Her shoulders were aching again. Not the actual joints, but low down at the bottom of her shoulder blades. A strange dragging pain, as though some kind of weight hung from them. Almost always it happened at night; all too often waking her from sleep. Caitlin wondered if she’d been dreaming and something had made her tense her spine; tighten her shoulders; maybe the feeling was stress? Or fear?
Then came a day – well, a balmy early evening, actually – when the setting sun cast a rosy pink hue over her world and sent her imagination adrift. Caitlin found herself wafting dreamily through meadows of multi-coloured flowers, turning her head from side to side to capture the amazing aromas adrift all around her.
Although the forest looming unexpectedly ahead of her, could have (or maybe should have) been frightening, there was a strange but warmest of warm welcomes to its darkness as her feet swished gently through a thick, crackly layer of leaves. She found herself actually aching in anticipation of that sound and feel—and loving it as much as ever she had since the long ago small child had been her persona. Although there were lichen covered rocks, velvety moss covered tree-trunks and groups of those famous fairy mushrooms with their many white spots starkly contrasting to the brilliant red of their leprechaun caps, Caitlin was mesmerised by the number of fireflies, flittering and flickering themselves all around her, seeming to be lighting her way.
And stars? Within reach? Surely not. She stretched her arms out… wider and wider until they took themselves on a journey of their own as her hands opened to embrace two special stars. A bizarre heat that didn’t burn rushed through her fingers, wrists, elbows – lingered briefly in her shoulders and then descended into her shoulder blades where pain had reigned such a short time ago. The warmth grew, and the pressure, but there was nothing unpleasant about the tightness of her skin, stretching ever further to accommodate the sense of fullness happening—rapidly growing there. Happening. Increasing. Until a sudden popping sound heralded the breakthrough of—what?
In this strange world she travelled through, Caitlin was not surprised she was able to effortlessly rotate her head to see all behind her, just like an owl. But what she saw emerging out of those troublesome shoulder blades DID surprise her.
WINGS? That’s what all the aching had been? Two beautiful gossamer wings, their veining in a dazzling collection of iridescent rainbow hues. She carefully flexed her shoulder muscles, magically learning complete control and understanding within nano-seconds. And knew, without doubt… NOW she could FLY!