Night Flight

Not long after night had fallen he stood at the opening of his cave. Before him lay the whole night world stretching out as far as he could see. High in the mountains as he was he could see great valleys and peaks lit only by starlight.

He leapt into the air, his wings snapping out to catch and updraft carrying him yet higher. A sigh of contentment escaped him as the wind ruffled his feathers making him feel alive. He rose of the thermal using only the tiniest of wingtip movements to control his assent. Tonight was about seeing where the sky would take him and seeing what the rest of the world was doing along the way.

As he soared on the wind he gazed at the land below him. A great abyss of darkness appeared as he flew over a valley. Carefully he started a decent marvelling at how more and more land appeared out of the dark hole beneath him. He stopped and started a slow turn watching the ground below.

As he watched he heard an owl hoot softly and his eyes sought out the source. It wasn’t just a bird’s wings he had after all. He had the great eyesight of birds though he sometimes wondered if it could be considered better. He could spot the tiniest creature from hundreds of metres up into the air. The owl hooted again and he was able to narrow in on the area spotting it quickly in a tree.

It was a thing of beauty a snowy owl with feathers a crisp white colour. It had a slight brown speckles on it and as he watched it spread its glorious wings. Then, it fell. Plummeted out of the tree until the wing swept under its wings lifting it up again. He watched as it flew away out on its night’s hunting. He watched for a while longer before he rose out of the valley and continued onwards.

The next time he stopped it was to circle around a mountain peak. It’s rocky outcrop cut an intriguing silhouette in the darkness and he wanted a closer look. Upon his approach he realised it was intact three separate spurs of rock jutting upwards each slightly out of line with the others so that when you looked from a distance you saw all three but they looked like one.

Suddenly, he broke out of his lazy circle to fly between two of the spurs. As he did so he let one wingtip brush the rock. Breaking out the other side he circled around and cut through the second gap grazing the other wingtip. On his third approach he flipped sideways as he entered so he was looking at the middle spur as he passed through a wing above and below him. As soon as he was out he flipped back and lopped around to pass through again.

He spent a long time playing around that mountaintop before he moved on. When he did he started to head back to his cave. On the way he flew over a lake and looking down he saw all the stars reflected back at him. Swooping low he saw the great shadow he cast over the water and marvelled at his own wings creating such an image. Reaching the far side of the lake he pulled up again and flew lazily back to his cave.

Reaching the cave he landed at the entrance shaking his wings to ward off any stiffness from the flight. He stood at the entrance looking out over the world a while longer before he headed deeper into the cave. The he lay down to sleep wrapping his wings around him tightly to ward of the chill of the night air.


2 thoughts on “Night Flight

  1. I liked your story. You portrayed well the flight of this bird. One small comment about the 2nd to the last paragraph. The “when he did” and “as he did” seem repetitive to me and they are distracting. I think it would be good if you left out “when he did” as it follows well without it.
    I enjoyed your work. I look forward to seeing it again.


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