Sandstone Amphitheater A Running Start
#1
Elena stood at the top of the theater and scrutinized the rows below. She had suggested this place to Tatiana as a good practice spot for stretching one's wings. The angle down was not too steep but it built gradually and at the far edge of each side was a narrow runway formed by the barrier of the stairs. It would be perfect for a proper liftoff.

She contemplated whether she should greet Tatiana as herself or in her parrot form. Both could talk, but perhaps speaking first as people might help to settle any nerves for the young vampire. Elena's first successful flight had taken time as well. Many trees were seen from upside down when Elena tumbled from the branches and landed on her back in an undignified heap.

A puff of air was blown from her mouth. It wasn't cold enough for it to fog, but the air had picked up a bit of chill in the autumn months. It would mean the wings needed to work a little harder against the wind. A good challenge for Tatiana.
#2

Attire long hair is tied in a neat french braid with random strands in her face



Tatiana arrived promptly; she had walked because she enjoyed it and had left early enough so that she could take the fastest route with a little bit of a vampire pep speed. That was fun, she was finding more and more joy in being a vampire even when things were hard and emotional on her. What she was embracing was the fact that she was able to fly now- well glide but Elena had graciously agreed to teach her how to fly.

Once there, it only took a moment to spot the familiar face; as well as just the feel of a clutch mate, and approached.

"Hello Elena, happy to meet you vhen I'm not all feather, " she said with a bit of a laugh as she climbed the last few steps, her shoes clanking a bit on the metal parts.
#3
Tatiana was stunning. In appearance and personality. Elena smiled at the soft laughter and stepped forward to grasp a hand and give a friendly squeeze.

"An absolute pleasure. Seeing you know now, I find an owl a perfect fit for your animal form."

Yes, something soft and sharp at all once. It was always delightful to meet another bird. Privately, Elena thought those that took that shape had a desire for freedom so grand it spread their fingertips to the sky.
#4
Tatiana gave her a firm and confident handshake, happy to meet the other woman again. She felt very kind; similar to how Catrina felt to her. "You and Catrina feel ze same; it came about suddenly but I love it," she told her with a bit of warmth in her voice.

"How are you zhis evening? "
#5
She suspected Catrina had seen many animal forms over the past centuries. Elena had admired her fair share as well. The most magnificent had been a large Macaw form of a Dominus in Peru. How Elena wished she had found a reason to pluck a feather and keep it as a memory.

Tatiana's owl was indeed well suited and Elena had long wondered if the form taken was predestined. So many had animals that outwardly displayed some deeper personal quirks. If she were to ruminate on her hypothesis, she would say the owl represented Tatiana's intuition and independence.

But there was time for deep thought later. Elena dipped her head and smiled. "I am well, thank you. Are you ready to fly?"
#6
Tati's smile brightened a bit as her head nodded, "Very ready, vhen ever you are, " she told her as she would inhale and find that flighty feeling inside her. That new magic that she just unlocked and let it envelop her as she fell into the growing familiar form of an owl. She loved the feel of it, to be this size and able to try to learn to fly. Maybe it was too soon to change but she was excited and just wanted to show her readiness.
#7
Tatiana was quite eager if her sudden transformation had any indication. Elena's eyes widened a fraction before a smile took hold.

"Let me change as well." She stated, already bending down.

Her own phasing into a small, vivid green parrot was well practiced and where an elegant woman stood, a much smaller avian form took place.

In her bird form, Elena spread her wings letting the silvery shine of the undercut flash in the moonlight. Eyes adjusting easily, she cocked her head and warbled out her first instructions.

"Hop onto the top row. We first must master guilding. "
#8
Tati watched rather excitedly as her fellow clutch mate changed forms, her eyes going a bit wider; if the owl could manage that in this form, and hopped closer, "You're form is so very lovely! " Tati told her, meaning her words given how she was truly stunning.

Then came the instructions, her head bobbing a little as she looked up at the rung and took a moment to calculate how to get up.

She backed up a little and gave a running jump that ended in a glide as she caught the bar within her talons and swung a little as she got onto it. Her talons clicked and scraped against the metal as she got herself situated on it now, "Zhere ve go! "
#9
Elena's banded legs were hopping to catch up. Her shoulder bones turned forward, ready to pull forth her wings in a rather useless attempt to catch the teetering owl.

Blessedly, Tatiana recovered quickly. "Wonderful." Elena chirped, flapping her wings to glide up and over to the other side of the bar. She gave the owl a wide enough berth to spread her impressive wingspan.

"Now the trick is to spring upward and have your wings fully expand just before your feet lift off." Elena squatted down in demonstration. "Do not fear it if is not perfect. You can more easily end in a low glide if you can not get enough power."
#10
The owl head turned a little too far at first but then fixated on her teacher finally as she demonstrated the stance to her. "Alright, " she told her with a small nod of her feathery head as she stretched out her white and black wings, the tips of her feathers curling up a little as she focused on going up.

She do the wing stretch and bobbed a few times like one might prepare a jump before she attempted to do what Elena suggested.

Sadly, there was no flying.

Tati managed a few flaps but in the end, wound up gliding and then landing to nearly tumbling as she tried to get to her feet. The owl shook it off, her talons-toenails? Hurting a little bit but she was in one piece and so turned back around and started to rather funnily, hop right back up to Elena. Determination was in those owl eyes of hers, "I did not spring up enough I believe, " she told Elena, unhappy with her mistake but she knew that was what it was- it had to be.
#11
Oh, dear. An unfortunate start but Tatiana's tenacity never wavered. Elena waited until the owlette had returned to the bar before she spread her wings, indicating a quick demonstration.

"I am glad you are alright. Do tell me if we should take a break." Pacing one's self was important in the art of learning. She leaned forward, wings back by her side.

"Watch me. You almost had it." Elena chirped and rocked on her tiny bird feet. Taking position, she bend her petite form and with ample thrust jumped off her perch and extended her feathers.

She aimed for a short take-off that lead into a glide, controlling her speed so she landed just a few rows down. When her feet touched the concrete of the walkway, she lept up to the carved space for seating and looked back at her fellow vampire. "Now you try." Elena encouraged.
#12
The bird head nodded a little bit, "I vill, " she promised her as she got herself settled onto the bar once more now. She stretched and ruffled her entire body to get ready to try again because gosh darn it she was going to fly!

"Okay, " she told her and watched what she did. Tatiana watched her very carefully on how she took off and fly. It was beautiful; freeing honestly from the looks! When she landed, Tati adjusted herself a little bit and reangled her body once more but this time it was similar to how Elena had been positioned.

With a crouch and then a jump, she used her strong wings to help propel her up into the air and up until she wasn't falling!

She only managed to be a few feet over the steps, her wings wavering and wobbling a bit as she flapped and glided, an excited laugh leaving the birds beak, "Oh my gods! " she exclaimed as she ended up dipping down and land-sliding along one of the metal steps. Happy hops left the owl as she turned and hop-flapped her way right back to Elena, "How do ve just...stay up? "
#13
Elena beat her own wings in a gesture of bird-like applause. How quickly Tatiana improved!

As the owl hopped back, the parrot folded her wings to her sides and tapped a foot to gain attention. "You must arch your wings. Use the wind under you and pull up." There was no wind reading when Tatiana beat her feathers up and down, it was all instinct and the other vampire simply had to let go and allow her new instincts to take over.

"Again!" Elena requested.
#14
The woman in owl form felt the praise and she stood a little taller like this, feeling proud for the improvement. The practicing of gliding before had been paying off and slowly it as starting to feel natural. It was just taking time and the wonderful patience of Elena.

She started to flap her wings again, her body lowering once more as she angled herself up as she flapped her wings and then launched herself up again. She got some height to herself but she was feeling the wing rushing over her wings as she flapped them, tilting up a bit, another flap and she angled higher and was able to reach up to the sky a bit more. A laugh left her as she worked her wings, her tail feathers shifting as the owl flew just fast enough to keep herself flying around the area.

"I'm flying! "
#15
Elation at the rapid improvement shown by Tatiana, Elena took to the skies herself. "Press higher, you are doing wonderful." She encouraged, a happy squawk following.

The parrot swooped low to fly below the owl, acting as a sight marker. If Tatiana kept it up she could make it all the way to the stage.

"See if you can try a small turn. Shift your body where you wish to go." The next lesson was a bit rushed, but it was best to leap into new territory. Birds learned quickly after all, it was in their soul.
#16
This felt incredible! The wind rushing over her sleek feathers and biting into her face had her trying to squint a little but that was like impossible in a way as well. "Da! " Called Tati at the encouragement as she tilted herself back a little, her face aiming higher as she flapped her wings.

Small turn, okay, she could do this.

Her head dipped down, just to see where she was and she noticed that she'd gone more left of the stage. So, she gave a wobbling tilt to the right, her whole body wavering, dipping and faulting for a moment but the owl didn't stop. She flapped her wings harder and tilted her body before finding the right sensation of the lean and started to glide through the air towards the stage more.

"Birds make zhis look so easy! " she said in a laughing tone as she allowed herself to glide for a moment towards the stage.
#17
A hoot! For both the owl and the success. Elena arched her tail feathers to slow her descent, spiraling slowly.

The manuverouing was superbly done. Tatiana's confidence must have grown exponentially. "Prepare soft landing. Shorter rapid flaps!"

"If you can." She helpfully added, the parrot coming to a stop in the usual VIP section, right against the stage.
#18
"Okay! " she called out as she then started to do shorter flaps of her wings.

She was focused, her wings flapping shorter as she angled down a bit but a sudden draft of wind caused the owl to falter and waver just as she was getting close to the stage.

Tati did not land gracefully. Instead, her foot caught and she ended up tumbling and rolling until she smacked into a wall or a chair; whichever came first for her. The owl just laid there, splayed out with wings to the side and feet up before the magic faded and she was a rather tangled up woman on the stage with a bump on her head.

She laughed though. The crashing hurt; rather sure there were a few more bumps and bruises from it but it had been exhilarating to be free in the sky- even for such a short time.
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