Frail form standing alone on an empty path twisting through the bamboo groove of Kyoto, Mana's bambi eyes gazed at the scenery. Trickles of orange rays glistened through the thick stalks of green serenity giving the shards of light upon the ground the appearance of stars. Their benevolent glow contrasted the reserved twinkle of their nightly siblings. Her silken cream skin bore its wrist to the touch of heavenly light, allowing its affection to warm her exterior. A foggy breathe cooled the illuminated heat with a gentle exhale. Again, she inhaled as fresh dew filled her frail lungs with the aroma of a new beginning. That first breath was held, the lungs never wishing to let it go as the rest of her body steadied itself for the first step into this new world of the storm.
Cerulean irises began to rise from the dancing light upon that dainty wrist while the first breath of this new life suffocated the gentle walls of her slender chest. She wasn't nervous. The small chamber that once caged the frightened melody of a young heart remained steadfast in its stillness. The silence around the petite adolescent was filled with the comforting hum of a tender melody. It was the hum of her A.T. motor. A gentle breeze was created in the stillness of the bamboo forest in which she stood. It was the slightest of winds that rolled out in a loose spiral from around wheeled feet of this lonely child. At long last the warmed dewy air was exalted as the young bird attempted its first flight.
Mana leaped. Her wings spread out, lacking full grown feathers. Still patched with the gentle fluff of a hatch-ling, the eager chick yearned to be free. Elegantly long fingers reached for the sky, knowing that it was far too early for her to attain it. Yet the image of her hand reaching through the shards of morning light for that azure sky beyond the towers of green would forever be burned in her memories. For a split moment she felt no lift or sense of gravity. She was in free fall. Void of any weight. Suspended. However, the earth would shatter this glimpse of freedom as it pulled her back down.
"No..." she whispered as those slender fingers dropped their reach to the sky only to wrap around the smooth wood of a bamboo stalk. She wouldn't fall. Not yet. Never before had Mana held onto something so tightly as the muscles in her arm struggled to hold the weight of her insignificant body. The curve of her body, crescent like that of the moon, tucked her knees under her as the gentle hum vibrated the green serenity she held firmly. A delicate arch of her neck would draw her hungry eyes back towards the sky. Like the spiraling breeze that circled her when she remained still, she'd move like the winds of a hurricane. Winding up higher and higher, she carved her presence in this grove on the bamboo stalk. Up and up, her wheels rode against the wood.
The same moisture that had filled her lungs with hope was now betraying her as she felt her fingers begin to slip. The speed that was carrying her upwards was also tearing her away from the stalk. Not understanding the fine points of physics or the correct terms in which to label this pull of force as she pivoted her way up the stalk, Mana only understood the feeling... which was more than enough to save her from the fall. Bending at the elbow and curling her wrist, she pulled herself closer to the wooden stalk for a more stable hold, which also resulted in her lithe body to circling quicker. The increased speed created more force than she could handle, ripping her hand free from the stalk.
Mana flew; back arched, legs extended from a last minute push-off, arms reaching out to the clear blue sky. Her light strands of short tangled locks danced above the green sea below. The little bit of heavenly light that had tickled her wrist below wrapped around her entire body as she freed herself from the shadows. Couldn't she remain like this? No. She couldn't. The wind picked up. With no bamboo stalks to shelter her from its gust, the warmth felt from the morning sun was carried away. That wind... why did it take away one of the few things she found solace in?
The performance of a wild dance enveloped the sky's stage as the tempest whisked around the slender girl falling back to earth. Soft strands of blond tickled her cheeks while the loose fitting sweater over her shoulder billowed. Her eyes would remain on that cloudless sky as her thoughts wandered down the path she had chosen... The life of a Storm Rider. Many would not have taken this hobby as seriously as she, but there was sense to it... or perhaps not. It was strange that she had no real reason to explain why the heavens beckoned her. Mana only understood what she wanted from them and she would strive towards that dream. One filled with freedom, friends and an endless sky.
The lone girl had absolutely nothing to lose, because she had nothing to begin with. Pearly lids fell over her cerulean orbs as she gave herself to the dream. She would calm the heavens and make them still. Elegant arms danced over her head to complete the aerial feat. With the twist of her torso she came to a flowing turn that allowed her to land on the brick path twisting through the forest. A weak wind shook the few leaves sprouting from the stalks as she passed by. A single leaf would fall as she slipped away into the shadows of the thick grove. There was only one place she would move towards in order to escape the void that had imprisoned her; Tokyo. It was a place she dreaded to return to, but the only venue where her dreams could be realized.