Cayleb woke with a start. His sudden movement startling the nearby sleeping brevas into flight. He looked out over the valley reminding him that he needed to get moving. The Time Trials were later today. There was a coolness in the air now that only 2 of the suns remained high in the sky. Cayleb yawned and stretched before descending from his Motter tree. He made his way back to the family dwelling and bathed. He was greeted by his mother, whose face showed concern for her son, as he emerged from his quarters dressed in his loincloth, instead of his favored pouch, for the day.
"Good morning my son," Cayleb's mother greeted him as he padded softly down the hall to his quarters. "Would you like something to eat? You have a busy day today!" Cayleb stopped in his tracks. His stomach could use nourishment. He followed her back into the kitchen.
Cayleb sat at the table while his mother prepared the morning meal and placed the food on the table. This was definitely a special occasion if she was making the meal herself and not allowing the helpers to do so. Cayleb smiled knowing how much love was shared between the three of them. His father joined them at his mother's call. There was a long silence between them as they enjoyed the delicious breva eggs and fruit sauce with warm flat bread before Cayleb finally spoke. Taking a long swig of water sweetened with Goa pulp, he swallowed and with a determined voice,
"I have to show you both something," He announced.
His parents looked up from their meal at him waiting for him to continue. Neither spoke, chewing silently, waiting.
He slowly lifted his arms out to his sides. His parents continued to stare at his face wondering what was going on with their son. Cayleb flexed his muscles ever so slightly and the webbing beneath his arms extended. His mother screamed and fainted straight away. Catching his mate as she slumped in her chair, his father smiled knowing exactly what he was looking at.
His son was not malformed as his lovely mate was probably thinking. He was a rare beast indeed and as a father he could not be more proud. His son was a Glider. He met his son's eyes with pride and love.
"What a wonderful gift!" Rook beamed still holding up his mother, shaking her gently to rouse her. "Miyrah my sweet, please wake up, our son has been bestowed with a wonderful Raa-men gift. He is a Glider,"
"Yes mother. It would appear that I have some sort of wings," Cayleb answered softly, concerned she would reject him by her reaction. Miyrah regarded her one and only son carefully for a few moments in silence. Then her face relaxed and her eyes filled with a mother's love. A look Cayleb was familiar with.
"Why Cayleb that is wonderful," as she attempted to stand to congratulate him she seemed a bit unsteady and wobbled slightly still reeling from the initial shock. Cayleb hurried around the table to help her sit back down. "I am a bit dizzy," Miyrah admitted before kissing his cheek and allowing him to help her sit back in her chair."
Rook was caught between exuberant joy for his son and concern for his mate. She had been complaining of dizziness earlier in the week. Making sure she was securely seated, Rook walked over to Cayleb and embraced him.
"My son, my son! You are a constant joy and source of pride. I cannot be a more happy father," Rook said giving his son one last hearty squeeze and a pat on the back that nearly had Cayleb sprawling on the floor. He was strong for a young one but his father's massive strength was incredible. Sometimes Rook was not careful and forgot how strong and powerful he actually was. He reached out to steady Cayleb and laughed. Rook was even more surprised because usually Gliders were purebred Raa-men, those who had two purebred parents. This new world is yet full of surprises he thought as he examined his son's webbing closer. Cayleb fidgeted under the scrutiny. Rook finally stood back and asked the one question that mattered most.
"Cayleb, how long have you had these?" Rook asked.
Cayleb cast his eyes downward but did not speak.
"I only ask because you seem to have a good command of them for this to be a new development. Most gliders take at least a good cycle...."
Rook stopped talking as he realized the change in his son's demeanor. The telltale droop of his son's tale. A small growl of frustration escaped from Rook. His massive fists curled tightly.
"You have carried this as a burden for a cycle? A whole cycle? Why would you do such a thing?" He asked through clenched teeth. "This is very close to an untruth and I will not have that in my house!"
Cayleb couldn't remember ever seeing his father have to restrain his anger when he spoke to him. A slight tremor ran up his spine.
"I...I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with me. I did not want to be rejected by mother," Cayleb said.
At this, Miyrah perked up and came to stand by her son, her dizziness subsided.
Rook spoke then, "So let me see what you can do Cayleb. We don't have much time before we head to the valley for the Time Trials." They all headed outside where Cayleb promptly launched himself into the air and landed at the edge of the woods. He immediately launched himself back to just a few paces from his parents feeling free and excited to share this moment with them. He traveled farther today than he ever had. He attributed it to not having to hide his gift any longer. His parent's approval was a huge catalyst.
Rook gave him some pointers and before long Cayleb was using his gift like a seasoned Glider. Cayleb loved the rush of air across his muscular frame as he glided through the air looking down at the ground below and the sky above.
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