Dara opened his eyes from his half-nap/half-ruminations and looked up into the brilliantly lit hazel colored sky, the shines of light like gemstones flickering across the entire expanse of the horizon. He was sitting in a field, or what seemed like a field even though Dara could not see the edge of it no matter the direction he looked. perhaps it was a plain where there were wild horses and beasts to pit himself in skill and deed alike. If he could bring more glory to his Goddess Siobhan, his life would be one step closer to being a complete picture as opposed to a jumbled mess of chaos that he did not truly know the order of at all. Shaking such thoughts from his head, refusing to disrespect the perfection in the skies above him he chose a direction and began to walk, no speed or purpose, just walking and feeling the connection of the earth on his bare feet and the wind over his nude body.

The wind was warm and moving at a nice speed, it occurred to him it would be wonderful to fly in and in a moment he had spread his wings and allowed the wind to lift him from where he stood into the sky, his eyes closed and simply absorbing the moment as he always did. From up here, he could see the rolls of the hills and small valleys he could not from where he stood. Long tracks of ebony black trees were in a line just before the horizon and, not having any other things to see, he tilted his body and flew lazily towards the dark wood. The trees were titanic in their size, hundreds of feet tall, and those were the smallest of them. Thicker and thicker they got as he flew over them, the light seemingly reflecting off them, casting all the heat upwards toward Dara in a delightful way.

Movement below caught his eyes and he saw dozens of animals running through the wood. Not in fear or panic, but running for the absolute delight of it. Dara dove and shimmied between the tall trees, getting ever lower as he coasted on what was left of the thermals he had been rising. His feet hit the ground with a soft touch and as soon as they did he ran, ran with glorious abandon and caught up to the deer and rabbits, the squirrels and rodents. All the animals you would expect. He kept running, and as he did, the animals got larger and larger, massive alligators running like the wind, huge elephantine creatures dozens of feet tall careening through the wood, delicate and careful to never once damage a tree or anything they ran with. The eyes of all of them were the same, it was an electric excitement. Dara watched them and got caught in it, caught in the fascination of the goal he knew nothing at all about. He forgot anything he didn’t need to survive, he ran with wild speed, surpassing even the fastest of them until he led them all, each one of their feet thundering behind him and taking the lead from him.

He felt them and swerved here and there, they followed suit, never missing a beat, the energy building more and more until Dara realized he was screaming, full-throated, raw and with as much air as he could draw in. Each beast behind him doing the same in any way they knew how to make noise. From roars of great predators to the screeching sounds of animals bouncing in the trees. The forest was endless, the path pure and full of nothing save what Dara wanted to take from it. He could stop when he wanted. He could fly and be gone, but he ran and screamed and he felt the heaviness of his soul fall away like the dirt from his feet and he was as carefree and full of life as he had ever been. He closed his eyes once again, his arms spread wide and his heart pounding in his chest and ran, by the Dark Goddess he ran.

He did not feel the heat begin. He did not feel the raw power pour through him. He felt nothing of the metamorphosis that was occurring. He just knew that he was free, he was true, and his Goddess awaited him.

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