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In the Forest

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Joe looked up at the night sky above the glittering lake in front of him. The moon, a waning gibbous, cast a silvery glow to the earth below and the waves of water sparkled from its light. Trees cast shadows over the ground and created skyscraper-like silhouettes in the distance. Stars hung in the sky like fairy lights.

He loved being in the forest, especially at that time in the night. He felt a connection to nature and an escape from his menial daily life. Joe would take hikes into that one forest for years and even had a small cabin there that he lived in for a while. But tonight, he knew exactly why he'd come back, and he'd have the moment all to himself.

An indescribable feeling tingled deep in his back on both sides of his spine. A feeling that he'd repressed for so long, that he'd go insane if he didn't let it out. And with nobody around, Joe would finally release its power.

Joe unbuttoned his shirt with caution and slid it off his shoulders before it landed on the ground. He took a deep breath and exhaled into the night air. Within seconds, he sensed an energy, something ethereal and potent leaving his body slowly and relieving him from his concerns.

Out of his bare back on the sides of his spine, two wings had bloomed out slowly and gracefully. Black like shadows, white flecks shone in the moonlight. They were over twice his armspan in width and were soft and feathery, much like a bird or an angel. Joe felt like he could control them at his own will, and did so by using mental power to pull them in toward each other and back out.

Joe was aware that he and his two siblings were born with the ability to voluntarily sprout wings. He'd even seen and remembered what his brother Mario's wings had looked like; light brown and streaked with a mahogany sort of colour.

He wondered why exactly he'd have such an inhuman characteristic about himself. Were one of his parents part angel? Was it some sort of supernatural power he was blessed with? Many questions filled his mind at such an inconvenient time of the night. All Joseph wanted to do was just focus on his wings.

He held an arm back and touched one of the silken feathers on his left wing. It was smooth and almost velvety to the touch. He plucked off a feather despite the uncomfortable jolt from the appendage to his spine. He held it in his fingers, and then toward the light. The feather was near transparent, but still gave off a bright white glow.

It felt like ages since he found this out about himself and he remembered not handling it well. Now that nobody was in his presence, Joe felt at ease, more confident in himself.

Joe brought his wings together and back out slowly. He did so a few times to get used to the feeling of having something else on his body. He almost felt like a bird learning how to flap its wings; determined and fascinated. He heard the stir of leaves and branches behind him caused by the winds of his wings.

Joe had never felt such a sense of freedom in a long time and it was only divine. And someday, maybe he would learn how to fly with those wings.