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Three figures stepped from the light of the rising sun, merely black shapes in the glare. The cliff ahead would be their safe haven, only a few hundred feet to go. The beasts chasing them could not follow them their. Growling and snarling echoed through the woods. The figures quickened their pace, sprinting now. A howl of triumph accompanied frenzied baying screamed though the still morning air. With a crash wolves the size of horses burst from the forest. Their massive paws slammed into the grass, quickly gaining on the three figures, now running as if their lives depended on it. Well, they did of course. The wolves were hungry. The leaders of the pack were now only a few feet behind the three people. But the wolves were still too slow. The three humans launched themselves off the cliff. Each closed their eyes and focused. This wasn't to be suicide. The girl screamed first. And from her back burst wings. They were at least nineteen feet across and a black speckled gray. She continued to scream as the wings unfolded, but then she flew. She soared into the air, her black hair whipping. Her scream of pain changed into a whoop of joy. Though the twins were still falling. It was life or death for them. They were too heavy for the girl to lift. Finally, too close to the trees for comfort, two screams rang out. Two sets of wings took up the sky. Each boy had a wingspan of at least twenty three feet. One had shining silver feathers that seemed like they had been sculpted rather than grown. The final set of wings shimmered a soft gold. The wings seemed to fade at the edges, as if made of the soft dawn light themselves. The final screams echoed through the canyon. The air was now filled with laughter and cries of utter joy. The sound of frustrated barking and the snapping of jaws ended abruptly as the seven wolves morphed back into their original forms. Now seven human figures stood where the wolves once did. The hunters had failed. They would be shunned now. Forever at the level of cubs. The master would not be pleased.

The winged people had their share of problems as well. They must make it back to the city before they lost their sense of purpose in flying. They would forever be locked in a state of joy, forgetting everything except for the air on their wings. The girl pushed her wings down, letting the life of the wind pull a shout from her throat, she rose into the air, spinning wildly with her wings tight to her body before extending them fully in front of the sun. An eclipse of feathers. But neither twin spared her a glance. The girl was new to the changing, easily distracted and insufferable at times. With a sigh the golden winged one began to rise, his brother following suit. After diving at a flock of geese and scaring them half to death, the girl took and updraft. They rose through a low cloud and up to the peaks of the mountains. Spread out before them was a beautiful valley. The peeks of the low mountains were a dark green. Pine and broad leaf trees intermix to form a multihued carpet. The dawn sky glowed pale orange and the sun was larger than midday and a blood red. The trio followed the curve of the valley, banking between the peaks. They entered a long stretch of hills. At the very end of the stretch was the most beautiful thing any of the three had ever seen.

A beautiful city floated above the mountains. It seemed to be entirely composed of sunlight and moonlight, and just as light. Landing bays covered one half of the bottom ring, the other half a hanging garden. Trees grew upside-down on the bottom of the platform. A castle with thin delicate spires rose into the air. It was the tallest building of the city. Opposite it grew a huge tree of the same length. This was the city of the winged. All the changelings that grew wings or turned into flying creatures resided here. It was a beautiful home to live in but suffocating for a being of the air. Anything would be suffocating no matter if it's floating on the air itself. The group had to land now, and they leaned back, breaking with their wings. The girl stumbled a little on the landing like a baby. That is what she is. A little tiny whiney baby. And they threw the twins with her. The Twins. The most powerful flying changelings in a century. The prodigies. And they landed more gracefully than an eagle. Closing the wings against their body they strode to the gold arch that led from the landing yard. But before they could leave the platform another team landed. They looked much more haggard than the trio that had just landed. White speckled wings strained against an unnaturally heavy load. Two pairs of wings came ahead of the speckled one, a pale brown and an earthy red. The girls landed and the team had just enough time to take in the scratches, torn clothing, bruises and mud splattered faces before the speckled wings tumbled to the earth. A man stood up, gazing impassively at the bundle resting at his feet. It was a girl. The blood on the man was hers. She wore no clothing, but she was curled around herself remaining as decent as possible. She was obviously unconscious and she breathed heavily. The twins watched this with no emotion. But then they caught sight of her face. One fell to his knees. One cried in anguish. For both, the pain was intolerable. Their cries danced through the air.

And the girl opened her eyes.