I right? A whole death, a fall, if you will, took place before a rebirth and before you could feel your wings.”
With that the emperor turned and walked on, as if he had had enough of the spectacle. He was convinced that the wings worked. He was pleased with the result but now he needed to prepare the rest of the rebel army.
Kyto watched on in silence. He was still confused and lost. He managed to follow the rest of them up to the tower and he had watched Suva’s flight with familiar envy. He, too wanted to fly and soar and feel the something which would set his whole body alive. He stepped out to the ledge too, unwatched, unnoticed. It was if he had disappeared along with the realisation that he no longer had a body and that he would soon be forgotten.
But he moved towards the edge and the pull was irresistible. He jumped, but he dived. He was deliberate in his movements and he knew what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go. Suddenly, he was set free. He realised that he had become indestructible when he stepped out of his body. All at once he was a million particles, scattered wildly in the wind and then he was able to pull himself back in again. There were an infinite number of possibilities, he thought and Kyto wondered why he had been so afraid.
He looked for a moment and saw Tara watching him. She was not watching Suva now. Kyto found that he could be aware of so many things at once. He knew where Suva was, he could see her falling and struggling to stay up and he was also aware of the Fairy King and the magpie rushing to help her.
At the same time, he saw the emperor on the ground, looking up curiously at Suva. He was waiting for her to crash land, and Kyto knew this instinctively and at very same time he was watching Tara who was watching him. She looked proud, thought Kyto, as if she knew that he had worked out the problem and the solution for himself.
“That is why I love you,” she said to him. The voice was inside him, a feeling, rather than a sound and he was didn’t know where to begin in expressing his gratitude. This was a metamorphosis for him and now he was boundless.
By now, Suva was panicking. She did not know how to stop and yet she needed to. She was spiralling out of control and there seemed to be nothing she could do. She could not understand or hear what the Fairy King and Magpie were saying to her so she panicked even more. The ground was rushing towards her and she forgot her wings, in all essence she was now just a body tumbling out of the sky. Thankfully, the grass she would land on was soft. Perhaps she might not break any bones, she thought.
Suddenly, Kyto was there by her side. She could hear his voice clearly in her head. There was no interference from the wind and he spoke to her gently.
“Open your wings out again, relax and let the wind lift you up.”
She did as she was told and was able to steady herself again. She was hovering now, but she still had no control over her landing.