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Without Wings: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

Without Wings: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

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Ground walker. Wingless worm. Freak.

The only Sky Elf ever born without wings, Arinwyn does her best to ignore the taunts and slurs. Bad enough she can never know the thrill of flying. Must she suffer the cruelties of her own kind as well?

But the winds of change blow from beyond the elven wood as the Fallen One stirs.

...And more than Arinwyn realizes lies hidden within her wingless heritage.

A stand-alone origin story from the Legends of Lasniniar fantasy series. (Previously published as “Legends of Lasniniar: Without Wings.” This story takes place during the latter part of the World of Lasniniar novel Soul Seeker.)

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Arinwyn let her thoughts wander as she meandered between the ancient, golden flecked trees of Melaquenya. As usual, the western section of the forest was practically deserted—unless you looked up. The Sky Elves made their homes in the treetops overhead, far above the forest floor. A pair of them—a male and a female—flew just beneath the canopy, their gleaming, feathered wings outstretched. Arinwyn slowed and considered throwing herself in the nearest bush.

Please don’t let them notice me...

“Look! It’s the ground walker,” the male cried out from above.

Arinwyn suppressed a groan as the two Sky Elves swooped lower. It had been too much to hope they would ignore her.

The female looked down at her with a smirk, her long, red-gold hair framing perfect features. Arinwyn suppressed a surge of envy.

“Hello, little worm,” she said. “Out for a stroll?”

Arinwyn remained silent, knowing any words she spoke would end up being mocked. She looked up at the hovering pair with what she hoped was a bored expression. She didn’t know their names, but she knew their type. They would harass her until they tired of their little game and decided to move on. The less she did to encourage them, the better.

“Hm, it seems as if the wingless creature has forgotten how to speak,” the male said, his pale eyes glimmering with amusement. “Perhaps she isn’t an elf at all.”

“Should we try using the Common Tongue?” the female asked with a false look of concern.

The male wrinkled his nose. “No, I’d rather not sully myself. Besides, we have more important things to do. Iadrawyn and Valanandir have asked those of us who can fly to act as scouts.”

“Scouts?” Arinwyn blurted. “Scouts for what?” The words slipped out before she could stop them.

The female uttered an exaggerated gasp. “It speaks!”

“Do not concern yourself, flightless one,” the male said, grinning at Arinwyn’s scowl. “We will protect the forest from the Fallen One and his minions.”

“Fallen One?” Arinwyn said, frowning. “What does Saviadro want?” She spoke the name without thinking. Both Sky Elves flinched.

The female rolled her eyes at her companion. “Now I wish it would stop speaking.”

“Now, now,” the male said. “You cannot blame her for being ignorant. She’s not really one of us, after all.”

“You are right.” The female looked down at Arinwyn. “It’s not your fault, is it, little worm?” Arinwyn’s hands balled into fists and the female uttered a silvery laugh.

“I think she would like to hit you,” the male said, smiling.

The female snorted. “I’d like to see her try. It’s not as if she can reach me.”

Arinwyn considered threatening them with her bow, but she knew it would be no use. Both Sky Elves had bows of their own, and wouldn’t hesitate to use them against her. Oh, they wouldn’t shoot to kill, but they would torment her as much as possible, and they had the higher ground, so to speak.

A trilling whistle sounded in the distance, drawing both Sky Elves’ attention.

“Time for the meeting,” the male said, placing a hand on the female’s arm.

The female shot Arinwyn one last look. “Until next time, worm.” She followed the male as he flew off, her laughter trailing behind her.

Arinwyn took several deep breaths to regain control of her temper as she began walking once more.

Stupid, arrogant, overgrown chickens! They think just because they have wings, they’re better than everyone else...

And yet, Arinwyn would give anything to be one of them.

She found herself in a clearing, looking down at a pool of water fed by a small spring. A wavering, golden skinned face stared back at her with dark eyes from beneath a spiky crest of white hair. Her hairstyle had always been a bone of contention between her and her mother, since most elves wore their hair as long as possible. Arinwyn didn’t see the point in trying to look like everyone else when it was so obvious she was different.

She scowled at her reflection. Her strange eyes were enough to set her apart. No Sky Elf had eyes as dark as hers, nor did any Light Elf, for that matter. But to be born without wings when her own mother was a Sky Elf was patently unfair.

No other Sky Elf had ever been born with such a deformity. Arinwyn had checked. She had also asked her mother who her father was. Repeatedly. But her mother had remained tight-lipped on the subject, leaving Arinwyn to speculate.

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