'Two Broken Wings' is a story idea I have been developing for the past few months. It is an evolving story and world, so if any major changes are made to this chapter in the future I will list them here along with the date changed.
Chapter 1 - Darkness
All Marie could see was darkness. She walked slowly through the tunnel, her hands on the walls to either side of her. It wasn't even three feet across. Even if she did wave a hand in front of her face, she doubted she would be able to see it, the darkness was so thick. Actually, it was more thin than thick, but it was darker than night.
She took shallow ( )eaths as she inched forward, trying not to make any sound. She didn't know how long she had been walking, but it felt like forever. The small backpack on her shoulders felt like it weighed a ton, even though all that was in there was a sandwich, a coil of rope, and a blanket. Her water canteen was around her neck. Her knee-length skirt was fraying at the trim, and the soles of her shoes were flattening. Not to mention her feet hurt.
But she kept on going. Not because she could, or because she wanted to, but because she had to. She had to get to the end and find whoever -- or whatever -- was there. Because one of her now useless, filthy, once glorious wings dragged behind her shedding feathers as she walked. The other was just a stump on her back, a painful scar that without proper treatment could possibly never grow another wing.
The passage stretched on and on. Eventually, she decided to rest for a bit. Carefully, as to not crush her remaining wing, she sat with her back against a wall and her feet up against the other. Taking a sip of water, she wondered just how wrong everything had gone. And how much she didn't actually care. She was an explorer at heart, so getting thrown in the Pit until her wing regrew wasn't the worst punishment ever. It was her wing that worried her. It was not cut off as punishment, no, they would never do something that cruel. It was cut off by the person who had been chasing her.
She sighed. At least she was safe from them in here. Closing her eyes, she put her head up against the wall and fell asleep.
Marie woke with a start. 'Oh no,' she thought, 'how long have I been asleep?' She looked behind her at her wing. Something was different about it… She could see it in the flickering orange light.
Whipping her face around, she made eye contact with a man holding a burning torch. His black hair was short and messy, as if he had cut it by himself with a pair of scissors. He was wearing a once-white t-shirt covered in stains of every shade of ( )own and black with a faded green vest, and his ( )own pants were ripped at the knees as well as just about everywhere else. His light skin was covered in dirt and grime, like he had just cleaned out an engine then decided to roll around in the dirt. He also had on big gold metal shoes and ( )acelets, no wings, and slightly pointed ears. A mage, then. He couldn't have been older than fifty years old, but you could never tell with their kind.
Marie sat there, terrified for a second, but then saw that he was smiling and his eyes looked kind, despite his appearance.
"Who are you and what do you want?" asked Marie, trying to sound more confident than she was.
"Hello," said the man. "I was sent here to pick up anyone new who might have gotten tossed down here today. Every day they send out a runner to check. You are safe with me for now."
All her life, she had been told never to trust mages. They were liars, deceivers, cheaters. The person who cut off her wing had been one. She had many good reasons not to trust him. But she had no other choice. If he was a mage, he could heal her wing stub. And he said that he had been "sent" by someone, so there must be more people out there. Maybe he would lead her to them.
"Alright," she said.
"Can you stand?" he asked, holding out a hand.
Marie took it and stood up. "Yes," she replied. "I've gotten this far, haven't I?"
He chuckled, "Yes, you have. You're more than halfway to Civilization. Most people don't make it a quarter of the way before collapsing. What makes you so tough?"
Marie sighed, took a deep ( )eath, and then turned around. "My right wing has been cut off. Could you heal it? If it's not healed soon it might never be able to grow back."
He took a long look at her scar, then shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I can't heal that on my own. I'm not a healer, and…" He holds up his hands, showing the gold bands encircling his wrists. Gold dampens magical abilities, silver increases it. Most mages wear silver circlets everywhere, but he was wearing gold ones. "When you are thrown in the pit, you are usually given some sort of magic or flight damper so it's not easy to escape." he said. “Those who can fly, wingless or not, are given weighted boots, those who perform magic are given golden circlets. When we get to Civilization you can get the help of our professional healers who no longer have them."
"But I have neither." They began walking down the path, Marie following the man.
"You have a ( )oken wing. You are stuck down here until the wing regrows. I've only met one other person in your situation, but winged flyers down here are quite uncommon in general. I've heard they were dying out on the surface as well. There just aren't enough good souls in the world anymore." He looked at Marie. "What's your name by the way?"
"Marie, former archeologist, once a schoolgirl who dreamed of the stars. And who might you be?"
He smiled at that. "Are we giving full titles then? In that case, I am Davis, former mage apprentice, once an adult that never grew up. It's a pleasure to meet you, Marie Star."
"And you as well, Davis Gru. Now, where are we going?"
"We are on our way to Civilization, the main city of the Pit. Once there, I will take you to see the Queen and Leaders, and you can get sorted out and start your new life here."