“Are you ready?”
“Give me a minute. I think mom ripped my shirt wrong. My wings feel weird around the edges of the slits,” I told my dad while adjusting my shirt.
I gave up after a few more useless attempts to fix it. My parents were ready for me so I got in stance and waited.
“Since you just received the healing gift, getting injured won’t be too much of a problem,” my dad said.
I grinned and gave a small head shake.
“It’ll just hurt,” I added.
My dad smiled at me and rolled his eyes, knowing I was just saying that to tease him.
We were twenty feet apart from each other. Today’s training would be focused on my ability to block. We usually started with simple things and slowly escalated the intensity of the training. My parents agreed that the more pressure I had, the better I would respond.
Lesson of the day: Avoiding attack.
After receiving my healing gift, my parents became intent in making me comfortable with it. Any cuts, gashes, and slashes I had purposely done, had healed in seconds.
To test out just how fast I was at the moment, we were practicing with three objects. If by any chance I got hit, my parents knew I would heal from the blow.
The first object was wooden stakes. They held a dangerous appearance, but I knew they were completely innocent.
Sharp-tipped arrows were the second weapon, which my mom volunteered to shoot. My mom was an expert with bows, something I had to practice with as well. She and my dad agreed that archery was something practical and very useful.
Blades were the third and final weapon. The blades we owned were absolutely beautiful. Before receiving my healing gift, the blades were used in a more cautious manner and simply for practice.
I had to run through the obstacle course my dad and I had created, while I was being attacked by one of the three objects. My dad was hopeful that in a month or two I would be able to handle all three attacks at once.
“Go!” My dad yelled.
I ran through the first maze of obstacles in our backyard. In the first ten feet, the first stake was flying by me, barely missing my wing. I moved out of the way just as another one was shot in my direction.
The rule was that there could be no flying until I reached the woods. Having the stakes shot in my direction only added to the thrill and excitement.
One of my wings took a hit after trying to swerve away from it. The wing ignited in white light where the stake touched it, but the light slowly faded away once the contact was lost.
It usually happened when my wings came into contact with anything. They would glow in the area that was touched and then the light would dim away.
Since it didn’t really hurt and hadn’t injured my wing, I kept up my speed.
After running the man-made maze one way and back, getting hit a total of four times, one which landed in my head; I finally made it to the woods.
As soon as I entered the woods, my dad started a timer to see how much time it took me to fly. It was a one mile going and one mile coming route, to make it a total of two miles. I was to fly the path and back in eight minutes or less. No one lived near our home for miles, but just to be on the safe side, I flew high enough to blend in and become invisible.
There was a light coat of fog in the air. Small droplets of water touched my skin and coated my wings. The sky was cloudy and the fresh morning air was caressing my skin, so I didn’t feel any exhaustion while flying the two miles.
I flew down when the red ribbons tied to a tree came into view. It took seconds to reach the tree, untie one of the ribbons, and make my way back.
I picked up my speed once I was high enough in the air, willing my wings to flutter faster in order to cut some time. The speed gave me an adrenaline rush, increasing the excitement I already felt.
Having my wings contained in my back all the time restrained me. In that moment, the feeling of freedom was incredible.
“Seven minutes and forty-six seconds. You’re getting faster pumpkin,” my dad excitedly yelled.
Right after crossing the threshold of the woods, an arrow was shot my way.
“Hey, I barely made it out!” I yelled at my mom.
“Sweetie, you can’t be telling that to someone if they’re attacking you,” my mom replied in her motherly voice.
I rolled my eyes, but continued swerving through the maze. My mom went tougher on me. It was taking me longer to get through the course with my mom shooting arrows.
She shot one right after the other. They weren’t all aimed directly at me, so that gave me an edge, but every five seconds there was an arrow around me. She shot me in the wings two times while I ran, but I only felt a minor impact. If I would have been flying, I might’ve faltered in the air.
About 10 feet before entering the woods, my mom had the brilliant idea of shooting an arrow directly at my feet. I noticed the arrow before it hit me, but that didn’t stop me from tripping and falling flat on my behind. That also didn’t stop my mom from swarming me with arrows as fast as she could throw them.
I wrapped my wings around me for protection and got up as quickly as possible. I managed to enter the woods and felt relief as soon as my wings lifted me in the air.
The second time I flew, I concentrated less on the amazing feeling in my wings or the way my hair swayed in the air, and instead mentally prepared for the third and final attack.
When I reached the second red ribbon, I flew down faster than before and made my way back up.
I was determined to not get hit by any of the blades.
When the trees started to clear off, the house became visible up ahead. I took one long breath and started lowering myself to the ground.
“Seven minutes, twenty-three seconds. You did better than the last run honey.”
I raised my thumb, signaling I had heard and was ready for the blades.
My dad was only going to shoot a total of ten blades, which were sharp and could actually penetrate my skin.
While I ran through the course, I became more alert of my surroundings and anything that could approach me by surprise.
The first blade ran by one of my wings. It tore off a few feathers, but other than that, it didn’t do any damage. The next four blades failed to carry enough speed. I ran past them without getting hit.
My mom shot the next two, claiming my father was too weak to throw. I actually laughed at her poor attempts to hit me with the blades. She was nowhere near hitting me and the blades didn’t carry any speed.
My mom was brilliant with a bow and arrow, but she couldn’t throw blades to save her life.
My dad took on throwing the last three. I managed to swerve two of them easily. I was on my last turn in the obstacle course when my dad shot the last blade.
It would’ve been good to take into account that after I turned, my body would be facing my dad. In the few seconds that I got distracted, the blade came at me and stabbed my left arm.
Since the blade was coming directly at me fairly fast and I had been sprinting, it pierced more than it would have if I hadn’t been running.
I whimpered from the pain, but continued running, needing to complete the training.
I heard both my parents gasp and they were yelling at me to stop. My mom was crying out, worried that I had been hurt really bad.
As soon as I finished the maze, I rested my hands on my knees and inhaled long deep breathes.
“Cassidy, are you okay sweetheart?” My dad asked, taking off his glasses and gently grabbing my arm.
“I need you to take the blade out,” I answered, looking at the weapon piercing my skin.
“Honey, does it hurt? It looks very painful,” my mom said with a pained expression. Her eyes were misted with unshed tears and one of her hands was covering her mouth.
“I’ve had worse, but I really need one of you to take it out. I can already feel my arm healing.”
“Let me,” my dad said. He held my gaze while softly placing his hand over the handle of the blade.
“I’m sorry Cassidy,” my dad said when he began tugging out the blade.
I clenched my teeth and closed my eyes, feeling the blade sliding out painfully slow. I was trying to think of other things to distract myself from the burn in my arm.
After my heart stopped pounding so hard, I opened my eyes to see my dad holding out the blade covered in my blood.
A throbbing pain started where the blade had cut me. When the healing process began, a tingly sensation took over and the pain slowly vanished. My parents watched in awe while the wound healed itself. It took less than five minutes for the gash to be completely gone.
“That was…” My dad let the sentence hang.
“Impressive,” my mom finished. She traced her fingers along the non-existent cut. All that remained was a streak of blood.
“You did great,” my dad said, wrapping his arm around me and walking us inside.
“Well, it was tougher than anything we’ve practiced, but it was pretty cool,” I admitted.
“I can’t believe you kept going after you got hurt,” my mom said, walking on my other side and wrapping her arm around my waist.
“I got hurt mom, the least I could do was finish the course,” I told her, grinning widely.
“Are you kidding? You did beyond great and you surpassed your flight time,” my dad said, looking at me proudly.