Honey Sweet, So Fall Asleep
(August 16, 2004; told after a glass of wine at a Frigga party in San Francisco; Saga may or may not have been present, but the audience was humbling, nonetheless)
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Once, there was a girl who dreamed she was a raven. Whenever she closed her eyes, she could feel the tickling of a thermal lifting her feathers; gravity reversed with every wingbeat, sending her flitting across the open sky in a rush of weightlessness. Even when she woke, she could never quite shake the sensation of wind and wing, a doubling of her perceptions that made the world seem both immediate and oddly distanced.
She was afraid.
For a time she could barely stand to leave her house, as the calling of the clouds weighed on her so heavily; she was certain that if she flew she would fall, and the image of a malformed body tumbling to the earth never left her. A perfect image of the sky - bands of blue-white and azure, crisscrossed with shades of grey and gold - was her comfort, but it was coupled with the idea of despair and failure. She knew that she could not remain on the ground forever, her dreams pushing her toward the freedom she sought, and she suspected that with one good leap she would be aloft.
But she was afraid.
As she grew, she began to hear a voice - it was little more than a whisper, wrapping about her alongside the breezes so closely that she could barely tell the two apart. It urged her upward, numbing her humanity and bringing the raven to life, and assured her of her safety, her ability, and her necessity.
Still, she was afraid.
Then, one night, she dreamed a dream that could not be denied; the voice became a presence, shadowed but clear, and as she winged above the trees, it coasted beside her. She lost herself in the flight, merging into the updrifts and the sunlight and the smell of late summer air like a raindrop returning to the sea, and as she dipped and raised her wings, the panorama of the world below almost drowned her in its beauty.
She woke, and was unafraid. She walked outside, clad in nothing but the sky and her feathers, and she flew.
This is a story with no ending.