1. Aderlina

I stood stock still on the tree branch while it swayed and shuddered in the wind. My long hair whipped around in a frenzy and night leaked down from above and settled in quietly. I listened.

And owl screeched and flapped away somewhere, and I breathed in the evening. A wolf moaned its misery and plight, and I felt its pain. The stars shone eerily. The forest stretched for miles, farther than the eye could see or the imagination could reach, and lured me with its vastness.

I took off, spreading my rapidly growing wings and soaring over the leaves. I screeched my pleasure just like the owl before me, then landed on a high branch and started climbing down the trunk with quick little claws, my wings shrinking. A bushy tail sprouted and waved behind me. Finally, I jumped down and landed safely, standing up to my original height. Deceptively human.

I checked my reflection in the stream; I was satisfied. This would pass. They would never know what I was. There was no way they could guess.