Chapter One: Fly

'I know what they think about me. They think I'm insane. They tell everyone that I'm just sick, and try to confine me to my room.'

She concentrated on the lock on her door, imagining it turning and unlocking. She could feel her magic moving under her skin, focusing at one point, her index fingertip.

When it reached a certain level, she gently tapped the lock, and smiled when she was rewarded with a click signifying that the lock was open.

'They don't like it when I talk about my powers. My magic. So I don't. That doesn't mean I don't use it though.'

Charlotte froze when she saw the open door, and dropped the tray of food she was carrying.

"Maria!" She turned and ran back to the kitchen, where her older sister was. "Maria! She's gotten out again!"

Maria stopped cutting the potatoes and stared at her. "What? How?"

"She picked the lock on the door! She must have snuck out while we were both busy with dinner!"

"Damn it!" Maria pulled off her apron and threw it on the counter. "We gotta find her before she does something stupid!"

"Or insane?" Charlotte asked as Maria grabbed her car keys, making her pause. Maria's mouth settled into a grim line.

"Or especially insane." She ran out of the house, Charlotte close behind.

'I've always liked birds. They're so free. If something happens or something comes along, they can just stretch out their wings and fly away.'

She looked out over the town from her view on the cliff top. The sun was setting on the horizon, bathing everything in a soft orange.

'I can fly too. I don't use wings, but my magic makes me able to fly.'

She climbed up onto the railing and balanced there, on the edge of the cliff, for a few seconds, just looking at everything.

She had just spread her arms wide and was starting to imagine herself flying through the air with the birds overhead, when a voice behind her screamed "Isabelle, no!" and a pair of hands grabbed her hips and pulled her back, disrupting her magic and dispersing it into the air.

"You can't fly, Isabelle. Please, don't try. Please." Maria whispered in her ear, and Isabelle went limp in her arms.

'They always stop me before I can fly during the day though. But I know I can fly, no matter what they say.'

She allowed Charlotte and Maria to put her in Maria's car and drive her home. She allowed them to put her to bed and lock the door again.

But that night, when she was certain that everyone was asleep, she unlocked the window and crouched on the windowsill, gathering her magic.

'I go flying when they're asleep. They can't stop me then.'

She pushed off and rose into the air, joining a barn owl in his flight over the town, watching as the people grew smaller and smaller as she flew high.

'I love to fly.'