Throughout my life I have always strived to live a life of luxury. When I was younger and lived in the south, I made sure to become wealthy, not only by surrounding myself with good people.. and well, lovers.. but by surrounding myself in rich items, for they are what make me happy. I was an actress, and I wooed men from my stage with my performance. Being such a loved leading lady, I hardly did much for the things that surrounded me. Most of the fabulous things I acquired were gained by admirers, gifting to me jewelry, gowns, and accessories.
It was as a child that I decided I wanted to live a life like the one I have been. While my mother was in market, I would be at the theater, watching actresses sing and perform, adorned with furs and jewels. There was something I saw once, a women leaving the theater through a back entrance, she had changed from her stage outfit to her day clothes. She had a lovely long gown and beautiful pearls. But what I was most drawn to, was what was attached to her back. She seemed to have something attached to her that she clung to and wrapped around herself for warmth. It was covered in a beautiful off-white color of feathers. The only way I could describe it, was as a pair of wings.
As soon as I saw them, I KNEW I had to have them. I ran to the woman and asked her, “Where did you get those beautiful wings ma’am?”
She practically laughed through her answer, “These? Oh, just another gift from an admirer, you’d have to ask him… Halin… or Hankon… I don’t quite remember his name,” she shrugged, as she kept walking past me.
It was at that point that I knew I had to be a performer, if I could obtain things as wonderful as that, I would certainly fulfill my dream. Years had past and I had perfected my abilities. I made sure my voice was on pitch with every bell, and acted anything from a wretched old lady, to a innocent young girl. I waited, as the gifts started coming, hoping that I would eventually be given the gift of wings.
I performed for many years, and not one time had I received wings. I decided to take things into my own hands. I went back to the town I was born to, and searched through the markets. I began to ask merchants if they had ever obtained wings, or had ever seen them, they all shook their head.
When I had given up, I went back to the theater that I had admired in my childhood. It was there that I saw that beautiful woman, only now, she was old and not as luxurious. Her gown had frayed and her hair was a mess. Though, she still had those beautiful wings, looking no less lovely than the day I saw them, they had kept them beauty. I ran to her, speaking carefully and asked again where she got those wings. This time, she had more information.
She stopped and thought for a moment, a look of longing on her face, then looked to me “Halin, that was his name… I was foolish to take advantage of him, he loved me dearly and I never let myself love him back, until it was too late… He has his own family now, while I am alone…” She shook her head, as if to snap out of a dream, then she pointed to a tavern down the alley “He works there now, he is the barkeeper, you’d have to ask him where he got these wings.”
I nodded, smiling sadly at the woman before gently walking away, towards the tavern. Once at the door, I nearly ran up to the bar and yelled at the man there.
“Are you Halin?!” I panted. He nodded cautiously back at me. “Where did you get those wings you gave that actress many years ago?!”
He laughed with shock on his face, “I didn’t think she remembered those were from me… well, they weren’t a very easy thing to obtain.. I got them from a beast, just east of this town… I don’t believe it uses wings, but it has panels on its back in the shape of wings.. and they are covered in those feathers, you’d have to go fight the thing yourself for them, no way am I going back there. I didn’t kill it, only beat it up enough to put it unconscious. The cave is in the woods, hard to miss”
I nodded and turned around running, yelling my thank you behind me as I did. I quickly stopped at a nearby smith, paying him generously for a dagger, bow, and sheath of arrows. I also paid him for a piece of word from his forge that had been burn on the tip, I could make use of its glowing embers. My next stop was to a stable, where I again paid a man more than he deserved for an aging horse, it would have to do. I planned on making my trip short, and would therefore not need food or drink. I galloped out of the town, to the woods that laid to the east. I prepared myself mentally for a fight with a beast as I made my way in the dark of the forest. Halin was right, this cave was hard to miss. The horse slowed to a complete stop when we got to the entrance, and refused to go any further. With a frustrated grunt, I got off the horse and made my way into the cave alone.
I held my makeshift torch out in front of me, making sure I could see anything coming at me. I walked without any interruptions for nearly twenty minutes before I found myself in a large clearing. It was the belly of the cave, and inside I could hear a loud, growling snore. I crept up to the animal, it was like a mixe between a spider and a bird, eight creepy legs, hundreds of eyes, a crooked beak, and feathered wing panels on its back. It’s fur, if thats what you could call it, had turned grey over the years. Like the woman at the theatered, this beast had become old of age, and would most likely be an easy fight. Before the beast could awaken, I leaped onto its back. I held on tight as it screeched and writhed below me, trying to buck off its intruder. Holding the torch between my teeth, pointing to the beast’s back so I could see, I pulled my dagger out and began to cut off the wings. I made quick work of it, then used the butt of my dagger to knock the beast back out so I could climb off.
With my treasure, and new accessory, now on my back, I ran out of the cave and hopped back on my horse, this time riding to my new home town, before which I set the horse free. I strode through my town, proudly wearing my wings as women looked on in awe.