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Flight of the Grounded

The flight for life

By JBazPublished 6 months ago 9 min read


There is no other way to describe flight, that is all I ever wanted. Aided by an unseen spirit guide, an invisible force lifts me up. I feel the familiar tug on my feathers, as I soar above the earth.

We do not control events that surround us, we only try to survive. I say this to you today, knowing I may not have a tomorrow.

Gazing down, I watch tendrils of morning mist weave through the rocky shore, floating above the ocean waters as they creep along the land. Crushing waves continuously pounding unmoving rock, forms cliffs that protrude outward, dominating the sandy beach. I follow the shore as it zigs and zags in a wandering path, the only straight line on the coast is the horizon which stretches as far as the eyes can see, and I have exceptionally good eyesight.

There are mountains off in the distance, over a days flight to get there, but I prefer my own piece of this land. From above the world below seems strange and confined, how can they live in a place with borders. I could never do that, I love the feel of the wind under me, riding the currents of air, free.

Taste of salt in the air as I breathe in lets me know I am home. Wind rippling through my feathers, I stretch my wings out far, the lift is exhilarating. Climbing higher and higher, the land below is no more than a large mass of rock and trees. Distinct individual life forms blur to nothing. I rise above them all. How small their world must be, no thrill, no excitement just ceaseless roaming, foraging for scraps to sustain them. While I see my prey below me, I can have what I choose, they never see me coming as I glide above, then dive down extending my talons, bracing for the impact of the kill. Be it fish, or the tiny land creatures that scurry for cover. They are nothing but inconsequential beings that have no true life.

To my right I see the new two leg walkers of the land, they perplex me. Traveling in groups they wander, staying in one area for a while then they move on. They build light on the ground that raises dark clouds in the sky, smelling like that when lighting touches the trees. What is more puzzling is the animals that walk with them, large wolf like creatures that howl at the moon and yip at ghosts. I usually stay away from them, although when they leave, I find morsels upon the ground. The food is free and easy, although the land scavengers know of this habit as well and often I never have the time to enjoy this bounty in peace.

Yet my curiosity is overwhelming, I need to investigate these strangers. Swooping down I cry out to let them know who rules the skies. Down so close I smell them, their heads turning upward, probably to acknowledge greatness when witnessed. Catching the wind, I circle back and fly low once more. So low I tap a four leg on the back, then soar high into the blue, I hear a yip, and feel a sense of delight in the moment.

Lost in thought I scan the horizon soaring upward, preparing to fly off over the water once more. Without warning, I am thrust forward, off balance, my right wing feels a sudden numbness, as something strikes me and sends my body spinning out of control. I try to regain height, but my right side refuses to move. Glancing over there is a stick protruding through my wing. I cannot raise it up or down. The best I can do is stretch it out wide, to control my descent. I am falling fast. I hope to land in a tree, but my speed is too great for anything other than a crash. I have not felt this helpless since I first learned how to fly.

The great tree rises before me, growing larger as I struggle to maintain control. The force of impact is violent, the branches assault me as I tumble. They slow my fall but cause me pain as I feel the stick catching on the limbs pulling at my wing, I begin to spin, I‘ve been here before when the wind blows and tosses me around like a leaf caught in a gale. The ground closes in on me, I need to rise quickly. The stick is no longer attached to me, but the pain remains. I spread my wings wide and catch the air, and feel a lift, arching upward clipping the long grasses before heading to the sky. Exhausted I ride the currents. Looking for a place to rest, my keen eyes see those two-legged creatures chasing after me, there is no safety on land. I angle to the sea, not sure how long I can stay up.

Because of the damage my right wing cannot fully extend, I find the need to adjust constantly. Catching my breath, I am free and to me that is all that matters. I scan the waters below, they are in their high level, the exposed rocks are under water. Still, I float above the waves, taking in the fact I am alive. Knowing that in the future, I must avoid those creatures of the land at all costs.

By Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

There is the small island further out, I push through the pain and head to it. Knowing I need to rest. Circling above I spot a sea wolf swimming, angling to the island as well. I know I can be there first, rest for a while then find a safe place to heal. I begin my descent, anxiously awaiting a place to land. He begins to bay and yip as I fly over him, there are no trees only rocky outcrops and high grasses. One eye on the approaching wolf another on the ground, I glide in. Not sure if it was movement I spotted or a sense of something wrong, instead of landing I pull up, just in time. A blurred form pounces out of the undergrowth, jaws opened, teeth bared, I hear the snap of biting only air. The quick sharp rise strains my wing, I almost blank out but manage to focus and catch an air current. Riding up I circle once more, the other sea wolf has made it to shore, this is no longer a place of solitude for me. I have no choice but to return to the land. Instead of the shore I focus on the cliffs and tall trees, hoping I can find refuge, if only for a moment.

Any other time of year this option is open to me, but for now the cliffs and forest are dominated by the great eagles who come here for the salmon. Normally the eagles leave us Osprey alone, we are faster and not one of their preferred foods. But to any predator a wounded animal is too hard to ignore, the hunt would be fun, and a meal is a meal. In unison I watch as two eagles launch skyward, it isn't hard to guess why. My right wing is numb, I feel the strain, yet fear gives me an extra boost of energy. A quick turn to my right so the left wing takes on the pressure I head back out to the waters. Something in my chest is thumping, beating so hard it feels like rain pelting against me from the inside. But the sky is clear.

I was hoping they would turn back realizing that I spotted them, but they know I am injured and bank to intercept me. One cuts me off from the island, not knowing that I have no intention of returning, I really have no idea where I am going. The other eagle heads to the land to stop me from finding safety. Instead, I conserve my energy and ride the wind. waiting for them to make the first move.

The one closes to the land aims to me, I let him approach, dipping downward to the waters, he follows suit. Before he can react I stretch my wings and soar upward, my right-wing quivers but holds, straight up I go, I hear the wings of the eagle behind me, out of the corner of my eye I see the other swing wide around the island and head my way as well. When I feel I can go no higher I arch down tuck my wings and dive. I have practiced this move so many times it is pure instinct. I react so quickly the eagle behind me cannot maneuver fast enough, I race past him, he reaches out with his talons, missing me.

Down I plummet, wind contours around my body, I sense the eagle behind me once more, he cries out his victory, thinking he has won. He doesn't know what I will do, I let him close in, the water races up to meet me, knowing this will hurt, by now his razor claws are stretching out preparing to impale me. The suns light reflects off the waters, blinding to look at. Shooting downward picking up speed, rippling waters rise to meet me. At the last second I stretch my wings, feel the wind grab hold immediately, the tip of my wing glances off the water then I shoot upwards, The eagle is not as graceful, so intent on me he fails to gauge the distance, I hear a cry as the great birds body smashes into the waves, I see his body bounce and roll across the surface.

For a moment I delight in his plight, as pain shoots through me once again. I continue climbing hoping to find refuge further inland. Before I can decide on which direction to take, the wind is knocked out of me and I find myself falling once more, spiraling out of control. An eagle cry fills the air, for one moment I forgot about the other and it will now cost me. My back is searing, I feel blood seeping out of my body and onto my feathers. I do not know how or where I find the strength, but I am once more airborne and in control, now floating above the land.

The other eagle is high above me, turning slightly I see him dive. There is nothing left in me. I am shaking, to my left there are smaller trees and a large patch of bush, the prickly kind. I know as I have feasted on their berries in the past. If I can make it down I can hide within the thorns. My fear is that if I land I do not think I will have enough strength to take off again and will become fair game to the land creatures.

As I debate on this I once more see those two-legged creatures below, they see me as well, they begin to run, knowing where I am going. I have no choice.

Once more the eagle cries, close much to close I fold my wings and dive. My energy gone, It won’t take long for a predator to find me on land, the only question is, if I survive the fall who will get to me first, the two legs, the sea wolves, or the eagle.

As the ground looms closer, I close my eyes, breathe in the salt air. The only thought I have is, I shall miss the freedom of the sky.

Thank you for reading my story, if you enjoyed it please share with others, leave a comment and a heart.

I have a follow up to this tale in my head, and hope to publish it soon.



About the Creator


I have enjoyed writing for most of my life, never professionally.

I wish to now share my stories with others, lets see where it goes.

Born and raised on the Canadian Prairies, I currently reside on the West Coast. I call both places home.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (9)

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  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)6 months ago


  • Loryne Andawey6 months ago

    Oh man. Tjis piece was both exhilarating and heartbreaking. To see a proud creature of the sky brought low. Poor osprey, but beautifully written 🤗

  • Mark Gagnon6 months ago

    Your story kept me engaged. Well done!

  • Cathy holmes6 months ago

    Excellent piece, Jason. Well done.

  • Shane Dobbie6 months ago

    Gorgeous nature fiction. Well done.

  • Quincy.V6 months ago

    engaging and immersive...

  • Lamar Wiggins6 months ago

    I loved this take on the challenge. This was one of those unseen nature scenarios that happens, perhaps on a daily basis. I loved how you turned it into a story for us experience a view from a different perspective. 💖

  • Dana Stewart6 months ago

    The osprey’s POV is beautifully told. We should all beware the leg walkers. Really nice entry for the challenge.

  • Nice play on various altitudes for the challenge. This line has such new meaning admist recent events: "From above the world below seems strange and confined, how can they live in a place with borders."

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