I open my eyes and there it is, the world, big and loud and home. It's morning, the dawn light filters through the thicket of branches around me. I shake my waterlogged feathers as my friends stir from their sleep around me. I am always the first awake and the last asleep. You could say that I am the black sheep of my flock, if you can say that about a bird that is...
Today is the day, the day we fly. It's my first migration, I'm the only one who has never been before. England to Africa; that's a long way, over 7,000 miles. By the way, I'm a swallow. Though I am not normal, I am an albino, white all over. My name is Ash, fate has such a twisted sense of humor, do you think? The flock tells me that I am not supposed to exist, that I am a freak. I don't Believe them. Everyone deserves a chance. Anyway, I have to get moving, they'll leave without me, they will.
We're three days into the journey, there's hundreds of us now, flocks from far and wide, all joined together in a writhing, pulsing mass of black chaos, but there is safety in numbers.
It is here. It has been following us, picking us off, the young and weak are especially vulnerable. I'm worried, I'm a moving target, It'll get me any day now.
It's evening now and the sun is setting, the sky painted in vivid reds and oranges. I can feel It's eyes watching me, eerily, It hangs in the air, ever motionless, ever the harbinger of death. It has started raining, but still we fly, a torrential downpour intent upon separating me from the others. I desperately beat my wings, trying to get above the clouds. A mistake.
There, right above me, was It... It's terrible form illuminated by a flash of lightning. It hung effortlessly in the air, the last thing I saw was the maniacal glint in It's great gold eye as it dove towards me, cutting like a blade through the air