“Coming Mom,” I answered. I took one last look into the mirror. My horns sparkled with the dusting of diamond dust I spread on them before they dried. Instead of hair, like the silly humans have, we have tendrils of snake like scales which shimmer in the sun. If we turn the right way, we can blind those who spot us with rays that reflect into their eyes.
I tugged the towel over my ear lobes. Sometimes they are more of a curse than anything else. Mine were long enough to trip over if I didn’t roll them up. We weren’t allowed to let them flap free unless it was time for flying lessons. Even the adults rolled them into intricate cases to protect them from accidental damage.
Flying was always a last resort. We should be smart enough to avoid problems that required flight to escape. History told us it wasn’t always possible, and our glider like wings which inflated over the top of our shoulders, have saved more than one pixie from being captured and altered.
Did I tell you? Some humans consider us freaks. They amputate our wings if they capture us, and surgically alter our horns buy digging the root out of our skull so they can’t grow. And they wonder why we keep to ourselves, hiding it the forests and under the water, to stay out of sight. They squabble amongst themselves because they come in different colors, but some of them turn on us to claim we aren’t natural and need to be genetically changed to conform to their standards.
“Nixy! I’ll cancel your flying lesson today if you don’t get down here right this instant.”
My lobes were dry, and I bent to roll them up. One in each hand, I’d learned the trick to save time. They do have some muscles to help the process, and in less than a minute I slipped my plain wooden cases over them. We are allowed to choose a bronze filigree case when we pass our last tests allowing us the privelege of flying in free air.
I clattered down the steps into the kitchen. I could smell roasting crickets and grasshoppers. Mom had made one of my favorite treats. Today was my last day of lessons. It was my birthday, and I was fifteen. Us pixies get our license to fly a year before the humans can take their driver’s test. And we don’t have to climb into weird machines with motors and oddly fixed wings to fly either.
And no, we’re not as big as them, even though we work along side them. Our houses are grouped in parks, with ponds surrounded by trees, where they stand in the narrow shore between. The biggest one belongs to the pixie reeve, and mom says there is a king somewhere on this planet. We don’t know why he agreed to allow the humans to land here in the first place. In their strange flying machines that came from the sky, they burned down half a city as the first one settled on its tail fins.
We’re less than half their height. They considered us oversized pests before they understood we were a sentient species. And some of them are still stuck in ancient history. Why is it all the good is undone by the bad?
No care for us, as much as they don’t care for each other. Greed rules their lives. They use each other with careless disregard for hurt feelings or injured bodies. Each color vying with the next to acquire more. Here they grow food. Delicacies which were long extinct on their distant home planet.
But today, none of that matters. All the practice and lessons, all the time in the air tunnels, would culminate in my testing and permission to fly off the cliffs. Free to soar. At least the treaty has given us the right, without being shot at, or swiped at, for being a strange new creature. This is our home after all.
And if I have my way, the humans will never return. My friends, Bex, Zexer and Moorie have a plan, but first we need to be able to fly free.
“Eat up, Nixy. Happy Birthday! It’s snake steaks for dinner and we’ll celebrate your new freedom then.” Mom sounded so proud of me. She walked over to put her hands on my shoulders. “I know, you’re impatient, you have plans. Don’t throw out the good with the bad.”
How does she always know what I’m thinking? The bad are protected right along with the good by the human leaders.
“Mom, there’s no good to the humans. They all have to go. And I know how it has to be done.”
“Then be smart and stay safe. I expect you to do this with no glory in mind. Do it because it is right and be quiet about it.”
Her advice was good, and her approval was all I needed.
This was the perfect start to my fifteenth birthday. The one that starts the rest of my life. Project Secret Freedom begins today.