I swear I’m catching up!
A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, part 13. Character: Jaé
Nothing was like the experience of the exhilirating flight home. We flew through billowing clouds, and low between the ocean waves, the wind whipping up from the mighty wings I could now spread, the waves we plunged through washing away the bloodstains from my hair and ragged clothes. I was free; free not only from my captors and chains, but also from weakness and fragility. I could even defy the pull of gravity.
We landed on a small, uninhabited ‘Nairan island, which was covered by a dense forest, rife with signs of destruction. Sharo told me this island was especially reserved as a training ground for new vampires; I soon found out why that was necessary. I could bring down multiple sturdy trees with a careless wingbeat, or shatter a great boulder into pathetic shards with a single, effortless punch. Sharo eventually had to restrain me. I found it too entertaining to flaunt my newfound strength. I even tried to fight him, but unlike the rest of the world around me, he was not breakable. He was even stronger than me, had milennia of practice, and thus he ruthlessly and efficiently beat me into the ground the moment I took a swing at him. His perfectly aimed and executed strikes brought the familiar throb of pain, and that seemed to clear my mind.
Pinned to the ground, in the midst of a dust cloud, I apologised for my uncontrolled behaviour, but he just grinned and said “We’re all like that, we just get better at hiding it.”
After several incidents, which all ended with me sprawled on the ground but still very much elated, I noticed that he indeed seemed to be enjoying himself just as much as I was. I decided not to resist the urge to fight him again and again too much. Our duels got better and better with time. With every hit I took and every defeat I learned something new; to use my claws, my wings, my fangs, my senses. I still could not beat Sharo, but I felt like I was getting a little closer, and he confirmed it with his increasing frequency of compliments.
We kept going for days and nights. It sounded daunting at first, but s a vampire, I no longer slept. In the end I felt I had more or less gained mastery of my body. The feelings and instincts were another thing, as they were more capricious and compelling than I had ever thought was possible, but I could now resist attacking Sharo if I wanted to. I could even let animals with mouth-watering heartbeats safely pass me by.
Sharo therefore announced I was ready for inspection. We left the island, diving underwater this time, for the sake of variety and practice, towards the capital.