A/N: An entry for a writing challenge on A Little Piece of Heaven.
Prompt: "The closer we get to the light, the deeper our shadows become."
Word count: 647
Fanfiction : Kiesha'ra – Falcondance
Also, I ship Hai/Nicias so hard. :3

Hai had been lost in Ecl for so long, she no longer remembered what it was like to be alive. She was the lover of Ecl, the truest and the purest. She had built her castle walls so high to protect herself from being removed. Hai did not want to be saved.

When she danced, all the falcons felt it. They envied her for her skill and gracefulness that she possessed in dance. But she heard the whispers behind her back afterwards – how she was a disgrace and her mother too. How could she have an affair with one of them and bear a child. Disgusting. Poor Hai, they would say. One day she will be lost in Ecl.

Ecl wasn't so bad once you were there. The silence was beautiful, and she could hide there without fear of being found. She could escape the cruel reality of her existence – the mutant. The one who never really belonged. Hai didn't mind so much anymore, being with Ecl. She didn't remember that she could be anywhere else.

Hai's slick red eyes stared off into the darkness as she thought about her past. She hadn't done so for years, but recently a man had been coming and trying to bring her back to the 'real world.' Her broken, twisted wings lay limp and torn at her sides and across the floor. Something hot was brewing in her throat. Something familiar but so far away. Anger, she concluded. She was angry.

Why must this man come and bring back memories and pain she no longer wanted to face? Why is it so important to him if she comes around or not? He doesn't know her! This falcon… he knew nothing of anything. He swam in Ecl to find her, and nearly got lost himself. So foolish.

He fed her hopeful thoughts about her mother. About how good it would be if she came back. And she started to believe him. She started to try to fight her way out of Ecl; to remember what it was like before. She thought that maybe she could fall in love with this falcon boy, and he would fall in love with her. They start a family; have beautiful babies. Lovely, falcon babies. With the same fate as herself.

That realization snapped her back down into darkness. She was part serpiente, and that was the reason her magic overwhelmed her. Hybrids couldn't last long in Ahnmik – the magic-protected land of the falcons – never mind outside of the city! Hai could never have children knowing that they would only be forced at some crucial point in their lives to only dance with Ecl.

She shuddered suddenly as chills ran through her body at the thought of her own magic taking over. She was dancing, high in the sky – higher than any other. And it was beautiful. It was wonderful. But then she lost control and plummeted downwards, breaking her wings. She would never dance again. Hai surrendered herself to Ecl.

Her heart ached again as she remembered the pain she suffered in the mortal world. The hurtful words thrown at her. How she never belonged there because she wasn't pure. She was doomed from birth to suffer, to be an outcast, to be overcome, and the world made sure she knew it. She was only free when she danced, and now she couldn't even do that.

Darkness swept over her again. Any grasp she had of returning to her mother and the rest of the mortal realm was gone now. She could not bring herself to fight for something she could never reach. She would never be normal. She would never be in control of her magic. Here, in Ecl, at least she didn't have to face it. She could dance forever and never feel any pain.

Hai was one of the shm'Ecl and nothing more.