Peer Review by Nyla (Canada)

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A Day of Flight

By: Asteraceae


You're running over branches, through trees, over stones. Not being chased, but as one does when they sprint through a forest. Adrenaline is rushing through you, until you come to a cliff. It's steep, and drops off above a deep valley. You see the river below in the ravine, and crows flying in the distance. You turn around for a moment, only to take a 360 and get running start. As your feet leave the rocky ledge, you leap over the edge. You allow yourself to fall for a few moments, feeling your stomach drop, seeing the branches reaching up. You tumble through the air for mere moments, but at the last second, you flip onto your front and spread your wings, catching the wind abruptly, yanking you into the sky. You have to beat your wings to keep afloat as rapidly rise into the sky. Your hair is wildly whipping around your face as you tilt to the left, then the right, letting the breeze carry you up and over. Now that you've caught the wind, you're soaring into the clouds, feeling freer than you ever could on land. The forest below looks misty and vast, stretching on for acres. You reach your fingers out into the clouds, and they come back wet. You can see each little dewdrop on your nails, though the wind dries them fast. The air might be cold, but it's worth every shiver to be able to fly. There's nothing holding you back. You don't have to be home in time for supper- this is home. You somersault, flip and turn through the sky, leaving feathers drifting in the wind behind you like a trail. Sometimes you stop flapping you rings and fall for a few meters, but catch the wind once again and soar up. The clouds are thicker here, layers that envelop you in hiding. You can see a large shadow ahead that dissapears through the cover of the clouds every few seconds. Though you are wary, you're curious. You allow yourself to keep a steady pace. The shadow emerges from the clouds below to your left. The tips of unfamiliar tawny wings peek from the mist, and a figure follows. They're lithe and willowy, with short brown hair and piercing yellow eyes. They don't look up at you, rather float up to your side. You lean right to give them room, but they keep pace with you. For a few meters, you fly side by side, until the hawk-like person flips upside down, and drops underneath you. They spin again, now on your right side. Your wings touch briefly, and you copy their movements, spinning over and underneath them. they emit a scratchy laugh, high in tone and shrill. You silently fly with them for a mile, occasionally spinning around each other. But they soon lift themself up to the clouds and dissapear once again, not to be seen for the rest of your flight. Dusk is quickly falling as the sun dips over the mountains. The sky is streaked with purple hues as the stars begin to shine. When the last of the sun falls behind the horizon and the moon peeks up behind you, you begin your decent towards the ground. It takes effort to adjust yourself to land on your feet. You must beat your wings hard to take a soft landing, but finally your feet gently touch the ground. One of your feet has fallen asleep, but you walk it off. By the time you've found a soft place of pine needles to rest, the crescent moon has fully risen. Constellations sing you to sleep under the chilly night air. 

Message to Readers

Peer reviews welcome! Leave a comment on how this piece made you feel.

Peer Review

This was a really neat piece, it was awesome to see things from a bird’s (I think) point of view! I loved imagining flying and all the imagery!

You talk a lot about the clouds while flying and that’s awesome! But something which I think would be really awesome you could add would be how beautiful the scenery is from up there. You have one sentence about the forest and I think you could expand on it! If this is set in some alternate universe, you could hint at that in here. Or you could even make this a warning sign by showing a desolate earth or deforestation happening. Describing the ground can really add that little pop of life and intrigue to your piece!

Reviewer Comments

I left a few highlights on some tiny things in the piece. I struggle with this a lot too, but with present tense, you don’t have to use -ing words all the time. You can use words that are in the present already. I left a highlight explaining this in use but another example could be, “driving” and “drives” are both in the present tense and it’s nice to switch up the type you use instead of strictly sticking to one or the other.
This was a really awesome piece and I loved reading it so much! Ultimately, feel free to ignore any/all of my feedback because I am just one reader’s opinion and you know your piece best! I hope this helped :)