now we're falling faster to the ground& when we crash i hope it doesn't make a sound
Irions are born on the Earth and when they die, they return to it, a desolate mess of bleached bones turning slowly to dust. But for the duration of time between, they grace the air, defiant and strong and proud. This is how it is, for Irions, and how it always will be.
Irions that are born with deformed, broken or abnormal wings are culled at birth. A swift blow to the head is seen as an act of compassion, for an Irion without the use of his wings is like a fish with no fins; a horrendous mutation that cannot survive.
Darrien was magnificent at his birth, with gleaming fire-red plumage and a set of sturdy wings. They bore him well until his fourth birthday, where they then ceased to grow. Unable to support his weight, Darrien found that the only thing his wings were good for was breaking his fall.
Other Irions pitied him, but avoided him, unable to overcome their repulsion to associate with a half-creature. An Irion that cannot fly is quite simply not an Irion. Darrien became an outcast. He walked the earth and his talons gouged at the soil, and his paws uprooted the soft flowers, and it was clear that the earth did not want him, but the air could not have him. A crow took to constantly heckling him, hurling jibes and insults, and Darrien could do nothing, steeped in his misery.
One day the crow was too bold and came so near that Darrien lashed out with a talon and caught its wing. In surprised terror it began to fly away, but haphazardly, and low to the ground. Darrien began to chase it in pursuit. He wanted to snap its neck, to break its bones and to taste its flesh. So great was this desire that Darrien did not notice when the crow flew over the edge of a cliff; he still followed it. But even as the crow began to cackle in relief, by some miracle Darrien clasped it in his talons, just enough to cause pain, just enough to keep from death. Bird and beast began to plummet to the ground. Darrien had grown so large that his disproportionate wings were ineffective in even slowing the descent. Darrien ignored the babbled pleas for mercy as he hurtled to the ground; the earth received them with a shattering of bones, the crow crushed to death by Darrien's weight.
The nightmare did not end there, though, as Darrien awoke to a shadowy half-world. He was not quite alive and not quite dead, and the stupid crow was still with him, though at least, it was now mute. Darrien's utter despair at still being conscious drowned him until he was a malodorous, putrid, rotting shell of his very soul. Darrien will find respite in death in due time, but until then he wanders as a wraith, burdened by his own unhappy hopelessness.