Disclaimer: I own nothing. I believe the author of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole owns it all.
Gylfie perched quietly on a branch of the Great Ga'Hoole tree that seemed to claw viciously at the vast expanse of the Sea of Hoolemere as it bobbed up and down on the calm breeze. The tiny owl was no more than a speck compared to the great tree's bulk. And the tree was nothing more than a blotch amid the sea.
Her beady black eyes scanned the horizon, her vision cutting through the starry sky. With a blink of satisfaction, she then swiveled her head around to watch the breeze ruffle the green leaves of the tree. It seemed to be a wonderful night to take the chawlets for a flight; the night was clear and her newest batch of students had yet to learn the names of the stars that formed the Golden Talon.
Turning her head back to its normal position, Gylfie opened her little tawny wings and took off. Silently, she rose up, headed for yet another outreaching branch. The chawlets would be on that branch, waiting for her.
Soon as she'd landed, the owlets were all over her, squeaking and squawking and making one big clamor. The little owls of all shapes and sizes seemed to be one as they crowded together, their eyes wide in anticipation. Would they go flying?
"Gylfie, are we going to fly tonight?"
"What we gonna do?"
"Will it be safe?"
The navigation chaw ryb chuckled and tried to silence the excited young ones, flapping her wings with the slightest annoyance. Chawlets as young as these could get pretty antsy when they weren't having lots of fun.
"Yes, yes. Hush now everyone. Tonight's a perfect night for tracing the Golden Talon," she said, "I want Hesser to take up port, Rita starboard, Margie in the middle, and Sheil at double tail."
With a few moments of thoughtful hesitation, the chawlets got into the air with their ryb and quickly got into position. The Great Gray, Hesser, had trouble figuring out which direction was port so, without Gylfie and the others noticing, he decided to fly behind Sheil.
So the owls flew slowly for a while, carefully studying the constellation of the Golden Talon. Gylfie was lost in a storm of pride with herself as she answered all of the owlet's somewhat complicated questions. She, Gylfie the Elf owl, was a ryb at last!
The peaceful night had turned on the owls. A brutal updraft lifted them straight up and then they were pushed forward.
"Fly up, keep your positions! We have to get above this!" roared Gylfie, trying to hover in the gale as she made sure the owlets did as they were bidden.
Then she saw young Hesser, trying hurriedly to decide where to fly. He was lagging behind and the west-going wind was getting too strong.
Her heartbeat soaring, the Elf owl flapped towards him. She would be in so much trouble! This was only her first day with this class and already she had messed up. Of course, there was a possibility that none of them would survive.
"Hesser, move! Get going!"
Gylfie felt as if she would yarp on the spot. Her gizzard was clenching and trembling so violently. Hesser wasn't getting any faster, he was going down. His gray wings were held tight to his body.
In a wild rush of adrenaline, Gylfie closed her talons around the only part of Hesser that she could at the moment: his starboard wing. The owlet let out an agonized scream as his wing-bone cracked. Gylfie let go instantly and down he fell.
Gylfie couldn't bear to see the owlet fall. She grabbed him again, this time on the neck, her claws not able to wrap around it. She started to flap upwards though she barely seemed to gain altitude with Hesser's weight added to the burden her wings had to lift. But now the other owlets were gone. Had they escaped? Gylfie's thoughts were tangled together. She just couldn't think straight. And Hesser was being oddly quiet and very still.
The young ryb was close to the water's surface, still being thrust about by the vicious wind. A wave reached up and splashed Hesser. He let out a squeal of pain and Gylfie's confidence level surged. She flapped harder, trying to get into what she thought to be the updraft. It was the west-blowing wind. And it blew her and Hesser beak over tail. And through the debris battering her, the wind propelling her forward at an enormous speed, through it all, Gylfie didn't let go of the owlet.
After two hours of being blown mercilessly, Gylfie woke up with a groan of pain, sprawled on her back. She couldn't move her wings at all and she recognized her right eye's blindness as being induced from dry blood, the source of the red liquid being obviously whatever was hurting her so badly in the area above her eyes.
It was Hesser's voice. His voice was crackling and one could tell he had been crying.
Gylfie swiveled her neck to look at the young Great Gray, still struggling to open her right eye. He was holding his port wing at an odd angle and his beak was stained with blood. How had he gotten to his feet?
"Hesser… Where are we?"
"Gylfie! We're in the Shadow Forest. I believe we're in the northwest area where that big fire was. I don't think many owls are around he-"
Hesser briefly stopped speaking and started to tremble violently.
"Gylfie, it's horrible! Rita, Sheil, and Margie… They're all dead! I saw them as we fell…"
The Elf owl cried out in shock and struggled to get to her feet. This was all her fault! Three owlets had died because of her!
"Help me up. It's too d-dangerous to stay here. We'll have to f-find shelter somewhere nearby b-because, obviously, we can't fly."
Hesser hopped to Gylfie's side and pulled her up off the ground. The ryb shut her eyes in pain once she was up and swayed a little when she took a step.
Without even looking at one another, the two owls made their way through the forest.
Chapter Two will be up once I get some reviews and, maybe, flames. Thanks for reading. And this is my first fanfiction.